Cash flow diagram – Types, Formula, Use, and Problems

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Cash flow diagrams are visual representations of revenue and spending over a period of time. A horizontal line with markers at various time intervals forms the basis of the diagram. Expenses and expenditures are displayed at the proper moments.

“The total sum of cash and cash equivalents being moved in and out of a corporation is referred to as cash flow.”

The circulation of money in and out of a business is referred to as cash flow. Inflows are represented by cash, whereas outflows are represented by money being spent. The capacity of a corporation to produce positive cash flows or, more precisely, to optimize long-term free cash flow (FCF) , determines its potential to create value for shareholders. After removing any money spent on capital expenditures, FCF is the cash earned by a firm through its normal business activities (CapEx).

How to Calculate Cash Flow (Formula)

There are three cash flow formulas, each with its own set of advantages and capabilities for revealing information about your company.

1: Free cash flow formula

The free cash flow formula is one of the most frequent and essential cash flow formulae or FCF.

Free Cash Flow = Net income + Depreciation/Amortization – Change in Working Capital – Capital Expenditure

2: Operating cash flow formula

The amount of cash created by a firm’s typical business dealings is measured by operating cash flow (OCF). Operating cash flow reveals if a firm can create enough positive cash flow to continue and increase its activities; otherwise, capital growth may require outside finance.

Operating Cash Flow = Operating Income + Depreciation – Taxes + Change in Working Capital.

3: Cash flow forecast formula

Since both FCF and OCF provide a fair picture of cash flow for a certain time period, it isn’t necessarily enough when it comes to long-term planning. That’s why estimating your cash flow for the next month or quarter is an excellent way to figure out how much cash you’ll have on hand in the future.

Cash Flow Forecast = Beginning Cash + Projected Inflows – Projected Outflows = Ending Cash

When would you use a cash flow diagram?

Cash Flow Diagrams depict the money flowing in and out of your company over a period of time. Without wasting time, use these charts to gain practical, in-depth insights from your financial data.

The importance of a cash flow diagram can be understood by learning the two finnancial types of transactions, given below. The cash flow diagram allows you to graphically illustrate the timing and type of cash flows, such as inflows and outflows.

It is pretty simple to create such a diagram. We’ll start with a straightforward horizontal timeline.

Add arrows to show cash inflows (arrows pointing away from the line) or outflows (arrows pointing towards the line).

A financial transaction always has two sides: a borrower and a lender, a buyer and a seller, and an investor and an investment.

Cash Flow Diagram – Loan Transaction

When a loan is taken, it generates a positive cash flow, which is followed by negative cash flows when the loan is paid off.

Cash Flow Diagram Loan Transaction

  • Positive cash flow is indicated by rising arrows (receiving the loan)
  • Negative cash flow is indicated by downward arrows (pay off)

By multiplying each cash flow by a Discount Rate, the Present Value of the cash flows may be computed.

Cash Flow Diagram – Investment Transaction

When an investment transaction is completed, it begins with a negative cash flow and ends with a positive cash flow when the paybacks are received.

Cash Flow Diagram Investment Transaction

  • Positive cash flows are represented by rising arrows (pay back)
  • Negative cash flow is indicated by downward arrows (investing)

Cash flow diagram problems (Poor cash Flow)

Without a doubt, you’ve come across the term “poor cash flow” before; it’s what keeps most business owners awake at night. It can cut into your “future plans” finances at best, and it might destroy your firm at worst.

According to a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 60 percent of the country’s small enterprises fail within the first three years, with inadequate cash flow being one of the primary causes. So, what constitutes a bad cash flow situation? In simple terms, it indicates that you continually spend more money than you bring in.

The good news is that there are a plethora of options for avoiding negative cash flow. We’ve put up a list of the most common problems of negative cash flow. 

  • Less Profit:

Profit is your primary source of funds. It generally comes in the form of payments from consumers or proceeds from the sale of assets. If your company is losing money, you won’t have enough cash on hand to meet all of your expenses. This might lead to you borrowing more money than you can return or, worse, shutting down your firm.

  • More investments than required:

It’s easy to get carried away and buy items we don’t actually need, especially if we have cash on hand. Spending money on non-essential business products, on the other hand, will deplete your budget, leaving you unable to pay for the things that are actually important.

  • Fast expansion of business:

Expansion of your business too quickly, without a solid plan or sufficient funds, might result in a loss. For example, if you try to open a second bakery location before your present one starts to make a profit, or if you start paying rent in advance for a new warehouse space that you aren’t ready for, cash flow will rapidly become an issue.

Expansion too soon might also entail a rapid expansion of your present business. When things are going well, it’s tempting to raise your retail orders even if you don’t have the means to fulfil them, but keep in mind that this will have a detrimental influence on your cash flow.

  • High ongoing expenses:

Overheads are costs that your company incurs on a regular basis that aren’t directly tied to the manufacturing and sale of its goods. Rent, Internet, and other utility costs are frequent examples. While these expenses are necessary to keep your business operating, they may wreak havoc on your cash flow, especially if they become excessive. When your overhead expenditures get too high, it might be difficult to pay them on time, and you may eventually run out of cash.

  • Sudden expenses and changes:

Expenses or adjustments that come up unexpectedly might put a strain on your financial flow. Typically, these adjustments are unanticipated and unaccounted for in your cash flow estimate. In other words, you are unable to set aside funds to pay for them.

Loss of personnel, equipment failure, and a surge in market rivalry that forces your company to invest in new technology or machinery are just a few of the most typical unexpected costs.

  • Greater or lower product cost:

The cost of the product has an impact on your cash flow since it might result in a loss. No one will want to buy your items if the price is too high, but if the price is too low, you won’t be able to earn the money you need to keep your business operating. It’s all about striking the right balance.

  • Poor Financial planning:

If you don’t conduct a proper cash flow projection and don’t plan your budget ahead of time, you’re more likely to run into cash flow problems and end up in significant financial trouble. If you pursue a negative cash flow company model, it doesn’t matter if you have a superb financial strategy and an almost exact projection; you’ll be in trouble.

What is a company model with a negative cash flow? If you provide your clients a 90-day payment period but have to pay your rent, electricity bills, and other overheads weeks before you are paid, you’ll have negative cash flow. You will always be behind, no matter what you do.

2 cash flow diagram examples

2 cash flow diagram examples

2-cash flow diagram examples

Types of cash flow

Following are the types of cash flow

  1. Cash Flows from Financing (CFF)
  2. Cash Flows from Operations (CFO)
  3. Cash Flows from Investing
  • Cash Flows from Financing (CFF)

The net cash flows used to finance the firm and its capital are shown in cash flows from financing (CFF), also known as financing cash flow. Transactions that involve the issuance of debt, stock, and the payment of dividends are all examples of financing operations. Investors can see a company’s financial strength and how well its capital structure is handled by looking at cash flow from financing operations.

  • Cash Flows from Operations (CFO)

Cash flow from operations (CFO), also known as operating cash flow, refers to money flows that are directly related to the production and sale of goods. The CFO determines if a firm has sufficient finances to pay its debts or cover its operational expenditures. To put it another way, a company’s long-term financial viability requires greater operating cash inflows than cash outflows.

Cash collected from sales is subtracted from operational costs paid in cash for the period to determine operating cash flow. On a firm’s cash flow statement, which is presented quarterly basis and annually, operating cash flow is documented. Operating cash flow reveals if a firm can create enough cash flow to continue and expand operations, but it may also signal when a business requires external funding to expand.

  • Cash Flows from Investing

The cash flow from investing (CFI) or investing cash flow report shows how much money was made or spent in a given time from different investment-related operations. Buying of speculative assets, investments in securities, and the selling of securities or assets are all examples of investing activity.

Negative cash flow from investment operations can be caused by large sums of money being spent on the company’s long-term health, such as research and development (R&D), and is not always a red flag.

Understanding Cash Flow Statement vs. Income Statement

A company balance sheet includes both a cash flow statement and an income statement. The cash flow statement, also known as a statement of cash flows, is a financial statement that tracks a company’s cash sources and uses through time.

The income statement is a financial statement that shows a company’s financial performance over time, such as sales, costs, profits, and losses. A statement of financial performance is another name for this financial report. An income statement reveals if a business made a profit, whereas a cash flow statement reveals whether it created cash.

  • Cash Flow Statement

A cash flow statement, whether monthly, quarterly, or yearly, illustrates the precise number of a company’s financial inflows and outflows. It includes non-cash accounting elements like depreciation and amortization but excludes current operational results and changes on the balance sheet, such as increases or decreases in accounts receivable or payable.

Cash flow is generated primarily by income generated by company activity, but it can also be supplemented by money made available through credit. A cash flow statement is used to assess a company’s short-term sustainability and liquidity, particularly its ability to pay its debts to vendors. 

The three primary sections of a cash flow statement are as follows:

Operating activities examine a company’s cash flow from net income or losses by comparing net income to the real cash collected from or utilized in its operations.

Purchases and sales of long-term assets, such as property, plant, and equipment (PP&E), as well as investment securities, are included in investing operations.

The cash flow from all financing activities, such as funds raised by selling stocks and bonds or borrowing from banks, is shown in finance activities.

  • Income Statement

The income statement is the most typical financial statement, and it illustrates a company’s profits and total costs, including non-cash accounting like depreciation, on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. An income statement is used to assess a company’s performance, especially how much revenue it earned, how much is spent, and how much profit or loss it made as a consequence of the sales and costs.

The first component of the cash flow statement, net profit or net burn, connects the cash flow statement to the income statement. The income statement’s profit or loss is then utilized to compute cash flow from operations. The indirect technique is what it’s called. The cash flow statement can alternatively be prepared using a technique known as the direct approach. In this scenario, net cash flow is calculated by subtracting the cash earned from the money spent.