The A-Zs of Hiring Glossary

Working Capital

What is Working Capital?

Working capital refers to the amount of money a company has available to cover its day-to-day operations. It is calculated by subtracting current liabilities from current assets. Current assets include cash, accounts receivable, and inventory, while current liabilities include accounts payable and short-term debt.

Working capital is important because it allows a company to meet its short-term financial obligations and continue operating smoothly. A positive working capital indicates that a company has enough resources to cover its short-term debts, while a negative working capital indicates that a company may struggle to meet its short-term obligations.

It is important to note that working capital requirements vary depending on the industry and the size of the company. For example, a manufacturing company may require a larger amount of working capital to cover inventory costs, while a service-based company may require less working capital.

Why is working capital important for businesses?

Working capital is important for businesses because it represents the funds that are available for day-to-day operations. It is necessary for purchasing inventory, paying employees, and covering other expenses that are essential to keep the business running. Without adequate working capital, a business may struggle to meet its financial obligations and may be forced to take on debt or even shut down.

How can a business improve its working capital?

A business can improve its working capital by increasing its cash flow, reducing expenses, and managing inventory levels more effectively. This can be achieved by implementing better invoicing and payment processes, negotiating better payment terms with suppliers, and improving inventory management systems. It may also be necessary to explore financing options such as short-term loans or lines of credit to bridge any gaps in cash flow.

Working Capital Dos And Donts


  • Do regularly monitor your working capital to ensure that it is sufficient to cover your short-term obligations.
  • Do keep accurate records of your accounts receivable and payable to help manage your working capital effectively.
  • Do consider negotiating longer payment terms with your vendors to improve your cash flow.
  • Do explore alternative financing options such as invoice factoring or a line of credit to improve your working capital.


  • Don’t ignore warning signs that your working capital may be getting low, such as frequent overdrafts or delayed payments.
  • Don’t rely too heavily on short-term financing options such as payday loans, as this can lead to a cycle of debt and negatively impact your working capital.
  • Don’t delay payment to your vendors, as this can damage your relationships and lead to additional fees and interest charges.
  • Don’t let your accounts receivable go uncollected for too long, as this can hurt your cash flow and working capital.
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