What Is Net Working Capital? Definitions and Formulas for Small Business

net working capital

Net working capital refers to the difference between the business’s current assets and current liabilities. The net working capital ratio compares the percentage of a company’s current assets to its short-term liabilities. Changes in net working capital can impact a company’s cash flow.

You can calculate the net working capital by using your business’s balance sheet. The business is more likely to cover its current obligation if the balance of networking capital is high.

Net working capital management is important for a company’s positive relationships with lenders, suppliers, employees, and customers. If a company has a positive net working capital, it has the potential to invest and grow.

This article covers:

What To Include In Networking Capital?

Networking capital includes the current assets and current liabilities of a business. Their difference tells the networking capital of a business by using line items from a balance sheet.

Current Assets:

It includes all the convertible assets, which convert into cash with a year. Such as currency, accounts receivable, inventory, and prepaid expenses.

Current liabilities:

These are the short-term debts payable within a year, such as rents, payroll, utilities, and payments towards long-term debts. 

How to Calculate Networking Capital?

A business can manage to cover its obligations in the short term by calculating its networking capital.

You can follow these steps to calculate the networking capital:

Add up Current Assets:

The first step is to add up all the current assets line items from the balance sheet. It may include:

  • Cash
  • Cash equivalents
  • Marketable investments
  • Accounts receivable

Add up Current Liabilities:

The next step is to add all the current liabilities from the balance sheet. It may include:

  • Accounts payable
  • Sales tax payable
  • Interest payable
  • Payroll 

Calculate Networking Capital:

The networking capital formula is:

Networking Capital = current assets – current Liabilities

The final amount will give you the Networking Capital of a business. Here current assets include cash, accounts receivable, raw materials, finished goods, inventory, and other assets.] A company has negative working capital If the ratio of current assets to liabilities is less than one.

Why Is Networking Capital Important?

The networking capital of a business is important to estimate its financial position. It tells you whether you can cover up the short-term obligation of a business or not.

When you calculate the networking capital, it will give you an amount; if that amount is zero or above, you can easily cover the business’s financial obligations. On the other hand, if that amount is negative or less than zero, you may face trouble covering up the financial obligations.

Positive networking capital will help you meet up your financial obligations, whereas negative networking capital will end you in a poor financial condition.

How To Improve Networking Capital?

To improve the networking capital of small businesses, you can make some changes in their operations. These changes may include:

  • You can demand quick payment from your customers. Send them a short notice of making payments for your goods and services on the due date. 
  • Follow up with the clients to receive your due payment on time.
  • Contact your suppliers to collect the unused inventory and refund the cost.
  • Ask your suppliers to give enough time to you for payment without charging extra dues.

You can improve your networking capital if you remain successful in making these changes in your business.

What is Your Company’s Net Working Capital Requirement?

You can calculate the net working capital requirement of your company by using the formula given below:

Net working Capital Requirement = Inventory + Accounts receivable – Accounts payable

Buyers and sellers can perform a comprehensive networking capital analysis before closing a transaction to avoid potential challenges.

If you are looking for more helpful resources and guidance, then check out our resource hub.

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