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Are You Using the Right Cash Flow Report?

A cash flow report can help uncover your corporation’s ability to meet financial obligations, determine its short- and long-term liquidity, and calculate how valuable it will be to investors.

Considering that cash flow statements serve so many varied purposes, we have to ask… Why are you still using a “one size fits all” cash flow report for your corporation?

Best practices suggest that companies use different cash flow reports for different purposes. Here is how you can tell if you are using the right cash flow report for the right purpose at your organization.

Purpose: Monthly Cash Flow Reporting

Undoubtedly, your monthly finance meeting already uses a monthly cash flow report. These reports provide parameter-limited data that shows the current month’s cash flow, with options for variances, consolidation, or trends reporting.

Different views of your company’s monthly cash flow reporting can provide deeper insight and can lead to different strategies. This is why corporations often use multiple forms of the standard cash flow report template.

Here are a few cash flow report examples:

  • Monthly Cash Flow Statement with Current and Prior Month Figures

  • Rolling 13-Month Cash Flow Report

  • Cash Flow Variance Report with KPI Analysis

  • Consolidating Cash Flow Statement

A monthly cash flow report is great for monitoring your company’s cash position month-to-month, but it is not the best tool for looking at how your company might perform in the future. For that, you will want to use cash flow forecasting.

Purpose: Future Cash Flow Forecasting

Your organization may already extrapolate data from your monthly cash flow report, Profit & Loss report, and balance sheet to predict your future cash position, but manually compiling all the data to create an accurate forecast is a time consuming, error-prone process.

Instead, corporations can use underlying computer logic for cash flow forecasting to automate predictions for future Payables and Receivables (generated by historical trends) and can use that data to gain more accurate insight into their cash position throughout the entirety of the year.

Here are a few cash flow report samples:

  • Cash Flow Budget Report

  • Monthly Cash Flow Forecast Model

An accurate and comprehensive cash flow forecast report is the perfect tool to use when your corporation wants to get a detailed look at future performance in advance. It is not the best tool when you want an at-a-glance, big-picture view of future performance. In those situations, you would want to turn to a graphical dashboard for analytics.

Purpose: At-a-Glance Cash Flow Analysis

2020 was the year that every organization across the globe realized they needed to have a fast, agile way to calculate a range of constantly shifting “what if” cash flow scenarios on the fly. At-a-glance cash flow analysis tools provide that calculation, quickly and easily.

Here are a few examples:

  • Cash Flow Simulation Dashboard – interactive, try it out (select page 6)!

  • Graphical Cash Flow Analysis Tool and Dashboard Report

With dynamic graphical layouts or interactive dashboards driven by popular ERP-integrated dashboard solutions such as Microsoft Power BI for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance, leaders at your organization can instantly view the impact of their potential decisions, so they can make key decisions with more confidence.

Though many dashboards include a drill down component, at-a-glance analysis tools are not the right type of cash flow report for viewing the details of monthly cash flow variances or other monthly monitoring reports. For that task, you would want to turn to a monthly cash flow reporting template.

Access a Range of Cash Flow Reporting Methods to Meet Your Needs

Though cash flow statements are not considered as important as the income statement or balance sheet for your company, they are still a critical part of your full financial planning. After all, a cash flow report provides key financial stability information to business leaders and investors.

If you are looking to gain more insight into your cash flow for your corporation, it is a smart idea to create a wide range of cash flow reports that are tailored to different business purposes and objectives. You can save time with your templates by selecting Solver, the market-leading Corporate Performance Management / budgeting and planning software solution that gives you access to a vast range of templates to cover all your cash flow report activities and more.


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