Understanding the Cash Flow Statement

Understanding the Cash Flow Statement 理解现金流量表

What Is a Cash Flow Statement? 什么是现金流量表?

The statement of cash flows, or the cash flow statement, is a financial statement that summarizes the amount of cash and cash equivalents entering and leaving a company. 现金流量表是一种财务报表,它汇总了现金和现金等价物进出公司的数量。

The cash flow statement (CFS) measures how well a company manages its cash position, meaning how well the company generates cash to pay its debt obligations and fund its operating expenses. The cash flow statement complements the balance sheet and income statement and is a mandatory part of a company’s financial reports. 现金流量表衡量的是公司管理现金状况的好坏,也就是公司如何产生现金来支付债务和运营费用。现金流量表是对资产负债表和损益表的补充,是公司财务报告的必要组成部分。

How to Use a Cash Flow Statement 如何使用现金流量表

The CFS allows investors to understand how a company’s operations are running, where its money is coming from, and how money is being spent. The CFS is important since it helps investors determine whether a company is on a solid financial footing. 现金流量表允许投资者了解一家公司的运营情况、资金来源以及资金使用情况。现金流量表很重要,因为它帮助投资者确定一家公司是否有坚实的财务基础。

Creditors, on the other hand, can use the CFS to determine how much cash is available (referred to as liquidity) for the company to fund its operating expenses and pay its debts. 另一方面,债权人可以使用现金流量表来确定公司有多少现金可用(称为流动资金)来支付运营费用和偿还债务。

The Structure of the CFS 现金流量表的构成

The main components of the cash flow statement are: 现金流量表的主要组成部分是:

  1. Cash flow from operating activities 经营活动现金流量
  2. Cash flow from investing activities 投资活动现金流量
  3. Cash flow from financing activities 融资活动的现金流量

It’s important to note that the CFS is distinct from the income statement and balance sheet because it does not include the amount of future incoming and outgoing cash that has been recorded on credit. Therefore, cash is not the same as net income, which on the income statement and balance sheet, includes cash sales and sales made on credit. 需要注意的是,现金流量表不同于损益表和资产负债表,因为它不包括已计入信用交易的未来收入和支出的现金数额。因此,现金与净收入不同,净收入在损益表和资产负债表上包括现金销售和赊账销售。

Operating Activities 经营活动

The operating activities on the CFS include any sources and uses of cash from business activities. In other words, it reflects how much cash is generated from a company’s products or services. 现金流量表的营运活动包括任何来自业务活动的现金来源和用途。换句话说,它反映了一家公司的产品或服务产生了多少现金。

These operating activities might include: 这些业务活动可能包括:

  • Receipts from sales of goods and services 商品和劳务销售收入
  • Interest payments 利息支付
  • Income tax payments 支付所得税
  • Payments made to suppliers of goods and services used in production 支付给生产中使用的商品和服务供应商的款项
  • Salary and wage payments to employees 支付给员工的工资
  • Rent payments 租金
  • Any other type of operating expenses 其它任何类型的经营费用

In the case of a trading portfolio or an investment company, receipts from the sale of loans, debt, or equity instruments are also included. When preparing a cash flow statement under the indirect method, depreciation, amortization, deferred tax, gains or losses associated with a noncurrent asset, and dividends or revenue received from certain investing activities are also included. However, purchases or sales of long-term assets are not included in operating activities. 在交易组合或投资公司的情况下,销售贷款、债务或股票工具的收入也包括在内。在按间接法编制现金流量表时,还包括折旧、摊销、递延所得税、与非流动资产有关的损益以及从某些投资活动中获得的股息或收入。但是,购买或出售长期资产不包括在经营活动中。

How Cash Flow Is Calculated 如何计算现金流量

Cash flow is calculated by making certain adjustments to net income by adding or subtracting differences in revenue, expenses, and credit transactions (appearing on the balance sheet and income statement) resulting from transactions that occur from one period to the next. These adjustments are made because non-cash items are calculated into net income (income statement) and total assets and liabilities (balance sheet). So, because not all transactions involve actual cash items, many items have to be re-evaluated when calculating cash flow from operations. 现金流的计算方法是对净收入做一定的调整,增加或减少收入、费用和信用交易(出现在资产负债表和损益表上)的差额,这些差额是由一个期间发生的交易产生的。这些调整是由于非现金项目计算为净收入(损益表)和总资产和负债(资产负债表)。因此,由于不是所有的交易都涉及实际的现金项目,许多项目在计算来自业务的现金流时必须重新评估。

As a result, there are two methods of calculating cash flow, the direct method, and the indirect method. 因此,有两种计算现金流量的方法,直接法和间接法。

Direct Cash Flow Method 直接现金流量法

The direct method adds up all the various types of cash payments and receipts, including cash paid to suppliers, cash receipts from customers and cash paid out in salaries. These figures are calculated by using the beginning and ending balances of a variety of business accounts and examining the net decrease or increase in the accounts. 直接法将各种现金付款和收入加起来,包括付给供应商的现金、顾客的现金收入和以薪金支付的现金。这些数字是通过使用各种业务账户的期初余额和期末余额,并检查账户的净增加或减少来计算的。

Indirect Cash Flow Method 间接现金流量法

With the indirect method, cash flow from operating activities is calculated by first taking the net income off of a company’s income statement. Because a company’s income statement is prepared on an accrual basis, revenue is only recognized when it is earned and not when it is received. Net income is not an accurate representation of net cash flow from operating activities, so it becomes necessary to adjust earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for items that affect net income, even though no actual cash has yet been received or paid against them. The indirect method also makes adjustments to add back non-operating activities that do not affect a company’s operating cash flow. 采用间接法,经营活动产生的现金流量首先从公司利润表中扣除净利润。由于公司的损益表是以权责发生制为基础编制的,收入只有在获得时才确认,而不是在收到时确认。净收入不能准确反映经营活动产生的现金流量净额,因此有必要对影响净收入的项目调整息税前利润,即使尚未收到或支付实际现金。间接法还对不影响公司经营现金流量的非经营活动进行了调整。

For example, depreciation is not really a cash expense; it is an amount that is deducted from the total value of an asset that has previously been accounted for. That is why it is added back into net sales for calculating cash flow. 例如,折旧并不是真正的现金费用;它是从先前已入账的资产总值中扣除的金额。这就是为什么在计算现金流时要把它加回净销售额中。

Accounts Receivable and Cash Flow 应收账款和现金流

Changes in accounts receivable (AR) on the balance sheet from one accounting period to the next must also be reflected in cash flow. If accounts receivable decreases, this implies that more cash has entered the company from customers paying off their credit accounts—the amount by which AR has decreased is then added to net sales. If accounts receivable increases from one accounting period to the next, the amount of the increase must be deducted from net sales because, although the amounts represented in AR are revenue, they are not cash. 资产负债表上从一个会计期间到下一个会计期间应收账款的变化也必须反映在现金流量中。如果应收账款减少,这就意味着有更多的现金从客户那里流入公司,这些客户已经还清了他们的信用账户——应收账款减少的数额被加到净销售额中。如果应收账款从一个会计期间增加到下一个会计期间,增加的数额必须从销售净额中扣除,因为应收账款虽然是收入,但不是现金。

Inventory Value and Cash Flow 存货价值和现金流

An increase in inventory, on the other hand, signals that a company has spent more money to purchase more raw materials. If the inventory was paid with cash, the increase in the value of inventory is deducted from net sales. A decrease in inventory would be added to net sales. If inventory was purchased on credit, an increase in accounts payable would occur on the balance sheet, and the amount of the increase from one year to the other would be added to net sales. 另一方面,库存的增加表明一家公司花了更多的钱来购买更多的原材料。如果存货是以现金支付的,则存货价值的增加额从净销售额中扣除。存货的减少将增加到净销售额中。如果存货是赊购的,资产负债表上的应付账款会增加,从一年增加到另一年的金额会加到净销售额中。

The same logic holds true for taxes payable, salaries payable, and prepaid insurance. If something has been paid off, then the difference in the value owed from one year to the next has to be subtracted from net income. If there is an amount that is still owed, then any differences will have to be added to net earnings. 同样的逻辑也适用于应付税款、应付工资和预付保险。如果某笔款项已经还清,那么从净收入中必须减去所欠下一年的价值差额。如果仍有一笔欠款,那么任何差额都必须计入净利润。

Investing Activities and Cash Flow 投资活动和现金流

Investing activities include any sources and uses of cash from a company’s investments. A purchase or sale of an asset, loans made to vendors or received from customers or any payments related to a merger or acquisition is included in this category. In short, changes in equipment, assets, or investments relate to cash from investing. 投资活动包括公司投资现金的任何来源和用途。资产的购买或出售、向供应商提供的贷款或从客户那里收到的贷款,或与合并或收购相关的任何付款都包括在这一类别中。简而言之,设备、资产或投资的变化与投资产生的现金有关。

Usually, cash changes from investing are a “cash out” item, because cash is used to buy new equipment, buildings, or short-term assets such as marketable securities. However, when a company divests an asset, the transaction is considered “cash in” for calculating cash from investing. 通常,投资产生的现金是“套现”项目,因为现金被用来购买新设备、建筑物或短期资产,如有价证券。然而,当一家公司剥离一项资产时,这笔交易被视为“现金入帐”,用于计算投资产生的现金。

Cash From Financing Activities 来自融资活动的现金

Cash from financing activities include the sources of cash from investors or banks, as well as the uses of cash paid to shareholders. Payment of dividends, payments for stock repurchases and the repayment of debt principal (loans) are included in this category. 融资活动的现金包括投资者或银行的现金来源,以及支付给股东的现金的使用。股息的支付、股票回购的支付和债务本金(贷款)的偿还都包括在这一类中。

Changes in cash from financing are “cash in” when capital is raised, and they’re “cash out” when dividends are paid. Thus, if a company issues a bond to the public, the company receives cash financing; however, when interest is paid to bondholders, the company is reducing its cash. 来自融资的现金变化在筹集资本时是“现金流入”,在支付股息时是“现金流出”。因此,如果公司向公众发行债券,公司就会获得现金融资; 然而,当支付给债券持有人利息时,公司会减少现金。

Negative Cash Flow Statements 负现金流量表

Of course, not all cash flow statements look this healthy or exhibit a positive cash flow, but negative cash flow should not automatically raise a red flag without further analysis. Sometimes, negative cash flow is the result of a company’s decision to expand its business at a certain point in time, which would be a good thing for the future. This is why analyzing changes in cash flow from one period to the next gives the investor a better idea of how the company is performing, and whether or not a company may be on the brink of bankruptcy or success. 当然,并不是所有的现金流量表看起来都是健康的或者显示出正的现金流,但是负的现金流不应该在没有进一步分析的情况下自动发出危险信号。有时,负现金流是公司决定在某个时间点扩大业务的结果,这对未来是件好事。这就是为什么分析一个时期到下一个时期的现金流变化能让投资者更好地了解公司的表现,以及公司是否可能处于破产或成功的边缘。

Balance Sheet and Income Statement 资产负债表和损益表

As we have already discussed, the cash flow statement is derived from the income statement and the balance sheet. Net earnings from the income statement are the figure from which the information on the CFS is deduced. As for the balance sheet, the net cash flow in the CFS from one year to the next should equal the increase or decrease of cash between the two consecutive balance sheets that apply to the period that the cash flow statement covers. (For example, if you are calculating cash flow for the year 2019, the balance sheets from the years 2018 and 2019 should be used.) 我们已经讨论过,现金流量表是由损益表和资产负债表推导出来的。损益表上的净收入是用来推断财务报表信息的数字。至于资产负债表,中期现金流量表从一年度到下一年度的现金净流量应等于现金流量表所涵盖期间的两个连续的资产负债表之间的现金增减。(例如,如果你在计算2019年的现金流,应该使用2018年和2019年的资产负债表。)

The Bottom Line 底线

A cash flow statement is a valuable measure of strength, profitability, and of the long-term future outlook for a company. The CFS can help determine whether a company has enough liquidity or cash to pay its expenses. A company can use a cash flow statement to predict future cash flow, which helps with matters of budgeting. 现金流量表是衡量公司实力、盈利能力和长期前景的重要指标。现金流量表可以帮助确定一家公司是否有足够的流动资金或现金来支付其费用。公司可以使用现金流量表来预测未来的现金流量,这有助于编制预算。

For investors, the cash flow statement reflects a company’s financial health since typically the more cash that’s available for business operations, the better. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Sometimes a negative cash flow results from a company’s growth strategy in the form of expanding its operations. 对投资者来说,现金流量表反映了公司的财务健康状况,因为通常情况下,用于企业运营的现金越多越好。然而,这并不是一个硬性规定。有时,负现金流来自于公司以扩大经营为形式的增长战略。

By studying the cash flow statement, an investor can get a clear picture of how much cash a company generates and gain a solid understanding of the financial well being of a company. 通过研究现金流量表,投资者可以清楚地了解公司产生了多少现金,并对公司的财务状况有一个坚实的了解。

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