A firm is required to maintain a balance between liquidity and profitability while conducting its day to day operations. Liquidity is a precondition to ensure that firms are able to meet its short-term obligations and its continued flow can be guaranteed from a profitable venture. The importance of cash as an indicator of continuing financial health should not be surprising in view of its crucial role within the business. This requires that business must be run both efficiently and profitably. In the process, an asset-liability mismatch may occur which may increase firm’s profitability in the short run but at a risk of its insolvency. On the other hand, too much focus on liquidity will be at the expense of profitability and it is common to find finance textbooks begin their working capital sections with a discussion of the risk and return tradeoffs inherent in alternative working capital policies. Thus, the manager of a business entity is in a dilemma of achieving desired tradeoff between liquidity and profitability in order to maximize the value of a firm.
Importance of Working Capital
The working capital meets the short-term financial requirements of a business enterprise. It is a trading capital, not retained in the business in a particular form for longer than a year. The money invested in it changes form and substance during the normal course of business operations. The need for maintaining an adequate working capital can hardly be questioned. Just as circulation of blood is very necessary in the human body to maintain life, the flow of funds is very necessary to maintain business. If it becomes weak, the business can hardly prosper and survive. Working capital starvation is generally credited as a major cause if not the major cause of small business failure in many developed and developing countries.
Objectives of Working Capital
It is becoming more and more difficult to use debt to finance...