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Cash Flow Statement Basics Explained

February 13, 2020


Today we’ll talk about
the cash flow statement. It’s one of the three
main financial statements, but often overlooked. Sure, the income statement
provides information on revenue and profits over
a certain period of time, and the balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health at
a certain point in time. But it’s the cash flow
statement where you can find out how effective a business
is in managing its cash, and what it spends it on. And in the end, cash is the
lifeblood of any business. If you can’t pay your employees, your vendors or your taxes
anymore, it’s game over. (computerized electronic music) So let’s get started. (upbeat music) In a previous video we
talked about the difference between cash and accrual accounting. We said it’s important to understand that profits and cash can
be two different things. Profit is defined as
revenue minus expenses. And in accrual accounting
we report revenue when it’s earned, and expenses,
when they’re incurred. But earning revenue doesn’t always increase cash immediately. And incurring expenses doesn’t always decrease cash right away. Remember this important
difference to cash accounting. If you want to find out how
much cash a business has, you could just look in the balance sheet. There you’re going to be able
to see if the cash position has gone up or down. But this way you won’t see how the cash came into the business and
maybe even more importantly, what it was spent on. Therefore, to get a complete
picture of the business, we also need to look at
its cash flow statement. Just think of this as
a report that shows you how cash was entering
or leaving the business. If you see a positive figure, it means cash came into the company, and negative figure means
cash left the business. A cash flow statement looks like this. It consists of three main parts. The first one is the cash
flow from operations. This is the most important part, because it shows you how
much cash is generated with the actual operations
of the business, meaning by selling the
company’s products and services. Then, we have the cash flow
from investing activities. As the name says, this is
either cash spent on investments or cash received from
sales of investments. In other words, it’s outside of the primary business activities of selling products and services. In this section we can see if
the company purchased assets like machinery and equipment, or maybe even acquired another business. Last one is the cash flow
from financing activities. This section summarizes cash transactions that involved raising,
borrowing and repaying capital. For instance, here we can see if the company issued new shares, if dividends were paid, if
a bank loan was taken out, or if a debt principal was repaid. At the very bottom of the statement you see the reconciliation
to the balance sheet. It shows you the starting point
of cash from the last period and the ending balance from
the current balance sheet. The difference between the
two is the net change of cash which has to equal the sum of the three cash flow sections above. In other words, beginning balance of cash, plus the cash flows from
operations, investing and financing must equal the ending balance from the current balance sheet. Let’s look at the three main
sections in a bit more detail. First, cash flow from operations. To calculate cash flow from operations, there are two different methods in use. One is the indirect method
which takes net income from the income statement
as starting point. But we already know
income doesn’t equal cash. So in order to arrive at a cash flow, a lot of adjustment lines must be added. Therefore it’s not the most
intuitive method to understand. The other one is the direct method which doesn’t start with a net income, but instead lists different
types of transactions that produce cash amounts
received and paid. For instance, it will have lines like cash received from
customers, cash paid to suppliers, to employees or interest and taxes paid. GAAP and IFRS allow both methods, and both will get you the same result. While the direct method is easier to read and provides a better insight, it’s very time-consuming to prepare. The indirect method on the other hand, is linked to the P&L and balance sheet. It’s less intuitive, but
it’s much easier to prepare, which is why most
companies use this method. So, we’re going to skip the direct method and only concentrate on the
indirect method in this video. As we said, we start out with net income, which is taken directly
from the income statement. Then, we adjust net income for multiple effects to
arrive at the cash flow. Let’s look at the most common ones. Depreciation and amortization, these are expenses in the income statement that don’t have any impact in cash. We call this a non-cash transaction. Think about it, when we account for the wear and tear of using an asset, no cash leaves the business. It’s just how we allocate the expenses over the useful life of the asset. The only time cash is affected is when we actually buy the asset. But depreciation and
amortization reduce net income. And since net income is
the starting point up here, we need to add this expense back. Same goes for the gain or loss on the disposal of non current assets. Let’s say the business
is selling a forklift, which it acquired for
$10,000 two years ago, but now doesn’t need it anymore. And let’s see the current
asset value of the forklift is 5,000 because the
company has been using it for two years, in its warehouse. The company is able to sell it for $8,000. What we’ll see in the
income statement is a gain on the disposal of the forklift of $3,000. But in the cash flow
statement we want to see the full cash impact, not
the profit on the disposal. So we need to take away the 3,000 included in net income above and show the full $8,000 cash in. But since selling off
equipment is not part of the ongoing operations
of this business, we’re not going to show
$8,000 cash in here, but further down in the
section for cash flow from investing activities. Next is the adjustment for
changes in working capital, which merely consist of inventory,
receivables and payables. To understand why we need to adjust for these balance sheet items, you need to think about how
these positions influence the amount of money the
company has in the bank. First, inventory. Let’s say at the end of last year, your inventory value in
the balance sheet was 100, and now it’s 150. It increased by 50, which means you’re keeping more inventory in stock. And you had to pay for
this increased inventory, so more cash was living the business. Is this increase reflected in the starting point
up here, the net income? It’s not, right? Net income just includes the
expenses for cost of good sold, but not if you’re buying more
inventory than you’re selling. That’s why we need to adjust for it here. A higher inventory means
cash is decreasing, a lower inventory would increase it. Next, receivables. These work the same way. Let’s say you’re selling
someone products for 100, but on credit. You didn’t receive the cash yet. In the income statement
under the accrual method, we would show the earned revenue, which increases our net income. And our starting point
would include the 100. However, cash wasn’t received, was it? We are still waiting for the cash. So, if accounts receivable increase, we adjust with a negative number. If they’re lower, we adjust
with a positive figure. Then, payables. They work the other way around,
because of the liabilities. If we increased this position, we paid out less to our suppliers. We’re working with their money, which is good for our cash balance. So a higher figure for payables is a positive cash increase in change. If they decrease though, it’s
negative for a cash balance, because we use more of our
cash to pay the suppliers. Now, all that’s left to do is to sum up these adjustments
with net income on top to get to the cash flow from operations. Obviously, Microsoft’s cash flow is huge, but even if you look at a smaller company, you want to see a positive number here. Otherwise, the business
is not generating cash, with its core business, which should raise all kinds of red flags. Another important thing to take away here is the crucial role of working
capital for most companies. If you keep a lot of inventory, grant long payment terms to your customers or have a lot of overdue receivables, you’re using a lot of
cash to finance that. Cash, which you then don’t
have to add capacity, expand to new markets
or invest in marketing. Now speaking of investing, let’s
talk about the next section in the cash flow statement. Cash flow from investing activities. Remember when we adjusted for depreciation and gain or losses from
sale of assets before? The reason was that these
were non-cash transactions. They don’t affect your cash balance. What does affect it, though,
is the cash in or outflow when the business is buying
or selling these assets. And that’s exactly what we see here. When a company purchases
new property or equipment, we will see the full cash
outflow in this section. Likewise, if it acquires a
company or other investments, we’re going to see that they’re here too. Last part is the cash flow
from financing activities. This section summarizes
the cash transactions that involve raising,
borrowing and repaying capital. So just to make this clear,
let’s look at an example and how it affects this
section of the cash flow. When a company borrows money from a bank or issues bonds or
shares, it receives cash. This cash will be reported
as a positive amount in the cash flow from
financing activities. A positive amount informs the reader that cash was received, which increased the company’s cash balance. On the other hand, when a company repays the principal portion of its loans, purchases its own shares or
pays dividends to its owners, the amount of cash used will be reported as a negative amount here. The negative amount informs
the reader that cash was used which reduced the company’s cash balance. All right, so these are the three sections of the cash flow statement. It’s important to be able to distinguish among these elements, as
it’s going to give you a good idea of where the company
makes and spends its money. And as we’ve seen in the
beginning of this lecture, the sum of these three types of cash flow gives us the company’s change
in net cash for the period. The net cash flow is the difference between the amount of cash the company had in the beginning of the period, versus the amount of cash it
had at the end of the period. I hope this video was helpful to better understand
the cash flow statement. If you enjoyed it, please
give it a thumbs up. And if you want to improve your
skills, consider subscribing. And don’t forget to hit that bell, so you don’t miss any new videos. Thank you for watching, and
I’ll see you in the next video. (upbeat music)

26 Comments

  • Reply ROBERT AKWASI ADJEI January 28, 2020 at 10:05 am

    Dear Leila, once again thanks for your um measurable contribution. Stay Blessed

  • Reply MP7 January 28, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Heh, I don't know much about accounting stuff, but I watch these videos because of Leila, who knows, maybe I'm gonna learn something. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply erick bourdin January 28, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Thank you for this very clear and neat video. I am amazed by your illustrations serving perfectly your talk !
    Awesome as always !

  • Reply Shahbaz Khan January 28, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Could you please provide explanation for calculation of Value Added Tax brought into GCC market with its impact on Financial transaction.

  • Reply firstalawal January 28, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    good video I love it, the exciting part just began!! how can we evaluate the company Let`s do it Leila……please, please I know it takes time but make it simple.
    I believe analyzing is vary between those who use the statement (buyer or takeover, bank, investor, management)
    we can call it (Brainstorming) and it varies between analysts too depends on experience and how deep go in the statement.

  • Reply sardor sadiev January 28, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    Don't stop

  • Reply Joshua M'Anampiu January 28, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you. Keep up the good work

  • Reply Kin Chee January 28, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Thanks Leila for your sharing! It is really easier to understand compared to my lecturers.

    One thing I am in doubt is that, the cash borrowed from bank loan cannot be used to pay dividends to its shareholders, only the profits the company make, isn't it?

  • Reply Gabriella Prievara January 28, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    I have been waiting for this video ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you very much, it helped me a lot to understand better cash flow statement.

  • Reply Raph0ne January 28, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Hello Leila, I wish you could create a video explaining Transaction Statuses like reconciliation, void and Clear .. I always skip this function because I don't know how to use it..
    Please like if agree so we can get enlightened !

  • Reply Marios HP January 28, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Excellent video! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Reply Ismail Abdullah January 29, 2020 at 6:23 am

    Very nice vidio hope an other vidio for budgets by this simple and nice way
    Thanks so much

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  • Reply Faysal Easy Excel January 29, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Another excellent things.

  • Reply Viplav Bhatt January 29, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Laila you are a great support for Excel. Just need your help in designing chart showing experience summary for resume. Can you help – which is the best chart that shows experience in Resume

  • Reply George Reynolds January 29, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks, Leila! My business prof said that balance sheets are for shareholders, the P&L statement is for the tax people but the cash-flow statement is for the owner-manager! Doing too well in business can result in overtrading and that impacts cash-flow – it can put you out of business very quickly.

  • Reply Ismail Ismaili January 29, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you so much Ms. Leila actually I have really bug problem with cash flow statement I still canโ€™t master it and thatโ€™s why Iโ€™ll surely be waiting for the coming video

  • Reply Jon January 30, 2020 at 5:34 am

    Just came across your youtube channel. I'm a business student soon to graduate and look forward to revising some content to refresh my memory!

    Thank you for sharing your hard work with all of us.

  • Reply Shubham Tiwari February 1, 2020 at 3:49 am

    Hey Leila, I am from India. I am CA student. I cleared my CA foundation and CA inter in 1st attempt.just one more step to go, CA final..

  • Reply Mr Sabry February 1, 2020 at 10:16 am

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  • Reply Dhananjay Kansal February 5, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Diversification but with Excel. Lovely Mam

  • Reply Saroj Suwal February 7, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Just as brilliant as always, Waiting to watch this kind of videos more in the future. Thank you Leila Gharani for the uploading such a useful video.

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  • Reply Salman Pirzada February 11, 2020 at 4:03 pm

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  • Reply MARVEL GAMING February 12, 2020 at 6:04 am

    I am really glad I found this channel !
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  • Reply James Perry February 13, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    This is a great video with simplicity and clarity of definitions and explanation. Great voice clarity btw. Tแ•ผแ—ฉแ‘ŽK YOแ‘Œ Leila Gharani.

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