Whether it is a small company or a multinational corporation, a business relies on efficient reports generation as its management makes financial and management decisions. The financial aspect of organizations can significantly determine the future success of the company. This information is also very confidential. The status of the company can be interpreted based on the figures reflected in the financial statement. Making financial reports can be a daunting task. It takes attention to details, accuracy, organization skills, and to make it all easier, a template can greatly help in preparing these reports.
Below are some things that you have to remember and be guided by in creating a cash flow template.
A good cash flow template is a four-step activity.
- First, prepare a sales forecast.
- Second, project anticipated earnings.
- Third, project anticipated expenses.
- And last, analyze the projections and determine your bottom line figures. Overall, coming from these inputs, you can then identify and interpret not just the bottom line figures of your company, but areas of operation (whether expense or income) that you should focus on.
A cash flow template should include three major sections:
- Operating. The operating section shows a summary of cash transactions that are strictly related to the normal day to day operations of the company. This means all operating expenses including sales revenues and inventory expenses as well as employee compensation and maintenance of company equipment and machines are reflected in this section. A good cash flow template can immediately indicate whether your revenues outweigh your operational expenses, thus, reflecting good business sense and financial stability for the company.
- Investing. This section shows specific areas where your company is diversely investing. This shows your stakes in other companies or areas of operation (apart from your major line of operation) that use your cash assets.
- Financing. This third section of the cash flow template reflects your revenues and income coming from other investments aside from your major line of operation. This indicates your other income generating aspects such as investment in stocks of other companies. With this detailed separately from your operations, every income and expense are totally accounted for in relation to their expense and operation.
Creating a financial analysis, balance sheet, financial statement or any financial report for that matter is a major responsibility and activity for any firm or company. Never assume any data or ‘guesstimate’ any item, so that your report will be as accurate as possible. Also, be careful when encoding formulas in your cash flow template. Any error can have a chain reaction effect on the report. Recheck and triple check them before submitting and before you create any conclusion or recommendation.
Remember that whatever you place and encode in your cash flow should have factual basis and credibility. Auditors will look at these reports in the future, and proper documentation should be able to support them. The integrity of your data will reflect your integrity and professionalism as well. In creating a template, keep in mind to make it easy to interpret and analyze.