Rolling Cashflow Forecaster

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 March 9, 2005

The Rolling Cashflow Forecaster simplfies the job of projecting cashflows. It does not produce balance sheets, marketing plans or production reports. It can forecast cashflows over any length of time; 13 months often works well. The top half of the sheet is "Cash In" and the bottom half is "Cash Out. The initial setup follows the four areas of cash: farm, personal, capital and borrowing. However, it can be set up any way you like as long as "Cash In" and "Cash Out" are in the correct half of the spreadsheet.

This tool is especially useful when cash flow is tight: usually during business start-ups, reorganizations or periods of financial uncertainty. Cashflow management won't ensure that your business is profitable but it may buy enough time to make the changes needed for long-term viability.

Download spreadsheet
Rolling Cashflow 1-3.xls (requires Excel Version 5 or better. Versions for older spreadsheets available on request)

The Rolling Cashflow Forecaster is easily customized to fit your situation. Begin by typing in the proper months across the top of the page, starting with the current month (this only needs to be done once). Next, customize the row headings under Cash In and Cash Out. You may want to use headings from your financial records or tax form; just remember you are only interested in cash. It helps if you have one main bank account that handles all the farm finances; use the types of deposits and expenditures in this account as row headings.

Now enter the expected amounts of cash in and out. It may be easiest to start working across the sheet. For example, if you have grain in the field or in the bin, you have some idea how much you plan to sell and when you plan to sell it. Some amounts will be the same (or similar) every month. For example, living costs might be $2,000 per month except for $3,000 in December These amounts can be entered in any order and updated at any time. Rows can be inserted at any time (but always in the middle of the section). The spreadsheet will do the math each time you make a change.

At the end of each month, the column for that month should be deleted. This allows the whole sheet to "roll" to the left so that the current month and the critical next 2 or 3 months are "front and centre." Before the old month is deleted, the new month's beginning bank balance / operating loan must be entered. As well, a new month should be added to the right-hand side of the spreadsheet. See the "Notes" section at the bottom of the spreadsheet for specific instructions.

Basic spreadsheet skills
To customize and operate the Rolling Cashflow Forecaster, familiarize yourself with simple spreadsheet operations such as deleting a column, inserting a row and copying a range. Once you have the initial setup complete, you may wish to "freeze" the horizontal and vertical titles to make data entry easier. Your spreadsheet manual or "help" function will provide quick and easy instructions.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Anatoliy Oginskyy.
This document is maintained by Shukun Guan.
This information published to the web on March 22, 1999.
Last Reviewed/Revised on November 28, 2013.