Liquidity & Working Capital Ratios

working capital ratio

With that, this account gauges your business liquidity and operational efficiency. It shows short-term financial position to determine if it can cover short-term obligations. In general, a positive working capital indicates the potential to invest and grow. Meanwhile, a negative NWC means current liabilities exceed current assets.

  • Current assets are assets that are expected to be converted into cash within one year.
  • This is because these assets are easily convertible to cash, unlike fixed assets.
  • Another goal is to ensure that you have enough cash to cover short-term obligations.
  • For example, a computer-retailer’s inventories could become too high if consumers start buying mobile devices from telecommunications providers.
  • Accounts payable are bills that have been incurred by the company but have not yet been paid.
  • While the concepts discussed herein are intended to help business owners understand general accounting concepts, always speak with a CPA regarding your particular financial situation.

Though it doesn’t conclude the company is doing great, it is just a neutral state. For a firm to maintain Working Capital Ratio higher than 1, they need to analyze the current assets and liabilities efficiently. Below this range company could go through a critical situation that might indicate to the firm that they need to intensely work upon their short-term assets and grow them as soon as they can. Working capital management monitors cash flows from changes in current assets and liabilities.

How to Determine Cash on a Balance Sheet

With proper management, you can maintain the balance between procurement and payment. Early payments may be unnecessary and cause an unfavorable impact on your liquidity.

working capital ratio

So, the company would have to sell all the current assets to be able to repay its current liabilities. Create a shorter operating cycle to increase cash flow and reduce the possibilities of non-payment.

Collection Ratio

You can see how the company performs or a specific time series on the income statement. Beyond that, you must consider how long it can sustain its operations. Profits show how much money your business generates but not its adequacy.

  • As with other performance metrics, it is important to compare a company’s ratio to those of similar companies within its industry.
  • A working capital ratio of less than 1 suggests potential liquidity issues, while a working capital ratio of more than 3 suggests that assets aren’t being utilized properly.
  • We can see in the chart below that Coca-Cola’s working capital, as shown by the current ratio, has improved steadily over the last few years.
  • They do not include long-term or illiquid investments such as certain hedge funds, real estate, or collectibles.
  • The same might be true of a farmer’s market or a landscaping business.
  • In financial statements, current assets and liabilities are always stated first, followed by long-term assets and liabilities.

Being in violation of a loan agreement can have serious ramifications. These tasks are made much easier, and accuracy is greatly improved, with the use of automation-focused purchasing software. But generally speaking, the working capital ratio is best viewed as a rough guide to liquidity, refined by the additional calculation of the cash conversion cycle and other liquidity ratios. The Cash Conversion Cycle will be a better measure to determine the company’s liquidity rather than its working capital ratio. The first is to compare the calculated ratio with the companies own historical records to spot trends. A stable ratio means that money is flowing in and out of the business smoothly.


This means that the firm would have to sell all of its current assets in order to pay off its current liabilities. The reason this ratio is called the working capital ratio comes from the working capital calculation. When current assets exceed current liabilities, the firm has enough capital to run its day-to-day operations. The working capital ratio transforms the working capital calculation into a comparison between current assets and current liabilities. There are some actions that financial analysts can take to improve the cash flow and repair the damage caused, which impacts WCR to go down.

Your working capital ratio is the proportion of your business’ current assets to its current liabilities. As a metric, it provides a snapshot of your company’s ability to pay for any liabilities with existing assets. Current liabilities are all the debts and expenses the company expects to pay within a year or one business cycle, whichever is less. To better explain inventory to working capital,it is an important indicator of a company’s operation efficiency. Note that a low value of 1 or less of inventory to working capital means that a company has high liquidity of current asset. While it may also mean insufficient inventories, high value inventory to working capital ratio means that a company is carrying too much inventory in stock.

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working capital ratio