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Creative Cash Flow Reporting and Analysis: Uncovering Sustainable Financial Performance [Hardcover]

Charles W. Mulford , Eugene E. Comiskey

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Book Description

11 Feb 2005
Successful methodology for identifying earnings–related reporting indiscretions Creative Cash Flow Reporting and Analysis capitalizes on current concerns with misleading financial reporting on misleading financial reporting. It identifies the common steps used to yield misleading cash flow amounts, demonstrates how to adjust the cash flow statement for more effective analysis, and how to use adjusted operating cash flow to uncover earnings that have been misreported using aggressive or fraudulent accounting practices. Charles W. Mulford, PhD, CPA (Atlanta, GA), is the coauthor of three books, including the bestselling The Financial Numbers Game: Identifying Creative Accounting Practices. Eugene E. Comiskey, PhD, CPA, CMA (Atlanta, GA), is the coauthor of the bestselling The Financial Numbers Game: Identifying Creative Accounting Practices.

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"This book is a must–have reference for anyone interested in serious financial statement analysis and uncovering manipulations to earnings from creative reporting of cash flows." ( Graziado Business ; Issue 4, Vol 10, 2007)

From the Inside Flap

Contrary to popular opinion, managers have a degree of discretion in reporting operating cash flow. In this era, when the trustworthiness of reported earnings is in question, a reliance on as–reported operating cash flow is not the convenient substitute measure of financial performance that it might appear to be. Creative Cash Flow Reporting: Uncovering Sustainable Financial Performance identifies how the routine application of either current accounting standards or other measures employed by some companies can yield misleading operating cash flow statements in financial analysis. When adjusted using the methods described in this clear guide, operating cash flow is a more effective tool for uncovering reported earnings that have been increased through questionable means. Premature or fictitious revenue will result in growing receivables but not cash. Also, steps taken to misstate inventory might boost gross profit and net income but will not reflect cash flow. The same is true about aggressive cost capitalization and other creative accounting acts. Creative Cash Flow Reporting demonstrates how to use adjusted operating cash flow to uncover earnings that have been misreported by even the most aggressive and fraudulent accounting practices. Real–world practice is demonstrated through the results of a study designed to adjust the cash flow statements of the S&P 100 for the years 2000, 2001, and 2002. Many companies included in this sample had significant differences between reported and adjusted operating cash flow. The book is illustrated using hundreds of actual and recent company financial reports and applies recommendations to a large sample of actual companies. Creative Cash Flow Reporting: Uncovering Sustainable Financial Performance is a must–have reference for serious readers of financial statements, including equity analysts and investors, credit professionals, serious individual investors, professional money managers, and anyone interested in uncovering true sustainable financial performance.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mulford's methodology shows why Cash is King 15 Aug 2005
By Mark - Published on
Over several years of using and preparing the GAAP-based cash flow statement in analysis, I have found it isn't that useful in enabling me to drill down to understand where a company's real operating cash flow comes from. Mulford's methodology does an excellent job focusing on interim period cash flow information to enable the reader to better spot positive and negative trends in an operating company's performance. I found Creative Cash Flow Reporting to be a most useful treatise on what's wrong with the cash flow statement and how to work around its problems. The section on analysis, the cash flow drivers, and the growth cash-flow profile were particularly helpful.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking book 17 Mar 2006
By Brian C. Watt - Published on
Mulford and Comiskey have delivered a tour de force for the financial and accounting community in this book. Whether you are a financial analyst, corporate accountant, auditor or an executive with a small or large firm, you absolutely will benefit from this book. It is one of the most important books of the last 20 years, and in my opinion, it is the finest book ever written on the concepts and methods of deciphering Operating Cash Flow, it's relationship to earnings, calibrating and measuring free cash flow, as well as the mechanics and drivers (and sometimes deliberate manipulation by unscrupulous management) within the business system that can lead to distortions in the Cash Flow statement.

What about earnings supported by artificial means? What are the core drivers of cash flows? What should our view be, vis a vis the Operating Cash flows, regarding non recurring charges and depreciation? Are capital expenditures really as cut and dry as we like to think they are, under GAAP? How does it impact our cash flows, in the real world? How is it sometimes manipulated, to distort the underlying cash flow realities?

If you are a financial or accounting professional, read this book. Read it twice. Read it three times. An absolutely extraordinary book. Well written, insightfull, never boring, always intriguing with unique content. The authors have such an extraordinary grasp of accounting and financial flows, and bring such groundbreaking concepts and ideas to the field, that you won't put this book down, and there are not many accounting or finance books we can say that about !! "Creative Cash Flow" by Mulford and Comiskey is absolutely a virtuoso performance. Amongst, and compared to, the entire literature that exists in the field of accounting and financial analysis, this book is an extraordinary achievement.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book on the subject. 3 Sep 2005
By JLMK - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Messers Mulford and Comiskey have released a primer on what has lately become a messy subject. Unlike other books with a focus on cash--Hackel's book, for example--this one delves a little bit deeper into the subject of financial misreporting. The reader is given a synopsis of how companies say that their cash is operating, whereas it ought to be put under financing or investing cash flow. There is a multitude of similarly constructed arguments. The examples are lucid, apropos, and contemporary. The book also has a deterministic model for calculating CFFO. Read it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Examples, Examples, Examples 31 Aug 2009
By G. Lee Willinger - Published on
As a Professor of Accounting I am always on the lookout for examples of topics taught in my classes. Most of my students believe that cash flows cannot be manipulated and are skeptical when I tell them that cash flows are subject to interpretation just like accrual based accounting information. To punctuate that point I have my students read parts of this book and lead a discussion of the examples in the book. The students are truly amazed at the breadth of examples in the book and it seems to sink in that cash flows can be interpreted. I have read the entire book and find it well written and insightful regarding cash flows and their disclosures. I believe the book to be of great value for academics, financial professionals, analysts and cash flow enthusiasts.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on understanding sustainable cash flow 11 Nov 2007
By DJM - Published on
While most accounting books tell you the basic mechanics of cash flow (not to mention being extremely dry), and most finance/investing books basically stop at `earnings can be manipulated wildly, cash is king, and thus free cash flow is paramount', this is the best book I have read that is focused on how cash flow can be manipulated/misclassified and how to think about sustainable cash flow from operations. For example, learn how an acquisition of a company can boost operating cash flow (CFO) by more than the CFO of the acquired company. Or how messing around with vendor financing can increase reported CFO. Representative chapter titles include: "Is It Operating or Investing Cash Flow", "Is It Operating or Financing Cash Flow?", "Nonrecurring Sources and Uses of Operating Cash Flow", "Measuring Sustainable Operating Cash Flow".

In summary, this is a well-written book with great examples of how cash flow can and has been manipulated by companies. I highly recommend this book for advanced and professional investors who focus on fundamental analysis, and anyone else who is interested in improving their ability to analyze cash flow.
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