The external factors include business fluctuations, changes in the technology, infrastructural facilities, import policy and the taxation policy etc.
1. Business Fluctuations
Most firms experience fluctuations in demand for their products and services. These business variations affect the working capital requirements. When there is an upward swing in the economy, sales will increase, correspondingly, the firm’s investment in inventories and book debts will also increase. Under boom, additional investment in fixed assets may be made by some firms to increase their productive capacity. This act of the firm will require additional funds. On the other hand when, there is a decline in economy, sales will come down and consequently the conditions, the firm try to reduce their short-term borrowings. Similarly the seasonal fluctuations may also affect the requirement of working capital of a firm.
2. Changes in the Technology
The technological changes and developments in the area of production can have immediate effects on the need for working capital. If the firm wish to install a new machine in the place of old system, the new system can utilize less expensive raw materials, the inventory needs may be reduced there by working capital needs.
3. Import Policy
Import policy of the Government may also effect the levels of working capital of a firm since they have to arrange funds for importing goods at specified times.
4. Infrastructural Facilities
The firms may require additional funds to maintain the levels of inventory and other current assets, when there is good infrastructural facilities in the company like, transportation and communications.
5. Taxation Policy
The tax policies of the Government will influence the working capital decisions. If the Government follow regressive taxation policy, i.e. imposing heavy tax burdens on business firms, they are left with very little profits for distribution and retention purpose. Consequently the firm has to borrow additional funds to meet their increased working capital needs. When there is a liberalized tax policy, the pressure on working capital requirement is minimized.