Net Cash

Cash Balance – Current Liabilities

What is Net Cash?

Net cash refers to the position of a company with regard to its liquidity position. To calculate net cash, a company will need to deduct its current liabilities from its cash balance. Liabilities are a business’ obligations to transfer assets or provide a service that’s already taken place.


Net Cash


For example, a company’s current liabilities can be accounts payable or taxes payable. Such types of liabilities are distinguished as current liabilities because they are due within the year. Additionally, a business may have other liabilities that are more long term. Net cash allows the business owners, analysts, and investors to understand the financial and liquidity position of the company.



  • Net cash is calculated by subtracting liabilities from a company’s cash balance.
  • Cash includes highly liquid funds that are therefore readily available for disbursement.
  • Net cash allows business owners, analysts, and investors to understand the financial and liquidity position of a company.


Understanding Net Cash

To expand, a company’s cash balance includes highly liquid funds that are readily available for disbursement. Liquidity refers to funds that can be accessed rather quickly. Typically, cash resides in interest-paying accounts and checking accounts in banks. However, the types of accounts cash reside in only offer little interest or even sometimes no interest in the case of a checking account. Moreover, they can be in physical cash form and reside in, for example, cash registers or petty cash containers on the business’s premises.

It’s important to note that sometimes, businesses can include short-term investments in their net cash because their funds reside in an investment product that can be readily sold at current market prices and is therefore quite liquid. In such a case, they are referred to as cash equivalents. Cash and cash equivalents are the most liquid current assets on a company’s balance sheet.

When evaluating a company’s financial well-being, its ability to generate cash and cash equivalents is extremely important. If a company owns many capital assets but a very small amount of cash or cash equivalents, it can be considered as a company that is relatively illiquid. It is important for investors to analyze because it can allow you to compare its cash with current liabilities and determine whether the company can pay its bills.

However, it’s important to note that a company should not hold too much cash as it is vital to its success that most of its assets are generating income rather than sitting dormant. It is important to understand that net cash cannot be used interchangeably with net cash flow. The net cash flow of a company is calculated by subtracting all operation, financial, and capital dues from the cash earned by the company.


Cash & Cash Equivalents

Some examples of cash include currency, coins, bank drafts, cash in savings, checking accounts, or money orders. Some examples of cash equivalents include Treasury bills and money market funds.


Calculating Net Cash

The net cash formula is given as Cash Balance – Current Liabilities. In the formula, the cash balance is used to describe all cash the company holds plus highly liquid assets. Moreover, current liabilities include all financial and non-financial liabilities.

The net cash formula can be somewhat limited depending on the complexity of the business. For example, cash balances and liabilities can potentially not be as straightforward. If there are one-off events, for example, paying for stolen goods, it may not be an accurate total reflection of the company’s typical liquidity.


Why is Net Cash Important?

Net cash is important for several reasons. Firstly, it helps Investors see how the company manages its cash flow and, therefore, whether the company has funds readily available to pay bills.

Secondly, understanding a company’s net cash can be useful in the event of the requirement to conduct liquidity measurement ratios for investment or business purposes, e.g., the current ratio, the quick ratio, or the cash ratio.

Thirdly, net cash is important in acknowledging that your company is in a good position in its net cash. It can provide comfort to current and potential investors. Finally, it’s important to understand how much net cash your own company holds as it is important that as a business owner, there are liquid funds available for uncertain times or unfortunate events.


Additional Resources

CFI offers the Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful:

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