The statement of cash flows classifies cash receipts and cash payments as operating, investing, and financing activities. Transactions and other events characteristic of each kind of activity are as follows.
- Operating activities include the cash effects of transactions that create revenues and expenses. They thus enter into the determination of net income.
- Investing activities include (a) acquiring and disposing of investments and property, plant, and equipment, and (b) lending money and collecting the loans.
- Financing activities include (a) obtaining cash from issuing debt and repaying the amounts borrowed, and (b) obtaining cash from stockholders, repurchasing shares, and paying dividends.
The operating activities category is the most important. It shows the cash provided by company operations. This source of cash is generally considered to be the best measure of a company’s ability to generate sufficient cash to continue as a going concern.