Home Business Coaching The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly – Disadvantages of Cash Flow Forecast

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly – Disadvantages of Cash Flow Forecast

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From setting strategic goals and removing uncertainties, long-term business often plans rely on cash flow forecasting. The forecasts are used in budgeting and profitability predictions, with their many applications and benefits being hailed globally as key to stellar finances. But is it really all stars and sunshine, or is there a flip side to it? As with everything, with the good, comes the bad too. One needs to weigh both the pros and cons according to their situation and then decide whether cash flow forecast serves their needs best or would they be better off without.

Let’s take a look at the bad for a change. Below are some of the major disadvantages of a cash flow forecast.

Unforeseen Factors

Cash flow forecast can be affected by external factors being experienced by the company, skewing the forecast. A significant increase in competition or excessive government regulation can quickly change expected cash flows. Another unforeseen factor could be changes in technology. Due to these unforeseen factors, companies expecting a certain level of cash flow will have to adjust their expectations.

Limited Information

You have to make use of the limited information available to make decisions in forecasting. Accountants, prior to creating forecasts, usually gather all known information. They use this information to fill in their best estimate. However, their estimate can often prove to be wrong, giving an inaccurate picture of future cash flows. Relying on rough estimates thus is a major disadvantage of the cash flow forecast.

Volatile Business Environment

One thing certain about the business environment is that it is very uncertain. Things applicable today may serve no purpose tomorrow. Factors such as federal and state regulations, effects of business competition and economy wreck havoc on cash flow forecast. To account for a volatile business environment, businesses that cast forecast cash flow into the long term often find themselves having to adjust expectations.

Best Estimates

Cash flow forecasting involves a degree of probability no matter how valuable information the company has on hand. No forecast is ever 100 % accurate, not even in the short term. The probability of inaccuracy will increase the farther the forecast extends.

David Dowdy

As a certified Business Coach, business owners enroll in a program that we select together,  and agree will provide the best structure, discipline, accountability, and profit growth for them and for their businesses.


I have a passion for helping businesses like yours grow and become profitable, so you, the business owner can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve. As your Business Coach and adviser, I will help you deliver the results you desire using proven tools, methodologies and systems, tested and perfected over tens of thousands of businesses worldwide for over more than two decades. I will hold you accountable for your results and just like a sports coach, push you to perform at higher levels than you’re able to reach when left to your own devices.