What Is Net Working Capital: How to Calculator & NWC Formula

Cody Cromwell
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Net Working Capital Formula

Net working capital (often shortened to NWC) is a very important financial indicator that helps you assess the balance between cash, receivables, payables and inventory. Its importance cannot be overstated. Businesses would do well to expend all their efforts in making sure that their net working capital is always positive.

The NWC formula is a simple one, and it exhibits the relationship between all four of those four categories:

Net Working Capital = Receivables – Inventory – Payables – Cash

When calculating your NWC, you will also need to know how your receivables and inventory are valued. Below, we discuss both of those categories separately.

Net Working Capital Example

Net working capital (NWC) is the sum of a company’s current assets – like cash, inventories, receivables, and prepaid expenses – minus its current liabilities – like accounts payable, payroll expenses, and investor funds. Net working capital is also sometimes called the quick ratio, turnover ratio, and days payable outstanding. NWC is closely linked to the solvency ratio, or financially strong.

In a business, the solvency ratio is used to determine a company’s ability to pay its debts. The solvency ratio is calculated by subtracting a company’s most recent net operating assets – including current marketable securities, accounts receivable, cash, cash equivalents, and inventories – from its current liabilities. A formula and examples of the solvency ratio are provided below.

Net Working Capital formula:

NWC = Current Assets … Current Liabilities Ω Net Operating Assets


Use the Template below to calculate Net Working Capital for Company ABC in the example below NWC = Current assets … Current liabilities Ω Net operating assets

NWC Example:

Current Assets

Net working capital or current assets minus current liabilities is the most commonly used liquidity calculation used in financial management.

Current Assets Can Be Categorized Into

Working Capital – Current assets that are readily convertible to cash and can be accrued and consummated within the current period. Assets that have a maturity period beyond the current period would be included in the term assets. Inventory – current assets (goods) which are expected to be converted to cash within the current period.

Current Assets Can Also Be Categorized As

Cash – Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period.

Inventory – Current assets that are expected to be sold or ended within the current period.

Other Current Assets – Current assets which do not fall under the above defined (working capital or inventory) categories.

Current Liabilities – Current liabilities that are expected to be ultimately settled within the current period.

Note: Current Assets and Current Liabilities are also known as Net Cash

As a matter of financial management, it is important to calculate the net working capital of a business with certainty. Since a business's net working capital will directly impact its growth and its ability to manage risk.

To calculate the net working capital of the Company, we will use the following method…

As we can see, the formula to calculate the net working capital is:

Current Liabilities

Why is Net Working Capital Important?

Net Working Capital (known as Net Working Capital or NWC ) is a very important financial ratio. Almost every company in the world today is a target for private equity or venture capital firms.

So one important step in any exit strategy is to identify a business with a favorable Net Working Capital. And if you’re a venture capitalist or you have a stake in a private equity firm, you’ll look at the Net Working Capital in conjunction with other financial ratios to decide how much you’re willing to pay in cash and in capital for the acquisition.

Changes to Net Working Capital

Net Working Capital (NWC) is a calculation used to determine a company’s overall financial health. It accounts for all operating costs since they subtract from the value of inventories and receivables.

The formula for Net Working Capital is the sum of the fixed operating expenses (payroll, rent on office space and all known expenditures) minus the sum of total inventory, amount of materials and supplies on hand and remaining receivables.

Net Working Capital is a quick method used by accountants to determine the liquidity of a company. Assets and Liquidity are the two most important measures of a company’s financial health. High assets are indicative of a healthy firm and low liquidity is usually associated with a company experiencing financial distress.

I’m using a spreadsheet formula called –Net Working Capital Formula” with this page for calculating and comparing the financial health of Online and traditional shopping mall/marketing, manufacturing, retail and service industries.

Net Working Capital Ratio

Net Working Capital Regulation or NWCR has been designed to help companies measure the solvency of their revenues. The NWCR is the relationship between the actual cash outflows used to generate current business and the cash inflows expected from sales. It’s used to address solvency related questions such as whether a company has enough financing available to help it grow, whether they have too much debt relative to profits, and other solvency related questions.

The net working capital is calculated by dividing the current assets by the current liabilities. The result shows the remaining cash that the company can sustain for the next year or more.

Pros and Cons of Net Working Capital

Net Working Capital(NWC) is a liquidity measurement under Fixed asset accounting that indicates the amount of new working capital a company requires at any given point in time to meet it’s operating requirements.

It is calculated by eliminating Working Capital from the Current assets and includes all current accounts accrued to both Cash on Hand and a cutoff point.

It is used to determine equity remaining (or low cash) in a company…this value will determine the relative risk of a company and the probability of bankruptcy.

It’s important to note that while NWC is a useful tool for certain purposes, it’s not a substitute for other measurements of liquidity, including Level One and Two/High Managers.

Net Working Capital(NWC) Calculations Formula

In an ideal world, NWC should be equal to zero at all times. There are companies that exhibit positive NWC for a variety of reasons.

If the Cash account is larger than the Current Liabilities account, then NWC will show a positive value.

If the NWC is negative, however, the company would have to make monthly payments of all accounts as they fall due or the company could run out of cash to meet all obligations.

This is known as a negative net working capital situation.

Pros of Net Working Capital:

{1}. NWC is a net working capital used for business expansion financing.
{2}. It's a low interest loan which businesses can easily get compared to other traditional bank loans.
{3}. Not only the low interest rate but also collateralization act are strengthen the net working capital.
{4}. The ability of a firm to meet all working capital is stipulated by net working capital.
{5}. The conversion rate between the net working capital and working capital is about 1:1.
{6}. The expressions are quarterly by nature and the yearly one is called annual variations of net working capital.

Cons of Positive Net Working Capital:

Brand depends and is constricted within one channel limits while new makes are limited by their current brand. A new brand cannot just walk into an existing channels and sell their products without any process and or a line up.

The brand is dependent to an existing business that it will be attacked for monopolies. This has been done on the Cable Television industry in the USA and now the Electronic Cigarettes Industry. Their advertising is also limited due to the high competition.

There are high development costs to build a brand.

Product related expenses and the production costs are not shared.

Bricks and Mortar operation is harder to run and maintain.

Natural and Artificial competition is higher due to the existing brands.

If as a new competitor you are not in a position to manufacture in the market you will have no input for pricing.

It is difficult to establish the brand and develop a new customer base.

The new entry for new competitors is generally under the umbrella of an existing incubator.

The new brand will quickly lose market share to the acknowledged one.

How to Increase Your Net Working Capital

A company’s net working capital is the difference between current assets and current liabilities. Aim to maintain a minimum of 10% to 20% of net working capital on hand which is calculated as follows: (Current Assets ‘ Current Liabilities) ‘ Debt.

Net working capital is extremely important because it ensures that a company can pay off its Short Term Liabilities‘ or the debts it owes money to within a year’s time.

Working capital is needed to pay vendors, suppliers, and to improve the quality of the product or service that is being offered to customers. When there’s enough money in a company’s credit account, suppliers are able to wait to be paid for their products and services, giving the company more time to pay for its materials. Working capital can also improve productivity by providing businesses with the opportunity to purchase necessary materials and provide required services. Finally, having high levels of working capital is necessary for companies to expand and increase profits.

Sell Long-Term Assets for Cash

Are you looking for a way to raise capital? There are still many, many advantages to waiting until the market falls. For example, combining payment capability with the ability to purchase assets that can deliver purchasing power into the future, taking advantage of low interest rates.

Many companies have started building capital by selling assets to pay for other assets or to pay off long-term liabilities. The most commonly used method is the sale of long-term assets (treasury stock).

An alternative is to accept a small negative liquidation value (SVL) on long-term assets, in order to obtain current assets. This would be a bad case of negative working capital, but it is often desirable and may reduce some of the uncertainty and risk of operating with negative working capital.

You can use the Net Working Capital Calculator to determine the value of these procedures.

The Net Working Capital Calculator is a small spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel that will show you the current value of Net Working Capital and the Net Working Capital formula.

The Net Working Capital is sometimes abbreviated as NWC. It is frequently used in the Negative Working Capital Ratio formula. The formula is as follows: Net Working Capital = LTV – DV. LTV is the level of long-term debt. DV is the negative working capital or liability.

Increase Inventory Turnover

Revenue, & Profits by Calculating Your NWC.

Cash Flow Model

Cash Flow can be best achieved with a Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss Statement, and Financial Statement. By knowing your Net Working Capital, you can calculate the Cash Flow and Profit. You can use your Net Working Capital to calculate your inventory turnover, revenue, and profits.

Cash Flow is the flow of cash through a company. Cash Flow is the difference between Cash Inflow on the one side and Cash Outflow on the other side.

You can work out your Cash Flow by using a model called the Net Working Capital formula formula. Net Working Capital formula is a model used to calculate the Cash Flow in a company. A normal working balance sheet will show you the value of the company’s assets and liabilities. But the working balance sheet does not quantify the Cash Flow in the company. How can you calculate Cash Flow if you don’t factor in the Cash Balance?

It’s all about the Net Working Capital or working capital. The Net Working Capital takes into account your assets and your liabilities. The reason for this is that you need to factor in the cash balance as a liability. A financial institution such as a bank must consider your cash balancing account as a liability. The bank will lend a maximum amount of money to you up to your deposit deposit minus the amount of money in your deposit baling account.

Refinance Short-Term Debt with Long-Term Debt

Then my guy says to me, –No, no, no, no, no, no! I don’t believe in debt. I believe in cashflow. I believe in cash-on-cash return.’ When you take a little bit of money out of your cashflow and bring it back as debt, you’re diluting your return.’

This might not seem so bad to you if you believe, as I do, that you’re getting back as good a return as you can anywhere else. Maybe even better. But if you’re thinking, –Well, I’m still going to earn interest on the money,’ first, that’s dumb. I’m not borrowing money for the purpose of earning interest – I have a really inefficient use of funds here. Second, remember that true returns are opportunity costs.

The NWC Calculator will allow you to calculate Net Working Capital and the corresponding Net Working Capital Formula is simply = Net Working Capital = Current Assets – Current Liabilities.

Bottom Line

Net working capital (also known as working capital) measures the monetary position of a company compared to its day to day expenses. This is the amount of cash that the company has on hand at the end of a financial period (usually a day) that can be used to meet their commitments.

Net working capital is generally considered to be a useful measure of how liquid the company is. Any firm that has trouble meeting its financial obligations would be considered to be running a negative working capital position (that is, it only has liabilities), but this is rare.

It Is Expressed in the Form of Net Working Capital= a – B

Notice, the formula is: A = total current assets -B. Total current assets, when shortened as TCAs, stand for total current asset. This can also be expressed as A = A + B where A is the result of dividing A by B.

Assets, if you recall from a previous post, are things that a company owns that generate cash flow. In this sense, total current assets equals all of the company’s assets less any liabilities.

Thus, net working capital can also be expressed as.