Businesses are operating in a new era of uncertainty, where external events can have sudden and profound effects on their cash flow and profits – something that last year’s coronavirus pandemic strongly demonstrated.
Even without the pandemic, businesses face uncertainty or unforeseen challenges. One week, orders might be up, but more funding will be needed to cover inventory or lagging accounts receivable, for example. Another week, unanticipated expenses will drive margins down.
Predicting business health
To address these business challenges, Fathom, a leading analysis and reporting app, has brought innovation to the cash-flow forecasting space with an offering that combines business planning and forecasting.
Fathom’s three-way forecasts help advisers model scenarios with clients in real time and see their impact on the financials. Working together, advisers can start to build out a plan of action and timeline for their client’s business.
“We’ve aimed to build a product that empowers businesses to make better decisions about how to navigate their future, especially through the uncertain times we find ourselves in,” says Fathom co-founder David Watson.
“We’ve aimed to build a product that empowers businesses to make better decisions about how to navigate their future, especially through the uncertain times we find ourselves in.”
“Every business needs a relevant forecast that can be their roadmap, to help guide decisions and lead to a stronger and more profitable future – and advisers can be the enablers of this process,” he says.
Building a business roadmap
A good three-way forecast can help advisers answer client questions such as: When’s the best time for the directors to take a drawdown? Did that marketing initiative deliver new sales? Or what funding do I need to take on that new asset to grow the business?
Business Roadmap, one of Fathom’s innovative forecasting features, brings decision-making to the forefront. It helps business owners visualise and chart the best course forward by tying business strategy and visual planning to financial impacts.
Importantly, forecasts created in Fathom are live and refreshed as soon as the financials are updated. It’s a big change from the traditional ‘set and forget’ forecasts, which quickly become obsolete when results are revised.
“The big difference in our offering is that we’ve taken a step back to reconsider what a forecast can be, as well as what it can do,” Watson explains. “Instead of a complicated static document of numbers, we wanted to build something that is always up-to-date, and allows you to answer clients’ questions at the click of a button or the drag of a mouse.”
Shaye Thyer FCA, 2019 CA ANZ Young Regional Advocate for South Australia, is impressed with Fathom’s forecasting tool and believes it will help advisers move to better quality forecasts.
“You’re talking the client’s language, but there are smarts behind it,” she says.
Forecasts that are accurate
Watson is passionate about businesses having access to forecasts that accurately reflect where they’re going. He also knows chartered accountants are the experts when it comes to transforming businesses and having a positive impact on the community.
“Business owners and leaders want to know what’s around the corner, both in terms of growth and opportunities, as well as potential pitfalls and dangers,” he says.
“Modelling these options alongside a CA gives business owners not only a plan of how to move forward, but also contingency plans if circumstances change in the future.”
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To learn more or start a free trial of Fathom, visit https://fathomhq.com/au/customer-offer/caanz