The inflow and outflow of cash
into and out of a business reflects the health of that operation. That’s why it’s important as a small business owner to be able to read and understand a fundamental financial document called a cash flow statement
, or statement of cash flows. This instrument is used to track the flow of working capital into and out of a business during a given accounting period. While the income statement and balance sheet are helpful for understanding the financial standing of your small business, they do not take into account the complexity of cash flow over time. It’s also important to note here that cash flow analysis can result in actionable intelligence that can allow you to make large or small adjustments to day-to-day operations to improve efficiencies or help you better decide when it’s time to bring in investors to help you grow. Cash flow analysis is critical for small businesses and should be evaluated at least quarterly, if not more often.