Operating Cash Flow

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Analyzing the Statement of Cash Flows

Published December 11, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

financial-statement-forms

Business owners do not want to run into cash flow problems while running their businesses. It can hold up payroll, delay paying debts, and ruin a company’s reputation. Tracy and Tracy (2012) posit that when suppliers and creditors find out about cash problems, a company’s credibility tends to drop. Running out of cash is not just a life changing event for an organization it can be the end of a company’s life (Tracy & Tracy, 2012).  To prepare a statement of cash flow the re-arranging of data provided on a company’s balance sheet is required. A balance sheet must always balance out; cash flow statements, in the meantime, provide data about cash receipts and payments to the company and how they relate to the company’s operations, investments and financing activities. Fraser and Ormiston (2010) explain that the company’s balance sheet reflects bookkeeping totals at the end of an accounting period and that cash flow statements use those balances to identify changes during that specific accounting period (Fraser & Ormiston, 2010). In short, cash statements calculate all the changes that occur in the balance sheets by segregating the cash inflows and outflows and are used as a tool to analyze a firm’s operating, financing, and investing activities.

Techno Company Cash Flow Statement

Techno Cash Flow

Net income differs from operating cash flows for various reasons. One reason includes non-cash expenses that occur from the depreciation and amortization of intangible assets. To illustrate these concepts we will examine the Techno Company’s cash flow statement for the 2008 and 2009 accounting period (pictured above). The statement reports net income figures of around $242 (in the thousands) for 2008 and $316 in 2009. However after including depreciation, amortization, and deferred taxes those balances elevated to around $328 in 2008 and $400 in 2009. This is because depreciation and amortization do not require cash outlays and are considered indirect methods of calculating cash flow. In other words, they reduce income, but have no effect on net cash flows. Another reason net income differs from operating cash flows is due to the various time differences that exist between the recognition of revenue and expense, as opposed to the actual occurrence of cash inflows. For example, in examining Techno’s cash flow activities, the 2009 accounts receivable figures reveal an increase from the 2008 figures and are calculated as deductions. This indicates that further revenue from sales was included in the net income figures than had been collected from consumers in the form of cash. Another reason the net income figures are different from operating cash flows is because of the non-operating gains and losses that are also calculated into these figures. In this respect, the related cash flows are recognized as a result of the investment and financing activities, and not from operating activities. Techno’s cash flow amounts shows that their gains have been deducted from the net income amounts and that their losses were added to the net income figures to determine their operating cash flows.

Cash-Management-Product-Page-Photo

Cash managers today must know how to extend credit and collect cash efficiently. Frielob and Plewa (1995) suggest that today’s cash managers must not only deal with the traditional areas of collection and disbursement, they are also immersed in the company’s investment decisions, banking relationships and forecasting. In other words, they are closely scrutinized and judged on how well they manage a company’s earnings and cash flow (Friedlob & Plewa, 1995). In examining Techno’s cash flows for years 2008 and 2009, we can see that during this accounting period the company generated enough cash from operations to cover their investing activities and they increased their cash account by 141%. This reveals an effective cash management system that exhibits the firm: (a) was capable of generating future cash flows, (b) was able to meet their cash obligations, (c) successfully produced and managed their investments, and (d) had effective financing and investment strategies. In analyzing Techno’s financial and cash flow statements we can assess the solvency of the business to help us evaluate their ability to generate positive cash flows that pay their dividends while they continue to experience financial growth.

References:

Fraser, L., & Ormiston, A. (2010). Understanding financial statements. Pearson Education.

Friedlob, G., & Plewa, F. (1995). Understanding cash flow. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Tracy, J., & Tracy, T. (2012). Cash flow for dummies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The Statement of Cash Flows

Published December 9, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Water tap dripping dollar bills, Water waste concept

In order to operate a company successfully, leaders must implement cash flow management systems. This helps them work with banks and financial institutions more effectively to collect, borrow, and invest their revenue to conduct business efficiently and profitably. Tracy and Tracy (2012) assert that for owners, one of the most important elements in running a business is maintaining an adequate cash balance to make sure the company does not run out of money. To control cash inflow and outflow, managers devise systems to monitor and control these components. Cash flow statements provide information that lists how a company generated their cash and how they dispersed it. In this context, cash flow refers to the generating of incoming cash and the allocation of outgoing cash (Tracy & Tracy, 2012). Another way to look at the company’s cash flow is to consider it the bloodline of the company’s business affairs. In other words, a company’s cash needs to be in continuous circulation to avoid casualties. The first rule of thumb is to make sure it does not run out, the same way a person does not run out of blood, in spite of devising short term cash flow life-support solutions. In short, without some kind of effective cash management strategy in place, the outcomes can become extremely detrimental for a firm.

working-capital-cycle

Income statements reveal changes that transpire in the financial condition of an organization during a certain time frame but they do not explain all the changes that occur.  For example, Friedlob and Plewa (1995) purport that working capital accounts like inventory or accounts receivable have an impact on the company’s liquidity, however, this information does not appear on an income statement. Furthermore, a company’s financial condition can change considerably if their mortgage gets paid off or stock is issued in exchange for land. These are all examples of activities that do not affect the income statement (Friedlob & Plewa, 1995). To help identify these issues, cash flow statements provide information to analysts that disclose how changes in working capital affects cash from operations that produced income including: (a) delivering or producing goods for sale, (b) providing services, and (c) other transactions or events. In short, cash flow statements provide valuable information that discloses how a company managed cash inflows so that analysts can determine how they sought or granted credit, how they collected their revenue and whether it was allocated effectively.

example-cash-flow-statement

Cash flow statements reveal how well a company managed the earning potential of their cash. In order to continue operating, companies must have enough cash to run their business. This includes having enough revenue to purchase inventory to satisfy consumer needs, pay their debts and operating expenses, as well as meet the requirements of their investment activities.  Fraser and Ormiston (2010) explain that investing activities are also included on cash flow statements and provide valuable information on: (a) the purchase and sale of securities that are not cash equivalents and productive assets with long term benefits; and (b) lending money and loan collection revenue. Financing actions listed, on the other hand, include the borrowing of funds from creditors and paying off debt principals while obtaining resources from owners that provide them with returns on their investment (Fraser & Ormiston, 2010). This information is significant to creditors, investors, and cash managers who are concerned with liquidity. Effective cash management systems help companies avoid cash flow issues to ensure they are generating a healthy stream of cash required to operate efficiently and earn a profit. An income statement alone does not report how much of sales revenue collected were in the form of cash during a specific accounting period. In addition, the bottom line profit numbers on income statements do not indicate the increase of cash for making a profit. In reality, a company’s cash flow can be about the same, or alternatively can be considerably higher or lower than the profit figures  that are reported on income statements. It is for this reason that analysts look to cash flow statements to get a better picture of how a company utilized their working capital.

References:

Fraser, L., & Ormiston, A. (2010). Understanding financial statements. Pearson Education.

Friedlob, G., & Plewa, F. (1995). Understanding cash flow. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Tracy, J., & Tracy, T. (2012). Cash flow for dummies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.