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By: Sherinne Christie Ann Z. Albao

Example: BEST BUY COMPANY Their stocks were sold at $50 in 2007, up from $2 in 1997. This excellent performance stemmed from sound financial and operating practices, especially its working capital management. Working Capital Management involves finding the optimal levels for cash, marketable securities, accounts receivable and inventory and then financing that working capital for the least cost. About 50% of the typical industry/retail firms assets are held as working capital (particularly to small businesses).


The term working capital originated with the old Yankee peddler who would load up his wagon and go off to peddle his wares. Two basic definitions (review of Chapter 2) Current assets are often called working capital because these assets turn over (e.g. used and then replaced in a year). Net Working Capital = current assets (payables + accruals)


This figure shows the three alternative policies regarding the size of the current asset holdings.


Relaxed Current Asset Investment Policy - High Level of Cash, Marketable Securities & Inventories - High Level of Receivables - Minimizes Operating problems but Low Turnover Restricted Current Asset Investment Policy - Holdings of current assets are minimized or constrained - Low level of assets, High asset turnover ratio, high ROE - Exposed to many risks. Moderate Current Asset Investment Policy - Lies between the two extremes


Investments in current assets must be financed and the primary sources of funds. Each of these sources have advantages and disadvantages, so each firm must decide which sources are best for it.

Note: Most businesses experience seasonal and/or cyclical fluctuations.


Similarly, the sales of virtually all businesses increase when the economy is strong, build up current assets at those times but let inventories and receivables fall when economy weakens.
PERMANENT CURRENT ASSETS Current assets that a firm must carry even at the trough of its cycles. TEMPORARY CURRENT ASSETS Current assets that fluctuate with seasonal or cyclical variations in sales


Maturity Matching Approach

Self-Liquidating approach All the fixed assets and permanent current assets are financed with long term debt. Temporary current assets are financed with short-term debt.
TWO FACTORS PREVENT AN EXACT MATURITY MATCHING 1. There is uncertainty of asset life 2. Some common equity must be used and common equity has no maturity

Aggressive Approach
Finances some of its permanent assets with short-term debt. There can be different degrees of aggressiveness The reason for adopting this policy is to take advantage of the fact that the yield curve is generally sloping upward. Financing long-term assets with short term debt is extremely risky.

Conservative Approach
Long-term capital is used to finance all the permanent assets and some of the seasonal needs. The firm use a small amount of credit to meet its peak requirements but also meets its seasonal needs by storing liquidity in the form of marketable securities. This is a very safe and conservative financing policy.

Choosing between the Approaches

The cost of short term debt is generally lower than long-term debt. Short term debt is riskier to the borrowing firm
Short term credits interest expense fluctuates widely and high that profits are extinguished. A temporary recession will affect financial ratios and may render the company unable to pay this debt.

Short term loans are generally negotiated faster Short term debt may offer greater flexibility

Choosing between the Approaches

Short-term generally have fewer restrictions. It is not possible to state that long term or short term debt is better than the other. The firms specific conditions will affect the choice and the preferences of managers. The different approaches will be considered but the final decision will reflect managers personal preferences and judgments.


The length of time where funds are tied up in working capital or the length of time between paying for working capital and collecting cash from the sale of the working capital.

Inventory Conversion Period

The average time required to convert raw materials into finished goods and then to sell them.

Average Collection Period

The average length of time required to convert the firms receivables into cash, that is, to collect cash following a sale.

Payables Deferral Period

The average length of time between the purchase of materials and labor and the payment of cash for them.


The CCC result depends upon the firm or the company. However, shortening the CCC results in higher profits and better stock price performances. If the actual CCC is higher than the reasonable CCC established from the company, the CFO would take measures to shorten the CCC.

17.4 CCC
Zocco Corporation has an inventory conversion period of 75 days, an average collection period of 38 days, and a payables deferral period of 30 days.
a.) What is the length of the cash conversion cycle?

CCC = 75 days + 38 days 30 days = 83 days

b.) If Zoccos annual sales are $ 3,421,875 and all the sales are on credit, what is the investment in accounts receivables?

Ave. collection period = receivables / (sales/365) 38 = X / (3,421,875/365) 38 = X / 9375 X = 38 (9375) X = 356,250

Firms need to forecast their cash flows. If they are likely to need additional cash, they should line up funds well in advance. On the other hand, if they are likely to generate surplus cash, they should plan for its productive use.
CASH BUDGET A table that shows cash receipts, disbursements, and balances over some period.

Cash budget can be of any length, but firms typically develop a monthly cash budget for the coming year and a daily cash budget at the start of each month.
The monthly budget is good for annual planning, while the daily budget gives a more precise picture of the actual cash flows and is good for scheduling actual payments on a day-to-day basis.
TARGET CASH BALANCE The desired cash balance that a firm plans to maintain in order to conduct business.