The Cash Flow Statement, or Statement of Cash Flows, summarizes a company's inflow and outflow of cash, meaning where a business's money came from (cash receipts) and where it went (cash paid). The cash flow statement is a standard financial statement used in conjunction with the balance sheet and income statement. The statement breaks down the cash flow into three categories including Operating, Investing, and Financing activities. More detailed information is provided below.


Another common accounting tool that may be confused with the cash flow statement is a cash flow analysis, which is more like a profit and loss projection performed on a monthly basis. The 12-Month Business Budget template is a useful tool for performing a cash flow analysis. I'll admit that I don't create cash flow statements for my own business. I've gotten along fine with the income statement, balance sheet, and a detailed business budget.

Cash Flow Statement Template

Example Cash Flow Statement


For: Excel 2007 or later & Excel for iPad/iPhone
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This cash flow statement was designed for the small-business owner looking for an example of how to format a statement of cash flows. The categories can be customized to suit your company's needs.

Update 11/12/2015: This spreadsheet now contains two additional worksheets for year-to-year and month-to-month cash flow statement comparisons or cash flow projections.

Cash Flow Statement Essentials

Operating Activities

Operating activities make up the day-to-day business, like selling products, puchasing inventory, paying wages, and paying operating expenses. Perhaps the most important line of the cash flow statement is the Net Cash Flow from Operations. This section of the statement is associated with the Current Assets and Current Liabilities sections of the Balance Sheet, as well as the Revenue and Expenses section of the Income Statement.

Investing Activities

Investing activities include buying and selling assets like property and equipment, lending money to others and collecting the principal, and buying/selling investment securities. This section of the statement is associated with the Long-Term Assets section of the balance sheet.

Financing Activities

Financing activities include borrowing from creditors and repaying loans, issuing and repurchasing stock, and collecting money from owners/invenstors, and payment of cash dividends. This section of the statement is associated with the Long-Term Liabilities and Owners'/Stockholders' Equity from the Balance Sheet.

I'm not going to try to explain how to prepare or analyze the cash flow statement other than to say that if you have the records of all the cash transactions, then the preparation can be done using the simple method of categorizing the receipts and payments into the three categories listed above. The indirect method can be used to create the statement of cash flows from the information in the balance sheet and income statement, but I'll leave that explanation for the textbooks. For more information, see the references below.


  • Financial Accounting: Reporting and Analysis by M.A. Diamond, E. K. Slice, and J.D. Slice., 2000.
  • Cash Flow Statement at
Disclaimer: The information on this page is for illustrative and educational purposes only. The spreadsheet is provided as-is. We do not guarantee the results or the applicability to your financial situation. You should seek the advice of qualified professionals regarding financial decisions.

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