Manage Your Working Capital Better

By Analytix Editorial Team

June 6, 2017 0 Comments
Manage Your Working Capital

How strong a company’s finances are can be gauged from the balance sheet, which in turn is assessed on the strength of the company’s working capital, from among several other factors. Even then, it is among the concepts that can be difficult to define for a small business or a startup. This is because working capital is the difference between current assets and current liabilities. Current here applies to assets that are convertible to cash within a period of 12 months or less and liabilities that are due for clearing or payment within the same period.

Working capital then becomes fairly easy, but it is not so for a small business or a startup that may not have much to begin with in the first place. How should you calculate the working capital, then? One way is by looking at the operating cycle.

The operating cycle typically analyzes accounts receivable by the number of days it takes to collect while accounts payable is calculated in terms of the number of days it takes to pay off a vendor invoice. Inventory, which is also part of an operating cycle, is analyzed in terms of the number of days taken by a product to convert to cash or account receivable (resulting from a sale).

How is working capital analyzed?

When a business has more current liabilities than current assets, it can have trouble in making its payments. Over a period of time if this does not change to more current assets, the business could head into bankruptcy. Working capital sometimes also goes into decline over the long term. When this happens, it could indicate slowing down of business in other ways like reducing sales volumes, or other operational reasons.

Inefficient operations can result in reduced collections and increase in working capital, as a result.

Why optimize and ways in which to optimize it

Optimizing the working capital is important because it is one of the major ways in which cash is available to a company.

Here are some of the ways in which you can optimize the working capital of your company:

  • Make invoicing hassle-free: Manual invoicing is prone to hassles, inaccuracies and delays. Given the relationship between timely invoicing and clear accounts receivables, effective invoice management is central to optimizing working capital.
  • Better financial supply chain management: Accounts payable can quickly become your business’ worst drain. Improving the process of accounts receivable and accounts payable can help in freeing up precious cash, thus helping working capital become more productive.
  • Reduce dependence on manual recording of transactions: Vital processes like recording check and paper transactions can create bottlenecks in your company’s working capital management by increasing chances of error and wastage of time in processes like re-issue of checks or invoices, etc.
  • Harness technology: Applying technology to finances and accounts can help reduce the gap between uncertainty and reliability. Smart application of technology can reduce the errors caused by manual processes, increase transparency between vendor and buyer, and ensure accurate recording of transactions.

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