Working Capital Management

Financial management choices are divided into the management of assets (investments) and liabilities (sources of funding ), in the long-term and also the short-term. It’s common understanding that a company’s value cannot be maximized in the long run unless it conveys the brief run. Firms fail most often as they are unable to satisfy their working capital requirements; consequently, sound working capital management is a requirement for business survival.

About 60 percent of a financial manager’s time is devoted to working capital management, and many of the possible employees in finance-related fields will find out that their first assignment at work will entail working capital. For these reasons, working capital management and policy is an essential topic of study. In most text books operating capital identifies current resources, and net working capital is defined as current assets minus current liabilities. Working capital coverage identifies decisions relating to the level of present assets and the way in which they are financed, while operating certified financial planner identifies those decisions and actions a company undertakes so as to manage efficiently the elements of present assets.

The term working capital originated with the older Yankee peddler, who would load his wagon up with products and then go off on his path to peddle his wares. The product was known as working capital because it was what he really sold, or”turned over”, to produce his gains. The wagon and horse had been his fixed assets. He owned the horse and wagon, so that they were funded with”equity” capital, but he borrowed the capital to purchase the merchandise. These borrowings were called working capital loans, plus they had to be repaid after each trip to attest to the lender that the charge was solid. If the peddler managed to settle the loan, then the bank would issue a second loan, and these were sound banking practices. The days of the Yankee peddler have since pasted, but the importance of working capital remains. Current asset temporary and management funding are still the two primary components of working capital along with a daily headache for the financial managers.

Working capital, occasionally called gross operating capital, only indicates the company’s overall current assets (the short-term ones), money, marketable securities, accounts receivable, and inventory. While long-term financial analysis primarily concerns tactical planning, working capital management agreements with day-to-day operations. By making certain production lines don’t stop because of lack of raw materials, that stocks do not build up because production proceeds unchanged when earnings dip, that customers pay on time and that enough money is on hand to make payments when they are due. Clearly without great working capital management, no company can be effective and profitable.

Statements about the flexibility, price, and riskiness of short-term debt versus long-term debt depend, to a large extent, on the type of short-term loan that really is used. Short-term charge is defined as any accountability originally scheduled for payment within a year. There are numerous sources of short-term funds, such as accruals, accounts payable (trade credit), bank accounts, and commercial paper. The major components of current liabilities are trade creditors and bank overdrafts, and these are further examined.

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