The aim of this study is to determine whether the cash flow statement succeeds in increasing the usefulness of financial data to parties interested in the results of specific companies and related institutions. This South African study uses the same industries as those in a similar study by Giacomino and Mielke (1993) in the USA. The industries concerned are chemicals and oils, food and electronics. Relative performance was measured by calculating nine sufficiency and efficiency ratios. These ratios were calculated for each institution in the industry; weighted averages were also calculated for each industry. The results were compared with the norms developed for American institutions. All the listed South African companies in the industries concerned were included in the study.