Definition of EBITDA
Origins of EBITDA
Problems with EBITDA
Alternatives to EBITDA
Reliance on EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) as a measure of cash flow is misplaced because it presumes that borrowers will pay lenders before paying their taxes, expanding their working capital assets and fixed assets to support sales growth, among other things. Bankers and investors who rely on it as a reliable indicator of repayment ability will overestimate available cash flow and underestimate the risk of default.
This session will explain why EBITDA does not measure cash flow and what more accurate measures are available, including cash flow from operations (CFO) and free cash flow (FCF).
EBITDA is a popular measure of cash flow, but it is not accurate, and bankers and investors who rely on it as a reliable indicator of repayment ability will be deeply disappointed. This session will explain why EBITDA does not measure cash flow and what more accurate measures are available. The session also includes several examples and a case study to illustrate why EBITDA is flawed and how to apply better cash flow tools.
A frequent speaker, instructor, advisor and writer on credit risk and commercial banking topics and issues, Martin J. "Dev" Strischek is principal of Devon Risk Advisory Group based near Atlanta, Georgia. Dev advises, trains, and develops for financial organizations risk management solutions and recommendations on a range of issues and topics, e.g., credit risk management, credit culture, credit policy, credit and lending training, etc. Dev is also a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB’s) Private Company Council (PCC). PCC’s purpose is to evaluate and recommend to FASB revisions to current and proposed generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that are more appropriate for privately held firms. He also serves as the PCC’s representative to FASB’s Credit Losses Transition Resource Group supporting the new current expected credit loss (CECL) standard. Dev is the former SVP and senior credit policy officer at SunTrust Bank, Atlanta. He was responsible for developing, implementing, and administering credit policies for SunTrust’s wholesale lines of business--commercial, commercial real estate, corporate investment banking, capital markets, business banking and private wealth management. He also spent three years as managing director and credit approver in SunTrust’s Florida commercial lending and corporate investment banking areas, respectively. Prior to SunTrust, Mr. Strischek was chief credit officer for Barnett Bank’s Palm Beach market. Besides stints at other banks in Florida, Kansas City, and Ohio, his experiences outside of banking include CFO of a Honolulu construction company, combat engineer officer in the U.S. Army, and college economics instructor in Hawaii, Missouri, and Florida. A graduate of Ohio State University and the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking, he earned his M.B.A. from the University of Hawaii. Mr. Strischek serves as an instructor in RMA’s Florida Commercial Lending School, the American Bankers Association's (ABA) Advanced Commercial Lending School and ABA’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and the Southwest Graduate School of Banking. His school, conference, and workshop audiences have included participants drawn from the ABA, RMA, OCC, Federal Reserve, FDIC, FFIEC, SBA, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the AICPA. Recent conference presentations have ranged from the new GAAP accounting principles for revenue recognition, lease capitalization, and current expected credit losses (CECL) to commercial real estate concentration management, from character in lending to leveraged lending, from credit risk management techniques and tools to why EBITDA doesn’t spell cash flow. Mr. Strischek has written over 200 articles about credit risk management, financial analysis and related subjects for the ABA’s Commercial Insights, the Risk Management Association’s RMA Journal, and other business professional journals. He is the author of Analyzing Construction Contractors and its related RMA workshop. A past national chair of RMA and former RMA Florida Chapter president, Dev serves as a member of the RMA Journal’s advisory board, and an ex-officio board member of the Florida and Atlanta RMA chapters. He also serves on the advisory board of the Atlanta Chapter of the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA), and he has consulted on credit risk and policy issues with banks in Morocco, Egypt, and Angola through the US State Department’s Financial Service Volunteer Corps (FSVC).
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