What is a cash flow statement?

Cash flow statement (definition)

A cash flow statement is a financial report that shows where your money is coming from and where it’s going. It’s also known as a ‘statement of cash flows’ or a ‘CFS’.

At first glance, a cash flow statement looks similar to an income statement. But cash is different to income – cash only includes spendable money. Income includes fixed term assets, long term assets and sales made on credit.

Cash flow statements show whether you’re able to cover short term expenses like bills and employee wages. It is also useful for investors, as it shows how well your business can bring in money.

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Disclaimer: This glossary is for small business owners. The definitions are written with their requirements in mind. More detailed definitions can be found in accounting textbooks or from an accounting professional. Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice.