A cash flow dashboard graphically displays important cash flow key figures and cash flow developments of a company. It is used by those responsible for monitoring liquid funds and for better planning, so that no cash shortages occur. We show you here what a cash flow dashboard contains and which tools you can use to create it.
Cashflow dashboard: What does it contain?
A cashflow dashboard contains the most important cashflow figures of a company or a project, as well as graphical representations of various past, current and future cashflow figures.
Different representations are relevant for different users. For example, a CEO needs different presentations and key figures than a project manager. Therefore, no two cash flow dashboards are alike and are individually adapted to the user's needs.
Cash flow dashboard example
Common cash flow measures that are displayed on a cash flow dashboard are, for example:
- Total past, current and estimated future bank balances
- Past expenditure and income as well as expected development of expenditure and income in the coming months
- Cash burn rate of the past months and expected burn rate in the coming months
- Total accounts receivables and accounts payables
- Target/actual comparison between planned and actual cash flow
- Important cash flow scenarios, e.g. worst case/best case
What are the advantages of a project cashflow dashboard?
Cash flow dashboards are not only important tools for financial managers, but also for project managers. Instead of looking at the cash flow of the entire company, you can also display the cash flow for a single project on a dashboard, for example:
- Expenditure necessary for the project
- Possible income related to the project (e.g. grants or budget increases)
- Target-performance comparison between planned expenditure and actual expenditure
Project managers can see on the dashboard whether the planned funds are sufficient or whether more money is needed. This helps them to plan the funds better so that they are available in time and the project does not get bogged down.
Building a cash flow dashboard in Excel
You can create a cash flow dashboard in Excel yourself. Depending on which key figures or correlations you want to look at, you will need different data sources.
Cash flow overview & cash flow plan
The basic variables for the input of your cash flow dashboard are the transactions on your business accounts. Each incoming or outgoing transaction represents a cash flow. On your dashboard, you can create a monthly overview of your incoming and outgoing cash flows (i.e. revenues and expenses), for example like this:
|Cash flow balance at start of year: £3,000||January||February|
|Revenues from sales||£5,000||£6,000|
|Income from financial investments||£500|
|Salary payments and wages||£2,000||£2,000|
|Expenses for marketing||£500||£400|
|Fees for software||£100||£100|
|BALANCE per month||£4,400||-£500|
|TOTAL cash balance = Balance from previous month + balance from current month||£7,400||£6,900|
To get to this overview, categorise the individual incoming and outgoing cash flows in each month and add them up to a total. You then enter this in the table in the corresponding category.
There can be many more categories in your company. It is only important that you record all incoming and outgoing cash flows so that the overview on your dashboard is correct. All figures can then be displayed in a graphical representation in Excel, for example the total monthly revenues and expenses.
If you have created a table for the previous months according to the example above, you can enter the planned figures for the coming months in the categories.
To do this, estimate what income and expenses you expect. Include your accounts payables and receivables as well as the expected development of customer demand and your investment activities.
Accounts receivables & accounts payables
It makes sense to also display your accounts receivables and accounts payables on your cash flow dashboard. You can enter them in tabular form per month, just like your revenues and expenses:
|Total accounts receivables||£1,500||£1,300|
|Total accounts payables||£1,000||£1,200|
You can transfer these values to your cash flow plan so that future receivables and payables are taken into account in the due month and your cash flow planning becomes even more accurate.
Live cash flow dashboard
If you create a cash flow dashboard in Excel, you will probably see very quickly that this is a lot of work on the one hand, and on the other hand that the numerical values entered are not up-to-date at all times. You would have to enter your account transactions in the table every day or every week and keep them up to date. Hardly anyone has this time.
Instead of Excel, you can therefore also use special cash flow tools that are real-time capable. One such tool is Agicap. It connects to your bank accounts and other accounting software and automatically retrieves the relevant data.
The cash flow is updated every day so that you always have an accurate overview of what is going on in your bank accounts. You can also create a cash flow plan in Agicap. Through the integration with other accounting tools, Agicap automatically includes accounts receivables and accounts payables in the planning.
You then only have to enter planned values that Agicap cannot call up, e.g. your expected revenues in the coming months or your planned investment projects. The cashflow dashboard can be set individually and shows you your most important key figures clearly and always in real time.