Cash Flow Statement

Reviewed by Bhavana | Updated on Aug 27, 2020

What is The Meaning of a Cash Flow Statement?

It is a financial statement that offers aggregate statistics on all cash inflows a business collects from its continuing activities and external sources of investment. It also includes all cash outflows over a specified time paying for company operations and investments.

Financial statements from a company give investors and analysts a snapshot of all transactions going through the corporation, where each transaction leads to its success. It is assumed that the cash flow statement is the most straightforward of all the financial statements as it represents the cash generated by the company in three key ways — through sales, acquisition, and funding. Net cash flow is called the sum of those three pieces.

These 3 separate parts of the cash flow statement will help investors determine the value of the stock of a company or the business as a whole.

How Does a Cash Flow Statement Function?

Any firm that sells and offers its shares to the public must file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) its annual reports and statements. The cash flow statement is an important document that helps provide an overview into all the transactions that go through a company to wind interested parties.

There are two separate accounting branches — accrual, and currency. Many public corporations use accrual accounting, which means that the declaration of revenue is not the same as the cash position of the company. Nevertheless, the cash flow statement relies on cash accounting.

Profitable firms could fail to manage cash flow properly, which is why cash flow statements are a vital tool for companies, analysts and investors alike. The cash flow statement is divided into three business activities: sales, acquisition, and financing.

An Important Note

Analysts and investors should use good judgment when determining changes in working capital, as certain businesses can seek to improve their cash flow before reporting periods.