In a post back in May 2015, Daily Fintech explored the SaaS disruption occurring in the corporate sector in relation to the delivery of Treasury Management services. The disruption has now shifted down the food-chain, with a range of Fintech providers now finding smart ways to connect into accounting platforms, removing the need to integrate directly with the banks and democratizing cash flow forecasting tools for the masses.
And it couldn’t come at a better time. A survey of 1000 British SMEs, conducted by invoice finance provider Hitachi Capital, found that improving cash flow was key to unlocking growth. Each quarter it was included as a top three consideration for business owners, alongside reducing overheads and market expansion.
For SMEs, cash flow management is critical for two key reasons: cost of debt is higher and return on capital is lower compared to large corporates. This makes managing and generating better cash flow critical. But with many SMEs time poor and starved of the in-house skills and talent needed to develop sophisticated cash management strategies, smart technology that can help guide their decision making is a game changer.
Four companies worth following in this space are listed below:
Based out of the TyroFintechHub in Sydney, Skippr are looking to combine both invoice financing with cash flow forecasting tools. Bringing the two together is probably a smart move, especially given both access to funds and managing cash go hand-in-hand. Today the product connects to Xero, with Quickbooks, Sage and MYOB to follow.
Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland but with a global focus, Float integrates with most of the major cloud accounting platforms, Xero and Quickbooks included. Float offers detailed forecasting, budgeting tools and scenario modelling, to help SMEs test the potential impacts of various growth strategies. Float is based out of the CodeBase technology incubator.
Targeted at the Australian market and a graduate of the muru-D startup accelerator program, today Vistr only connects into Xero, offering a 90 day forecasting feature based on two primary data points –invoices sent and received and historical trends. It also has a great sand-box like interactive online tour, allowing SMEs to get a flavour of the product before they go down the path of syncing their own data.
Offering a direct integration into Xero, and with Quickbooks on the way, Crunchboards blends powerful reporting with forecasting tools. In 2015 they were awarded Xero Add-On Emerging Partner of the year. Unlike some of the other forecasting apps, they look to be launching a solution soon with MYOB, the other heavyweight in the global cloud accounting space.
Others to watch include Debtor Daddy and Skwile, alongside complementary services like Receipt Bank and Invitbox, the last two solving in particular the invoice data extraction piece. Together, these ‘best of breed’ solutions, along with cloud accounting, make for a powerful SME treasury solution. Cash management for SMEs may be a nascent sector but it is surely one poised for super-charged growth over the next 12 months. Watch this space.