Profit First automated by Flow

Profit First is essentially the jar system that our grandparents used back in the day. Every Friday they would divide their weekly salary between a number of jars. Some money went into the jar for groceries, some for living expenses, and another jar for children's clothes. Only when they went shopping, they took money out of the jar for groceries and left the other jars untouched. Profit First is the same system, but then for your business. And instead of jars, we use multiple bank accounts. One for each purpose.

What are the principles?

Profit First uses a new perspective for your business: “Revenue - Profit = Costs”. Here’s how it works.

You start with an Inbox account, for the incoming money. When your customers pay your invoices, you receive the payment in that bank account.

Every two weeks you transfer the money in your Inbox account to the following bank accounts (jars):

  • Profit
  • Salary
  • Taxes
  • Expenses

Through the Flow app, the money automatically goes to the different bank accounts: Profit, Salary, Taxes and Expenses. The bills from suppliers are paid from the Expenses account, the taxes from the Tax account and your salary is transferred from the Salary account to your private account.

At the end of each quarter you decide what to do with your profit and pay the taxes.

In this video (Dutch) Daan van Klinken, founder of Flow, introduces the 3-step system with which you can automate your Profit First.

Profit First and Flow

The Profit First system helps you determine what percentage of your revenue goes to each of the four bank accounts (profit, salary, taxes and expenses). This percentage is different for each company. With Flow, you can get a free introductory meeting, where a Profit First Professional will help you find the right number and set up a system.

Flow worked with Profit First to make templates, so you can start with Profit First yourself. Depending on your business and revenue you can choose one of our templates that suits you best. There are templates for freelancers and companies, ranging from €50K to even €1M! This way you can easily set up the biweekly rhythm of Profit First. We help you gain control of your company's cash flow.

The basis of automating Profit First is creating jars (bank accounts) and linking them to the Flow app. In this video (Dutch) Daan shows you how this works and what happens when money comes in:

Step 1: Divide your income with the Profit First Flow that suits your situation

The first step of the Profit First system is: dividing your income among the Profit First jars. This happens by default every 10th and 25th of the month. Daan shows you how you can set this up in the app:

The Start with Profit First Flow is designed for business owners who want to start with Profit First. This flow starts with a lower profit percentage because your first goal is to reduce your costs.

Are you already applying Profit First in your business? Then you can choose from one of the other Profit First templates like Profit First ZZP €50K, Profit First ZZP €100K, Profit First €200K B.V. or even the Profit First €1M B.V.!

Choose the Flow that suits your business type and your revenue level.

The percentages in these Flows are the base percentages calculated by Profit First. If you feel they don't fit your situation, you can ask for free help from an approved Profit First Professional directly through the Flow app.

Profit First & Invest is an advanced version of the Profit First Flow. When you know you have an extra €500 this month, for example, you can invest this money and start building a buffer. The investment proceeds are meant to be invested back into your business.

Step 2: Your monthly salary

Do you want to receive your salary every month, each week, bi-weekly? Or paid dynamically? That's the second step of the system.

For the payment of your salary, you can find three different flavors in the Flow app:

1 - Monthly salary

At the end of the month, transfer your full available salary to your personal bank account. Depending on your earnings this month, your salary will adjust.

2 - Bi-weekly salary

Follow the Profit First rhythm and transfer your salary to your personal account once every fortnight.

3 - Fixed Salary

Use this if you prefer a fixed salary every month, with a maximum. In that case, you can set the maximum amount you will receive per month (e.g. no more than €3,500 per month).

Set how you want to pay yourself from your "Salary" jar.

Step 3: Your quarterly round-up and profit

At the end of each quarter, it's time for some obligations: VAT, income tax and managing your profit. Fortunately, with Flow and Profit First you have reserved the right amount. No stress, everything is under control.

So what do you actually do with the profit you set aside? Every quarter, you divide the profit and set aside the income tax. Daan shows you how to automate this in this video (Dutch):

Use your VAT reserves

Pay your VAT with the reserved money in the bank account. Do you have money left over? Use it to invest in your business, or personal needs.

Use your profit

Every quarter, Flow will send 50% of all the money in your Profit Holding account to your Investment account. This money is exclusively for investing in your business. The other 50% goes to your Personal account. Profit First also has ideas about what you should do with that money: spend it on yourself to feel like you've actually earned it!

Reserve your income tax

The Quarterly Income Tax Flow in the app helps you to reserve enough for your income tax. You set this up, and you don't use the money until you pay the taxes.

Profit First advises you to set up this Flow every quarter. This Flow clears your Income Tax account and stores the money in a holding account. Preferably at a different bank (or into a savings account), so that it’s out of reach.


Just like our grandparents did back in the days, Profit First uses multiple bank accounts to distribute your business money. This helps you have control over your money, know what your profit is, what taxes you have to pay, and above all, it transforms your company into a healthy profitable business. As Mike Michalowicz would say: Profit is not an event, it’s a habit.

With Flow and Profit First you can create this habit, without spending everyday time managing it. The automated system brings you peace of mind, you will feel empowered and in control of your business. This way you focus on what you do best!

Step 1: Divide your income with the Profit First Flow that suits your situation

Step 2: Set up your Monthly Salary Flow

Step 3: Set up your Quarterly Profit and Quarterly Income Tax

Remember, you can always schedule a free call with a Profit First Professional if you need help directly from the Flow app. Download the app and look for the Profit First flows in the Discover page to get started!