Cash flow

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A cash flow is a real or virtual movement of money:

Cash Physical money

In economics, cash is money in the physical form of currency, such as banknotes and coins. In bookkeeping and finance, cash is current assets comprising currency or currency equivalents that can be accessed immediately or near-immediately. Cash is seen either as a reserve for payments, in case of a structural or incidental negative cash flow or as a way to avoid a downturn on financial markets.

Contents

Cash flows are narrowly interconnected with the concepts of value, interest rate and liquidity. A cash flow that shall happen on a future day tN can be transformed into a cash flow of the same value in t0.

Cash flow analysis

Cash flows are often transformed into measures that give information e.g. on a company's value and situation:

In finance, return is a profit on an investment. It comprises any change in value of the investment, and/or cash flows which the investor receives from the investment, such as interest payments or dividends. It may be measured either in absolute terms or as a percentage of the amount invested. The latter is also called the holding period return.

The internal rate of return (IRR) is a measure of an investment’s rate of return. The term internal refers to the fact that the calculation excludes external factors, such as the risk-free rate, inflation, the cost of capital, or various financial risks.

In finance, the net present value (NPV) or net present worth (NPW) applies to a series of cash flows occurring at different times. The present value of a cash flow depends on the interval of time between now and the cash flow. It also depends on the discount rate. NPV accounts for the time value of money. It provides a method for evaluating and comparing capital projects or financial products with cash flows spread over time, as in loans, investments, payouts from insurance contracts plus many other applications.

Cash flow notion is based loosely on cash flow statement accounting standards. The term is flexible and can refer to time intervals spanning over past-future. It can refer to the total of all flows involved or a subset of those flows. Subset terms include net cash flow, operating cash flow and free cash flow.

In financial accounting, operating cash flow (OCF), cash flow provided by operations, cash flow from operating activities (CFO) or free cash flow from operations (FCFO), refers to the amount of cash a company generates from the revenues it brings in, excluding costs associated with long-term investment on capital items or investment in securities. The International Financial Reporting Standards defines operating cash flow as cash generated from operations less taxation and interest paid, investment income received and less dividends paid gives rise to operating cash flows. To calculate cash generated from operations, one must calculate cash generated from customers and cash paid to suppliers. The difference between the two reflects cash generated from operations.

In corporate finance, free cash flow (FCF) or free cash flow to firm (FCFF) is a way of looking at a business's cash flow to see what is available for distribution among all the securities holders of a corporate entity. This may be useful to parties such as equity holders, debt holders, preferred stock holders, and convertible security holders when they want to see how much cash can be extracted from a company without causing issues to its operations.

Business' financials

The (total) net cash flow of a company over a period (typically a quarter, half year, or a full year) is equal to the change in cash balance over this period: positive if the cash balance increases (more cash becomes available), negative if the cash balance decreases. The total net cash flow for a project is the sum of cash flows that are classified in three areas:

The sum of the three component above will be the cash flow for a project.

And the cash flow for a company also include three parts:

The sum of the three components above will be the total cash flow of a company.

Examples

DescriptionAmount ($)totals ($)
Cash flow from operations+70

  Sales (paid in cash)+30
  Incoming loan+50
  Loan repayment-5
  Taxes-5
Cash flow from investments-10
  Purchased capital-10
Total60

The net cash flow only provides a limited amount of information. Compare, for instance, the cash flows over three years of two companies:

Company ACompany B
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 1Year 2Year 3
Cash flow from operations+20M+21M+22M+10M+11M+12M
Cash flow from financing+5M+5M+5M+5M+5M+5M
Cash flow from investment-15M-15M-15M0M0M0M
Net cash flow+10M+11M+12M+15M+16M+17M

Company B has a higher yearly cash flow. However, Company A is actually earning more cash by its core activities and has already spent 45M in long term investments, of which the revenues will only show up after three years.

See also

A capital gain refers to profit that results from a sale of a capital asset, such as stock, bond or real estate, where the sale price exceeds the purchase price. The gain is the difference between a higher selling price and a lower purchase price. Conversely, a capital loss arises if the proceeds from the sale of a capital asset are less than the purchase price.

The cash flow sign convention is that money you pay out has a minus sign, while money you take in has a plus sign.

Cash flow hedge

A cash flow hedge is a hedge of the exposure to the variability of cash flow that

  1. is attributable to a particular risk associated with a recognized asset or liability. Such as all or some future interest payments on variable rate debt or a highly probable forecast transaction and
  2. could affect profit or loss

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Expenditure is an outflow of money to another person or group to pay for an item or service, or for a category of costs. For a tenant, rent is an expense. For students or parents, tuition is an expense. Buying food, clothing, furniture or an automobile is often referred to as an expense. An expense is a cost that is "paid" or "remitted", usually in exchange for something of value. Something that seems to cost a great deal is "expensive". Something that seems to cost little is "inexpensive". "Expenses of the table" are expenses of dining, refreshments, a feast, etc.

Depreciation Decrease in asset values, or the allocation of cost thereof

In accountancy, depreciation refers to two aspects of the same concept:

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization

A company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization is an accounting measure calculated using a company's earnings, before interest expenses, taxes, depreciation, and amortization are subtracted, as a proxy for a company's current operating profitability.

The APV was introduced in 1974 bij Stewart Myers. According to Myers, the value of the levered firm is equal to the value of the firm with no debt plus the present value of the tax savings due to the tax deductability of interest payments, the so called value of the tax shield (VTS). Myers proposes calculating the VTS by discounting the tax savings at the cost of debt (Kd). The argument is that the risk of the tax saving arising from the use of debt is the same as the risk of the debt. The method is to calculate the NPV of the project as if it is all-equity financed. Then the base-case NPV is adjusted for the benefits of financing. Usually, the main benefit is a tax shield resulted from tax deductibility of interest payments. Another benefit can be a subsidized borrowing at sub-market rates. The APV method is especially effective when a leveraged buyout case is considered since the company is loaded with an extreme amount of debt, so the tax shield is substantial.

Cash flow statement financial statement that shows how changes in balance sheet accounts and income affect cash and cash equivalents, and breaks the analysis down to operating, investing, and financing activities

In financial accounting, a cash flow statement, also known as statement of cash flows, is a financial statement that shows how changes in balance sheet accounts and income affect cash and cash equivalents, and breaks the analysis down to operating, investing, and financing activities. Essentially, the cash flow statement is concerned with the flow of cash in and out of the business. As an analytical tool, the statement of cash flows is useful in determining the short-term viability of a company, particularly its ability to pay bills. International Accounting Standard 7, is the International Accounting Standard that deals with cash flow statements.

Return on capital (ROC), or return on invested capital (ROIC), is a ratio used in finance, valuation and accounting, as a measure of the profitability and value-creating potential of companies after taking into account the amount of initial capital invested. The ratio is calculated by dividing the after-tax operating income (NOPAT) by the book value of both debt and equity capital less cash/equivalents.

Working capital is a financial metric which represents operating liquidity available to a business, organisation or other entity, including governmental entities. Along with fixed assets such as plant and equipment, working capital is considered a part of operating capital. Gross working capital is equal to current assets. Working capital is calculated as current assets minus current liabilities. If current assets are less than current liabilities, an entity has a working capital deficiency, also called a working capital deficit.

In business, operating margin—also known as operating income margin, operating profit margin, EBIT margin and return on sales (ROS)—is the ratio of operating income to net sales, usually presented in percent.

Capital expenditure

Capital expenditure or capital expense is the money a company spends to buy, maintain, or improve its fixed assets, such as buildings, vehicles, equipment, or land. It is considered a capital expenditure when the asset is newly purchased or when money is used towards extending the useful life of an existing asset, such as repairing the roof.

Capital budgeting Planning process used to assess an organizations long term investments

Capital budgeting, and investment appraisal, is the planning process used to determine whether an organization's long term investments such as new machinery, replacement of machinery, new plants, new products, and research development projects are worth the funding of cash through the firm's capitalization structure. It is the process of allocating resources for major capital, or investment, expenditures. One of the primary goals of capital budgeting investments is to increase the value of the firm to the shareholders.

Return of capital (ROC) refers to principal payments back to "capital owners" that exceed the growth of a business or investment. It should not be confused with Rate of Return (ROR), which measures a gain or loss on an investment. Basically, it is a return of some or all of the initial investment, which reduces the basis on that investment.

For the application of engineering economics in the practice of civil engineering see Engineering economics.

In accounting, finance and economics, an accounting identity is an equality that must be true regardless of the value of its variables, or a statement that by definition must be true. Where an accounting identity applies, any deviation from numerical equality signifies an error in formulation, calculation or measurement.

Asset economic resource, from which future economic benefits are expected

In financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned by the business. Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled to produce value and that is held by a company to produce positive economic value is an asset. Simply stated, assets represent value of ownership that can be converted into cash. The balance sheet of a firm records the monetary value of the assets owned by that firm. It covers money and other valuables belonging to an individual or to a business.

International Financial Reporting Standards requirements

This article lists some of the important requirements of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Strategic financial management

Strategic financial management is the study of finance with a long term view considering the strategic goals of the enterprise. Financial management is nowadays increasingly referred to as "Strategic Financial Management" so as to give it an increased frame of reference.

Financial ratio characteristic number

A financial ratio or accounting ratio is a relative magnitude of two selected numerical values taken from an enterprise's financial statements. Often used in accounting, there are many standard ratios used to try to evaluate the overall financial condition of a corporation or other organization. Financial ratios may be used by managers within a firm, by current and potential shareholders (owners) of a firm, and by a firm's creditors. Financial analysts use financial ratios to compare the strengths and weaknesses in various companies. If shares in a company are traded in a financial market, the market price of the shares is used in certain financial ratios.

Corporate finance area of finance dealing with the sources of funding and the capital structure of corporations

Corporate finance is an area of finance that deals with sources of funding, the capital structure of corporations, the actions that managers take to increase the value of the firm to the shareholders, and the tools and analysis used to allocate financial resources. The primary goal of corporate finance is to maximize or increase shareholder value. Although it is in principle different from managerial finance which studies the financial management of all firms, rather than corporations alone, the main concepts in the study of corporate finance are applicable to the financial problems of all kinds of firms.

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