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The Relationship between Cash Flow and Profit in Business

Part of the Cash Flow For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Making profit generates cash flow. Any business owner knows that. But the actual increase in cash during a given period is invariably lower or higher than the profit number. The following points illustrate how cash flow relates to profit:

  • The amounts of cash flows during the period rarely are equal to the revenue and expense numbers in the P&L (profit and loss) report for the period.

  • Actions that lower cash flow: increasing accounts receivable and inventory; decreasing accounts payable and accrued expenses payable.

  • Actions that raise cash flow: decreasing accounts receivable and inventory; increasing accounts payable and accrued expenses payable.

  • Depreciation expense is not a cash outlay in the period recorded; neither is amortization expense; unusual losses recorded in the period may not involve cash outlay but rather be write-downs of assets or write-ups of liabilities.

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Cash Flow For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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