Cash vs. EBIT

June 27, 2023

As a CFO, understanding the difference between cash and EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes) is paramount to making sound financial decisions. While cash is the actual money on hand, EBIT is a measure of how profitable a company is before taking into account interest payments and taxes. Both are essential measures of a company’s financial health, and CFOs must use them appropriately to make informed business decisions.

One of the main differences between cash and EBIT is their timing. Cash reflects the actual inflow and outflow of funds, while EBIT represents profits before interest and taxes have been paid. Cash is more closely tied to day-to-day business operations, while EBIT focuses on long-term profitability.

When considering cash, CFOs must keep in mind the timing of cash inflows and outflows. For instance, a company may appear profitable on paper but lack the cash to pay bills or invest in growth. In such a scenario, the CFO must be able to identify the sources of the cash flow problem and take corrective action. Cash flow projections can help CFOs plan for future inflows and outflows, enabling them to make informed decisions about resources and investments.

EBIT, on the other hand, provides a better picture of the company’s profitability. This measure is typically used by investors to assess a company’s financial performance. EBIT helps CFOs to understand how much profit the company is generating before taking into account interest and taxes. This knowledge is useful in determining the company’s borrowing capability and evaluating investment opportunities.

It is important to note that both EBIT and cash are necessary financial indicators. But CFOs should be careful not to use them interchangeably. As cash measures how much money is available in the bank, EBIT measures the company’s earning potential over the long term.

In summary, CFOs should view the differences between cash and EBIT based on their focus on short-term cash flow and long-term profitability trends, respectively. CFOs must understand the importance of both measures and apply them appropriately while making informed decisions. By using these measures properly, CFOs can help grow the company and enhance its financial performance for the long-term benefit of all stakeholders.