Why you need a cash flow statement


A cash flow statement tracks all the money flowing in and out of your business. You can use your cash flow statement to:

  • find payment cycles and seasonal trends
  • forecast your future business finances
  • help predict shortages and surpluses
  • plan ahead to make sure you always have money to cover payments.

Cash flow forecasting

A cash flow forecast is an estimate of your future sales and expenses. It is a useful tool to help you understand if you will have enough income to cover your expenses. This will help you prevent cash shortages and avoid debt.

You can use the cash flow statement template to create a cash flow forecast by entering your estimated figures for each future period.

Create your cash flow statement

Download our template to create your current or forecasted cash flow statement.

Completing your cash flow statement


For each year, you'll need to fill in actual or estimated figures against each of the below items. If you use estimated costs, you’ll need to label and justify them clearly.

You'll also need to clearly state on your cash flow statement whether your figures are GST inclusive or exclusive.

Opening balance

In the first month this will be your opening bank balance. In subsequent months it will be the closing balance from the previous month.

Cash incoming

Cash incoming is money that is flowing into the business. If you are forecasting estimated figures, consider what forms of income your business may have and when. You can anticipate cash incoming by looking at previous years, identifying seasonal trends and accounting for regular sources of income. Cash incoming can include:

  • sales
  • debtor receipts
  • grants
  • tax rebates.

Total incoming

Calculate the total incoming by adding all cash incoming items.

Cash outgoing

Cash outgoing is any payments that your company makes. If you are forecasting estimated figures, consider what expenses will be required to operate your business and when they need to be paid. You can anticipate cash outgoing by looking at previous years, identifying seasonal trends and accounting for your major expenses. Cash outgoing can include:

  • accountant fees
  • advertising and marketing
  • purchases
  • rent and rates
  • utilities.

Total outgoing

Calculate the total outgoing by adding all cash outgoing items.

Monthly cash balance

Calculate the monthly cash balance by subtracting the total outgoing cash from the total incoming cash.

Closing balance

Calculate the closing balance by adding the opening balance and total incoming, then minus total outgoing.

Read next

Find financial terms in our glossary.

Check our information on how to organise your finances.