Working Capital Management: How Much Cash Is Your Business Tying Up?

The greater a company’s free cash flows, the better able it is to compete, invest, grow, and attract potential investors. Increasing cash flows is not just about increasing revenues, but also about the efficiency and speed by which those revenues are converted into cash. This is referred to as working capital management.

By studying the middle market’s approach to and perceptions of working capital management, and by comparing those data to practices among publicly traded entities, the National Center for the Middle Market and its research partners have identified and defined a major opportunity for companies to optimize working capital management and free up what can potentially amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in additional cash on hand.


For this report, the Center surveyed 400 C-suite middle market executives and financial managers with financial decision-making authority for their business. The survey was designed to identify working capital management perceptions, practices, challenges and opportunities among middle market firms, including the fastest-growing and best performing businesses.

Note: This report was republished in 05/2017. After the report was released in 01/2015, we discovered a formula error in the data set, which led to some inaccurate results. It does not alter the overall magnitude of the opportunity we identified for improving working capital management nor the key takeaways from the study.

To learn more, download the revised report, Working Capital Management

To benchmark yourself against peer data, use our Working Capital Benchmarking tool

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