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Gross Working Capital (GWC)

Current assets are referred to as gross working capital in a company’s balance sheet. Current assets are short-term assets that you can convert to cash within a year. The grey area in current asset management or gross working capital is unpredictability, which means that the exact time to correct such assets is tough to determine. Why is a problem of such a nature? This is because the liabilities occur and do not wait until our current asset is implemented. This inconsistency or divide creates a need for the financing of working capital.

Net Working Capital (NWC) or Working Capital

Networking capital is a term that is very often used. Two approaches to networking capital are available. One says it is simply the difference on a company’s balance sheet between current assets and current liabilities. The other understanding reveals the little more profound or hidden significance of the term. As a consequence of this, NWC is the section of existing assets indirectly funded by long-term assets. Net working capital is considered more relevant to the adequate financing and management of working capital than gross working capital. Working capital is classified into various types, and the classification takes the following views as its basis:

Permanent / Fixed Working Capital

It is different to deal with current assets and fixed assets. In the case of fixed assets, the cost of the purchase is simply determining the financial requirements. The same does not apply to current assets because their value is constantly changing, and it is difficult to predict that value accurately at any point in time. To simplify complexity, we can find a level below which the current asset is never gone, based on past trends and experience. This is called permanent or fixed working capital, the existing assets below. 

In this instance, 2500 is the permanent working capital that is not included in the networking capital.

  • Regular working capital: It usually is necessary for permanent working capital to flow fluently in everyday business.
  • Capital reserve: the working capital, above and beyond the average work capital, is available. It can only happen because of unforeseen situations. It is for contingencies.

Temporary / Variable WC

After seizing the permanent working capital, temporary working capital is easy to understand. Simply put, it differs from networking capital to permanent working capital. The main feature to be drawn from the example is “fluctuation.” Therefore, it is not possible to forecast temporary working capital. This can be further bifurcated to create at least some basis to predict the measurability interests as follows.

  • Seasonal Working Capital: The temporary increase in work capital caused by a seasonal working capital. This applies to companies with the effects of seasons, for instance, the sweater manufacturer for whom winters are the relevant season. In the ordinary course of this season, their demand for working capital would rise due to higher sales during that period and decrease since debtors’ collections are more than sales.
  • Special Working Capital: Special working capital is the temporary increase in working capital due to a special event, which does not usually occur otherwise. It does not have a prediction basis and occurs typically rarely. For example, all companies require additional working capital due to the sudden increase of the business activities in a country where the Olympic Games occur.

“Capital” is rich in its pure bones. However, given the definition, it becomes clear that not every type of capital is the same.

Working capital is the amount needed to work daily (also known as networking capital). This includes the money necessary for storage and payment.

The main difference between working capital and other types of capital is that work capital circulates throughout the enterprise for different purposes by definition. They are not fixed assets of machinery, land, and buildings. Instead, the rhythmic demands of the company: the creation of inventories, then the re-sale of money, reimbursement of bills, renewal of stocks, and restarting.

Finding, and Being Informed by, Working Capital

You may find working capital by adding cash, accounts receivable, and inventory to the accounts payable (unpayable bills) and other short-run finance received for the company’s current assets.

The operational level of the company immediately involves working capital. The money flow, which we have previously explored, is also highly linked. For instance, the company’s working capital is dramatically increasing when people make outstanding sales but are not paid out for two months. Much money will be left without usable cash in receivables for months.

Suppose a company runs four power stations, and each plant must have a wire inventory and other equipment and tools for use if there is something wrong. The company doesn’t want to reduce the items needed, but it can keep these parts and tools available for each plant at a central location. This would require less working capital because a smaller stock releases cash that you can use for other purposes.

This is a simple truth: companies want to have as lean their working capital as possible. You want clients to pay more quickly and cut down on “exclusive days of sales.” They also want to work with lower inventory levels and wait longer, if possible, to pay their bills.

Two Examples of Working Capital Played Out

One of our clients’ CFOs seeks to free up non-cash work capital as it wants more money to invest in other projects and leverage them. He leads everyone to think about it to “up their game,” so to speak.

He gets everybody in the company to look at a budget to find out where the money is tied. He knows they all want to increase their capacities, recruit more people and sell more. He can use the account sheet to say that he doesn’t have to expand every $1,000 tied up with his departments at $1,000.

This CFO underlines the importance of working capital. People like to “simply stock” inventory and pay customers as long as they have to pay for it because it has a good customer relationship. The large-scale problems they don’t always realize.

Supermarkets provide another example of working capital management. Supermarket clients pay cash directly, but suppliers don’t pay for 30 to 60 days on the market.

This dynamic was devoted to the founders of Pick n Pay in South Africa. They have been successful because they offered low prices, but they had the money before paying their bills.

They knew that for a whole month at a time, they would have the money in their hands. It took one month of cash to buy and sell foreign currencies on the foreign exchange market. They earned money in this way—not profiting from the supermarket—and became South Africa’s second-largest supermarket chain.


Working capital is a bit hard to follow. Fixed assets like machinery are simple to price, but working capital means a revolving process consisting of many moving components.

Spontaneous, short-term, and long-term sources of working capital may be available. Spontaneous working capital mainly includes commercial loans like the sundry creditor, bills payable, and payable notes. Short-term sources are tax provisions, dividends, bank overdraft, cash credit, retail deposits, government deposits, short-term credit, commercial and intercorporate credit. Incumbent earnings, depreciation provision, stock capital, lending, and debentures are the long-term sources.

The word “spontaneous” itself says that this source of work capital is readily or easily accessible to the company in a typical business environment. The quantity and terms of this loan vary according to industry standards and buyer/seller relationships. These sources include commercial credit for sundry creditors, employees credit, and other retail credit. Spontaneous sources as working capital benefit most from their ‘efficient increase’ and ‘insignificant costs’ over traditional financing methods.

List of working capital spontaneous sources:

  • Trade Credit
  • Sundry Creditors
  • Bills Payable
  • Notes Payable
  • Accrued Expenses

The cost and quantity factor depend significantly upon the terms of such a loan, i.e. maximum loan, lending, and the cash discount. Depending on your business capacity and creditworthiness, each supplier has a maximum credit limit for the buyer. The loan period is also defined as saying 30 days, 45 days, and so on. The purchaser is authorized to discount the cash payment when purchasing the material immediately. This discount percentage is a buyer’s benefit.

Short Term Sources of Working Capital Finance

The internal and external sources of working capital finance can be further divided into short-term sources. Internal Sources for the short term:

  • Tax Provisions
  • Dividend Provisions

Foreign short-term sources Short-term financing of working capital by banks like:

  • Bank Overdrafts,
  • Cash Credits,
  • Trade Deposits,
  • Bills Discounting,
  • Short-term Loans or Working Capital Loans,
  • Inter-corporate Loans,
  • Commercial Paper, etc.

Current liabilities are the tax and dividend provisions and cannot be postponed. The fund used to pay for such conditions acts as work capital until they are not paid.

For spontaneous, long-term sources, short-term work capital financing available to banks and banks is expensive, but they are flexible for a long time. The finance director may use the funds, pay interest on the money his company uses and pay them whenever cash is available due to time-set flexibility. All in all, these facilities prove cheaper compared with long-term sources, where funds must be held even if they are not required.

Long-Term Sources of Working Capital Financing

In addition, long-term sources can be divided into external and internal sources. Domestic sources of finance are long-term retained profits and depreciation provision, while external sources are equity, long-term loans, and debentures.

Long-term Internal Sources:

  • Retained Profits
  • Provision for Depreciation
  • Long-term External Sources
  • Share Capital
  • Long-term Loan
  • Debentures

Retained benefits and accumulated depreciation are as significant as the company’s money at no direct cost. These are the money that the company itself fully earns and owns. They are used both for expansion and for financing work capital. Long-term external financial sources as share capital are not frequently used in working capital finance but cheaper sources of finance.

Capital can be classified as temporary and permanent working capital. You should use long-term sources for temporary functional capital requirements for permanent and short-term citations. This will optimize operating capital costs and implement good practices in working capital management.

Financial capital exists in three ways: equity, debt, and specialty. It can be more complicated to measure but still helpful to take into account sweat equity. This applies in particular to a small or start-up company.

Learn how to assess your own business or someone else’s three significant types of capital.

Type One: Equity Capital

Also known as “net value” or “book value,” the latter depicts a company’s assets minus liabilities. Some companies are funded solely with equity capital in cash invested into a company with no offsetting penalties by shareholders or owners.

For most companies, this is the preferred form of capital because they don’t have to pay it back, but it can be costly, and it can also demand a lot of work for a company to be founded.

This kind of operation is a case in point is Microsoft. It makes sufficient returns to justify a pure stock structure.

Type Two: Debt Capital

This type of money is given as a loan to be reimbursed by a specific date. The capital owner is often a banker, an obligor, or a rich person. In exchange for your money, you agree to accept payments of interest.

Consider the expense of interest as the cost of “leasing” your business to expand. The cost of capital is frequently known. Roughly 80% of U.S. small companies reported at least partly relying on the credit.

A large number of risk capital programs for start-ups and small companies are administered by the Small Business Management Administration (SBAs). These include long-term credit and loan guarantees, which help SMEs to obtain funding from other sources.

For many young companies, debt can be an easy way to expand. Access and understanding are pretty straightforward.

For a business owner, profit is the difference between capital return and capital cost. For example, if the company borrows $ 100,000 and pays 10% interest but still earns 15% after taxes, there would be no profit of 5 or 5,000 dollars without the debt capital borrowed from the company.

Type Three: Specialty Capital

This is the gold standard, and as a business owner, you’d do well. There are a few capital sources that are almost economically expensive, and that can remove growth limits. They include the negative cash conversion or seller financing cycle and floats of insurance.

It is widespread that, even though the owner invests capital as cash or as an asset, why is the liability on the balance sheet side recorded? Capital is a liability from the accounting standpoint since the company is obliged to refund its owner.

I want to clarify this point by providing you with two different views on accounting.

Reasons Why Business Capital Is a Liability

The business entity and the capital are two different things.

The company and capital are two distinct things in terms of business. However, the money the owner invested in making a profit is capital. The owner expects the money he invested in the enterprise to generate possible returns and return both investments and yield. It is essential for small enterprises that enough working capital is available to cater for daily costs, like payroll, inventory, and payable accounts. This is why the books of accounts are considered a responsibility and credited.

Capital is referred to as the obligations an organization needs to fulfill to supply the capital goods in the balance sheet. In this case, the loan the owner used to purchase inventories and then sell at a profit from his personal funds.

Capital and investment differ.

Capital and investment are two separate terms that people consider themselves the same thing frequently used interchangeably. Capital means the provision of funds, while the deployment of funds means investment. You may carry out investment in the short or long term. Purchasing and reselling of inventories for profit are part of investment processes.

Thus, capital is shown on the liability side on the balance sheet, while investments are shown on the asset side. Depending on the classification you want to accept, the investment is a current asset or intangible asset. Most people consider capital to be an investment, but that is wrong, as we have seen it to be a particular responsibility and not an asset as many people view it.

The Owner Lends Money to His Business

We leaned on the various accounting concepts as an accounting student just a few years ago. The BUSINESS ENTITY CONCEPT concept is in existence. This concept says that a company is separated from its owners. It also explains that a company’s assets are different from the owner’s assets without suing a company, vice versa.

It would help if you had capital when starting a business in anything the owner allows to start the business.

For example, Mr. James launched a company, let us say that ABC had $1,000,000 limited. Mr. James and ABC little are two distinct entities using the entity concept. Here, Mr. James granted his company a $1 million loan for start-up operations. You shall reimburse the company during a period when revenue is generated.

The enterprise has taken a Mr. James loan from my explanation above, which is a liability that it expects to repay. According to the concept of corporate accounting, the owners’ capital is considered a liability to the firm.

Here we found that the owner could use the money for other purposes but decided to lend the company money in the form of capital he expects in a few years to generate feasible returns. Capital is, therefore, a special responsibility. It differs from other long-term or short-term liabilities, however.

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About FR Capital

FR Capital is a Singapore consultancy firm that helps SMEs to secure business loans from banks and financial institutions. We concentrate on SME finance, and through our expertise and network, we help clients secure funding with low-interest rates efficiently and hassle-free.