Cash Flow Statements (Financial Statements) — Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Lantana And Lake Worth, Florida Accounting Negligence And Malpractice Litigation And Arbitration Attorney
Cash Flow Statements
Cash flow statements report a company’s inflows and outflows of cash. This is important because a company needs to have enough cash on hand to pay its expenses and purchase assets. While an income statement can tell you whether a company made a profit, a cash flow statement can tell you whether the company generated cash.
A cash flow statement shows changes over time rather than absolute dollar amounts at a point in time. It uses and reorders the information from a company’s balance sheet and income statement.
The bottom line of the cash flow statement shows the net increase or decrease in cash for the period. Generally, cash flow statements are divided into three main parts. Each part reviews the cash flow from one of three types of activities: (1) operating activities; (2) investing activities; and (3) financing activities.
The first part of a cash flow statement analyzes a company’s cash flow from net income or losses. For most companies, this section of the cash flow statement reconciles the net income (as shown on the income statement) to the actual cash the company received from or used in its operating activities. To do this, it adjusts net income for any noncash items (such as adding back depreciation expenses) and adjusts for any cash that was used or provided by other operating assets and liabilities.
The second part of a cash flow statement shows the cash flow from all investing activities, which generally include purchases or sales of long-term assets, such as property, plant and equipment, as well as investment securities. If a company buys a piece of machinery, the cash flow statement would reflect this activity as a cash outflow from investing activities because it used cash. If the company decided to sell off some investments from an investment portfolio, the proceeds from the sales would show up as a cash inflow from investing activities because it provided cash.
The third part of a cash flow statement shows the cash flow from all financing activities. Typical sources of cash flow include cash raised by selling stocks and bonds or borrowing from banks. Likewise, paying back a bank loan would show up as a use of cash flow.
The Footnotes To The Financial Statements
The footnotes to financial statements are packed with information. Here are some of the highlights:
• Significant accounting policies and practices: Companies are required to disclose the accounting policies that are most important to the portrayal of the company’s financial condition and results. These often require management’s most difficult, subjective or complex judgments.
• Income taxes: The footnotes provide detailed information about the company’s current and deferred income taxes. The information is broken down by level — federal, state, local and/or foreign, and the main items that affect the company’s effective tax rate are described.
• Pension plans and other retirement programs: The footnotes discuss the company’s pension plans and other retirement or post-employment benefit programs. The notes contain specific information about the assets and costs of these programs, and indicate whether and by how much the plans are over- or under-funded.
• Stock options: The notes also contain information about stock options granted to officers and employees, including the method of accounting for stock-based compensation and the effect of the method on reported results.
Please keep in mind that the above information is being provided for informational purposes only. It is not designed to be complete in all material respects. Thus, it should not be relied upon as legal or investment advice. If the reader has any questions about the contents of this article, you should contact a qualified professional.
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