So what is cash flow anyways?
In short, cash flow is the money that is moving (or flowing) in and out of your business. But there is more to it than just that.
If you are in a “positive cash flow” situation then you are making more money than you are spending. You have enough to pay your bills etc. If more cash is going out than coming in, you are in danger of being overdrawn, and you will need to find money to cover your overdrafts. This is why new businesses typically need working capital (like a loan or line of credit) to cover shortages in cash flow.
Lack of cash is one of the biggest reasons small businesses fail.
A great video summarizing cash flow and a real world sample can be seen here, click below (thank you Investopedia!):
Cash Flow When Starting a Business
Dealing with cash flow issues is most difficult when you are starting a business. You have many expenses and money is going out fast. And you may have no sales or customers who are paying you. You will need some other temporary sources of cash, like through a temporary line of credit to get you going and on to a positive cash flow situation.
The best way to keep track of cash flow in your business is to run a cash flow report. We can do this for you! Click here to see more or ask us how. Sometimes cash flow reports need to be done on a weekly or even daily basis…
Cash Flow vs. Profit
It's possible for your business to make a profit, but have no cash. How can that happen? The short answer is that profit is an accounting concept, while cash, is only the amount in the business checking account. You can have assets, like accounts receivable (money owed to you by customers) but if you can't collect on what's owed, you won't have cash.
Your accounting system may also show a difference between cash and profits. If your business runs on accrual accounting, you recognize income when the invoice is sent, even though the customer hasn't paid. In this case, you might show a profit but not have the cash.
Check out this Tip:
A tip from The Balance Small Business website; A quick and easy way to perform a cash flow analysis is to compare the total unpaid purchases to the total sales due at the end of each month. If the total unpaid purchases are greater than the total sales due, you'll need to spend more cash than you receive in the next month, indicating a potential cash flow problem.
To dig deeper into this tip:
1. At the end of this month, look at your total sales.
2. Add up the purchases you have made that still need to be paid for.
3. The difference is what you will need to bring in as income to stay even.
If this monthly cash shortage continues for several months, you'll get further and further behind.
So how do I solve my cash flow issues?
There are several ways to tackle cash flow issues. Especially for a start up business, a budget is very important to understand how much you need and where you stand financially. at Cloud Accounting we have all the tools to work with you to create a budget, analyze the budget and also forecast the future budget so that you can have control over your finances all the time. Click Here to see more information on our services or contact us anytime to discuss further.
Looking to do more research on your own? The Balance Small Business site has a great article with more information on how to solve some cash flow issues!