As small businesses and other companies struggle with cash flow management amid the coronavirus pandemic, HSBC wants to help.
The Vancouver-based bank on Thursday (Jan. 14) rolled out a “Cash Flow Forecasting” tool through its online banking unit.
The tool, which can be accessed through a single sign-on, is designed to enable businesses across the size spectrum to both “build a more accurate picture of their future finances and manage liquidity across all their accounts,” HSBC said in a press release.
Designed for HSBC commercial banking clients, the bank’s Cash Flow Forecasting tool automatically loads data from a firm’s various accounts. For some clients, that could eliminate, with the stroke of a few keys, weeks previously spent laboriously retrieving data from internal banking systems and building spreadsheets, HSBC noted.
The tool can generate “sophisticated cash forecasts for up to a three-year horizon,” with the ability to do “modeling and scenario testing,” the bank said.
In addition, “detailed variance analysis highlights differences between forecasts and actual performance,” according to HSBC.
“Efficient cash flow forecasting is critical to effective liquidity management, allowing clients to budget effectively and plan [for] the future,” said Michael Klopchic, head of global liquidity and cash management for HSBC in Canada, in a press release. “And the uncertainties and business disruptions of COVID-19 have only made this more important. The HSBC Cash Flow Forecasting tool gives companies actionable insights to help build their business, through an intuitive and interactive user experience.”
Interest in cash flow modeling and forecasting has surged over the past 10 months since the coronavirus pandemic erupted in the United States last March.
“The entire practice of annual or periodic forecasting is now falling by the wayside as CFOs seek more effective ways to navigate pandemic-fueled uncertainty,” PYMNTS noted in an interview with Prophix CEOAlok Ajmera. “What every single CFO was doing around the world was constantly re-forecasting — almost on a weekly basis,” Ajmera noted.