Report: ‘Cash Flow is Important and Can Determine Whether Companies Stay Alive or Not During Tumultuous Times’

Following Centime’s announcement of its participation in Visa’s Fast Track program for fintechs, reached out to Centime founder and CEO BC Krishna to learn more about how the company aims to help small and mid-sized businesses.

It starts with gaining visibility into one’s cash position, both present and future, Krishna said. Yet “cash forecasting is a means to an end — it’s not an end unto itself,” Krishna stressed. “You still need the levers to be able to manage your cash so that you can get the goals that you set out for your own business.”

He went on to note how many customers pay bills late, as well as how difficult it can be to estimate the length of the delay. Late payments can sink a small business that needs to collect before it can make payroll or pay other suppliers, for example. “People are paying late because they realize that they can pay late and that they can get away with it and that it helps them with their own cash flow,” Krishna said.

But what’s the answer? noted “the intrinsic relationship that AP and AR have on cash flow forecasting, and it’s a relationship that can go both ways: Cash forecasting can identify issues with incoming payments or supplier payments, while AP and AR flows can have a significant impact on cash forecasting analysis.

“As organizations focus their digitization efforts on modernizing the financial back office, data integration and the complex, interweaving relationships from one financial function to the next will be essential to obtain the clearest view of financial health.”

Krishna honed in on the importance of reexamining how commercial credit cards function to make the most of an underutilized aspect of their value as a source of working capital.

​​“There is a fundamental shift that I think we need to take as an industry when it comes to how cards are perceived, particularly commercial,” he said, adding, “I will posit that the real priority should be on working capital benefits that a card provides.”

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