Preparing the Statement: Indirect Method

The discussion on the indirect method of preparing the statement of cash flows refers to the line items in the following statement and the information previously given about the Brothers' Quintet, Inc.

Operating activities

Although the total cash provided by operating activities amount is the same whether the direct or indirect method of preparing the statement of cash flows is used, the information is provided in a different format.

The indirect method assumes everything recorded as a revenue was a cash receipt and everything recorded as an expense was a cash payment. Remember that under the accrual basis of accounting, revenues and expenses are recorded following the revenue recognition and matching principles which do not require cash receipts to record revenues or cash payments to record expenses. The operating activities section starts with net income per the income statement and adjusts it to remove the significant non‐cash items.

Significant non‐cash items on the income statement include depreciation and amortization expense and gains and losses from the sales of assets or retirement of debt. As depreciation expense and amortization expense are deducted in calculating net income (expenses are subtracted from revenues to determine net income), and depreciation and amortization expense do not result in cash payments by the company, depreciation expense and amortization expense are added back to net income.

Given the financial statements and information for the Brothers' Quintet, Inc., net income is $6,300. Net income first needs to be adjusted by significant non‐cash items from the income statement: depreciation expense and the loss on the sale of the equipment.

Next, net income is adjusted for the changes in most current asset, current liability, and income tax accounts on the balance sheet. The accounts receivable balance decreased $663 from $19,230 to $18,567. As cash is increased when cash is collected from customers, a decrease in the accounts receivable balance represents an increase in cash. Therefore, the $663 is added back to net income. If the accounts receivable balance increases, the amount of the increase is subtracted from net income, the opposite of what happens when the balance decreases. The inventory balance increased $107. As inventory is purchased, cash is assumed to be paid, so the $107 increase in the inventory balance is subtracted from net income (a decrease in the inventory balance would be added to net income). Similarly, the $142 increase in the prepaid expenses balance is also deducted from net income. The accounts payable balance decreased $919. When cash is paid to a supplier for purchases previously made on account, cash decreases. Thus, a decrease in the accounts payable balance represents a decrease in cash and the $919 decrease is subtracted from net income.

An increase in the accounts payable, or any current liability account balance is added to net income. The wages payable balance increased because a larger accrual was made to represent wages owed at the end of 20X1 than 20X0. Accrued wages are owed but not paid at the end of the month. An increase in a current liability account balance means cash has not been paid and therefore, the $320 increase in the wages payable balance is added to net income. The decrease in the accrued expenses balance of $1,295 is subtracted from net income. Once all of the changes in the current asset, current liability, and income tax accounts have been listed, the total cash provided by (used by) operating activities is determined by totaling all of the activity. Notice the amounts of any decreases are in parentheses.


Investing activities and financing activities

The investing and financing sections of the statement of cash flows are prepared in the same way for the indirect method as for the direct method.