Cash Flow

Overview of Cash Flow
Cash flow could be defined as the cash amount that a particular business entity or an individual earns or spends at a specific time period. Cash flow is often associated with certain business ventures. Cash flow is extremely useful in many ways.

Cash In-Flow
Cash in-flow happens when a person or a business entity receives cash from a certain source.

In case of a business firm following are the main sources of cash in-flow:

Financing
Investment
Operations
In case of personal finance if an individual receives gifts or donations of any kind it would be counted as an instance of cash flow.

Cash Out-Flow
If a certain company or an individual spends or makes an investment in any form then it would be regarded as a case of cash out-flow.
Uses of Cash Flow

Following are the main uses of cash flow:

To test the earnings and development of a business entity
To find out the condition and performance of a business venture or a business entity
To bring forth the rate of returns of business ventures
To ascertain the issues of liquidity
Cash Flow Types

There are several types of cash flow that can be mentioned as below:

Operational Cash Flows
Financing Cash Flows
Investment Cash Flows

Operational Cash Flow
The amount of money a business firm earns or spends for its main business processes is called the Operational Cash Flow.
Investment Cash Flow

Investment cash flow is the amount of money that a company spends or earns from the following sources:

Capital Expenditure
Acquisitions
Investments
Financing Cash Flow

Income and expenditure in the following areas of a business entity or an individual is normally specified as financing cash flow:

Receiving Loans
Repurchasing Stock
Paying Loans
Paying Dividends
Issuing Stock
Importance of Cash Flow
In case of both personal and business finance, cash flow is an important concept. It is more important with regard to solvency. Cash flow is used as a documentation of past investments and earnings. It is also used by the business entities in order to represent the direction where they want to take their company to.

In the present day competitive world of business cash flow becomes an all the more important phenomenon. It is assumed by people like creditors and brokers that the person or business entity that has a decent cash flow record is in a better position to make his payments at the right time. Thus it becomes easier for such parties to obtain finance for various purposes.
Cash Flow Statement
The cash flow statements are of utmost importance for the present day business entities. The financial analysts employ the cash flow statement of a company to determine its financial performance. According to them the companies, which have good amount of cash can use it in a profitable way. These companies are also thought to be capable of generating cash.