A statement prepared showing the flow of Cash during a period is known as Cash Flow Statement. The term 'Flow' means change or movement and’ Cash means Cash and Cash equivalents. Cash flow statement, therefore, is a statement & which reveals movement of Cash and Cash equivalents during a given period usually an accounting year. Thus, Cash flow statement, may be defined to be a summary of receipts and payments, reconciling the opening Cash (Cash or Cash equivalents) balance with the closing balance of a given period with information about the sources (inflow) and applications (outflow) from items appearing in the Balance Sheet and the Profit and Loss Account of the enterprise.
Cash flow statement explains reasons for the changes in Cash position of the enterprise. Transactions that increase the Cash position of the entity are labeled as 'inflow' of Cash and those which decrease the Cash position as 'out flow 'of Cash. Cash flow statement traces the various sources, which bring in Cash such as Cash from operating activities, investment activities and financing activities. In brief, a Cash flow statement shows the Cash receipts and payments during the period.
The balance sheet discloses the financial position of the business on a particular date. It is merely a statement of the assets and liabilities. It depicts the effect of various transactions in a particular period and show the resources position after transactions in a period. The balance sheet at the end of the period is generally quite different from the balance sheet at the beginning of the year. But how the changes have come about is not reflected in the balance sheet.
The Analysis method, which discloses these changes, is called ‘Funds Flow Statement'. In short, funds flow statement is a statement, which is prepared to disclose the changes in financial data of balance sheets of two periods. The statement is a report on major financial operations, i.e., changes, flows or movements during the period. It is known by other names also: 'Statement of Sources and Application of Funds, Statement of Changes in Financial Position’.
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