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Tata Capital > Blog > Loan for Business > Working Capital Turnover Ratio Meaning, Calculation & More

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Working Capital Turnover Ratio Meaning, Calculation & More

Working Capital Turnover Ratio Meaning, Calculation & More

The workings of a business are not limited to generating profit and loss. If you want to determine how efficiently your business is performing, it is important to focus on key metrics to assess the profitability, operations, liquidity, and solvency of your business.

They are key numbers that are utilised by business owners and stakeholders to understand the effectiveness of their business strategies. One such fundamental metric is the working capital turnover ratio. This ratio helps determine how effectively a business is using its working capital in its operations to generate sales and turn a profit. Calculating this ratio helps keep an eye on the liquidity and optimise operations accordingly.

Read on as we explore this concept in more detail and understand its significance from a business’s point of view.

What is the Working Capital Turnover Ratio?

Working Capital Turnover Ratio is a financial metric most businesses use to measure their efficiency. To be more specific, it reciprocates how efficiently a company is utilising its working capital in generating sales revenue.

It assesses a company’s net annual sale and divides it by the working capital used in that specific period. The ratio that is obtained from this calculation is further analysed to get a clearer picture of the business’s operational strategies.

Working Capital Ratio Formula and Calculation

To have a better understanding of this financial metric, let us know the formula for finding the working capital ratio and understand how it is calculated:

The Formula:

The working capital turnover ratio of a business is calculated by dividing the annual net sales of a company by its total working capital. The formula is:

Net Working Capital Ratio = (Net Annual Sales)/(Net Working Capital)

Step-by-Step Calculation:

1. Determine Net Annual Sales: The Net Sales of a particular year can be calculated by finding the total annual revenue (or gross sales) of a business and deducting any returns, allowances, and discounts from it.

2. Calculate Net Working Capital: Total working capital is the difference between that year’s total current assets and total current liabilities.

3. Apply the Formula: Once you have both of the required data, apply the formula to get the working capital turnover ratio.


To understand how the calculation takes place, let us consider a hypothetical situation.

Suppose there is a textile business with the following financial statement:

Total Annual Revenue: Rs. 5,00,000

Total Returns, Allowances, and Discounts: Rs. 50,000

Total Current Assets: Rs. 2,00,000

Total Current Liabilities: Rs. 1,00,000

Hence, in this case:

Net Annual Sales = Rs. 5,00,000 – 50,000 = Rs. 4,50,000

Net Working Capital = Rs. 2,00,000 – 1,00,000 = Rs. 1,00,000


Working Capital Turnover Ratio = 4,50,000/1,00,000 = 4.5

Hence, the working capital ratio of this textile business is 4.5. This ratio tells us that the business spends Re. 1 worth of working capital to generate a revenue of Rs. 4.5.

Interpreting the Working Capital Turnover Ratio

The Working Capital Turnover Ratio is a valuable tool for assessing a company's operational efficiency. Here’s what business owners and stakeholders can understand from this ratio:

High Ratio: A higher ratio would suggest that the company is effectively managing its working capital to generate an adequate number of sales. This could hint at robust operational efficiency and profitable management strategies.

Low Ratio: Conversely, a low ratio would hint that the business is struggling to manage its operations. It suggests that the company is inefficient in utilising its short-term assets and liabilities. It would also hint at a need for a revamp in operation management strategies.

Limitations of the Working Capital Turnover Ratio

While the Working Capital Turnover Ratio offers valuable insights, it has its limitations:

1. Industry Variability: Different industries have different capital requirements. Hence, an acceptable ratio will vary across sectors, making industry-specific comparisons crucial.

2. Seasonality: Some businesses experience seasonality in their operations. This can affect working capital and distort the ratio's interpretation.

3. Quality of Earnings: The ratio does not account for the quality of earnings. A company may have a higher ratio, but if the sales are unsustainable or achieved through aggressive tactics, it may not be a reliable indicator of long-term performance.

4. Impact of Inflation: Inflationary trends can influence the ratio by altering the monetary value of working capital and sales. It can thus affect the ratio's effectiveness as a performance metric.

Benefits of the Working Capital Turnover Ratio

The working capital turnover ratio is a valuable tool for businesses, offering insights into their operational and financial efficiency. Some of the primary benefits of using this metric include:

1. Operational Efficiency Insights: This ratio measures a business’s operational efficiency by effectively indicating the company’s capabilities in generating sales through its working capital.

2. Benchmarking and Trends Analysis: With the help of this ratio, the company can conduct a comparative analysis of its business across the industry. This assists in benchmarking performance and highlighting areas of improvement or decline.

3. Enhanced Decision-Making: This ratio lays bare the operational and financial efficiency of a particular business. With this data, the company can make crucial decisions regarding inventory purchase, operations, and cash flow management.

4. Optimises Financial Health: The working capital ratio accurately reflects a company's overall financial health. If a business underutilises its working capital, a complete revamp of its operating procedure is required. Such strategic adjustments can lead to more effective cash flow management and improved financial health for the business.

To Sum Up

Working capital ratio is a powerful financial metric that provides valuable insights into a company's operational efficiency and financial health. By keeping in mind the industry's ideal standards, the management can make informed decisions about investments, lending, and operational strategies.

Running a profitable business with a high working capital ratio? Why not expand your company and aim for higher profits? Consider opting for Tata Capital business loans to fund your expansion.

Tata Capital offers competitive business loan interest rates without the need for collateral. With minimal business loan documents required, you can select Tata Capital for a hassle-free application process. Visit our website and plan your requirements through our business loan EMI calculator today!

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