Statement of Cash Flows
IAS 7.10 requires an entity to analyse its cash inflows and outflows into three categories:
- Investing; and
IAS 7.6 defines these as follows:
‘Operating activities are the principal revenue producing activities of the entity and other activities that are not investing or financing activities.’
‘Investing activities are the acquisition and disposal of long-term assets and other investments not included in cash equivalents.’
‘Financing activities are activities that result in changes in the size and composition of the contributed equity and borrowings of the entity.’
1. Operating activities
It is often assumed that this category includes only those cash flows that arise from an entity’s principal revenue producing activities.
However, because cash flows arising from operating activities represents a residual category, which includes any cash flows that do not qualify to be recorded within either investing or financing activities, these can include cash flows that may initially not appear to be ‘operating’ in nature.
For example, the acquisition of land would typically be viewed as an investing activity, as land is a long-term asset. However, this classification is dependent on the nature of the entity’s operations and business practices. For example, an entity that acquires land regularly to develop residential housing to be sold would classify land acquisitions as an operating activity, as such cash flows relate to its principal revenue producing activities and therefore meet the definition of an operating cash flow.
2. Investing activities
An entity’s investing activities typically include the purchase and disposal of its intangible assets, property, plant and equipment, and interests in other entities that are not held for trading purposes. However, in an entity’s consolidated financial statements, cash flows from investing activities do not include those arising from changes in ownership interest of subsidiaries that do not result in a change in control, which are classified as arising from financing activities.
It should be noted that cash flows related to the sale of leased assets (when the entity is the lessor) may be classified as operating or investing activities depending on the specific facts and circumstances.