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Is Cash flow a complete measure of performance?
no

Tags
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Is Cash flow a complete measure of performance?
?

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Is Cash flow a complete measure of performance?
no
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Cash flow in any given period is not a complete measure of performance for that period.

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2. SCOPE OF FINANCIAL STATEMENT ANALYSIS
d to earn that income. Overall, profit (or loss) equals income minus expenses, and its recognition is mostly independent from when cash is received or paid. Example 1 illustrates the distinction between profit and cash flow. <span>EXAMPLE 1 Profit versus Cash Flow Sennett Designs (SD) sells furniture on a retail basis. SD began operations during December 2009 and sold furniture for €250,000 in cash. The furniture sold by SD was purchased on credit for €150,000 and delivered by the supplier during December. The credit terms granted by the supplier required SD to pay the €150,000 in January for the furniture it received during December. In addition to the purchase and sale of furniture, in December, SD paid €20,000 in cash for rent and salaries. How much is SD’s profit for December 2009 if no other transactions occurred? How much is SD’s cash flow for December 2009? If SD purchases and sells exactly the same amount in January 2010 as it did in December and under the same terms (receiving cash for the sales and making purchases on credit that will be due in February), how much will the company’s profit and cash flow be for the month of January? Solution to 1: SD’s profit for December 2009 is the excess of the sales price (€250,000) over the cost of the goods that were sold (€150,000) and rent and salaries (€20,000), or €80,000. Solution to 2: The December 2009 cash flow is €230,000, the amount of cash received from the customer (€250,000) less the cash paid for rent and salaries (€20,000). Solution to 3: SD’s profit for January 2010 will be identical to its profit in December: €80,000, calculated as the sales price (€250,000) minus the cost of the goods that were sold (€150,000) and minus rent and salaries (€20,000). SD’s cash flow in January 2010 will also equal €80,000, calculated as the amount of cash received from the customer (€250,000) minus the cash paid for rent and salaries (€20,000) and minus the €150,000 that SD owes for the goods it had purchased on credit in the prior month. Although profitability is important, so is a company’s ability to generate positive cash flow. Cash flow is important because, ultimately, the company needs cash to pay employees, suppliers, and others in order to continue as a going concern. A company that generates positive cash flow from operations has more flexibility in funding needed for investments and taking advantage of attractive business opportunities than an otherwise comparable company without positive operating cash flow. Additionally, a company needs cash to pay returns (interest and dividends) to providers of debt and equity capital. Therefore, the expected magnitude of future cash flows is important in valuing corporate securities and in determining the company’s ability to meet its obligations. The ability to meet short-term obligations is generally referred to as liquidity , and the ability to meet long-term obligations is generally referred to as solvency . Cash flow in any given period is not, however, a complete measure of performance for that period because, as shown in Example 1, a company may be obligated to make future cash payments as a result of a transaction that generates positive cash flow in the current period. Profits may provide useful information about cash flows, past and future. If the transaction of Example 1 were repeated month after month, the long-term average monthly cas

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