written by | March 30, 2022

What is Working Capital?

Working capital measures a company's ability to manage its day-to-day costs consistently. Cash on hand, inventory, accounts payable, and accounts receivable are just a few examples of what is contained in a company's balance sheet. It is both a short-term financial indication and a measure of a company's overall performance in the near term.

Working capital is derived from long-term sources such as depreciation, retained profits, debentures, and share capital. Short-term working capital sources include dividend or tax provisions, cash credit, public deposits, and other short-term working capital forms. Notes paid and invoices owing, together known as trade credit, are a source of immediate operational capital for a business.

Did You Know?

The sum of current assets and current liabilities is called working capital in the financial world.

Working capital = current assets - current liabilities

These figures indicate whether or not the corporation has sufficient assets to meet its short-term financial obligations. Working capital may be obtained from various sources, including long-term, short-term, and spontaneous sources.


What is Working Capital?

The meaning of "working capital" is used to describe a company or organisation's short-term financial situation. In other words, it's a scale for evaluating a company's total effectiveness.

A company's working capital or organisation may be determined by subtracting the current liabilities from the total current assets. Using this ratio, you can see whether a company has enough assets to cover its short-term debts. Its working capital may measure a company's ability to meet its day-to-day expenses, including cash, accounts payable, inventories, accounts receivable, and short-term debt.

Many firm functions, including inventory and debt management, revenue collection, and supplier payments, generate working capital. Working capital is a broad term that encompasses many different forms of working capital and the sources from which a business or organisation may obtain them.

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

Types of Working Capital

It is necessary to categorise working capital as follows by the company's balance sheet. The working capital in India may be divided into the following categories:

Permanent Working Capital

Fixed working capital is also known as permanent working capital. At its most basic level, it consists of just the assets necessary to keep the company's activities running smoothly. Note that the expansion rate and production scale constantly influence the fixed working capital required. Working capital of a fixed kind is often obtained from these long-term sources.

Variable Working Capital

In other words, it's the extra cash on hand to handle fluctuations in sales and production. The term "temporary working capital" refers to working capital that changes often.

Reserve Margin Working Capital

In the Reserve Margin Working Capital, a small-term arrangement is set up by businesses to cover unexpected costs. This is also known as "cushion working capital," which helps to lessen the risk of not being able to continue a firm in the event of a crisis.

Seasonal Variable Working Capital

Variable seasonally for most businesses, working cash is necessary to satisfy the needs of certain clients during peak seasons. There is a need for greater help for the company owners. This short-term working capital is referred to as "seasonal nature" or "working capital."

Regular Working Capital

This sort of working capital is known as Regular Working Capital, and it is the lowest amount of working capital that a business must monitor.

Working Capital Cycle

The Working Capital Cycle (WCC) is the period needed by a corporation to transform current net obligations and assets into cash. It indicates organisational efficiency in managing short-term liquidity and the cycle, calculated in days. It is the interval between earning money by selling and purchasing materials to manufacture goods.

The shorter the cycle of working capital, the sooner the organisation can free up cash. If the working cycle is too lengthy, the capital will be locked in without any returns. Businesses always strive to reduce the working capital cycle to improve short-term liquidity.

The Formula of Working Capital 

This is the formula of working capital-

              Current Assets − Current Liabilities = Working Capital

The working capital ratio determines if there are enough short-term assets to manage short-term debt. A ratio less than one implies a negative working capital, while a ratio between 1.2 and 2.0 suggests an adequate or positive working capital. A ratio over two often implies that the company has uninvested assets, representing a squandered opportunity.

If the current assets do not meet the obligations, the firm may be difficult. Working capital is also required for business efficiency. Money stranded in the market, or commodities delivered to clients who have not paid, are not regarded as valuable for resolving debts.

Working Capital Benefits

The following are some of obtaining working capital benefits:

  • There is no need for collateral in this situation.
  • Loans of between ₹50,000 and ₹2 crores are offered.
  • The loan length might be anywhere from one month to three years.
  • The interest rate varies between 1% and 2% every month, depending on the credit profile.
  • Online applications and approvals may be made in a matter of minutes.
  • Only a passport-sized photograph, a business's history, and a few financial documents are
  • Owners of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) may take advantage of its simple qualification criteria .

How to Make Your Working Capital Situation More Valuable

If a company is suffering low working capital levels, there are numerous options for addressing the problem. One option is to postpone payments to suppliers, as they are a source of income for the company. It may, however, be difficult to prolong payments for an extended period without provoking the wrath of suppliers. Another option is to shorten consumers' credit terms, allowing them to make purchases on credit for a shorter period before paying for them. As in the last one, credit terms must be utilised with prudence since extremely short periods may persuade clients to purchase from rivals who offer better credit terms. Maintaining reduced inventory levels is still another option, which lowers the risk of losses due to outdated goods while simultaneously increasing efficiency. The negative of having fewer inventory reserves, on the other hand, is the possibility of stockouts, which might result in missed sales.

Also Read: Everything about Capital Budgeting - Processes and Calculations

Examples About Working Capital Affecting the Company’s Cash Flow

This is a truth that different areas of the organisation's financial statement tend to impact in one way or another. The following section contains some of the greatest examples of the influence of changes in working capital on cash flow.

Working capital would remain unchanged if some of the same units increased the current obligations and assets of the company.

A sense of the magnitude of this effect may be gained by considering the following examples:

  • When a corporation sells its fixed asset, this boosts the cash flow, which would raise the working capital.
  • Unless the company chooses to restock its inventory, there will be no change in working capital. This is because both stock and cash are seen as short-term investments. But, these inventory purchases would diminish their cash flow.


You'll need working capital to get you through the day when things become tough. It may also assist you in growing your business and staying afloat through difficult economic times. That's why it's important to accept it: You may use the working capital formula to figure this out, and you should be aware of possible financing options. You may approach it in some ways, depending on your company's requirements. Requesting a down payment, qualifying for a loan, or utilising invoice financing to collect debts quicker may be necessary. Whatever option you choose, be certain that you will have enough working capital to grow in good times and survive in bad.

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Q: Is working capital and capital the same?


The Total Capital (both Equity Debt combined) is Capital Employed. It may alternatively be achieved as Total Assets minus Current Liabilities. Working Capital is the Capital necessary to take care of day-to-day activities. It is computed as Current Assets minus Current Liabilities.

Q: In manufacturing, what is meant by "working capital"?


Short-term assets accessible to a firm for the payment of wages, creditors, and suppliers are known as working capital. A corporation with inadequate working capital might have liquidity concerns even though its asset position and profitability are good.

Q: Is it beneficial or bad to have a large amount of working capital?


A working capital ratio between 1.2 and 2.0 is typically a healthy sign of enough liquidity and strong overall financial health. However, a ratio larger than 2.0 may be taken unfavourably.

Q: What are the 4 basic components of working capital?


Inventory, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and cash are all components of a well-managed company's working capital, which is used to control short-term debt and operating expenditures both now and in the future.

Q: Why is working capital important?


A company's activities and short-term commitments are funded using working capital. If a firm has adequate working capital, it can continue to pay its workers and suppliers and fulfil other commitments, such as interest payments and taxes, even if it runs into cash flow issues.

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