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FP&A Expectations vs Reality for Small Businesses

Maddi Prince
April 30, 2022

Starting FP&A for your small business can be intimidating, especially for those without a finance background. The general expectation most people have when they begin working with financial analytics is that they will go straight into the confusing deep end, creating financial models for their company, predicting the outcomes of given business decisions and helping their company make the right decisions. In this blog we’re going to debunk these intimidating myths, show how FP&A doesn’t need to take hours of your time, and how Clockwork (yeah that’s us!) can help you on your FP&A journey. 

Expectation: FP&A is BORING.

Reality: It’s all about your perception. With factors of your business constantly changing it’s important to stay on top of your financial planning so you know if your business is vulnerable to failing or being a success. Cash flow issues are the #1 killer of small businesses. Finances are life or death, and extremely personal. If businesses can figure out their cash flow, they can survive. It doesn’t have to be boring if you make it meaningful to your mission.

Expectation: FP&A is too expensive for my business.

Reality: A lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into running a small business. The small business owner often puts their own capital on the line and foregoes the security of corporate benefits to build something truly unique. Clockwork is built and priced for small businesses - we won't add excessive financial burden to your business. Your money is important, limited, and should go to building your business. We want to make sure that any and every small business can use Clockwork - because we want businesses to succeed. 

Expectation: My business is too small for FP&A.

Reality: One size does not fit all for businesses. However, small businesses are failing at an alarming rate. 50% fail in their first 5 years. And 82% of businesses that fail, fail due to cash flow problems. Small business owners need to get their finances in order, and they need help doing it - their whole world is at stake. This is why Clockwork treats each business as a unique, nuanced entity. By using Artificial Intelligence to learn your business and understand the larger business landscape, Clockwork can build models that take into account your unique variables and create customized solutions. 

Expectation: FP&A is going to take too much of my time

Reality: It doesn’t have to! Hopefully you already have an accounting software set up such as QuickBooks Online or Xero where you can track business payments, manage and pay bills, and payroll functions. Clockwork automatically integrates with your QuickBooks Online or Xero account to give you real-time information in seconds. This way you don’t have to rely on complicating excel spreadsheets and you will be able to see all of your invoices, bills, and everything else you would want out of a financial model with ease. 

We hope this clears up concerns for you around FP&A planning and shows you how easy it is to be prepared for any financial situation your business may face. If you’re interested in knowing more about Clockwork, feel free to reach out to our team at hello@clockwork.ai. You can also start your FREE 32 day trial on our website. We’re excited to help you on your FP&A journey.

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