Net Working Capital - Meaning - Examples - Formula - Importance - Change in Net Working Capital Impact - Wikipedia of Finance

Net Working Capital – Meaning, Examples, Formula, Importance, Change Impact


What is Net Working Capital?

Net Working Capital (NWC) is actually the difference between the company’s current assets as well as current liabilities at its balance sheet. It is a determine concerning your company’s liquidity as well as its capacity to satisfy short-term responsibilities, plus investment associated with the business. It’s regularly measure the short-term liquidity concerning a business, and can additionally be utilized to measure its ability of company management towards utilization of assets at effective manner. Your appropriate position is when current assets are more than current liabilities, and thus have the good net working capital stability.

In order to calculate net working capital, basic principle is to add all the assets like: Inventory, Marketable investments, Trade accounts receivable, Cash and cash equivalents and subtract from Trade accounts payable. This way you can get the net working capital of your company.

Net Working Capital Formula:

Simply to determine the net working capital out of a business. You can use one of these net working capital formula give below:

Net Working Capital (NWC) = (Trade Accounts Receivable) + (Inventory) + (Cash and Cash Equivalents) + (Marketable Investments) – (Trade Accounts Payable)

( or )

Net Working Capital (NWC) = (Current Assets) – (Current Liabilities)

( or )

Net Working Capital (NWC) = Current Assets (Less Cash) – Current Liabilities (Less Debt)

Initial formula on top is the broadest which includes all the accounts, their next formula is much more narrow, and the last formula is the most slim. You can use any of the net working capital formula which best suits to your company as well as business model.

Net Working Capital Example:

Now that you learned about net working capital formula, let us now proceed further to evaluate each component and calculate it as a part of obtaining net working capital example.

Current assets tend to be short-term assets in balance sheet which can be transformed into cash in either 1 year or less time-frame. Current assets includes Marketable securities, cash, inventories, cash equivalents (treasury bills, commercial paper, short-term bonds, money market funds, etc), account receivables and more.

Whereas, Current liabilities have always been short-term financial obligations for either a year to lesser period. Current liabilities includes lines of credit, short-term loans, accrued liabilities, account payable along with other debts like trade debts, credit cards, and more.

Let us take another net working capital example now, Assuming that company’s current asset has cash equivalents of 500,000, inventories of 100,000 and accounts receivable of 50,000. Whereas company’s current liabilities has accrued liabilities of 40,000, accounts payable of 70,000 and short-term loan of 200,000.

Current Assets = 500,000 + 100,000 + 50,000 = 650,000
Current Liabilities = 40,000 + 70,000 + 200,000 = 310,000

Now that you know the company’s current assets and current liabilities valuation, let us now subtract your current liabilities with current assets to evaluate net working capital. The net working capital calculation is:

Net Working Capital (NWC) = Current Assets – Current Liabilities
Net Working Capital (NWC) = 650,000 – 310,000
Net Working Capital (NWC) = 340,000

Importance of Net Working Capital:

There is a huge importance of net working capital because it represents short-term business assets available to pay the short-term obligations. One of the good indicator to evaluate how effectively your business is operating and how is your company’s financial condition in the short-term. There is a business justification and importance of net working capital for evaluating its financial health.

Here is an simple example to understand its importance of net working capital. A positive change in net working capital means your business have enough liquidity to pay your current financial obligations as well as spend money for any type of research or development. Whereas a negative change in net working capital means that your company might typically need to borrow money or increase finances to pay its current financial obligations. Whereas zero change in net working capital means business can only match their current financial obligations. They do not have addition funds to grab any upcoming business opportunities.

Changes in Net Working Capital:

Changes in net working capital impacts Operating Cash Flow (OCF) and is recorded on your cash flow statement. The change in net working capital showcase, if your short-term business assets is improving or perhaps decreasing with regards to their short-term liabilities from a one time period to the next.

Changes in Net Working Capital Formula:

Determine the change in net working capital, you can make use of formula given below:

Changes in Net Working Capital Formula = Current Net Working Capital – Previous Net Working Capital

Changes in Net Working Capital Examples:

Let us take some of the changes in net working capital examples to understand this concept in more detail:

  • If the company buy an asset in cash which means cash flow of company might decrease. This will result in decrease in company’s net working capital. Similarly, when company sells an asset in cash, there is an increase in company’s net working capital with the increase in cash component.
  • Assuming that company buy inventory in cash which means that there would be zero change in net working capital. This is because inventory as well as cash both are part of current assets. So finally, cash is reduced and inventory is increased with the same amount.
  • When your company collects 50,000 as a part of accounts receivable, which means that there is no change in net working capital. This is because cash is increased and accounts receivable is decreased with the same amount and both these components are part of current assets.
  • In case a company obtains a long-term loan to repay its current financial liabilities, which means that current liabilities will get reduced but there won’t be any change in current assets. Therefore, this change will result in increase in net working capital.


Here we have learned about what is net working capital, formula of net working capital, examples of net working capital along with why net working capital is important. In this chapter we have also learned about how does change in net working capital impacts cash flow, how to calculate change in working capital from balance sheet along with change in net working capital formula. I am sure that this will definitely clear your most of the doubts on net working capital. Hope you would have like reading this article.

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