METRICS
Month close deck for cash flow reporting
Brett Tighe's, CFO of Okta, Month close template for reporting on cash flow
Brett Tighe
CFO, Okta
Brett Tighe, CFO of Okta walks us through the structure of the close deck that his team prepares each month.

You need cash to run your business, so tracking cash flow is important for every organization. This helps you understand when you can make strategic investments or when you need to conserve capital. But reporting on cash flow is hard because you don't know when bills are going to arrive for an organization. As the organization grows, you're managing a lot of individual expenses that are coming in and out.

Here's the template for the close deck that my team prepares each month. We've found this to be the best structure to summarize the data for our executive team and board.

Our template is broken out into three sections: Cash flow in, Cash flow out, and CapEx. Each section includes the forecast and the acutals so that anyone looking at the report can understand how we performed in comparison to expectations.

    Cash flow in

    Data

    This section shows the sum of collections and the interest income from any investments that we have.

    Why

    This gives me data to talk about the performance of the business and the performance of the collections team.

    Cash flow out

    Data

    Employee compensation & all other expenses (excluding CapEx).

    Why

    When you combine cash flow in and cash flow out, it tells me a lot about the business and how we're managing it. This section combined with the one above helps me understand our operating cash needs and how we're managing to budget.

    CapEx

    Data

    All CapEx expenses.

    Why

    This gives me an understanding of our real estate investments and data center buildouts. When you bridge the top two sections (Cash flow in and Cash flow out) with CapEx, then you're able to get to your free cash flow a key metric in managing your overall business efficiency.

    Why we report this way

    I like this method because it focuses on business trends rather than fluctuations in your balance sheet. Many organizations get too caught up in the details of minutiae. When you're reporting to the board or to an executive team, rat holing on these types of changes distracts from the more important conversation about the business performance as a whole.