Working Capital

Working Capital Definition

Working Capital means those liquid funds whether in form of cash, deposits in bank or in either way which is kept by an enterprise to manage the day to day running expenses of the business. It is a measure of liquidity, efficiency and financial health of a company and is calculated using a simple formula – “current assets (accounts receivables, cash, inventories of unfinished goods and raw materials) MINUS current liabilities (accounts payable, debt due in on year)”



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Source: Working Capital (

To calculate the working capital or liquid funds of business, below mentioned formula can be used –

Working Capital Formula = Current Assets (Net of Depreciation) – Current Liabilities


The following steps should be applied to calculate the working capital of the business:

  • Step #1 – Bifurcate the value of current assets and fixed assets from the list of total assets, or the same could be preferable to check the financial statements prepared as current assets of the business are specified specifically in the financials.
  • Step #2 –  Similarly, check the value of the current liabilities of the business.
  • Step #3 – Check from the value of current assets, whether it includes any value for provision, etc. for instance, provision of depreciation or not.
  • Step #4 – Deduct the value of provision find out in step 3 above from the value of current assets find out in step 1 above and called it as Current Assets (Net).
  • Step #5 – Finally, by subtracting the value of current liabilities from the value of Current assets (Net), we got the value of Working Capital.


You can download this Working Capital Excel Template here – Working Capital Excel Template

Tithing Inc. has the following information for you –

Current Assets –

  • Accounts Receivables – $40,000
  • Cash – $15,000
  • Inventories – $34,000
  • Marketable Securities – $45,000
  • Prepaid Expenses – $5000

Current Liabilities –

Find out the WC of Tithing Inc.

From the working capital exampleWorking Capital ExampleWorking capital is the amount of money required by a business to finance its day-to-day operations. As an example, a manufacturer's working capital of $100,000 is calculated by subtracting current liabilities of $200,000 from existing assets of $300, more, we will first add up the current assets and the current liabilities and then use them to calculate the working capital formula.

  • The total current assets would be = ($40,000 + $15,000 + $34,000 + $45,000 + $5000) = $139,000.
  • The total current liabilities would be = ($35,000 + $15,000 + $12,000 + $34,000) = $96,000.

Using the formula, we get –

  • WC = Current Assets – Current Liabilities
  • Or, WC = $139,000 – $96,000 = $43,000.

It means that the WC of Tithing Inc. is positive and quite healthy.

Colgate Working Capital Calculation

Below is the Snapshot of Colgate’s 2016 and 2015 balance sheet.

Net Working Capital - colgate

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Let us calculate the WC for Colgate

WC (2016)

  • Current Assets (2016) = 4,338
  • Current Liabilities (2016) = 3,305
  • WC (2016) = 4,338 – 3,305 = $ 1,033 million

WC (2015)

  • Current Assets (2015) = 4,384
  • Current Liabilities (2015) = 3,534
  • WC (2015) = 4,384 – 3,534 = $850 million

Interpretation of Working Capital

WC depicts so many things about a company.

It’s also important for a company to see how long the inventories sit with the company. If the inventories aren’t moving out for long, the capital will remain tied up.

Importance of Working Capital

Importance of Working Capital

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#1 – Liquidity Management

By properly analyzing the expenses payable or to be incurred shortly, the financial team of an enterprise would easily plan for their funds accordingly.

#2 – Out of Cash

In-appropriate prepared plans of day to day expenses may result in enterprise liquidity issues. They have to postpone or to arrange funds from some other sources, which give a bad impression of an enterprise on the party.

#3 – Helps in Decision Making

By correctly analyzing the requirement of funds for day to day operations, the finance team can appropriately manage the funds and can decide accordingly for available funds and availability of funds also.

#4 – Addition in the Value of Business

As the management accordingly manages all day to day required funds that help the authorized personnel to timely pay for all the outstanding creates a value addition or goodwill enhancement in the market.

#5 – Helps in the situation of Cash Crunches

By properly managing the liquid funds, one can help the organization not to affect the situation of crises or cash crunches and pay for its day to day expenses on a timely basis.

#6 – Perfect Investments Plans

Correctly managing the funds or working capital, one can choose or plan for their investments accordingly and invest the funds to maximize the return as per their availability.

#7 – Helps in Earning Short Term Profits

Sometimes it is seen that the enterprises keep a heavy amount of funds as working capital, which is far over and above the required level of working capital. So by correctly preparing the required capital, those extra funds could be invested for a short period and could create value in the profits of the enterprise.

#8 – Strengthening the Work Culture of Entity

Timely payment of all day to day expenses mainly focused on the salary of the employees creates a good environment and a sort of motivation amongst employees to work harder and strengthening the good working environment.

Working Capital Video

Recommended Articles

This article has been a guide to Working Capital and its definition. Here we look at how to calculate working capital along with practical examples and a downloadable excel template. You can learn more about financial analysis from the following articles –

Reader Interactions


  1. subrata chakraborty says


    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      thanks Subrata!