Course Outline
Join PRO

What is net working capital?

Author:
Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of Net Working Capital

Net working capital is the amount (as opposed to being a ratio) remaining after subtracting a company’s total amount of current liabilities from its total amount of current assets. Hence, the formula is: net working capital = current assets minus current liabilities. (Net working capital is also known as working capital.)

Example of Net Working Capital

As an example, a company with current assets of $130,000 and current liabilities of $100,000 has $30,000 of net working capital. This amount may be sufficient for some companies but inadequate for other companies.

Difference Between Net Working Capital and Liquidity

Net working capital is often cited as one of the indicators of a company’s liquidity. However, the amount of net working capital alone does not assure a company of the liquidity necessary to pay its current liabilities when they come due. For example, if a company’s current assets consist mainly of slow-moving inventory and some slow-paying accounts receivable, the company may not be able to convert its current assets to a sufficient amount of cash in time to pay its obligations. Not having sufficient cash to pay employees, suppliers and other creditors may lead to serious problems.

In contrast, another company that sells fast-moving products online with customers paying with credit cards will have liquidity even with a small amount of net working capital. If this company’s suppliers also have credit terms of net 60 days or the company pays its bills by using its business credit card, the company may be able to operate with negative working capital.

Managing Working Capital
In short, net working capital management is critical for a company’s positive relationships with lenders, suppliers, employees and customers. All of the components of net working capital should be examined in detail and managed properly.

Join PRO to Track Progress
Must-Watch Video

Advance Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Career

  • Perform better at your job
  • Get hired for a new position
  • Understand your small business
  • Pass your accounting class
Watch the Video

Join PRO or PRO Plus and Get Lifetime Access to Our Premium Materials

Read all 2,645 reviews

Features

PRO

PRO Plus

Features
Lifetime Access (One-Time Fee)
Explanations
Quizzes
Q&A
Word Scrambles
Crosswords
Bookkeeping Video Training
Financial Statements Video Training
Flashcards
Visual Tutorials
Quick Tests
Quick Tests with Coaching
Cheat Sheets
Business Forms
All PDF Files
Progress Tracking
Earn Badges and Points
Certificate - Debits and Credits
Certificate - Adjusting Entries
Certificate - Financial Statements
Certificate - Balance Sheet
Certificate - Income Statement
Certificate - Cash Flow Statement
Certificate - Working Capital
Certificate - Financial Ratios
Certificate - Bank Reconciliation
Certificate - Payroll Accounting

About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com.

Learn More About Harold

Certificates of
Achievement

Certificates of Achievement

We now offer 10 Certificates of Achievement for Introductory Accounting and Bookkeeping:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Adjusting Entries
  • Financial Statements
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital and Liquidity
  • Financial Ratios
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll Accounting
Badges and Points
  • Work towards and earn 30 badges
  • Earn points as you work towards completing our course
View PRO Plus Features
Course Outline
Take the Tour Join Pro Upgrade to Pro Plus