What is a Cash Flow Simulation Dashboard?

Cash Flow simulations are considered liquidity planning tools and are often used by CFOs and controllers to plan and predict the company’s cash flow. Some of the key functionality in this type of dashboard is that it is completely interactive and each component on the screen has a slider that the user can move to increase or decrease that metric and instantly see how that affects the total cash flow shown on the right side of the screen. The simulation results in an increase or decrease in cash balance which is then added to the beginning cash balance to display the ending cash balance (lower right hand corner of the screen). Once the simulation has been completed, the user clicks the links in the lower left corner of the screen to open the balance sheet and cash flow budget input forms where adjustments are made to come up with a new budget or forecast scenario. You find an example of this type of dashboard below.

Purpose of Cash Flow Simulations

Companies and organizations use Cash Flow Simulations to quickly and easily perform what-if scenarios that results in increases or decreases in cash flow. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) department, a company can improve its liquidity as well as reduce the chances that a lack of scenario planning results in cash flow issues.

Cash Flow Simulation Example

Here is an example of a Cash Flow Simulation Dashboard.

Cash Flow Simulation Dashboard Example

Cash Flow Simulation Dashboard Example

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Dashboard?

The typical users of this type of dashboard are: CFOs and financial managers.

Other Dashboards Often Used in Conjunction with Cash Flow Simulations

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Cash Flow Simulations, along with budget input models for profit & loss, balance sheet, cash flow and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

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