Business Cash Flow Essentials

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In this lesson, you will learn how to identify how cash moves in and out of a business.  More importantly, you will learn how to identify the silent killers of cash flow that lurk in companies.  In four weeks we will explore the difference between profit and cash and how to spot it in your financial statements.  Financial statements are a reporting of what’s happened in the past.  Successful business owners need to be able to understand the past, while preparing and forecasting the future.  Cash is considered King, and in this course, we will explore the reason why.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. Understand why cash is considered king and how to get, keep, and grow it in your business
  2. Understand the critical difference making a profit on paper and having cash in your bank account
  3. Identify how cash flow problems begin and understand that it is not a problem that only small businesses have
  4. Analyze a company’s financial statements and identify problems areas and develop probable solutions
  5. Manage the critical components that drive cash flow in a company, and what adjustments you can make immediately
  6. Prepare a company to make a loan request from the bank to meeting operating cash shortages.

Core Values

We believe that cash flow can be eliminated as a reason that businesses fail.  82% of business owners who failed blame poor cash flow management as the reason.  Primarily, it was a lack of understanding the difference between paper profit and actual cash that contributed to the problem.  Our economy requires a robust small business ecosystem to support the overall business community.  So, each failure present both a challenge and an opportunity for other connected businesses.

The concepts taught in this course are a culmination of almost 40 years of practical application by some of the largest financial institutions in the country.  These are the secrets taught to bankers to evaluate the overall health of a business when they are trying to help small business owners.  For the last 5 years, Mike Milan, (aka Cash Flow Mike), has developed a unique and modern style to connect the three pillars of small business.  That is, he brings tried and true academic concepts to life with a modern approach for business owners, bankers, and accountants to speak the same language.

His experience with commercial banking is one of the keys to helping accountants work more effectively with their clients, by sharing the processes employed by the bank.  Businesses survive when they can generate cash through their core business activities.  This course focuses on that principal function.

Through education and application of these concepts, the accountant and business owner can keep business in business.  Cash Flow is an often-overlooked function in a business, and once you begin to “feel” a problem happening; its often too late.  Cash flow problems manifest themselves in a myriad of ways and are not limited to just small businesses.  Cash flow discipline must be exercised by every business to maintain its survival and fuel additional growth.

Employing these strategies puts the accountant and business owner on the same page as the banker.  This course is a strategic sample of the Small Business Banking course taught by Mike Milan to thousands of bankers at the Graduate School of Banking at LSU, the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, and the Pacific Coast Banking School.  Bankers understand that cash to a business is like oil to an engine, it keeps everything running smooth.  In this course, you’ll be able to see your businesses cash flow through the eyes of the financial statements.


Each lesson has additional supplemental material designed to aid and enhance the learning experience of the learner.  There is a combination of diagrams, articles, sample company financial statements, and worksheets to guide the learning experience in a step-by-step approach.

Use of these resources is mandatory for each attendees to fully grasp the concepts being taught in each lesson.  We all learn a bit differently, so Mike Milan touches as many senses as possible in an online course to reinforce the concept.  There is video, visual aids, and old-fashioned pen and paper exercises to enhance the online experience.

Topics Covered in This Course

  • Lesson 1 – The Importance of Cash Flow – there is a big difference between making a profit and having cash in the bank. We explore this difference, why it exists, and how even a successful growing company can have a cash flow problem.  There is also an in depth examination of the cash flow statement and how to interpret what it’s actually telling you and others about your company.
  • Lesson 2 – The Speed of Cash – This is one of the most requested seminar topics Mike gets for his in-person events. The lesson dives into the cash conversion cycle and how to control the levers a manager has to improve it.  One important concept learned here is how to determine how much money a business owner should ask for if they want to apply for a line of credit with the bank.
  • Lesson 3 – Ratio Analysis and Financial Management – This lesson is a grinder. It is the meat and potatoes of how to analyze a business and identify where the problems and opportunities exist.  It is broken into two parts but designed to work as one lesson together.  Part A teaches a methodology to analyzing any company’s financial statements.  Part B is a practical exercise and line by line explanation of how to be a Financial Doctor.  You will learn to Test through ratio analysis, Analyze the results of your test, Diagnose any problems you found during the analysis, and Treat the problems with probable solutions.

Each lesson will have a multiple-choice quiz after you have completed the module as a check on learning for the key concepts presented during the lesson.

Here are some comments from accounting professionals who have already taken the course:

“You don’t just tell us what to do; you show us how to do it. No other “guru” does that.”
Margot P., freelance CFO.

“My client is finally listening to the good advice I’ve been giving her for years. This is why I became an accountant. Every, single accounting professional needs this.”
Hal R., CPA

Course Instructor Biography

Mike Milan has worked with business leaders across the country on proactive cash flow management and sales strategies.  He has been a pioneer in profitability transformations and is known for his hard-hitting practical content, relatable storytelling, infectious energy and lasting impact he has on organizations. Mike’s proven methods help modernize business decision making by linking business goals and key cash metrics.

As a sought after speaker at conferences across the US and Canada, Mike is able to take difficult financial concepts and distill them into actionable tools that can immediately impact any business. His appeal transcends business owners at all stages of their growth. He has been hired by Fortune 500 companies and startups alike, to train and transform their workforce with breakthrough new ideas that will help maximize cash flow.

Mike is one of the highest rated instructors at the nation’s most prestigious banking schools on the topic of financial management for small business owners. Working as a senior executive for Finagraph, he has helped build software and solutions enabling the fintech digital transformation.

Here are some comments from learners who have already taken the course:

“This is a seminar not to miss for Business Owners! I found this seminar to be fun, engaging, and Mike made it easy to understand complex business scenarios. YOU will walk away with knowledge and tools to run your business more effectively.”
Maureen Yarborough, Sign Matter, Inc.

“After attending this course, we were able to strengthen our relationship with our client’s bankers based on the amazing knowledge shared by Mike.  I appreciate his level of detail and enthusiasm.”
Travis Tandy, Tandy Consulting

“I can barely tolerate ‘financials’. Mike made it both fun and understandable.
John Blaue, Camelot Trucking

This course was created with content licensed from Finagraph.