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Statement of Cash Flow: Format & Examples

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The cash flow statement (CFS) is a financial statement that shows the movement of cash and cash equivalents (CCE) into and out of a firm. The CFS evaluates a company’s capacity to manage its cash position or how well it generates cash to pay debt commitments and fund operating expenses. It is one of the three significant financial statements and accounting records.

A company’s financial statements provide investors and analysts with a picture of all business activities and how each transaction contributes to the company’s success. The cash flow statement is the simplest of all financial statements to understand since it tracks the cash generated by the firm in three important ways: operations, investments, and financing. It also includes any cash withdrawals made to fund acquisitions and company expenditures during a specific period.

Did You Know? Contrary to popular belief, the cash flow statement is often the most insightful of the three financial information and is the only one that matters for many investors.

What is a Cash Flow Statement?

A cash flow statement is vital for managing finances since it monitors an organisation’s cash flow. This assessment is one of three critical factors characterising a company’s success, together with the income statement and balance sheet. A cash prediction may typically help with short-term preparation.

The cash flow statement displays the source of money to help you keep track of incoming and outgoing funds. Cash flow is generated by an organisation’s operational, investment, and financial operations. It also gives data on assets, company costs, and cash withdrawals at a specific moment. Management may find the information received from the cash-flow statement beneficial.

Also read: What Is Accounting Rate of Return (ARR)? Explained With ARR Formula & Example

Businesses typically seek positive cash flow because, without it, they risk adding to the debt money to stay alive.

Benefits of Cash Flow Statement

To be a profitable firm, a company must always have adequate cash on hand. This allows it to repay bank obligations, buy commodities, or invest for high profits. A firm is declared bankrupt if it lacks the finances to meet its commitments. Below given are some benefits of adopting a cash flow statement:

  • Provides Expenditure Information: 

A cash flow statement example provides a clear picture of the direct payments made by the firm to its creditors. It also displays cash transactions not shown in the other financial accounts. These include merchandise purchases, consumer credit extensions, and capital equipment expenditures.

  • Maintains An Optimal Cash Balance: 

A cash flow statement assists in keeping an optimal level of cash on hand. The corporation must identify whether too much of its money is idle or whether there is a lack or surplus of funds. They can invest in stocks or buy inventory if they have extra cash. If funds are low, they might search for sources to borrow capital from to keep the business running.

  • Profit Helps Focus On Creating Cash

By generating cash, profit is integral to a firm’s success. However, there are various alternative methods to make money. For example, when a corporation discovers a way to spend less on equipment, it generates income. It makes money every time it collects receivables from consumers faster than usual.

  • Useful For Short-term Planning

A cash flow statement is a vital tool for regulating cash flow and is helpful for short-term planning. Successful firms must always have enough liquid cash to meet short-term obligations such as impending payments. Some cash flow choices include anticipating a cash deficit to pay off obligations or constructing a basis to request bank loans.

Also read: Understand Cash Accounting – Cash Account Meaning, Advantages And Limitations

What are the Basics of Cash Flow?

In general, every shareholder and investor in a company wants to see a return on their investment. As a result, consumers of financial statements need to know specifics about a company’s receivables and payables.

  • Operating Cash Flow

The entity’s primary sources of income are its operating operations. Cash flow from operations usually includes cash flows from sales, purchases, and other costs.

  • Cash Flow Investing

Cash flow from investment operations is used to buy and sell non-current and other securities, not cash equivalents. Typically, investing cash flows include cash flows from purchasing or selling property, plant, and equipment (PP&E), non-current assets, and other financial assets.

Capital expenditures are monies used to purchase PP&E. (CapEx).

  • Cash Flow Financing

Cash outflow from financing operations are actions that result in changes in the quantity and composition of the entity’s equity capital or borrowings. Borrowing, repaying bank loans, and creating and repurchasing stock are all common ways to finance cash flows. Dividend payments are sometimes seen to be the funding cash flows.

How to Create a Cash Flow Statement

The direct or indirect technique may display the active part of the cash-flow analysis statement. Both models’ investment and finance components are the same; the functional section differs. The key categories of gross cash receipts and gross cash payments are displayed using the direct method.

In contrast, the indirect approach begins with net income and changes profit or loss based on the outcomes of the transactions. Even though the presentation will be different, the operational section’s cash flows, whether calculated using a direct or indirect technique, will ultimately provide the same outcome.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) prefers the direct reporting method because it yields more insightful data than the indirect technique. However, more than 90% of publicly traded corporations are thought to employ the indirect strategy.

Significance of Cash Flow

A company’s Cash Flow Statement (CFS) provides valuable information. It represents the movement of money into and out of a firm. It helps investors and shareholders comprehend how much money a company makes and its expenditures.

  • To assess the quality of profits, compare the company’s net income with cash from operational activities. If operational cash flow surpasses net income, earnings are considered “high quality.”
  • Given the old saying that cash is king, this comment benefits investors since it allows them to understand the company’s cash inflows and outflows and its overall performance.
  • The cash-flow statement makes it easy to see whether a corporation borrows money (either debt or stock) to finance operational losses or investments.

Also read: Different Types of Accounts in Accounting – 3 Types of Accounts

What Exactly Is Negative-Cash Flow?

A company with a shortage of funds has more expending cash than it receives. The firm’s sales revenue may not be sufficient to cover its expenses, and it may need to borrow from other sources to make the difference.

Negative cash flow does not always imply bad financial performance. When a company’s incoming revenues are substantial, there isn’t always enough cash in the bank to pay off obligations. Negative cash flow is standard in small businesses, but it would be dangerous if it persists for a lengthy period.


The cash flow statement comprises data on the cash and cash equivalents utilised for operating, investing, and financing operations and the net change in cash and cash equivalents for specific treatments. The net change in money over time is also displayed. The closing balance of coins and cash equivalents is the amount obtained after adding the opening cash and cash equivalents to this net change. The cash flow statement determines how money was spent in the company for the specified period. The income statement, in contrast, indicates the discrepancy between the company’s sales and income. The cash flow statement makes the working capital use very clear.
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