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Float: Advanced business forecasting

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Nick Houldsworth

Dec 23, 2021

Xero connects with over 1,000 apps that help small businesses and their advisors succeed, with most available in the Xero App Store. Each month we celebrate an app partner who stands out for helping small businesses thrive. Find out more about becoming a Xero app partner here.

December’s App Partner of the month is Float, an app that integrates with Xero to give small businesses access to enterprise-level forecasting tools.

Float plugs into Xero and pulls bank transactions, invoices, bills, journals together to build a picture of your cash flow. Float then uses this information to determine whether you’re under or over budget, and the impact that has on your future cash flow.

Instead of waiting for an accountant to send over a financial report, small businesses can now use Float’s real-time financial information to gain control over their business’s future.

“The beauty of Xero is that it allows you to build almost an enterprise-level Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, just by picking the pieces that you want,” says Colin Hewitt, Float CEO and Co-founder. 

“So Xero is the foundation. Then if you want a data capture tool, a reporting tool, and a cash-flow forecasting solution, you can bring all that together really easily to create the unique system your business needs,” Colin continues.

Getting creative with cash flow forecasting

Colin ran a creative agency on a system of spreadsheets. He found that the complicated three-way forecasting solutions already on the market were too difficult to use, so he put his computer science background to work and built his own in 2011. Today, Float gives thousands of customers accurate and up-to-date forecasting. 

From UK to the world

Float first launched in the UK. After integrating with Xero, Float saw growing interest from Xero’s biggest markets, Australia and New Zealand. 

“We decided to go out to one of the Xerocon events in Australia, and it immediately felt like we were already part of the Xero family,” says Colin.

“Xero opened the door for us in that market, and we realised we could go into any other country that Xero were working in. We were able to be international from the outset because of Xero’s built-in audience, which was an incredible head-start.”

Having a ready-made customer base wasn’t the only benefit of integrating with Xero. “When we originally partnered with Xero, we were on the first page of the most popular apps, and that was really significant for us. The jump we got when we integrated with Xero was really exciting for us. Even now, we know the customers who find us through the Xero app ecosystem are always going to be great leads.”

Rave reviews

Float was one of the first apps to become available on the new Xero App Store – and it maintains one of the highest star ratings available with 4.8/5 stars from 280 verified reviews. 

48% of Xero App Partners believe small businesses are influenced by app reviews when purchasing an app – and Float couldn’t agree more. 

“You can’t fake reviews when they’re all coming in from verified Xero customers. People don’t make reviews lightly, both positive and negative, so on the Xero App Store you really see the full picture. It builds instant trust in people wanting to try us out,” Colin concludes. 

Next steps

Float has recently released new scenario planning functionality, which makes it even easier for customers to plan for any eventuality, and there are even more experimental developments in the pipeline. 

Find out more about Float’s forecasting software on the Xero App Store.

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