Difference Between Accounting Profit and Cash Flow (With Table)

All you need to know about cash flow and profit, as well as how they differ is given in this article. Cash flow and profit are significant financial variables in business, many people are confused about the difference between them. Cash flow is not the same as profit, and getting this incorrect can be the single cause of a company’s failure. Over 90% of firms fail due to a lack of cash flow rather than earnings. Many unprofitable firms continue to exist, but we cannot think of one that has run out of cash and is still operating.

Accounting Profit vs Cash Flow

The main difference between accounting profit and cash flow is that profit is the distinction between the amount of money you earned and the amount of money you spent, whereas cash flow is simply the flow of money, paper, bread, calendars, and other items in and out of your business.

Accounting profit, often known as a company’s net income or bottom line, is a term used to describe a company’s profit. It’s the profit after all costs and expenses have been deducted from total revenue or total sales, according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

The total sum of cash and cash equivalents flowing in and out of a corporation is referred to as cash flow. Inflows are money received, whereas outflows are money spent.

Comparison Table Between Accounting Profit and Cash Flow

Parameters of comparison.

Accounting profit
Cash flow
MeaningAfter eliminating the expense of running the business, the amount of money left over is called Accounting Profit. The circulation of cash in and out of a business is referred to as cash flow.
NatureThe standard way to depict a company’s financial situation.The true picture of the company’s financial situation.
SignificanceIt is not a trustworthy depiction because it is based on accrual accounting systems. It depicts receiving and exiting cash in a more accurate manner.
PrinciplesGAAP principles are extremely important to the accounting system. Certain accounting standards are frequently violated by cash flow systems.
ProcedureThe revenue and expenses during the accounting period are used to calculate net income. Cash receipts and reimbursements are used to compute net income.

What is Accounting Profit?

Accounting profit is determined as income/revenue, which is the money you bring into the business less your explicit cost. It’s like the business’s earnings minus the cost of making that money over a specific time period, such as a week, month, or year.

In accounting profit, there are three scenarios, they are:

  • Earnings are greater than the cost of obtaining such earnings. As a result, there is a profit.
  • Earnings are less than or equal to the cost of obtaining such earnings. As a result there is a loss.
  • Apply from an individual to a business.

Accounting profit indicates how well a company is doing in terms of making money, breaking even, or losing money.

A company’s financial statement can be distributed in a variety of formats. A balance sheet containing revenues and expenses is typically prepared by the accounting department. Account profit is a bookkeeping method for calculating a company’s net profit after all expenses have been deducted.

Accounting profit, also known as bookkeeping profit or financial profit, is a term used to describe the profit generated by an accounting system. After deducting all costs from total revenue, net income is obtained. The formula for accounting profit is as follows.


Accounting profit= Total Revenue – Total Explicit cost.

What is Cash flow?

A cash flow statement is a financial statement that shows how much cash entered and exited the company over a specific time period and how much change occurred during that time period. In most cases, cash flow statement analysis is done through an annual report with a one-year time frame.

The question arises: why do we need a cash flow statement if the company declares its net profit on the income statement?

The income statement uses an accrual accounting approach, which counts revenue and expenses at the moment of the transaction, whether it involves cash or not.

The cash flow of a company is separated into three areas in the Cash Flow Statement.

  • Cash Flow from operating activities.
  • Cash Flow from investing activities.
  • Cash Flow from financing activities.

The net cash flow is calculated by subtracting cash inflows from cash outflows for each of the three categories. The overall change in cash is then calculated by adding all of the net cash flow from the three categories.

The cash flow from operating activities is the most essential section of the cash flow statement. If a firm’s cash from operational operations is negative, it’s an issue since it signifies the company can’t meet its expenses through sales and will have to acquire cash from financing activities to pay its expenses. If a company’s cash flow from operating activities is positive and increasing, this is a good sign.

Even if a company makes an accounting profit, if it cannot manage its cash flows efficiently, it will lose money. This is why investors pay attention to a company’s cash flow statement as well as its accounting profit. Investors evaluate a firm’s cash flow from operations to its net income, and if the cash flow from operations is higher, it indicates that the company has high-quality earnings.

Main Differences Between Accounting Profit and Cash Flow

  1. Accounting profit evaluates income and expenses, whereas cash flow considers how much money comes in and goes out of the business.
  2. The accounting profit statement shows revenue, whereas the cash flow statement shows the actual cash received.
  3. Accounting profit is based on obscure time records, whereas cash flow puts a premium on timing.
  4. While capital budgeting, accounting profit is not taken into account, but cash flow is.
  5. Accounting profit is calculated using the accrual approach, whereas cash flow is not.


Profit is the difference between the amount of money you made and the amount of money you spent while working. The flow of money into and out of your business is known as cash flow. To manage your business successfully, you should be aware of your cash flow and review your cash-flow statement or a cash-basis profit and loss statement on a monthly basis.

Although there are significant disparities between accounting profit and cash flow, you can close the gap by enhancing your company’s cash flow.