All Abot Working Capital Essay

2156 words - 9 pages

1. Working Capital CycleCash flows in a cycle into, around and out of a business. It is the business's life blood and every manager's primary task is to help keep it flowing and to use the cashflow to generate profits. If a business is operating profitably, then it should, in theory, generate cash surpluses. If it doesn't generate surpluses, the business will eventually run out of cash and expire. The faster a business expands, the more cash it will need for working capital and investment. The cheapest and best sources of cash exist as working capital right within business. Good management of working capital will generate cash will help improve profits and reduce risks. Bear in mind that the cost of providing credit to customers and holding stocks can represent a substantial proportion of a firm's total profits.There are two elements in the business cycle that absorb cash - Inventory (stocks and work-in-progress) and Receivables (debtors owing you money). The main sources of cash are Payables (your creditors) and Equity and LoansEach component of working capital (namely inventory, receivables and payables) has two dimensions ........TIME ......... and MONEY. When it comes to managing working capital - TIME IS MONEY. If you can get money to move faster around the cycle (e.g. collect monies due from debtors more quickly) or reduce the amount of money tied up (e.g. reduce inventory levels relative to sales), the business will generate more cash or it will need to borrow less money to fund working capital. As a consequence, you could reduce the cost of bank interest or you'll have additional free money available to support additional sales growth or investment. Similarly, if you can negotiate improved terms with suppliers e.g. get longer credit or an increased credit limit, you effectively create free finance to help fund future sales.If you ....... Then ......Collect receivables (debtors) faster You release cash from the cycleCollect receivables (debtors) slower Your receivables soak up cashGet better credit (in terms of duration or amount) from suppliers You increase your cash resourcesShift inventory (stocks) faster You free up cashMove inventory (stocks) slower You consume more cashIt can be tempting to pay cash, if available, for fixed assets e.g. computers, plant, vehicles etc. If you do pay cash, remember that this is now longer available for working capital. Therefore, if cash is tight, consider other ways of financing capital investment - loans, equity, leasing etc. Similarly, if you pay dividends or increase drawings, these are cash outflows and, like water flowing down a plug hole, they remove liquidity from the business.2. Sources of CashSources of additional working capital include the following:Existing cash reservesProfits (when you secure it as cash !)Payables (credit from suppliers)New equity or loans from shareholdersBank overdrafts or lines of creditLong-term loansIf you have insufficient working capital and try to increase sales,...

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