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Introducing Intelligent Cash Timing Rules in Clockwork

Alex Wunderlich
October 19, 2022

Our biggest release of the year…maybe ever!

FP&A software is rarely an exciting topic, but if you’ve been following this space for the last couple of years, this release should fire you up. We just launched Intelligent Timing Rules in Clockwork, and while there’s a lot to unpack below, know the accuracy and detail in your cash flow forecasts just made a quantum leap.

Clockwork’s new intelligent timing rules analyze the transactions in each account to show you exactly how revenues and expenses translate to cash flows. Those insights are instantly and automatically applied to your forecast. You can customize further, down to the day, for a forecasting experience you won’t find anywhere else. From custom payment and collection schedules to deferred revenue and prepaid expenses, custom revenue recognition, projects, contracts, payroll, and everything in between…intelligent timing profiles are the game-changing innovation that hardcore FP&A nerds (like us) have been waiting for all these years. 

(and that’s not all we released - keep reading!)

Intelligent CashTiming Rules: How do they work?

Clockwork analyzes the transaction-level detail (including invoices, bills, and bank transactions) in each account to determine an “Intelligent” default timing rule consisting of:

  • Cash collection/payment behavior: how is cash collected or paid (e.g., invoice, bill, cash), and how long does it take? 
  • Daily activity breakdown: when does the activity usually happen during a typical month? All on a specific day, skewed toward the end of the month, evenly/randomly distributed?
  • Revenue/expense recognition: cash flow aside - how should the activity be recognized in the forecast? Are we smoothing out lumpy project expenses? Recognizing annual subscriptions as monthly revenue? 

Anytime you click into your revenue or expense forecasts, the intelligent timing rule will appear. You can see how every dollar of your forecast is translated from the Financial Model over into a Cash Flow forecast. Intelligent timing rules are now available to users on all plans (including Free Trials). Advanced users on Pro plans can also customize the timing rule on each rule in their forecast to model just about any situation you could think of.

What’s possible with cash timing rules:

Custom invoice collection schedules

An example of custom invoice collection schedules

For certain products or services, you might have some customers who pay on time, a portion who pay late, and another small portion who unfortunately never pay. For some projects you may have to pay for expenses before work starts while only collecting a portion of the payment. You can model this behavior with a few clicks with a custom timing rule.

Predictions down to the day

An example of daily cash flow activity breakdown

Wouldn’t your cash flow forecast be more accurate and helpful if it predicted your cash flows down to the day? Now you can easily concentrate forecasted activity on specific days of the month for unmatched accuracy.

Annual subscriptions and long-term contracts (deferred revenue)

An example of deferred revenue for annual subscriptions

If you collect all of the money up-front but recognize monthly revenue over the contract's life, shouldn’t your forecast reflect that? Now it can.

What else did we release?

A whole lot! While building the logic for intelligent timing rules, we got a little carried away with the all the “accuracy” and “visibility” stuff…

More detail in the Cash Flow Model

  • Account level cash revenues/expenses (both actual and forecasted)
  • Invoice collections and bill payments are broken down by customer/vendor (actuals), and the forecast provides enhanced detail on what’s driving various collection/payment behavior
  • Account-level balance sheet detail in the “other cash in/out” sections (actuals and forecasts)
  • Weekly cash flow model is now available for Xero users (actuals and forecasts)
An example of detail in the the cash flow model

Balance sheet cash-in / cash-out assumptions

  • Create one-time or recurring rules to forecast cash activity from balance sheet items like loans, equity raises/distributions, and much more - with precision down to the day
  • Quickly access the balance sheet rules driving your cash flow forecast via simple tooltips that break down forecasted activity at the account level without needing to click/scroll all over your model
An example of what's possible in the balance sheet

Want to learn more about Intelligent Cash Timing Rules? 

While the possibilities with intelligent cash times rules are endless, our Customer Success Manager, Max, shows us a couple of examples of how they are applied to business use cases.

Project-based revenue

Deferred revenue or annual subscriptions

If you want to try out Intelligent Cash Timing Rules for yourself, it's live now for anyone with a Clockwork account!

To learn more about how Clockwork helps small businesses realize and work towards a better financial future, create your account to start a free 14-day trial (no credit card required). Connect your QuickBooks Online or Xero account to create your first financial model in minutes.

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