How does a company survive? Albena Neyra | January 19, 2017 person in wilderness surviving by making a fire with wood for heating

It all boils down to: Can you pay your bills and salaries?

All depends on the being solvent and able to pay its bills in the short, medium and long term. The firm must always have sufficient cash to pay for its operating expenses. Thus the policy of the firm for minimum cash is to have enough cash in any given month to pay for next month expenses.

All stakeholders, whether shareholders, employees, creditors, and customers, are interested in knowing the solvency of the firm and its continuation as a running concern.

However, if at the same time there is no profit, the business will not be able to continue operating and will be closed down by the shareholders.

Profit does not mean cash flow.

Profit and cash flow are not the same things. Profit is the amount left after expenses are paid, including depreciation and adjustments for accruals, inventory, income earned and not received, etc.

Cash balances in the bank account are not “Profit” though. Profit is used to grow the business and provide an acceptable return on investment (ROI) to shareholders.

Cash flow shows the point when the business needs an injection of cash. Sometimes it happens to a profitable business to go bankrupt because of cash flow mismanagement. Vice versa, a business can have a perfect cash flow and still not be profitable due to expenses being higher than revenue during extended periods.

Are you a startup?

For start-ups good cash flow management is the most important activity for the business to survive even if not yet profitable in the short term, In the long-term the business must be profitable, so to have the resources to manage the cash flow and provide a ROI acceptable to shareholders and, most importantly justify its own existence.

If you don’t know how the main financial statements are related to anything, you can learn for free now, with us.

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We made the content even better and put it all in Module 1: The Foundation from our interactive online course Finance for Business Survival.

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