written by | May 26, 2022

×

Table of content


Table of content

Differences Between Fixed Capital and Working Capital

Every business has two types of capital: fixed capital and working capital. Working capital is the money a business needs to run and grow, and fixed capital is the money it must invest in assets to make those investments. Every business needs a combination of both types of capital to succeed. 

Working capital is the amount of cash a company has on hand to meet its current obligations, such as paying employees and vendors. On the other hand, fixed capital is a long-term investment made by the business. To learn more about fixed capital, read on!

Did you know?

Working capital cycle formula = Inventory days + Receivable days – Payable days.

What Is Fixed Capital?

In simple terms, it's the physical assets that cannot be easily exchanged for book value. The value of these assets may be depreciated when calculating taxable profit. For example, a ₹ 70 crore yacht might be an inventory for a yacht broker, but it becomes a fixed asset when sold to a vacation rental company. 

Features of Fixed Capital

  • While some businesses require more fixed capital than others, every business must pay attention to its fixed capital needs to avoid a financial disaster.
  • Fixed capital is more important in times of business growth because it is not used regularly.
  • Fixed capital consists of assets that aren't used or destroyed while making a service or product, and one can use them multiple times.
  • Fixed assets may be owned and purchased by a company or structured as a lease for a long time.
  • Fixed capital assets are generally non-liquid and depreciate over time.
  • Fixed assets can be sold and used again after their use expires. This is often the case with aeroplanes and vehicles.

Also Read: What is the meaning of Gross Working Capital?

What Is Working Capital?

Between fixed and working capital, let's first understand what working capital means. Working capital is a financial term that describes the operating liquidity of a business, organisation, or other entity. This term encompasses the fixed assets, such as equipment, plant and machinery that the company owns. It is important to understand what these types of assets are because they are crucial to the company's overall functioning. 

Features of Working Capital

  • Working capital is cash available for short-term business operations, typically in the next twelve months. 
  • Working capital is used to pay day-to-day expenses. Having enough cash on hand for these expenses is critical to the operation of a business. It's calculated by adding current assets and liabilities to the total fund. This figure is sometimes referred to as networking capital. 
  • If the total funds available for working capital exceed the current assets and liabilities of the business, it is called net working capital.
  • While positive working capital is good news, negative working capital is a sign of a company's inability to meet short-term obligations. Companies with negative working capital often struggle to pay bills or vendors.

      

Sources of Working Capital

There are many sources of working capital. Some sources include commercial paper, retained earnings and loans from financial institutions. Others are more obscure, such as invoice 

discounting, factoring and short-term loans. The source you choose will depend on the purpose of your funds and your business. The most common form of working capital is bank loans.

What Is Negative Working Capital?

The problem with negative working capital is that it disrupts company functions and distracts management from the customer base. Even worse, business life is unpredictable, so the company may need more funds to cover unforeseen costs such as repairs, legal expenses, or riding out a sales dip. This results in a negative reputation and the need for an extension of payment terms. Negative working capital also compromises the company's negotiating position with customers and suppliers.

The successful business has mastered the working capital cycle, or how long it takes to convert current assets into cash in the bank. They also know how to use negative working capital, or cash on hand, to pay for suppliers, payroll and other regular expenses. 

Negative working capital is a great tool for businesses with negative cash flow. Businesses should analyse their working capital structure to determine how much negative cash they must pay suppliers.

Current Liabilities and Working Capital

Working capital is a term used to describe the difference between a company's current assets and current liabilities. A high working capital ratio indicates that current assets are being turned into cash more quickly than current liabilities. This can help a business fund day-to-day operations and reduce its need for debt. It is also helpful to monitor the amount of cash a company has in hand related to its total assets. The working capital ratio should be higher than zero in valuing a business.

To calculate the ratio, divide current assets by current liabilities. The higher the ratio, the better the working capital. As working capital funds do not expire, it is important to remember that the figures change over time. In short, the CCC is based on a rolling 12-month period. This makes it easier to understand how these two figures impact a company's financial condition. A high current ratio may indicate that a business has too much inventory and is not investing its excess cash.

Difference Between Current Assets and Working Capital

If you're a business owner, you've probably wondered what the difference is between current assets and working capital. These two types of assets can differ wildly. Unlike fixed assets, which can be written off over time, current assets are one-time expenses and must be matched against revenues. 

On the other hand, receivables are often more difficult to convert into cash because they depend on the current state of the business, the external environment and internal control. As a result, managing working capital is a delicate task.

A company's current assets and liabilities are the resources that will generate cash flow during a given fiscal year. These include cash on hand and cash equivalents, accounts payable, stock inventory and marketable securities. 

In contrast, current liabilities include any debts paid within one year. Other current assets include accrued liabilities, real estate and other natural resources. Equipment and inventories are long-term assets.

Difference Between Fixed Capital and Working Capital

It is important to understand the difference between fixed and working capital in business. While both types of funds are crucial for a business, each has distinct advantages and disadvantages. 

Fixed capital

Working capital

Used for long term benefits.

Used for daily business activities.

Non-convertible into cash immediately.

Convertible into cash immediately.

More than one accounting period.

Less than one accounting period.

Company consumes indirectly.

Company needs working capital to operate.

Serves for a long period of time.

Serves for a short period of time.

Acquires non-current assets.

Acquires current assets.

Strategy based.

Operational based.

It has no liquidity.

It has liquidity

  • Fixed capital is money invested in long-term assets and supports strategic goals, while working capital is money invested in current assets and serves a company's short-term needs. 
  • The difference between fixed capital and working capital is that fixed capital is used for longer-term activities, such as acquiring new equipment or completing a project. While working capital is easy to transfer in cash, fixed capital is much more difficult to convert.
  •  While fixed capital is used for long-term investments, it is also useful for daily operations. It can come in two forms: cash and loans. In contrast, working capital is often used to purchase raw materials and pay for work-in-progress.
  • Working capital can be considered tactical funds, while fixed capital is used for strategic investments.

A business can use both types of funds, depending on its needs. 

Also Read: What is a Ledger Account? Definition, Format, Types and Examples

        

What Is Circulating Capital?

Fixed capital is money used again in production processes, such as equipment and machinery. Circulating capital, on the other hand, is money that a company can use only once or twice to buy non-current assets.

If you're interested in finding out which type of capital is better for your business, read on. Circulating capital is the money you use for your business's core operations, like purchasing raw materials, making an inventory and shipping goods.

Fixed capital is money that a company uses only once in its entire production cycle but is used up by the time it's no longer needed. Circulating capital is also known as working capital, as it includes inventory and other short-lived resources used in production and consumed by customers.

Conclusion

When deciding on the amount of working capital to keep on hand, it is important to understand the difference between fixed and short-term liabilities. Working capital, or available cash, is used for day-to-day operations. It is important to know how these assets affect your company's profitability and liquidity. You should first calculate your asset's return, which is the average of your operating profits minus your current liabilities. 
Follow Khatabook for the latest updates, news blogs, and articles related to micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs), business tips, income tax, GST, salary, and accounting.

FAQs

Q: What are the major fixed and working capital examples?

Ans:

Following are the major fixed and working capital differences:

Temporary working capital

  • Variable working capital.
  • Dependent on variable factors.
  • Financed through short term funds.

Permanent working capital

  • Fixed working capital.
  • Independent of variable factors.
  • Stable in nature.

Q: How to calculate working capital?

Ans:

Once you understand fixed and working capital differences, you can calculate working capital by reducing the current liabilities from the current assets.

Working Capital = Current Assets – Current Liabilities.

Q: What are the 3 types of capital?

Ans:

While budgeting, all sorts of businesses concentrate on 3 major capital types, which are:

  • Debt capital
  • Working capital
  • Equity capital

Q: What is the difference between fixed capital and working capital?

Ans:

If we talk about the difference between fixed capital and working capital, fixed capital involves the investments or assets required to begin and manage a business, for example, equipment or property. Working capital is basically the cash or any other liquid assets that a business takes help from in order to cover everyday operations, such as paying bills.

Disclaimer :
The information, product and services provided on this website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied. Khatabook Blogs are meant purely for educational discussion of financial products and services. Khatabook does not make a guarantee that the service will meet your requirements, or that it will be uninterrupted, timely and secure, and that errors, if any, will be corrected. The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Consult a professional before relying on the information to make any legal, financial or business decisions. Use this information strictly at your own risk. Khatabook will not be liable for any false, inaccurate or incomplete information present on the website. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this website is updated, relevant and accurate, Khatabook makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability, accuracy, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, product, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Khatabook will not be liable for the website being temporarily unavailable, due to any technical issues or otherwise, beyond its control and for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or access to, or inability to use or access to this website whatsoever.

Disclaimer :
The information, product and services provided on this website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied. Khatabook Blogs are meant purely for educational discussion of financial products and services. Khatabook does not make a guarantee that the service will meet your requirements, or that it will be uninterrupted, timely and secure, and that errors, if any, will be corrected. The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Consult a professional before relying on the information to make any legal, financial or business decisions. Use this information strictly at your own risk. Khatabook will not be liable for any false, inaccurate or incomplete information present on the website. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this website is updated, relevant and accurate, Khatabook makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability, accuracy, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, product, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Khatabook will not be liable for the website being temporarily unavailable, due to any technical issues or otherwise, beyond its control and for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or access to, or inability to use or access to this website whatsoever.