Companies also prepare a third financial statement, the statement of cash flows. Cash flows result from three major groups of activities: (1) operating activities, (2) investing activities, and (3) financing activities. These three categories are illustrated in Table 3.
This is very different from an income statement. Cash amounting to $19 was received from the sale of the investment; the income statement included only the $5 gain, the difference between the sale proceeds and $14, the amount at which the investment had been shown in the balance sheet before it was sold. Since net income, the top lines in Table 3, included the $5 gain, the company couldn’t include the full net income and the full cash proceeds from the sale of the investment—that would have counted the $5 twice. Instead, Any Company subtracted the $5 from net income (line 5 in the table) and reported the full $19 below, under cash from investing activities.
The income statement differs from the cash flow statement in other ways, too. Cash was received from the issuance of bonds and was paid to shareowners as dividends; neither of those figured in the income statement. Cash was also paid to purchase equipment; this added to the plant and equipment asset but was not subtracted from current revenues because it would be used for many years, not just this one.
Cash from operations is not the same as net income (revenues minus expenses). For one thing, not all revenues are collected in cash. Revenue is usually recorded when a customer receives merchandise and either pays for it or promises to pay the company in the future (in which case the revenue is recorded in accounts receivable). Cash from operating activities, on the other hand, reflects the actual cash collected, not the inflow of accounts receivable. Similarly, an expense may be recorded without an actual cash payment.
Table 3 adds items not requiring immediate cash payment to income (e.g., depreciation) and subtracts items that appear in the income statement but are not part of the results of operations (e.g., the gain on the sale of a long-term investment). The bottom line shows that the company’s stock of cash and marketable securities increased by $35 during the year.
The purpose of the statement of cash flows is to throw light on management’s use of the financial resources available to it and to help the users of the statements to evaluate the company’s liquidity, its ability to pay its bills when they come due.