Want to know what working capital meaning is and what the working capital definition is? Let us explain the concept of working capital.
Working capital and cash flow are two important financial metrics that every business keeps a close watch on. The significance of working capital and cash flow cannot be overstated. These two financial metrics help businesses evaluate whether they can withstand a market downturn or not.
In simple terms, working capital is defined as the liquidity level of a company to meet its day-to-day and short-term expenses. There are various benefits of working capital for a company, from paying employees and vendors to planning for future needs.
The significance of working capital for a business is remarkably high. As such, working capital meaning is related to the lifeblood of a business.
This article will explain working capital and its importance in detail.
Working Capital Meaning
A business needs to understand the working capital definition from an operational perspective. Working capital meaning entails the liquidity of a business and its short-term financial health. The working capital definition also refers to a company’s ability to utilize its assets efficiently on a day-to-day basis.
Working Capital Definition
As a financial metric, working capital is defined as current assets minus the current liabilities of a company. Current assets include cash, inventory, and accounts receivable. Current liabilities include wages, accounts payable, and interest owed.
A positive working capital meaning implies that a company manages to pay its bills and has sufficient funds to make sound investments. If you see the positive working capital definition, it aids business growth over the short term. While a negative working capital meaning entails a struggle to finance its daily operations, indicating a financial issue.
Working Capital Management Meaning
Working capital management meaning entails a strategy applied by companies to monitor their assets and liabilities to maintain sufficient cash flow to meet short-term obligations.
Working capital management meaning also entails aiming to reduce the operating cycle, maintain liquidity by freeing cash from the balance sheet and reduce external sources of financing working capital requirements. Working capital management helps a company optimize the use of its assets and liabilities for effective business operations.
Adequate working capital management meaning entails that they can meet their day-to-day operating expenses and short-term obligations productively and efficiently.
After we explain the concept of working capital, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of working capital.
Explain the significance of working capital
The following are 4 importance of working capital:
1. Manage liquidity
Businesses need sufficient cash (liquidity) for their day-to-day running. Working capital advantage is that it helps fulfill this need. By evaluating their working capital requirements, the finance department gets a clear idea of their financial position. They thus can arrange for the funds accordingly, thereby ensuring adequate liquidity and cash flow for daily operations. Otherwise, liquidity issues could impact a company’s operations and brand image.
2. Earn short-term profit
Sometimes, a company may have excess funds. On evaluating the working capital,if the company has a high current assets ratio, then it means it has more funds than its working capital requirements. The excess funds can be invested by the company to earn short-term profits.
3. Aids decision making
Working capital is important for a business as it helps undertake sound decisions. Working capital helps calculate the day-to-day fund requirements. It helps the company evaluate its existing fund situation. A company can thus decide effectively on the amount and source of funds. Availing of a working capital loan means, a businesscan effectively manage to tide over any insufficiency in its working capital requirement to fund its daily operations.
4. Value addition to business
An adequate working capital implies a company has cash and cash equivalents to meet its day-to-day operations and short-term obligations. It improves the creditworthiness of the business in the market. It ensures better bargaining power and improved profitability. It adds value to the business, enhancing its chance of achieving broader organizational goals.
With the importance of working capital being explained, it is necessary to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of working capital.
Advantages of sufficient working capital
Proper working capital management ensures adequate funds for financing daily business operations and short-term obligations. Key working capital advantages for a business are:
- Helps maintain solvency for a company by managing an uninterrupted process cycle.
- Prompt payment to suppliers helps improve the goodwill and creditworthiness of the business.
- Suppliers may provide cash discounts for timely payment of bills. It helps reduce costs, thereby improving profits.
- Helps businesses avail loans based on improved creditworthiness in the market.
- Helps efficiently manage any sudden financial crisis or market volatility.
- Helps divert excess funds to productive ventures to generate more profits for the business.
- Helps manage company expenses and bills like staff salary, taxes, and other expenses.
There arethus various working capital advantages. Positive working capital can help businesses turn favorable market conditions into an advantage for them. Especially in terms of better business prospects and deals.
· Improves overall business efficiency and competitiveness
Insufficient working capital, meaning liquidity issues, could impact business credibility.
Ways to increase working capital
Even after understanding the advantages of working capital, a business may not be able to maintain it. Some of the ways to increase working capital are stated below.
· Take loans
A business can take a working capital loan, meaning it is used to finance everyday business operations. If you see the working capital loan meaning, it typically entails a tenure ranging from 6 to 48 months.
· Reduce expenses
Operational efficiency can be achieved by reducing expenses wherever possible to maintain adequate working capital loans, meaning a business has to work in a planned way.
· Manage Inventory
Maximize inventory management process by reducing raw material and finished goods overstocking.
· Automate Receivables Process
Automation will help improve cash flow from operations and reduce fund usage from other sources for daily business operations.
· Sell illiquid assets
Selling illiquid assets will help improve the cash position within the business.
We hope you understand the significance of working capital adequacy and how it plays a significant role in any business. Working capital advantages include improved profitability and creditworthiness. Businesses can easily avail of working capital loans. A working capital loan meaning entails a type of business loan that lenders offer to meet daily business operational expenses.
Tata Capital offers working capital finance as cash or credit to suit customer requirements. For more details, visit the Tata Capital website.