Having cash available when you need it is crucial but you also have to know how and when the cash flows in and out of your business. You just don’t “know” these things. There are skills involved to measure, monitor, and manage cash.
Fundamental Analysts believe in the underlying financial strength of a company. The financial strength of a company can be found in its financial statements which contain the Income Statement, the Balance Sheet, and the cash flow examples. This style is also used to value invest – finding companies at bargain prices. It takes a lot of learning, but it is proven. This is the style chosen by the great ones such as Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, and Ben Graham.
This used to be more common: a business would do monthly payroll, and do a payroll advance mid-month. If your company does this, the advance does not show up on the profit and loss statement (again, on the balance sheet as a prepaid asset). So, be careful about when you are looking at statements. The profit will be high (and cash low) after the advance, but will correct itself when payroll is run.
DIRECT COSTS: Also called cost of goods sold, cost of sales or job site expenses. These are expenses that include labor costs and materials. These expenses can be directly tracked to a specific job. If the job didn’t happen, the direct costs wouldn’t have been incurred. (Compare direct cost with indirect costs to get a better understanding of the term.) Direct costs are found on the income Statement, right below the income accounts.
Become a price puritan. The only reason for price to exist and change is because of Supply and Demand. Where there are more buyers with reasons to buy than sellers with reasons to sell, price must rise. If there are more sellers with reasons to sell than buyers have reasons to buy, price must fall. If buyers and sellers have equal reasons or none to engage each other, price remains unchanged. Pure price trading techniques are true to this inescapable economic law.
DEBIT: A debit is used in Double-Entry accounting to increase an asset account. A debit will decrease a liability or an equity account. For every debit there is a credit.
You may not need to be an expert in Double-Entry accounting, but the person who is responsible for creating the financial statements better get pretty good at it. If that is you, go back through the book and focus on the ‘gray’ sheets. Study the examples and see how the Double-Entry method acts as a check and balance of your books.