What is the Cash Flow Plan?
Cash flow plans are those plans where an insurance company assess its incomes and expenses for maintaining their cash flows and also to keep their cash flows above their expenses. It also refers to a plan of an individual to ensure cash liquidity in such a way that they manage theirs expenses as well as maintain a minimum balance.
How Does it Work?
A cash flow plan works on the availability of cash funds with the individual or companies. It is in general terms the planning for effective use of Cash/funds to the benefit of the business and individual by utilizing those funds to their best use. These plans help financially to both policyholders and the insurance companies in many ways as the policyholder would be able to utilize its cash available in many other alternatives along with investing and the insurance companies can use the premium amount paid by the policyholder for their regular operating expenses of the business. A company, as well as policyholders, needs to maintain its cash flow and plan according to the cash available for its expenses and spendings.
There are 3 major activities involved in this plan which both the company as well as the individual need to concentrate on which are 1. Cash Flow from Operating activities; 2. Cash Flow from Investing Activities; and 3. Cash Flow from Financing Activities. Planning of all the above three is equally important information. Cash flow only works positively when there is proper planning for the utilization of the funds available and funds to be raised and investments to be made.
Examples of a Cash Flow Plan
Let’s have a real plan to discuss which is the Reliance Cash flow plan. It is a money-back plan from the Reliance Life Insurance Company. Under this, the survivor would receive returns on his premiums at a pre-accepted percentage at the end of every 3rd year from the year the policy came into effect and till the maturity of the policy. However, if the life insurer dies, within the policy tenure, then the nominee would receive the sum insured in full along with the regular bonus calculated on the sum insured and the policy terminates.
The above discussed is one policy of Reliance Life Insurance Company. It not only helps the policyholder but also helps the Insurance Companies. The policyholder through this policy will be able to regulate its cash flow as through this plan, the policyholder will be able to get regular cash flows from its policy at regular interval and can use those as per his needs, also the company from the regular premium will be able to cover its operating expenses and manage the available income cash flows in other investing opportunities.
Cash Flow Plans Guidelines
There are hard and fast guidelines but there are some standard guidelines, which when followed will help to get the best outcomes of a cash flow plan.
While planning for cash flows their needs to be a clear knowledge of the funds to be utilized. There should be a proper understanding of the expenses to be incurred in the business and there should also be knowledge of future investment opportunities which the business would require to grow in. There are these 3 activities which business and individual should be aware of which are Operating Activities, Investing Activities, and Financing Activities.
Cash Flow Plans are important for everyone to keep a check on their Cash outflows on various expenses and to keep a track of the cash inflows in the form of incomes generated during a period. Also, there is high importance to plan for the future cash outflows and inflows, such any future investment-related decision to be depended upon the funds available and in there is an opportunity but funds are not available then from where to borrow funds or raise funds, their cost and every other thing involving cash transactions.
Cash Flow Plans vs Budgets
Plans and Budgets are two different things. The plan involves tracking of the progress on monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual basis, whereas the budgets involve records of the income and expenses on the same parameter on monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annually. Budgets are made according to the plan, therefore plans are a wider term then budgets. Both plans and budgets can be of short or long term but the budgets will be prepared to keep in mind the plans of the business.
There are many benefits which are listed below:
- It helps to keep a track of Business Expenses.
- It helps to keep a track of both Cash Inflows and Outflows.
- It helps to utilize the cash/funds in an optimum manner.
- They are beneficial for both the companies and the customers as both obtain benefits from this planning.
Even though there are many benefits, there are many limitations also which are explained below:
- It only provides information related to cash inflow and outflow.
- It does not give a clear picture of the financial position of the business.
- There are not substitutes for Business plans.
- There can only be the estimation of Cash requirements in this type of planning.
Cash flows plans are the plans prepared for the utilization of the available cash to the best available manner for both the companies and the customers. Through these plans, the planner can identify both their incomes as well as expenses i.e. both inflows and outflows of cash and implement the changes accordingly.
This has been a guide to what is Cash Flow Plans. Here we discuss an example, guidelines and how does cash flow plan works along with benefits and limitations. You can learn more about financing from the following articles –