Fluidly’s Free 90 Day Automated Forecast – Our Verdict

Introduction

Here’s our detailed review of the forecasting element of the product. We do not cover the credit control or funding elements here, but you can see those, alongside the cash flow forecasting in our Insights Webinar.

Account Setup 

Speed of account creation

To sign up as an accountant you have to first fill out a basic info form on their website and then they create you an account. This isn’t instant. 

Sync with accounting platform

After you’ve connected to QuickBooks/Xero you get this message 

“This could take around an hour or two. But don’t worry, we’ll send you an email once your cashflow and insights are ready!”

It did take around an hour to two to complete, and we got an email to say we were ready:

The Integration – QuickBooks / Xero

Data sync

Fluidly syncs automatically around every hour. There is no manual sync option.

Chart of accounts 

All accounts with activity pull in with no issues. The order of display is alphabetical with no way to amend.

Bank accounts

These pull in with no issues and you can toggle on/off as required.

Customers & Suppliers

Customers and suppliers are pulled in and these can be selected across multiple account categories (income/expense/asset/liability/equity) when setting up new predictions

Debtors and creditors and pulled in with expected payment dates (these are based on the Fluidly calculation of when the invoice is likely to be paid rather than the due date in QBO/Xero), these can be adjusted in the forecast.

Classes & Location / Tracking Categories

This is not a feature.

The Base Forecast

You get some immediate data widgets. You can action them, but they can’t be moved or replaced with other metrics.

Moving down you get an easy to understand cash visualisation, with daily, weekly, and monthly summary views.

A overview of the monthly numbers relating to the graph is also provided.

The Automated Forecast

You get actuals for the previous 8 months, plus the current month, then a forward prediction of the next 3

In our test the automated forecast did recognise regular monthly payments, but amended the amounts to be different to what they had been recently. Overall the automated element was not accurate enough to be considered useful. More choice over the computation at the setup would be useful here, for instance the ability to set calculation preferences at a category or even a supplier level.

It isn’t possible to edit the predictions if they’re wrong, you have to hide them and then enter your own. An edit function, or copy to new prediction would be useful here.

Forecasting without the Automation

Customers and suppliers are pulled in from QBO/Xero and these can be selected across multiple account categories (income/expense/asset/liability/equity) when setting up new predictions. It is really simple and user friendly.
 

Scenarios

The newly released ‘Plan’ option is super useful, with relevant options from typical scenarios such as hiring a new member of staff or renting a vehicle, among others.

VAT

Fluidly does not currently handle VAT separately as part of the forecast.

However:

You can set up VAT reminders as emails and in-product alerts.

Summary

In summary we feel that whilst the automated element needs some work to be useful, as a free product it’s simple to use, with an easy-to-understand, client-friendly layout, that makes it easy to provide to clients.

Offering the free version to clients should act as a good lead into having more advisory conversations.

Our favourite feature is the recently launched ‘Plan’ which allows you to easily manipulate the forecast based on common scenarios, such as hiring new staff, expanding premises, launching new products, making investments and more.

If you want to find out more you can book in a 1 to 1 demo.

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