Marketing

Financial plan for companies – why liquidity planning is so important in e-commerce – eCommerce Magazin

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A current DIHK survey makes you sit up and take notice: 43% of German SMEs rate their financial situation as critical. Particularly explosive: the smaller the company, the more likely it is that financial problems are. Most of the lawsuits concern liquidity bottlenecks.

Up-and-coming online retailers in particular are familiar with this problem. “I believe that liquidity is the be-all and end-all for every e-commerce company,” says Johannes Kliesch, founder of the growing e-commerce Snocks. The reason lies in the increasing complexity of the market situation in online trading on the one hand and the dynamic adjustment of one’s own range, inventory and distribution channels on the other. If you want to reach as many target groups as possible, online retailers follow this multi-point of sale strategy. However, it becomes all the more difficult to keep an eye on all payment flows.

This combination means that the sources of deposits and withdrawals are subject to major changes. Once their number increases with each new marketplace, changing payment methods or changing suppliers. On the other hand, they always take place at different times. Often, due to this confusion, at a point in time X it is not even clear how much liquidity is available. But knowing these key figures is more important than ever, especially in times of rapid decision-making, in order not to miss out on new market opportunities. Precise liquidity planning protects the company from payment bottlenecks, dunning fees and, in the worst case, insolvency.

Financial plan for companies: Excel and the problem of manual liquidity planning

Many online retailers invest excessive resources in order to keep track of things: Instead of dealing with strategic financial issues, the CFO or accounting department in e-commerce is often busy evaluating all these inflows and outflows by hand. Different accounts are checked and payment flows are then transferred to huge Excel sheets as punctually as possible, but often with some delay.

In addition to the high susceptibility to errors that manual transmissions per se entail, these sheets quickly resemble a confusing mess of numbers. They then again need manual analysis if one wants to draw valid conclusions for the future from them: Categorization and prioritization are necessary in order to map the status quo as accurately as possible and manual adjustment of all these figures in order to be able to look into the future from a financial perspective. Many find it difficult to create a suitable current situation using their own cash flow. For young companies in particular, however, ongoing transparency about sales and costs is crucial in order to be able to scale as best as possible.

Open banking and liquidity plan: bringing transparency to the current state

Constant transparency in the form of an up-to-date and solid liquidity plan is particularly important for companies in the growth phase. B. To convince stakeholders, shareholders and banks of credit at the right moments. In order to guarantee this transparency at all times, it is advisable to display the cash flow automatically. The keyword here is: open banking. The connection of the individual accounts means that manual transfers are no longer necessary and there is room for the actual financial plan in the company and its planning. This enables online retailers to check and evaluate past payment flows at a glance without having to type and categorize them in advance in hours of work. This not only saves time and makes it easier to analyze the last few months. It also reduces the susceptibility to errors: because all movements on the account can be viewed immediately and cumulatively. In addition, open banking interfaces connect the various business accounts with one another and thus provide a transparent overview of the current overall situation.

At the same time, an open banking analysis is up-to-date, as it evaluates and displays account movements in real time. This gives companies the exact status of their liquidity at all times and enables them to make spontaneous decisions on a much more valid basis.