Capital is the synonym for money and the working capital is the cash accessible to fund a business’ daily operations – basically, what you need to work with. In financial terms, working capital is basically the difference between current assets and current liabilities. Current assets is the cash you have in the bank as well as any assets you can quickly convert to cash in case you require it. Basically current liabilities are debts that you may repay within 12 months. Therefore, working capital is what is left over when you take off your current liabilities from what you have in the bank.

On wider spectrum, working capital is likewise a standard gauge of a business’ financial fitness. The bigger the difference between what you possess and what you owe short-term, the more strong the business.

Why Do Businesses Need Working Capital?

Without enough business capital, a business will not have the cash it needs to fund operational expenses, and its short-term growth. What could those operational expenses be? Well, these expenses will range from business to business. Normally, though, they are payroll, debt payments, rent, supplies, and other overhead charges. Having sufficient amount of working capital to cover these expenses indicates that you are not only keeping your business open, but you are also investing in your business’ growth.

While it is considered as a short-term financial health gauge, not having enough capital can have major long-term implications. In case the current assets of a business don’t exceed the current liabilities, then it will have problem paying short-term lenders back. Moreover, in case your lack of working capital gets bad, then it could lead to bankruptcy.

Why it’s Important and How to Calculate Working Capital

Working capital is an accounting phrase that refers to a business’ available capital for daily operations at any given point in time. It is described as the difference between a business’ current assets and current liabilities. With the intention to run successfully, a business need to have more assets than liabilities to ensure that it has enough assets to pay its short-term debt. The amount of capital a business has is a superb measure of its liquidity, competence and financial fitness.

Working Capital Terms

The first area to start in examining a business finances is its accounting balance sheets. Balance sheets offer a business’ financial positions at a particular point in time. Balance sheets outline the ending balances of a business’ assets, liabilities and equity. This is where the information necessary to calculate a business’ working capital is determined.


A business’ assets can be anything of financial value that a business owns or controls. Assets can provide instantaneous or future benefits. It can also consist of costs paid in advance. Examples of assets are cash, accounts receivables, stock, resources, land, homes and equipment. The assets are deemed current assets as they are anticipated to be liquidated into cash or be used within one year.


A business’ liabilities are any financial debt or obligations that a business is responsible for because of its operations. These liabilities include “payable” in their account title on the balance sheet. Examples of liabilities are accounts payable, notes payable, salaries payable, and income taxes payable. Liabilities are taken into consideration current liabilities if the debts or obligations are due within one year.

How to Calculate Working Capital?

As referred to above, working capital deals with a business’ current assets and current liabilities only.  Due to the fact that working capital is only concerned with assets utilized and liabilities due within one year, working capital does not factor in long-term liabilities. To estimate working capital, a business would remove the value of its current liabilities from its current assets.

On top of calculating a business’ working capital, determining a business’ working capital ratio, also known as the current ratio, is also useful. Working capital ratio describes a business’ ability to pay for its current liabilities with its currents assets. The ratio is calculated by means of dividing current assets through current liabilities. A current ratio below 1 shows bad working capital, at the same time as a ratio above 2 indicates that a business isn’t investing excessive assets. The precise range of ratio is between 1 and a 2.

When You Need Working Capital?

Whether you are an established or new, growing business, working capital is really very important for you. It is also important for daily operations of your small business, payroll and paying lenders. It is even critical when your business is about to take a large step. For instance, you are a small business starting a big task that you only get compensated upon completion, you need working capital loan to get you going through that time. And in case you don’t have one, you will have to find it, or risk the project failure. This is the situation where you actually need a working capital loan.

The Bottom Line

Working capital is important for your routine. Without it, you can’t pay expenses, salaries, and other short-term debts. Without it you run the risk of having to close down store and… you never want that! And that is the reason why it is important to have a strong grip on working capital matters. You need to know what working capital is, how you can calculate them and how much working capital you need to run your business effectively.

Small Business Financing News │ Merchant Advisors | blog
The Important of Working Capital And How to Calculate It
The Important of Working Capital And How to Calculate It
Looking for funding to fund your small business? The road ahead is full of twists and turns because it does require a lot of time and research to locate the best funding program that suits your business. Due to theRead more
Working capital is an important indication about the financial condition of a small business. Here's how you can calculate it.
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Merchant Advisors