# Operating Cash Flow (Method to Calculate)

Operating cash flow is the flow of cash that is provided by operations. It can also be referred to as free cash flow from operations. Two methods are used to calculate operating CashFlow: the direct method and the indirect method. To calculate operational cash flow, you should understand the differences between the two methods. Once you know the differences, you can calculate operational cash flow accurately. Now you are at the right place where you will learn about all these terms and conditions.

## Introduction Of Operating Cash Flow

Operating cash flow (OCF) is the cash a business generates minus its capital and interest payments. A company’s operating CashFlow is net income or profit. When you think of an operating company, your mind will probably conjure up an image of a large, profitable company that can afford to pay generous dividends to shareholders. However, this is not always the case. Some companies are small and cannot generate enough cash to cover costs.

## How To Calculate Operating Cash Flow to Check Growth

A healthy cash flow is essential for a company’s growth and overall operations. Potential investors and bank officers will want to see how much cash the business generates from operations. Calculating operating CashFlow is a simple measure of the cash available to fund operations. The first step is to determine your net revenue and operating costs. Then compare them. If the revenue and expenses are equal, you’ll have a good idea of whether you have enough cash to cover your obligations.

You can calculate operating cash flow using several methods. One of the most basic is by SUBTRACTING TOTAL OPERATING expenses from gross revenue. However, more detailed calculations are necessary to make effective business decisions. It’s important to remember that operational cash flow differs from net income or profit. Some businesses may report net profits while being cash flow negative.

### ·        Use Income Statement to Find the Operate Cash Flow

Here is another method of calculating operational cash flow is to use the INCOME STATEMENT. You can subtract any depreciation expense from the income statement and use the remaining income as the operating cash flow. This calculation will give you an accurate picture of the cash flow generated by the business.

The drawback to OCF is that it is not a good measure of the efficiency of a business. A company that makes lower capital investments will have lower cash flow. The opposite is true for companies that invest more capital. Calculating operational cash flow is a much better tool for planning and obligation meetings than assessing a company’s liquidity.

## Difference Between OperatingCash Flow & Free Cash Flow

Consider the following difference between effective cash flow and free cash flow, and you will get this point by understanding the written points.

### ·        Operating Cash Flow

Operating CashFlow shows how much cash the company generates, which is useful for the executive team to improve processes and identify trends. Free cash flow helps investors evaluate the business’s capacity to repay its creditors, buy back stock and pay dividends. Understanding the difference between the two metrics is important because they can tell a company’s financial health from a different perspective.

### ·        Free Cash Flow

Free cash flow measures the company’s ability to invest in operations without incurring debt. It differs from operating CashFlow in several ways and It measures to cash in the business from operations and subtracts changes in working capital and taxes. It is also different from net income because it considers purchases of capital goods.

The method of free cash flow is the metric used to measure free cash flow and is a much more complicated metric than operating cash flow. It does not include the cost of fixed assets, such as real estate, and instead measures the cash generated from normal operations minus the cost of long-term fixed assets.

Free cash flow refers to the amount of cash available to a company after paying off debt, depreciation, and other expenses. It is the portion of cash available to all funding holders after depreciation. It is an important indicator of the financial health of a business. Understanding the difference between free and operating CashFlow is important.

## Direct Vs. Indirect Method: To Calculate OperatingCash Flow for Business Growth

In the direct method of calculating operating cash flow, you use the operations section of the cash flow statement to account for cash inflows and outflows. First, you add up all cash receipts and outgoing cash. Next, you calculate the net cash flow, the difference between the beginning and ending cash values. In some cases, a positive cash flow may indicate that the business is doing well, while a negative cash flow may suggest that it is spending too much.

The direct method is generally less accurate but requires less preparation time. In addition, the direct method only uses cash transactions and does not involve the adjustments required for the indirect method. Indirect cash flow calculations require more preparation time and are less accurate. However, you can benefit from this method if you want to estimate your operating cash flow accurately.

The difference between the indirect and direct methods is in how you present the cash flow from operational activities. In the direct method, the CashFlow from operating activities is presented on a cash basis, whereas the indirect method starts with net income on an accrued basis. While both methods are useful, the indirect method is more complex.

## Final Words

The OCF is the most important financial metric to determine whether or not you’re making money on your business. If you’re unsure how to calculate your operational cash flow, here’s an easy formula: Total Sales – Total Cost = Net Operating Income (or OBI). You can then use this formula to figure out what your OBI is in any month and what your monthly average is.