Top 5 Best Cash Flow Apps for Small Business UK 2023

As we begin a new year and you’re considering how you can improve your small business, one of the most important aspects to look at is your cash flow.

A bad cash flow management is one of the top reasons why businesses fail.

Especially during these challenging times with sky high inflation and talks of an incoming recession.

While sales and profits are important, cash flow is even more so.

Using technology can make cash flow management much easier and effective because it can not only forecast what your bank balance may be but also plan what-if scenarios so you can make better informed decisions as a business owner.

In this post, we discuss the top five cash flow apps for uk businesses looking to get a better grasp on their cash flow management.

What is cash flow?

In short, cash flow is the movement of cash or cash equivalents coming in and out of a business.

If more cash is coming in rather than going out during a certain period, the business is cash flow positive.

On the contrary, if more cash is going out than coming in then that period is cash flow negative.

While negative cash is not all bad, it’s not sustainable either in the long term without additional capital investment. Continued negative cash flow may be a sign of bigger problems and create difficulty for small businesses to meet their financial obligations like debt repayments.

Why is cash flow Important?

Small businesses in the UK want to ensure their cash flow is in order so that they have a good grasp on their current numbers and future finances.

There are numerous reasons why cash flow is important, from meeting current financial responsibilities to making plans for the future.

A positive cash flow can help you maintain good relationships with suppliers and contractors by having the necessary liquidity to make payments on time for example.

Alternatively, it can help get approved for a bank loan or build your business cash reserves so you can have a cushion to fall back on during difficult times.

The best method to manage cash flow

The best method to manage cash flow starts with having a solid understanding of cash flow, how cash moves in and out of your business as well as the factors affecting the movement of money. As every business is different, having that knowledge first is crucial.

Traditionally, your finance director or accountant may prepare a cash flow statement based on a defined period. Most often that is quarterly or annually. If your finance function is more advanced then in certain cases you may also be using a cash budget to make some estimates of what cash flow you can expect in the near future.

Either way, these statements are a good start but lack the real time visibility necessary to make decisions in our fast-paced economy of today. In addition, it can be difficult to adjust variables to in order to plan multiple different scenarios.

Therefore, the best method of managing cash flow will have to integrate technology such as the use of specific cash flow apps to overcome those limitations of traditional paper statements.

Cash flow apps are the best way to forecast cash flow, plan scenarios and get real time visibility.

Best uk cash flow app features in 2023

Before we get into the best cash flow tools, let’s take a look at the powerful features you’ll want to keep an eye on, given the huge range of platforms that’s available.

Cash flow forecasting and real time visibility is the number one reason you should be choosing to use a cash flow app.

It’s essential when making business decisions because it shows you how much money you expect to receive and what will be leaving your business during a upcoming period of time.

Being able to run different scenarios based on current and future cash positions is also advantageous.

For example, seeing the impact of losing a client, a price increase in raw materials, or receiving a late payment can help you prepare for your business’s financial future.

As a small business owner, you do not want to be bogged down with cumbersome tasks that is why automation should be top of mind. Automation can include collecting data or generating reports.

Being able to integrate your cloud-based accounting solutions with your cash flow app is a necessity because it will amalgamate your data, allowing you to view your expected revenues, payroll, and upcoming expenses that will affect cash flow.

Before you choose the best cash flow app, make sure you do your due diligence by reviewing all of your options to see if it fits your business needs.

Which cash flow app is best for your UK business in 2023?

Fathom – Best cash flow app for advanced reporting

Fathom is a cash flow management tool that helps business owners plan for the future with cash flow forecasting. It provides in-depth analysis and a clear picture of a business’s performance, by measuring and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs).

Fathom also allows you to create a range of reports for your KPIs, cash flow analysis and any financial statements. Fathom gives you clarity and confidence about your future cash flow position and what will need to occur to achieve your business goals with cash flow forecasting.

It achieves this by producing project profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements, so you know where your business stands in real time.

Fathom cash flow app dashboard
The Fathom app dashboard for cash flow forecasts

Confidently plan ahead with a business roadmap (visual planning + cash flow forecasting), driven by comprehensive financial modelling. You can easily see the financial impact of any new initiatives with microforecasts, whether you want to purchase an asset, or hire staff. Not sure where a number came from? Quickly audit your cash flow forecast to understand every detail.

Save time with cash flow forecasts that use your trends from your latest financials or existing budget. Seamlessly integrate Fathom with your online accounting software, such as Xero — our choice here at BrooksCity for all new clients — QuickBooks, and MYOB.

Free 14-day trial. Pricing starts at £35 per month for the Starter Plan and allows you to import one entity.

Float – Best cash flow app for small businesses uk

Float is a user-friendly cash flow forecasting tool that can easily integrate with online accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks, and FreeAgent. This app will give you a clear picture of your past, current, and future cash flow, so that you can make confident financial decisions even during turbulent times for your business. Float has a cash flow projection length of up to three years, making long-term planning a breeze.

Since Float syncs to your accounting software and pulls information from your online banking, you can readily see your cash inflows and cash outflows, along with bills or invoices that are overdue. Float allows you to update your expected payment dates to when you believe bills and invoices will actually get paid. You can also track the performance of your budget and compare them to actuals, giving you informative insight into how your business is running.

Float cash flow app dashboard
The Float app dashboard for cash flow

Ease your anxieties by running scenarios based on your present and future cash position, like hiring a new employee, losing a client, increasing expenses, unpaid invoices, and more to know where your cash position would be.

Float works well for various types of industries in the UK, from architecture and creative agencies to hospitality and manufacturing.

Free 14-day trial. The essential plan allows for three users, email support, and a call with a Float expert for £39 per month, billed annually, excluding VAT.

Fluidly – Best for simple cash flow forecasting and funding support

An all-in-one cash flow management platform for businesses so they can effortlessly plan and manage their finances. With real-time cash flow forecasting you have a clear idea of your cash position at any given point in time. Once you get a grasp on your base forecast, you can easily make adjustments, such as which bank accounts are monitored. Fluidly also uses the data from your forecast to automatically estimate future VAT payments.

Fluidly allows you to plan for “what if” scenarios and make the best decisions for your business. These scenarios can include an increase in your office lease, a dip in sales, or the impact of promotions and raises. A range of pre-configured plans are also included, broken down into staffing, safeguarding, and opportunities.

Fluidly app dashboard
Fluidly app daily cash flow snapshot dashboard

An interesting feature Fluidly has is helping businesses find tailored funding. With access to their tools and specialists you get a view of multiple lenders, quickly receive offers, and can secure a loan in a matter of days. Whether you have cash flow shortfalls, need to purchase stock, hire staff, or you’re looking to grow your business, funding may be the answer.

Since Fluidly connects with your accounting software, namely QuickBooks and Xero, you have complete control of the invoices coming into your business and can track down late payments. You can even use their pre-written emails and include links to the invoices to contact late payers.

Free 14-day trial. Pricing starts at £10 per month + VAT for the Starter Plan, great for understanding short term cash flow, with up to a three-month forecast.

Planful – Best cash flow app for advanced scenario planning and large businesses

Planful app forecasting dashboard
The Planful app dashboard for forecasting and scenario planning

Small businesses can align their strategic business objectives with financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting processes to help with business insights, using Planful. No need to use the manual financial process of compiling spreadsheets anymore thanks to automatic data collection. With this cash flow management tool, you can analyze past performance and proactively plan for the future with forecast planning.

Use Planful’s pre-built templates to expedite the financial planning and analysis cycles. This app uses financial intelligence that automatically stores, categorizes and showcases your data drawn from accounting properties. With its cash flow forecasting feature, you can plan often and accurately to keep up with demands.

Cash flow forecasting can help you gain control and visibility over your cash inflows and cash outflows, provide key stakeholders with clarity on short-term liquidity and long-term positioning, recognize trends to reallocate cash and mitigate cash flow risk, and plan for shorter periods (13 weeks) or longer periods (12 months) using cash flow models. Cash flow models can adjust instantly, when there’s been a change of plans or an unexpected event, like a pandemic.

When a curveball is thrown your way, you can quickly adjust using rolling forecasts and stay aligned with strategic goals. Along with risks, you can also identify new opportunities, alter budget allocations and pivot spending as you respond to shifts within your business.

On top of that, Planful easily integrates with a variety of online accounting software, from Sage Business Cloud Accounting and QuickBooks to SAP and Oracle NetSuite.

Rather than fixed plans, Planful offers dynamic pricing based on customer needs.

Dryrun – Best for cash flow app for medium sized businesses uk

Dryrun is a cloud-based financial management and cash flow forecasting tool made for small businesses across a variety of industries, from construction to consumer services.

You can run model scenarios to explore best, worst, and most likely outcomes and be informed before making a decision. From this, you can then create detailed budgets and sales projections. Advanced features include multi-location and multi-currency to receive international payments.

Dryrun gives you a detailed overview of your cash flow finances, so you know who owes what, can filter, sort, and find critical transactions, and set expected dates to manage overdues. Get a clear overview of your near-term cash flow and adjust for late payments. Integration with a wide range of business accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks, Sage Business Cloud Accounting, and more allows users to stay current on bills and invoices.

With Dryrun you can also easily monitor risks with cash flow forecasting. They make it easy, so you know where you stand and where you’re going, with regular reporting, so that you can spot issues as soon as they come up!

Free 30-day trial. Dryrun offers three plans depending on the size of your business.

Pulse – Best for cash flow app for micro-businesses and ease of use

Pulse is a cash flow app designed for small businesses, contractors, and freelancers. Pulse gives you the ability to easily manage your cash flow finances. It reduces manual entry with recurring income and expense logic and allows you to view and adjust past transactions. By automating growth and expense curves and displaying your bottom line under different scenarios, Pulse supercharges your income and expense tracking.

The dashboard gives you a visual of your cash flow over any time period (by week, month and beyond) and organizes your cash flow into categories, customer, and project. That way, you know who and what is most profitable for your business.

While the other cash flow apps integrate with a variety of business accounting software, Pulse only integrates with QuickBooks. Pulse does allow you to invite collaborators so they manage cash flow with you, share with investors in read-only access, attach files like proposals, invoices, and contracts, and export cash flow data and reports.

Free 30-day trial. The basic plan starts at US$29/month, with Small Business and Premium plans going up to $89/month.

Notable mentions

Spotlight reporting is great reporting and cash flow forecasting software for franchise businesses or companies with multiple organisation. Alternatively, for companies with multiple ledgers you may want to look at Futrli however there have been complaints of poor support and the initial setup to get everything working can be difficult.

Track your business’s financial health with a cash flow app

Since cash flow is such an important part of your business’s success, make sure you have the right tools in place. Look for an app that can show you your business’s current financial position, run different scenarios based on current and future cash positions to make business decisions, and easily integrate with your cloud-based accounting software.

Seek an accountant for cash flow management advice

Before we enter turbulent times, get the help you need. It’s always good to have an extra set of eyes to ensure you understand your current cash flow and your future financial position, with detailed forecasts.

You can do that by requesting a consultation right here from one of our London Accountants. Knowing that your business’s cash flow is in order will be the difference between surviving and thriving.