What Are Pro Forma Cash Flow Statements?

The Pro Forma Cash Flow Statement for Entrepreneurs

Types of pro forma cash flow strategies

There are several ways for businesses to create pro forma cash flow statements. These methods correspond to varying time frames. These strategies are:

What is a pro forma cash flow statement?

One kind of cash flow statement is known as a pro forma cash flow statement. Businesses project the cash inflow and outflow anticipated in the future over predetermined periods when creating this statement. Instead of projecting future cash flows, a typical cash flow statement tracks current cash inflows and outflows. Additionally, businesses can produce pro forma income and balance statements, and a pro forma cash flow statement aids in their validation. For example, it may project insufficient cash flow. This finding alerts management to the possibility that the company may not have sufficient funds to support the plans related to the other two statements.

Making pro forma financial statements is similar to making regular financial statements, with some adjustments needed for projections. Examining cash flow from operating, financing, and investment activities is done using a cash flow statement. Negative cash flow projections show that a company won’t have enough cash on hand to cover operating costs and may need to look for opportunities to borrow money or cut costs. A positive cash flow indicates additional funds that can be used to cover operations, obligations, or potential investment opportunities.

Benefits of pro forma cash flow statements

Businesses can benefit from pro forma cash flow statements in a number of ways. Some of these benefits include:

Supports financial modeling

Pro forma cash flow statements can be used by a company to carry out financial modeling tasks. This process compiles a company’s costs and profits, frequently to evaluate the effects of upcoming actions or events. Making cash flow projections allows the company to contrast a variety of what-if scenarios.

These scenarios, for instance, might evaluate various aspects of sales, production, overhead costs, or other costs. Companies can assess the effects of those variable costs on the business by performing these calculations. Financial modeling and pro forma cash statements can be used by businesses to quantify business plans and determine potential future valuations. If the businesses have objectives, they can also develop models to see if the plans can achieve those objectives within a predetermined time frame.

Supports business planning

Pro forma financial statements, such as cash flow statements, can assist businesses with their planning processes. As already mentioned, they can contrast various future scenarios using these projections. By identifying which strategy or plan best meets the needs or goals of the company, this comparison can assist businesses in making future plans. This method can serve as a risk analysis technique. Before committing, a business can test a choice or change.

Making projections can assist businesses with other financial decisions, such as budgeting or investment decisions. For instance, if a business anticipates having extra cash, it might look for potential investment opportunities. Management can find ways to cut costs if the company notices a lack of cash. The business may create a number of budget options based on its projected cash flows using worst-case, typical, or best-case scenarios. By comparing the results to the projections, it may use these calculations to create an annual budget and gauge its performance over time.

Supports more accurate financial reporting

Companies that are publicly traded are required to follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) when disclosing their financial information. Companies occasionally experience one-time costs or charges that have a negative impact on their financial results. These companies are required by GAAP to disclose those experiences.

Pro forma financial statements, however, can be used by businesses to adjust for and exclude such one-time events. Such events can be eliminated to give a more precise and accurate picture of their past, present, and future performance. By carrying out this process, you can lessen the effect or impression that one-time events have on you.

Supports financing or investment opportunities

Projected cash flows can, as mentioned, assist businesses in determining whether they require additional funding to maintain operations. If so, the companies can use those projections to entice lenders or investors to provide financing. A business can show prospective lenders or investors how its financial performance and health would improve with their additional funding or investments by using an investment pro forma projection.

This procedure typically incorporates the company’s historical performance along with income and cash flow projections. When feasible, the business may develop a number of scenarios to offer a thorough financial forecast. If a company has a history of generating strong income and cash flows or has the potential to do so, lenders and investors will be more eager to provide funding. These businesses exhibit a higher propensity to be able to pay back borrowed or invested funds. To avoid deceiving potential investors or lenders, businesses should aim for more conservative projections.

Differences between pro forma statements and financial statements

The majority of businesses adhere to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) when creating various financial statements. Pro forma financial statements are different from GAAP financial statements in a number of ways. These differences include:

When to use pro forma cash flow

Pro forma cash statements can be used by businesses for financial modeling and business planning, as was previously mentioned. Because of this, companies frequently create these statements as part of their annual budgeting or forecasting procedures. The companies can use their forecasts to spot potential cash shortfalls and begin creating plans for navigating them. For instance, they might try to cut costs or look for lending or investment opportunities to meet their needs. Depending on how old a business is, projections may be made using industry averages, historical data, and results.

Pro forma financial statements may occasionally be requested by potential lenders or investors to evaluate a company’s financial performance. For new businesses and startups that require funding but do not yet have any historical results, this scenario may be especially pertinent. These businesses can estimate how much they anticipate to make and spend over a specific future period with the aid of the pro forma cash flow statement. Businesses must use trustworthy and impartial data to ensure accuracy and persuade potential lenders and investors of their worth.


What is a cash flow pro forma?

The estimated sum of cash inflows and outflows anticipated in one or more future periods is known as pro forma cash flow.

Is pro forma same as cash flow?

The goal of projected future cash flow, also known as pro forma cash flow or simply “cash flow,” is to forecast the inflow and outflow of cash for your company.

What is the purpose of a pro forma?

The process of presenting financial projections for a specific time period in a standardized format is known as “presenting pro forma,” a Latin phrase that means “as a matter of form.” Pro forma statements are used by businesses to make decisions regarding planning and control, as well as for external reporting to owners, investors, and creditors.

What are the 3 pro forma statements?

Pro forma income statements are the three most important pro forma statements. Pro forma balance sheets. Pro forma cash flow statements.

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