Financial Analysis BUS 5026 Global Business Environment

Sometimes the explanation is straightforward, and sometimes it can be complicated. If your cash balance is growing, that’s a nice problem to have. However, if it is shrinking at a rate that causes concern, the Cash Flow Statement is helpful in figuring out why that is happening. Knowing why it is happening allows you to plan better and hopefully resolve the situation.

What is the accounting coach cash flows?

Definition of Cash Flow Statement

The cash flow statement reports a company's major cash inflows and cash outflows during the same period as the company's income statement. The cash flow statement is important because the income statement reflects the accrual method of accounting.

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Big Misconceptions That Hinder Small Business Growth

Cash and cash equivalents are recorded on the balance sheet as a current asset. Its value changes each time that the business either receives or spends cash and cash equivalents. Such changes are called cash flows and are described in transactions recorded on the accounting ledger. For example, if a business spends $200 to purchase supplies, that is recorded as an increase of $200 to its supplies and a corresponding decrease to its cash and cash equivalents.

In accounting terms, it also includes plus deposits held in financial institutions and checks to be deposited in those same institutions, that you have not deposited yet. Cash equivalents refer to certain short-term financial instruments that can be sold for cash in minimal time and with minimal change in value. Cash and cash equivalents are grouped together under the same asset account on the balance sheet and change in value with each transaction that sees those resources exchanging hands. Such changes are listed and detailed in the business’s cash flow statements.

Financing Activities

This Cash Flow Statement Cheat Sheet will help you to understand the positive and negative amounts presented on the Cash Flow Statement. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. He is the sole author of all the materials on We now offer 10 Certificates of Achievement for Introductory Accounting and Bookkeeping. Lastly, the SCF provides the cash amounts needed in some financial models. For example, if you think that a bill payment is going to be made later than it is due, you can push the expected date so that the forecast will show the payment coming in later.

Like the income statement, the cash-flow statement measures financial activity over a period of time. The cash-flow statement also tracks the effects of changes in balance sheet accounts. These are the assets in a business that can be converted to cash in one year or less. They include cash, stocks and other liquid investments, accounts receivable, inventory and prepaid expenses. For a clothing manufacturer, the inventory would include raw materials (yarn, thread, etc.), work-in-progress (started but not finished), and finished goods (shirts and pants ready to sell to customers). Accounts receivable represents the amount of money owed to the business by customers who have purchased on credit.


Cash flow is typically depicted as being positive or negative. When cash flow is positive, a company has more money flowing into it than out of it over a specific period of time. Excess cash may allow the company to reinvest, settle debt, or find new ways to grow. When cash flow is negative, there is more cash moving out of the business than coming in during a certain period. An expenditure or an income mismatch may cause negative cash flow.

  • Not only will you better understand where a company’s cash has been going, you will also discover indicators of potential operational problems within a company.
  • It is followed with adjustments to convert the amount of net income from the accrual method to the cash amount.
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  • As you study for this certificate exam, you will be taking your financial literacy to higher level.

The cash flow statement is the name commonly used by practicing accountants for the statement of cash flows or SCF. We will use these names interchangeably throughout our explanation, practice quiz, and other materials. Throughout the course, you’ll learn about the classification of cash flows, the difference between MPV and internal rate of returns, and how to read accounting data to make better financial decisions. Accessing balance sheet and income statement software is a surefire way to save you time, stress, and money — as you make the right decisions towards letting your business be the best that it can be. There are many assets that can be classified as other assets, and most business balance sheets have an “other assets” category as a catchall.


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