The statement of cash flows - the three views of business cash

Operating activities

Operating activities are defined as the principal revenue-producing activities of the entity. The amount of cash flows arising from operating activities is a key indicator of the extent to which the operations of the entity have generated sufficient cash flows to repay loans, maintain the operating capability of the entity, pay dividends and make new investments without recourse to external sources of financing. Information about the specific components of historical operating cash flows is useful, in conjunction with other information, in forecasting future operating cash flows.

Investing activities

Investing activities are defined as the acquisition and disposal of long-term assets. The separate disclosure of cash flows arising from investing activities is important because the cash flows represent the extent to which expenditures have been made for resources intended to generate future income and cash flows. Only expenditures that result in a recognized asset in the statement of financial position are eligible for classification as investing activities.

However, some transactions, such as the sale of an item of plant, may give rise to a gain or loss that is included in recognized profit or loss. The cash flows relating to such transactions are cash flows from investing activities.

Financing activities

Financing activities are defined as activities that result in changes in the size and composition of the contributed equity and borrowings of the entity. The separate disclosure of cash flows arising from financing activities is important because it is useful in predicting claims on future cash flows by providers of capital to the entity.

Examples of cash flows arising from financing activities are:

(a) cash proceeds from issuing shares or other equity instruments;

(b) cash payments to owners to acquire or redeem the entity's shares;

(c) cash proceeds from issuing debentures, loans, notes, bonds, mortgages and other short-term or long-term borrowings;

(d) cash repayments of amounts borrowed; and

(e) cash payments by a lessee for the reduction of the outstanding liability relating to a finance lease.

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