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Cash Flow For Dummies


Grasp cash flow management and make your business more appealing on the market

Are you a small business owner, accountant, or entrepreneur responsible for cash management? This hands-on, friendly guide is your plain-English manual to cash flow basics. You'll get valuable tips, techniques, and information on the fundamentals of cash management to maximize cash flow and understand how it affects the quality of your company's earnings.

  • Cash flow 101— get a clear overview of cash flow basics and how it all fits into the bigger picture of running a business

  • Make a statement — find out how to read balance sheets and income statements from a cash flow perspective

  • Get down to the nitty gritty — understand how to judge a company's liquidity, secure external capital to start and maintain a company, and avoid cash shortfalls

  • Management frame of mind — discover how business owners and managers need to manage cash flow to prevent leakages, theft, and fraud; how to manage disbursement cycles to improve cash flow; and how to manage the selling cycle to improve cash flows

Open the book and find:

  • A refresher on fundamental accounting topics

  • How to identify basic types of cash activities

  • The scoop on the big three financial statements

  • Ways to analyze cash flow

  • Liquidity vs. available cash

  • Everything you need to know about planning and projections

  • Real-world examples that help drive home critical concepts

  • Keys to managing cash flows in a small business

Learn to:

  • Grasp the basic principles of cash flow management

  • Secure business with positive and consistent cash flow

  • Bring financial security to your company

  • Distinguish profit and cash flow from profit

Tage C. Tracy is principal owner of TMK & Associates, an accounting, financial, and strategic business planning consulting firm.

John A. Tracy is Professor of Accounting at the University of Colorado in Boulder and the author of Accounting For Dummies.

Introduction 1

Part I: Fitting Cash Flow into the Big Picture of Running a Business 7

Chapter 1: Getting in Sync with the Rhythm of Cash 9

Chapter 2: Why Accrual Accounting Is Essential 23

Chapter 3: The Big Three Financial Statements 37

Chapter 4: Getting a Grip on the Statement of Cash Flows 59

Part II: Using Financial Statements to Assess Cash Health 81

Chapter 5: Mining the Balance Sheet for Cash 83

Chapter 6: Digging Deeper into Cash Flow 113

Chapter 7: Understanding Liquidity versus Available Cash 131

Part III: Getting Intimate with Your Company's Cash Flow Needs 157

Chapter 8: Creating a Business Plan to Secure Cash 159

Chapter 9: Building Best-in-Class Projection Models to Manage Cash 173

Chapter 10: Identifying and Securing External Sources of Capital 193

Chapter 11: Knowing When to Use Debt to Finance Your Business 213

Part IV: Managing Your Business with Cash Flow in Mind 239

Chapter 12: Covering the Basics of Cash and Cash Activity 241

Chapter 13: Preventing Cash Losses from Embezzlement and Fraud 267

Chapter 14: Managing the Selling Cycle to Improve Cash Flows 281

Chapter 15: Managing the Disbursement Cycle to Improve Cash Flows 311

Part V: The Part of Tens 331

Chapter 16: Ten Keys to Managing Cash Flows in a Small Business 333

Chapter 17: Ten Tales of Cash-Flow Woes 341

Index 351