What is Pro Forma Cash Flow Statement?
Pro Forma Cash Flow Statement is a popular accounting practice that reports a voluntary statement prepared by a firm for presenting financial projections. It can be defined as the probable amount of cash inflows and outflows expected in future periods for a specific duration of time.
- Pro-forma Cash Flow Statement can be developed as part of the annual budgeting or forecasting process, or it may be created as part of a specific request for cash flow information, as required by prospective investors or company management for future decision making.
- It also plays an important role in new business, startups or SMEs in the planning stage as they provide a possible representation of the future running a business. This can help credit lenders in identifying and provide financing to such business which might not be operational today but in future might be the next growth story.
- Pro forma cash flow statement must be based upon objective and reliable information to create an accurate projection of financial needs and status that can help convince the investors.
Example of Pro Forma Cash Flow Statement
For example, consider the following financial numbers of a hypothetical firm
As per the given scenario, estimated earnings after tax on sales should be 23.31% which is an average of the last five years. This is an ideal representation of estimates as per pro forma cash flow statement.
Similarly, depreciation on sales can be estimated at 4.49% and net-working capital on sales 7.08% as per previous year trends. Based on these estimations following Pro forma cash flow statement can be prepared for analysis of the year 2018
Based on these figures, the firm can ascertain the cash flow available with it at the end of the current financial year.
Types of Pro Forma Cash Flow Statement
Pro forma Cash flow statements can be prepared for a short term, medium term and long term based on the requirement from the management
#1 – Short term
Short term statements are the type of statements which are prepared on monthly, weekly or daily basis. These are used to take short-term decisions like budgeting for an expense, planning for temporary cash deficits, etc. These types of statements are normally used to take day to day operating decisions.
#2 – Medium-term
Medium-term statements are the type of statements that are prepared for a period not exceeding a year. These statements are used to make decisions for the financial year under consideration like estimation of revenues, profits, etc. These types of statements are used to satisfy medium-term objectives.
#3 – Long-term
Long-term statements are the type of statements that are prepared for durations exceeding a year. These are used for taking long-term investing and strategic decisions by management and investors. A decision of capital funding, the establishment of new ventures, etc. are based on long-term pro forma cash flow statements.
Advantages of Pro Forma Cash Flow Statement
Following are some important advantages of pro forma cash flow statement
#1 – Business planning
Pro forma cash flow statements help in business planning and control. These statements help management in comparing their business strategies and alternative business plans. Analyzing projected numbers help in deciding what serves the company best as It is useful in estimation of cash shortages in near future.
- It is helpful in planning for reduction of avoidable expenditure.
- Taking future investment decisions in cases of excess cash availability.
- It is useful in planning a firm’s operations and in anticipating companies financial position.
- Identifying inorganic growth prospects and their impacts like mergers, acquisitions or joint venture.
#2 – Financial Modeling
Pro forma cash flow statements are helpful in performing mathematical calculations and create financial models. The what if scenarios thus created help in:
- Testing different assumptions that can provide different scenarios of sales and production costs.
- Quantifying the future business plans and impact on future valuations.
- Studying the impact of variables in prices of labor, materials and overhead costs.
Limitations of Pro Forma Cash Flow Statement
Following are some limitations of this mechanism.
- It may not target the effects of external market forces. Since these statements are based on estimations, it may not capture external forces affecting the financials of the company. There are various such external factors that effects organization like changes in tax rate structure, changes in raw material prices dues to market conditions, inflation, recession, interest rate changes, technological changes, etc. These aspects largely influence the financials of the company.
- Sometimes, it may present misleading results due to incorrect estimations. Since pro forma cash flow statement is based on past performance estimation of the company, it may not provide a perfect future picture thus resulting in estimations which might be incorrect. In such kind of situations, pro forma cash flow can give misleading and unreliable results.
Pro forma cash flow statement is an integral part of financial planning and forecasting. Management used them to quantify their strategic initiatives irrespective of the size of the firm or any of its subsidiary. While a pro forma offers no guarantee, when done right it demonstrates that management has done its homework with accurate assumptions based on industry standards. Since pro forma cash flow statements are estimates, they are flexible, and adjustments are done as and when required. It cannot be ascertained whether the suggestions are made by investors or other ideas that adjust costs, thus representing a dynamic nature.
This has been a guide to what is Proforma Cash Flow Statement. Here we discuss examples of pro forma cash flow statements, its types, advantages, and limitations. You may learn more about cash flows from the following articles –