Citizens Unveils Cash Flow Forecasting Tool for Small Businesses


Citizens has unveiled a new digital solution, Citizens Cash Flow Forecasting, allowing small business owners to predict their cash flow up to 12 months ahead. This tool provides tips, insights, and competitive benchmarking. It enables businesses to compare themselves with similar companies based on geography, revenue, and employee count.

This tool addresses a need for small businesses by helping them manage their finances more effectively. By consolidating financial applications and leveraging expert advice, businesses can improve profitability, productivity, and cost efficiency. The survey’s findings underscore the importance of using insights and digital tools for sustained business growth.

Available on Cash Flow Essentials Platform

The new tool is accessible to users of Citizens Cash Flow Essentials, the bank’s online and mobile cash management platform launched in 2023. This addition joins a suite of digital resources for small business owners, including Digital Account Opening, Zelle® for small businesses, and mobile deposit.

The 2024 Business Outlook Survey by Citizens found that 55% of small and mid-size business owners prioritize improving cash flow insight. Mark Valentino, head of Business Banking at Citizens, said, “We work closely with our business customers to identify critical needs. Then, we provide digital tools that offer an exceptional customer experience and empower them to make confident financial decisions. Cash flow forecasting is designed to help clients consolidate their financial applications and optimize their financial performance so that they can spend more time running the businesses they love.”

The survey included 600 principals at small and mid-size U.S. businesses with up to $25 million in annual revenue. It revealed that consolidating cash flow tools provides several advantages. Respondents who have done so reported increased profitability (44%), increased productivity (43%), and lower costs (42%).

Insights Drive Competitive Advantage

The survey also found that companies using financial tools and expert advice expect a competitive edge. 87% of “insight-driven” businesses anticipate rapid expansion in the coming year. These businesses also have growth-focused five-year plans and a strong understanding of their cash flow.

The survey identified several tactics that can help small and mid-size businesses succeed:

Consolidate Financial Applications

Sixty-six percent of insight-driven companies expect double-digit revenue growth this year by consolidating financial applications.

Set Clear Objectives

Insight-driven companies focus more on improving cash flow insight, making informed decisions, and protecting data from fraud.

Leverage Digital Invoicing and Payments

Nearly 60% of these businesses use digital payment and invoicing tools to get paid faster. Tools like digital peer-to-peer payments, card acceptance, and recurring billing are popular.

Seek Expert Advice

These companies seek counsel from attorneys, business bankers, fintech providers, and CPAs. 83% of insight-driven businesses have a dedicated business banker compared to 59% of other businesses. Additionally, 72% of leaders expecting double-digit growth in the next five years plan to rely on financial tools and expert advice.

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.