The Advanced Guide to Operating Working Capital

The Advanced Guide to Operating Working Capital

Operating working capital is used to calculate and measure a company’s liquidity and operations efficiency. It includes the current assets and the investment a company needs to fund. Such components are relative to the firm’s operations, like buying and selling inventory, paying the suppliers, and receiving payment from the customer. The focal point of the operating working capital is on the operational short-term assets and liabilities needed to operate a business. The calculation of the operating working capital is through subtracting current operating liabilities from current operating assets. 

Positive working capital implies a company can pay off the short-term liabilities and shows that there is enough cash for the business operations. There is less credit risk with a positive working capital because it entails that the business can pay its debts, which is significant for investors who will look at your financial position. Furthermore, the company still needs to focus on cutback measures to earn more positive operating working capital and invest extra funds.  

On the contrary, negative operating working capital indicates that the company does not have sufficient long-term assets to meet its long-term liabilities. Moreover, if such a situation continues, it may result in business closure, and the management will be obliged to liquidate the remaining assets to compensate the creditors. Therefore, the company needs to alter its business strategy and operations to have a positive outcome in the long run. 

Elements of a Working Capital Cycle

A working capital cycle is categorized into three parts, which are commonly referred to as Accounts Payable Days, Inventory Days, and Accounts Receivable Days.

Accounts Payable Days is when a company buys raw resources for production, it has a certain length of time to pay its suppliers. In short terms, these are the number of days you must give payment to your suppliers.

Inventory Days, on the other hand, is the length of time a company sells assets made from raw materials to consumers. It is a great tool to determine the number of days it takes to sell your asset and if you will be able to forecast your next sale.

Moreover, Accounts Receivable Days are the number of days a company receives payment from consumers via invoice or credit card. It presents the number of days you must wait for invoices and credit costs before it becomes part of your capital.

Ensuring that accounts receivable and inventory turnover are adequate is essential in the foundation of an excellent working capital cycle. This will assist you in paying the suppliers on time and anticipating payments from your clients.

Strategies to shorten a working capital cycle to increase cash flow

Enhancing the cash flow of your business is essential in increasing the efficiency of your operating working capital. To improve business productivity without being a sole cash business, here are a couple of strategies in reducing your working capital cycle.

Reconsider Manufacturer Alternatives

Depending on the industry and operational cycles, there are likely a few optimizations that could significantly reduce Inventory Turnover. Sit down with your team and brainstorm innovative ways for your company to capitalize on rising globalization and production options to maintain high inventory turnover and asset quality. Keep track of choices available to local production.

Renegotiate Current Deals

Most advanced operation cycles require a few cultivated partnerships with suppliers and carriers, which should be evaluated regularly to ensure your company receives the best deals. The payment terms that correspond to your accounts payable days should be observed. Additionally, creating ways to extend the number of days your company must pay the manufacturers will lessen your working capital cycle. Maintaining an extensive payment term when purchasing raw materials from a manufacturer will assist in negotiation for better deals.

Increase Accounts Receivable Portfolio

Several other methods can maximize the account receivable portfolio without invoice factoring or financing. Reducing the time between a sale and when that sale becomes solvent will improve your company’s cash flow and working capital cycle. Consider creating an updated Aging Report that merges all of the company’s accounts receivable data into one location for easy review and optimization. Offering organized payment arrangements is a great way to encourage new clients and increase monthly receivables. Growing your customer base is another method of increasing your company’s accounts receivable.

Final Thoughts

Operating working capital is an excellent instrument that a company can utilize to envision financial health. This is why many firms seek bank or private lender financing to encompass working capital and reinvest in their operational processes.

Working capital is the difference between a firm’s current assets and current liabilities that encompass all of a company’s short-term expenditures that are due within one year. It is also used to purchase assets, pay short-term liabilities, and cover daily operating expenses. And it is considered vital because it is required to keep a business running smoothly. 

Working capital is a business’s money to cover immediate costs. Working capital helps companies fill income gaps during slow periods of the year. Its primary purpose is to finance operations and meet short-term obligations. Even if a firm’s cash flow is constrained, it can pay back its employees and manufacturers and meet other obligations such as interest charges and taxes if it has sufficient working capital.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.