The Statement of Cash
- Indicate the usefulness of the statement of cash flows.
- Distinguish among operating, investing, and financing activities.
- Explain the impact of the product life cycle on a company's cash flows.
- Prepare a statement of cash flows using one of two approaches: (a) the indirect method or (b) the direct method.
- Use the statement of cash flows to evaluate a company.
- Prepare a statement of cash flows using the direct method (Appendix)
Study Objective 1 - Indicate the Usefulness of the Statement of Cash Flows
The statement of cash flows reports the cash receipts, cash payments, and the net change in cash resulting from the operating, investing, and financing activities of a company during the period. The information in a statement of cash flows should help investors, creditors, and others assess:
- The company’s ability to generate future cash flows. By examining relationships between items in the statement of cash flows, investors and others can better predict the amounts, timing, and uncertainty of future cash flows.
- The company’s ability to pay dividends and meet obligations. Employees, creditors, stockholders, and customers should be particularly interested in this statement because it alone shows the flows of cash in a business.
- The reasons for the difference between net income and net cash provided (used) by operating activities. Many financial statement users investigate the reasons for the difference between net income and cash provided by operating activities and then they can assess for themselves the reliability of the income numbers.
- The investing and financing transactions during the period. By examining a company’s investing activities and financing activities, a financial statement readercan better understand why assets and liabilities increased or decreased during the period.
Study Objective 2 - Distinguish Among Operating, Investing, and Financing Activities
The statement of cash flows classifies cash receipts and cash payments into operating, investing, and financing activities. Transactions within each activity are as follows:
Investing activities – changes in investments and long-term assets
- Cash inflows:
- From sale of property, plant, and equipment.
- From sale of investments in debt or equity securities of other entities.
- From collection of principal on loans to other entities.
- Cash outflows:
- To purchase property, plant, and equipment.
- To purchase investments in debt or equity securities of other entities.
- To make loans to other entities.
Financing activities – changes in long-term liabilities and stockholders’ equity
- Cash inflows:
- From sale of equity securities (company's own stock).
- From issuance of debt (bonds and notes).
- Cash outflows:
- To stockholders as dividends.
- To redeem long-term debt or reacquire capital stock (treasury stock).
As a general rule:
- Operating activities involve income statement items.
- Investing activities involve cash flows resulting from changes in investments and long-term asset items.
- Financing activities involve cash flows resulting from changes in long-term liability and stockholders' equity items.
- Some cash flows relating to investing or financing activities are classified as operating activities because these items are reported in the income statement where results of operations are shown.
- For example, receipts of investment revenue (interest and dividends) and payments of interest to lenders are classified as operating activities because these items are reported in the income statement.
- Not all of a company's significant activities involve cash. Here are four examples of significant noncash activities:
1. Direct issuance of common stock to purchase assets.
2. Conversion of bonds into common stock.
3. Direct issuance of debt to purchase assets.
- Exchanges of plant assets.
- Significant financing and investing activities that do not affect cash are not reported in the body of the statement of cash flows. Rather, they are reported either in a separate schedule at the bottom of the statement of cash flows or in a separate note or supplementary schedule to the financial statements.
- The reporting of significant activities not affecting cash in a separate or supplementary schedule satisfies the full disclosure principle because it identifies significant noncash investing and financing activities of the enterprise.
- The three activities--operating, investing, and financing--plus the significant noncash investing and financing activities make up the general format of the statement of cash flows, plus the significant noncash investing and financing activities.
The section of cash flows from operating activities always appears first, followed by the investing activities and the financing activities sections.
The individual inflows and outflows from investing and financing activities are reported separately.
Study Objective 3 - Explain the Impact of the Product Life Cycle on a Company's Cash Flows
All products go through a series of phases called the product life cycle.
- The phases (in order of their occurrence) are often referred to as the introductory phase, growth phase, maturity phase, and decline phase.
- The phase a company is in affects its cash flows.
- The introductory phase occurs at the beginning of a company’s life, when the company is purchasing fixed assets and beginning to produce and sell products. When a company is in the introductory stage, one would expect that the company will not be generating positive cash from operations.
It will be spending considerable amounts to purchase productive assets such as buildings and equipment. To support asset purchases the company will have to issue stock or debt.
One would expect cash from operations to be negative, cash from investing to be negative, and cash from financing to be positive.
- During the growth phase, the company is striving to expand its production and sales.When a company is in the growth phase, one would expect to see the company start togenerate small amounts of cash from operations.
Cash from operations on the cash flow statement will be less than net income on the income statement during this phase.
Because sales are projected to be increasing, the size of inventory purchases must increase. However, less inventory will be expensed on an accrual basis than purchased on a cash basis in the growth phase.
Cash collections on accounts receivable will lag behind sales, and because sales are growing, accrual sales during a period will exceed cash collections during that period. Cash needed for asset acquisitions will continue to exceed cash provided by operations, requiring that the company make up the deficiency by issuing new stock or debt.The company continues to show negative cash from investing and positive cash from financing in the growth phase.
- In the maturity phase, sales and production level off.
Cash from operations and net income are approximately the same.Cash generated from operations exceeds investing needs.In the maturity phase, the company can actually start to retire debt or buy back stock.During the decline phase, sales of the product fall due to a weakening in consumer demand.
- During this phase, cash from operations decreases.
- Cash from investing might actually become positive as the firm sells offexcessassets.
- Cash from financing may be negative as the company buys back stock and retires debt.
- The statement of cash flows is prepared differently from the other basic financial statements.
- It is not prepared from an adjusted trial balance.
- The statement of cash flows deals with cash receipts and payments.
- The information to prepare the statement of cash flows usually comes from three sources.
- Information in the comparative balance sheet indicates the amount of the changes in assets, liabilities, and stockholders’ equities from the beginning to the end of the period.
- Information in the current income statement helps the reader determine the amount of cash provided or used by operations during the period.
- Additional information includes transaction data that are needed to determine how cash was provided or used during the period.
- Preparing the statement of cash flows involves three major steps:
Step 1 – Determine net cash provided/used by operating activities by converting net income from an accrual basis to a cash basis.
Step 2 – Analyze changes in noncurrent asset and liability accounts and record as investing and financing activities, or as significant noncash transactions.
Step 3 – Compare the net change in cash on the statement of cash flows with the change in the cash account reported on the balance sheet to make sure the amounts agree.
In order to determine the cash provided/used by operating activities, net income must be converted from an accrual basis to a cash basis.
- This conversion may be done by either of two methods: direct or indirect.
- Both methods arrive at the same total amount for “Net cash provided by operating activities.”
- They differ in disclosing the items that make up the total amount. Note that the two different methods affect only the operating activities section. The investing activities and financing activities sections are not affected by the choice of method.
The indirect method is used extensively in practice. Companies favor the indirect method for two reasons:
- It is easier and less costly to prepare.
- It focuses on the differences between net income and net cash flow from operating activities.
The direct method is more consistent with the objective of the statement of cash flows because it shows operating cash receipts and payments.
- The FASB has expressed a preference for the direct method but allows the use of either method.
Study Objective 4 - Prepare a Statement of Cash Flows Using the Indirect Method
Step 1: Determine net cash provided/used by operating activities by converting net income from an accrual basis to a cash basis.
- To determine net cash provided by operating activities under the indirect method, companies adjust net income in numerous ways. A useful starting point is to understand why net income must be converted to net cash provided by operating activities.
- Under generally accepted accounting principles most companies use the accrual basis of accounting. Under the accrual basis of accounting, net income is not the same as net cash provided by operating activities.
- Revenue is recorded when earned and expenses are recorded when incurred.
- Earned revenues may include credit sales for which the company has not yet collected cash.
- Therefore, under the indirect method, companies must adjust net income to convert certain items to the cash basis. The indirect method (or reconciliation method) starts with net income and converts it to net cash provided by operating activities, by applying three types of adjustments.
Step 2: Add back (to net income) noncash expenses, such as depreciation expense, amortization, or depletion.
- Although these items reduce net income, they do not reduce cash. These are noncash charges. They must be added back to net income to arrive at net cash provided by operating activities.
Step 3: Deduct gains and add losses that resulted from investing and financing activities.
- Cash received from the sale of plant assets is reported in the investing activities section, thus the related gain or loss must be eliminated from net income to arrive at cash from operating activities (the gain or loss is a noncash charge).
- If a gain on the sale occurs, the company deducts the gain from its net income.
- If a loss on the sale occurs, the company adds the loss to its net income.
Step 4: Analyze changes to noncash current asset and current liability accounts.
- A final adjustment in reconciling net income to net cash provided by operating activities involves examining all changes in current asset and current liability accounts.
- The accrual accounting process records revenues in the period earned and expenses in the period incurred. As a result, companies need to adjust net income for these accruals and prepayments to determine net cash provided by operating activities.
- Analyze the change in each current asset (except cash) and current liability account to determine its impact on net income and cash.
- Deduct from net income increases in current asset accounts, and add to net income decreases in current asset accounts to arrive at net cash provided by operating activities. For example,
- Increase in Accounts Receivable--When accounts receivable increase during the year, revenues on an accrual basis are higher than revenues on a cash basis. In other words, operations of the period led to revenues, but not all of these revenues resulted in an increase in cash.
- Add to net income increases in current liability accounts, and deduct from net income decreases in current liability accounts, to arrive at net cash provided by operating activities. For example,
Increase in Accounts payable--When accounts payable increase during a year, operating expenses on an accrual basis are higher than they are on a cash basis. To convert net income to net cash provided by operating activities, an increase in accounts payable must be added to net income. Conversely, a decrease in accounts payable would have to be subtracted from net income.
Summary of conversion to net cash provided by operating activities – indirect method.
There are three types of required adjustments:
- Noncash charges such as depreciation, amortization, and depletion.
- Gains and losses on the sale of plant assets.
- Changes in noncash current asset and current liability accounts.
- A summary of the adjustments for current assets and current liabilities is provided in Illustration 12-12.
Step 2: Analyze changes in noncurrent asset and liability accounts and record as investing and financing activities, or as significant noncash transactions.
Step 3: Compare the net change in cash on the statement of cash flows with the change in the cash account reported on the balance sheet to make sure the amounts agree.
Study Objective 5 - Use the Statement of Cash Flows to Evaluate a Company
- Traditionally, the ratios most commonly used by investors and creditors have been based on accrual accounting. Cash-based ratios are gaining increased acceptance among analysts. These measures include:
Free Cash Flow--
In the statement of cash flows, cash from operations is intended to indicate the cash-generating capability of the company.
- Cash provided by operating activities fails to take into account that a company must invest in new fixed assets just to maintain its current level of operations and it must at least maintain dividends at current levels to satisfy investors.
- Free cash flow describes the cash remaining from operations after adjustment for capital expenditures and dividends.
- For example, suppose that MPC produced and sold 10,000 personal computers this year. It reported $100,000 cash provided by operating activities. In order to maintain production at 10,000 computers, MPC invested $15,000 in equipment. It chose to pay $5,000 in dividends. Its free cash flow was $80,000 ($100,000 - $15,000 - $5,000).
Assessing Liquidity, Solvency, and Profitability Using Cash Flows
- Previous chapters have presented ratios used to analyze a company's liquidity, solvency, and profitability using accrual-based numbers from the income statement and balance sheet.
- This chapter introduces ratios that are cash-based rather than accrual-based.
- Rather than using numbers from the income statement, these ratios use numbers from the statement of cash flows.
- Many analysts are critical of accrual-based numbers because they feel that the adjustment process allows too much management discretion.
- One disadvantage to the cash-based measures is that, unlike the more commonly employed accrual-based measures, there are no readily available published industry averages for comparison.
- In computing cash flow-based ratios to analyze Microsoft, the following information is needed in addition to the cash flow information provided in Illustration 12-16 of the text:
|($ in millions)
Liquidity is the ability of a business to meet its immediate obligations.
- Earlier, we learned that one measure of liquidity is the current ratio. Current ratio is computed by dividing current assets by current liabilities.
- A disadvantage of the current ratio is that it uses year-end balances of current assets and current liabilities, which may not be representative of a company's position during most of the year.
- A ratio that partially corrects this problem is the current cash debt coverage ratio, computed by dividing cash provided from operating activities by average current liabilities.
- Because cash from operations involves the entire year rather than a balance at one point in time, it is often considered a better representation of liquidity on the average day.
The current cash debt coverage ratio is computed for Microsoft and comparative numbers are given for Oracle below. In addition, each company's current ratio is included for comparative purposes.
Current Cash Debt Coverage Ratio = Cash Provided by Operations ¸ Average Current Liabilities
Current Cash Debt Coverage Ratio = $4,626/($14,969 + $13,974)/2= 1.01 times
Current cash coverage ratio
- Microsoft's net cash provided from operating activities is approximately equal to its average current liabilities.
- Although Oracle's ratio of .75, though not a cause for concern, is 26% lower than that of Microsoft. Keep in mind that Microsoft’s cash position is extraordinary. Both companies have very strong current ratios.
- Solvency is the ability of a firm to survive over the long term.
- One measure of solvency is the debt to total assets ratio.
- A measure of solvency that uses cash figures is the cash debt coverage ratio--the ratio of cash provided by operations to total debt as represented by average total liabilities.
- This ratio measures a company's ability to repay its liabilities from cash generated from operations.
- The cash debt coverage ratio for Microsoft is computed as follows:
Cash Debt Coverage Ratio = Cash Provided by Operations ¸ Average Total Liabilities
Cash Debt Coverage Ratio = $14,626/ ($17,564+ $16,280)/2= .85 times
Cash coverage ratio
Debt to total assets ratio
Microsoft has very few long-term obligations, therefore its cash debt coverage ratio is similar to its current cash debt coverage ratio.
Oracle has some long-term debt with a debt to total assets ratio of 38%. Its cash debt coverage ratio of .66 times is three-fourths as strong as Microsoft’s.
Neither cash nor accrual measures suggest any cause for concern for either company.
Appendix - Prepare a Statement of Cash Flows Using the Direct Method
- Determine net cash provided/used by operating activities by converting net income from an accrual basis to a cash basis.
- Under the direct method, companies compute net cash provided by operating activities by adjusting each item in the income statement from the accrual basis to the cash basis.
- To simplify and condense the operating activities section, companies report only major classes of operating cash receipts and cash payments. For these major classes, the difference between cash receipts and cash payments is the net cash provided by operating activities.
- An efficient way to apply the direct method is to analyze the items reported in the income statement in the order in which they are listed.
- Illustration 12A-2 lists the major classes of cash receipts and payments.
- To make the necessary adjustments:
- Cash receipts from customers = Revenues from sales plus decrease in accounts receivables or less increase in accounts receivables.
- Cash payments to suppliers = cost of goods sold plus increase in inventory or less decrease in inventory and plus decrease in accounts payable or less increase in accounts payable.
- Cash payments for operating expenses = operating expenses plus increase in prepaid expense or less decrease in prepaid expense and plus decrease in accrued expenses payable or less increase in expenses payable.