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What is Working Capital? Discuss Five Important Determinants of Working Capital Requirement? - Business Studies

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ConceptConcept of Fixed and Working Capital

Question

What is working capital? Discuss five important determinants of working capital requirement?

Solution

Working capital is that part of firm's capital which is required for financing the short term or current asset. The working capital is also known as revolving capital or circulating capital or short term capital.

It is the amount of funds needed to meet the day to day operations of a business; it can be described as the excess of current assets over current liabilities.

The following are five determinants of working capital requirement.

1.Type of Business :- Working capital requirement of a firm depends on its nature of business. An organisation that deals in services or trading will not require much of working capital. This is because such organisations involve small operating cycle and there is no processing done. Herein, the raw materials are the same as the outputs and the sales transaction takes place immediately. In contrast to this, a manufacturing firm involves large operating cycle and the raw materials need to be converted into finished goods before the final sale transaction takes place. Thereby, such firms require large working capital.

2.Scale of Operations :- Another factor determining the working capital requirement is the scale of operations in which the firm deals. If a firm operates on a big scale, the requirement of the working capital increases. This is because such firms would need to maintain high stock of inventory and debtors. In contrast to this, if the scale of operation is small, the requirement of the working capital will be less.

3.Fluctuations in Business Cycle :- Different phases of business cycle alter the working capital requirements by a firm. During boom period, the market flourishes and thereby, there is higher sale, higher production, higher stock and debtors. Thus, during this period the need for working capital increases. As against this, in a period of depression there is low demand, lesser production and sale, etc. Thus, the working capital requirement reduces.

4.Production Cycle :- The time period between the conversion of raw materials into finished goods is referred as production cycle. The span of production cycle is different for different firms depending on which the requirement of working capital is determined. If a firm has a longer span of production cycle, i.e. if there is a long time gap between the receipt of raw materials and their conversion into final finished goods, then there will be a high requirement of working capital due to inventories and related expenses. On the other hand, if the production cycle is short then requirement of working capital will be low.

5.Growth Prospects :- Higher growth and expansion is related to higher production, more sales, more inputs, etc. Thus, companies with higher growth prospects require higher amount of working capital and vice versa.

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Solution What is Working Capital? Discuss Five Important Determinants of Working Capital Requirement? Concept: Concept of Fixed and Working Capital.
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