All about Working Capital Requirement

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All about Working Capital Requirement

All about Working Capital Requirement (WCR)

If there is one indicator that you should monitor very closely, it is of course the working capital requirement (WCR). It is a short-term indicator of the autonomy or the financial health of a company in general. It is in fact the amount of money a company needs to pay its current expenses without resorting to the sums owed by its customers.

More precisely, the working capital requirement provides information on the company’s capacity to cover itself, by its own means, the needs resulting from the differences in receipts (income) and disbursements (expenses) following its operating cycle. How is the working capital requirement calculated and what does a negative working capital requirement mean? Why should it be negative and how can you improve your WCR? These are just a few of the questions you will find answers to in this article.

How to calculate the Working Capital Requirement?

The working capital requirement is calculated from the balance sheet. There are two methods of calculating WCR, one simplified and the other more complete. Note that you can be accompanied by an independent financial consultant for your WCR questions.

1st method of calculating WCR: the simplified method

WCR = Current Assets – Current Liabilities

Where Current Assets include inventories, trade receivables and all other receivables and Current Liabilities include trade payables, tax and social security payables and all other non-financial liabilities.

2nd method of calculating the WCR: the complete method

WCR = Operating assets – Operating liabilities

Where Operating uses correspond to inventories in progress, trade receivables and related accounts, discounted bills not yet due, other receivables and prepaid expenses. Operating resources are trade payables and related accounts, tax and social security liabilities and other non-financial liabilities.

What does a negative WCR mean?

Remember that the working capital requirement should normally be negative. This means that the company’s uses are lower than its resources, so if you have a negative WCR, the company’s operating cycle has not induced any financial needs and it is able to feed its net cash flow from the surplus generated by its resources.
In other words, a negative WCR simply means that the company is in perfect financial health. In other words, a negative WCR simply means that the company is in good financial health and that its cash flow can be used to meet its short-term commitments to its suppliers.

Why should WCR be negative?

Given the many advantages of a negative WCR, it is preferable to reduce this amount to the minimum possible so that it is always less than zero. The amount of WCR actually shows a balance of power between your ability to collect your receivables, your ability to get longer payment terms from your suppliers and your ability to manage your inventory well.
This means that the longer you are able to collect from your suppliers, the faster you are able to collect from your customers and the faster you are able to turn your inventory around, the more negative your working capital will be.It is also important to note that negative working capital is a great asset because the company does not need to raise money or incur debt before it can grow and finance its inventory. It can therefore ensure its self-financing to a certain extent.

How to improve your working capital requirements?

For a good management of the company, it is essential to control and to always try to improve its working capital requirement. An uncontrolled working capital requirement can lead to reorganizations, liquidations or even to the failure of a company.The improvement of the working capital requirement consists in acting on the various items which come into play for its calculation. These include inventory, accounts receivable and accounts payable.

Optimization of inventories

You should know that the more important the stocks of the company are, the more its WCR increases. It is therefore advisable to optimize your inventory management. Inventories represent the various purchases of goods or materials already made by the entity and which are awaiting sale or use for production. In order to optimize this balance sheet item, the company can try to increase the rotation of its inventories by ensuring faster deliveries. To optimize this balance sheet item, the company can try to increase the turnover of its inventories by ensuring faster deliveries. It can make use of the just-in-time technique, i.e. produce from now on according to the available demand in order to avoid dormant stocks.

Reduction of trade receivables

Trade receivables have a very important impact on the company’s cash flow, which greatly influences its WCR. The larger the receivables, the higher the WCR. However, it is also possible to reduce them by implementing a better means of reminding customers or by setting up a more efficient invoicing system, or by encouraging them to pay immediately by granting them conditional financial reductions such as discounts for early payment. However, be careful about the rate of discount you give. You don’t want the situation to turn against you.

Increase in trade payables

When short-term trade payables are too low compared to receivables and inventories, the WCR is positive. To sum up, the WCR is a very important indicator that you should keep an eye on. The better it is, the more it will mean the sustainability of your company.


So, working capital is a very important aspect of a company’s financial management – it’s even vital. It is vital because it determines the short-term liquidity of an organization and helps maintain a healthy balance between current assets and liabilities. A good understanding of working capital enables a business owner to effectively manage cash flow, meet obligations to tax authorities and suppliers and maintain operational efficiency.

In addition, regular monitoring of working capital helps identify potential cash flow problems, allowing management to take proactive steps to resolve them. Every day the business leader or CFO can and should also use working capital as a tool to assess the financial health of the business and make informed business and strategic decisions.

In summary, working capital is an essential and fundamental component of a company’s financial management, and its importance cannot be overstated. A company that effectively manages its working capital is better positioned to deal with today’s ever-increasing economic uncertainties and take advantage of growth opportunities.

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