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From Taxable Income to Recurring Cashflow: Lenders start here

In my training workshops we call this “Canada to Mexico”.

This idea is for you if you find that

  • you are getting lost in a sea of tax returns,
  • every interruption means you have to start over,
  • it is hard sometimes (especially with complex borrowers) to keep your train of thought.

Consider you are on a road trip in a car, starting in Canada (1st line of the return) and traveling to Mexico (last line of the return). Take it in order of the tax return, not whatever worksheet you are using. When a number comes from a supporting schedule, take the side trip right then. When done with that schedule, back to the front page.

This approach makes it easier to

  • be sure you have all the schedules
  • handle an interruption and come right back to the tax return
  • make sure you have covered the basis before you call the borrower with questions

Want more? This is covered in our free Lenders Online Library tutorial, Green Blocks, 6 Ns and a Map.

About the Author
Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis. She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans. Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.