NATURE OF WORKING CAPITAL

Working capital management is concerned with the problems that arise in attempting to manage the current assets, the current liabilities and the interrelationship that exists between them. The term current assets refer to those assets which in the ordinary course of business can be, or will be, converted into cash within one year without undergoing a diminution in value and without disrupting the operations of the firm. The major current assets are cash, marketable securities, accounts receivable and inventory. Current liabilities are those liabilities which are intended, at their inception to be paid in the ordinary course of business within a year, out of the current assets or earnings of the concern. The basic current liabilities are accounts payable, bills payable, bank overdraft, and outstanding expenses. The goal of working capital management is to manage the firm's current assets and liabilities. In such a way that a satisfactory level of working capital is maintained. This is so because if the firm cannot maintain a satisfactory level of working capital, it is likely to become insolvent and may even be forced into bankruptcy. The current assets should be large enough to cover its current liabilities in order to ensure a reasonable margin of safety. Each of the current assets must be managed efficiently in order to maintain the liquidity of tile firm while not keeping too high a level of anyone of them. Each of the short term sources of financing must be continuously managed to ensure that they are obtained and used in the best possible way. The interaction between current assets and current liabilities is, therefore, the main theme of the theory of working management.

The basic ingredients of the theory of working capital management may be said to include its definition, need, optimum level of current assets, the trade off between profitability and risk which is associated with the level of current assets and liabilities, financing mix strategies and so on.

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