Chapter 22
Current Asset Management
ANSWERS TO END-OF-CHAPTER QUESTIONS



22-1 a. Working capital is a firm’s investment in short-term assets--cash, marketable securities, inventory, and accounts receivable. Net working capital is current assets minus current liabilities. Working capital policy refers to the basic policy decisions regarding (1) target levels for each category of current assets and (2) how current assets will be financed.

b. A relaxed current asset investment policy refers to a policy under which relatively large amounts of cash, marketable securities, and inventories are carried and under which sales are stimulated by a liberal credit policy, resulting in a high level of receivables.
A restricted current asset investment policy refers to a policy under which holdings of cash, securities, inventories, and receivables are minimized; while a moderate current asset investment policy lies between the relaxed and restricted policies.
A moderate current asset financing policy matches asset and liability maturities. It is also referred to as the maturity matching, or “self-liquidating” approach.

c. The cash conversion cycle is the length of time between the firm's actual cash expenditures on productive resources (materials and labor) and its own cash receipts from the sale of products (that is, the length of time between paying for labor and materials and collecting on receivables.) Thus, the cash conversion cycle equals the length of time the firm has funds tied up in current assets. The cash conversion cycle model has been developed to formalize the calculation of the cycle. The inventory conversion period is the average length of time to convert materials into finished goods and then to sell them. It is calculated by dividing total inventory by sales per day. The receivables collection period is the average length of time required to convert a firm’s receivables into cash. It is calculated by dividing accounts receivable by sales per day. The payables deferral period is the average length of time between a firm’s purchase of materials and labor and the payment of cash for them. It is calculated by dividing accounts payable by credit purchases per day (COGS/360).

d. Transactions balance is the cash balance associated with payments and collections; the balance necessary for day-to-day operations. A compensating balance is a checking account balance that a firm must maintain with a bank to compensate the bank for services rendered or for granting a loan. A precautionary balance is a cash balance held in reserve for random, unforeseen fluctuations in cash inflows and outflows. A speculative balance is a cash balance that is held to enable the firm to take advantage of any bargain purchases that might arise.

e. A cash budget is a schedule showing cash flows (receipts, disbursements, and cash balances) for a firm over a specified period. The net cash gain or loss for the period is calculated as total collections for the period less total payments for the same period of time.
The target cash balance is the desired cash balance that a firm plans to maintain in order to conduct business.

f. Trade discounts are price reductions that suppliers offer customers for early payment of bills.

g. Synchronizing cash flows is an attempt by firms to keep cash balances to a minimum by improving their forecasting and by arranging things so that their cash receipts coincide with required cash outflows.

h. Check clearing is the process of converting a check that has been written and mailed into cash in the payee’s account. Net float is the difference between disbursement float and collections float. Disbursement float is the value of the checks which we have written but which are still being processed and thus have not been deducted from our account balance by the bank. Collections float is the amount of checks that we have received but which have not yet been credited to our account.

i. A lockbox plan is a procedure used to speed up collections and reduce float through the use of post office boxes in payers’ local areas. A pre-authorized debit allows funds to be automatically transferred from a customer’s account to the firm’s account on specified dates.

j. Marketable securities are securities that can be sold on short notice without loss of principal or original investment. Near-cash reserves are a suitable set of securities that can be quickly and easily converted to cash. Examples of securities that could be held as near-cash reserves are U.S. treasury bills, commercial paper, negotiable certificates of deposit, money market mutual funds, floating rate and market auction preferred stock, and Eurodollar time deposits.

k. The red line method is a technique for inventory control, as is the two-bin method. Computerized inventory control systems are just what the name implies. In the red line method, a line is drawn around the inside of a bin at the level of the reorder point, and the inventory clerk places an order when the red line shows. The two-bin method is similar--when the first bin is exhausted, items are ordered. With a computerized inventory control system, the computer starts with an inventory count in memory. As withdrawals are made, they are recorded by the computer, and the inventory balance is revised. When the reorder point is reached, the computer automatically places an order, and when the order is received, the recorded balance is increased.

l. Just-in-time systems refer to receiving inventories just as they are needed. Firms that employ such systems are attempting to minimize inventory carrying costs.
Out-sourcing is the practice of purchasing components rather than making them in-house.

m. An account receivable is created when a good is shipped or a service is performed, and payment for that good is not made on a cash basis, but on a credit basis.
Days sales outstanding (DSO) is a measure of the average length of time it takes a firm’s customers to pay off their credit purchases.

n. An aging schedule breaks down accounts receivable according to how long they have been outstanding. This gives the firm a more complete picture of the structure of accounts receivable than that provided by days sales outstanding.

o. Credit policy is nothing more than the firm’s policy on granting and collecting credit. There are four elements of credit policy, or credit policy variables. These are credit period, credit standards, collection policy, and discounts.
The credit period is the length of time for which credit is extended. If the credit period is lengthened, sales will generally increase, as will accounts receivable. This will increase the financing needs and possibly increase bad debt losses. A shortening of the credit period will have the opposite effect.
Credit standards determine the minimum financial strength required to become a credit, versus cash, customer. The optimal credit standards equate the incremental costs of credit to the incremental profits on increased sales.
The collection policy is the procedure for collecting accounts receivable. A change in collection policy will affect sales, days sales outstanding, bad debt losses, and the percentage of customers taking discounts.
Credit terms are statements of the credit period and any discounts offered--for example, 2/10, net 30.

p. Cash discounts are often used to encourage early payment and to attract customers by effectively lowering prices. Credit terms are usually stated in the following form: 2/10, net 30. This means a 2 percent discount will apply if the account is paid within 10 days, otherwise the account must be paid within 30 days.

q. Seasonal dating sets the invoice date, or date at which the credit and discount periods begin, to a time during the buyer’s own selling season, regardless of the actual sale date.

22-2 When money is tight, interest rates are generally high. This means that near-cash assets have high returns; hence, it is expensive to hold idle cash balances. Firms tend to economize on their cash balance holdings during tight-money periods.

22-3 The two principal reasons for holding cash are for transactions and compensating balances. The target cash balance is not equal to the sum of the holdings for each reason because the same money can often partially satisfy both motives.

22-4 a. Better synchronization of cash inflows and outflows would allow the firm to keep its transactions balance at a minimum, and would therefore lower the target cash balance.

b. Improved sales forecasts would tend to lower the target cash balance.

c. A reduction in the portfolio of U.S. Treasury bills (marketable securities) would cause the firm’s cash balance to rise if the Treasury bills had been held in lieu of cash balances.

d. An overdraft system will enable the firm to hold less cash.

e. If the amount borrowed equals the increase in check-writing, the target cash balance will not change. Otherwise, the target cash balance may rise or fall, depending on the relationship between the amount borrowed and the number of checks written.

f. The firm will tend to hold more Treasury bills, and the target cash balance will tend to decline.

22-5 A lockbox would probably make more sense for a firm that operated nationwide. Lockboxes reduce the time required for a firm to receive incoming checks, to deposit them, and to get them cleared through the banking system so that the funds are available for use. However, even a local firm with enough volume may want its bank to receive and process checks before the firm adjusts its accounts receivable ledgers.

22-6 False. Both accounts will record the same transaction amount.

22-7 The four elements in a firm’s credit policy are (1) credit standards, (2) credit period, (3) discount policy, and (4) collection policy. The firm is not required to accept the credit policies employed by its competition, but the optimal credit policy cannot be determined without considering competitors’ credit policies. A firm’s credit policy has an important influence on its volume of sales, and thus on its profitability.

22-8 The latest date for paying and taking discounts is May 10. The date by which the payment must be made is June 9.



22-9 a. = =
= = 39 days.

b. False. While it appears that most customers pay on time (because 39 days is less than the 40 days stipulated in the credit terms), this does not mean that all customers are paying on time. In fact, it is very likely that some are not, since some customers are paying on the tenth day and are taking the discount.

22-10 False. An aging schedule will give more detail, especially as to what percentage of accounts are past due and what percentage of accounts are taking discounts.

22-11 No. Although B sustains slightly more losses due to uncollectible accounts, its credit manager may have a wise policy that is generating more sales revenues (and thus profits) than would be the case if he had a policy which cut those losses to zero.

22-12 A/R Sales Profit
a. The firm tightens its credit
standards. - - 0

b. The terms of trade are
changed from 2/10, net 30,
to 3/10, net 30. 0 + 0

c. The terms are changed from
2/10 net 30, to 3/10, net 40. 0 + 0

d. The credit manager gets tough
with past-due accounts. - - 0

Explanations:

a. When a firm “tightens” its credit standards, it sells on credit more selectively. It will likely sell less and certainly will make fewer credit sales. Profit may be affected in either direction.

b. The larger cash discount will probably induce more sales, but they will likely be from customers who pay bills quickly. Further, some of the current customers who do not take the 2 percent discount may be induced to start paying earlier. The effect of this would be to reduce accounts receivable, so accounts receivable and profits could go either way.

c. A less stringent credit policy in terms of the credit period should stimulate sales. The accounts receivable could go up or down depending upon whether customers take the new higher discount or delay payments for the 10 additional days, and depending upon the amount of new sales generated.

d. If the credit manager gets tough with past due accounts, sales will decline, as will accounts receivable.

22-13 The firm could have its suppliers ship by air freight, reducing lead time, or on consignment, reducing the firm’s purchasing costs. The firm can reduce its finished goods inventory by manufacturing to meet orders, or by shipping goods to customers at the firm’s discretion, or by using seasonal dating in its accounts receivable policy.
Unless the firm is in a strong bargaining position, or offers some financial incentive, shifting inventory burdens to suppliers and customers may result in higher costs and fewer sales. If a supplier has to carry larger raw material inventory, it may charge a higher price to the firm to cover its increased inventory costs. Shifting inventory burdens to customers may result in lost sales if customers can obtain better service from other firms.
SOLUTIONS TO END-OF-CHAPTER PROBLEMS


22-1 a. =
= 75 + 38 - 30 = 83 days.

b. Average sales per day = $3,375,000/360 = $9,375.
Investment in receivables = $9,375 ? 38 = $356,250.

c. Inventory turnover = 360/75 = 4.8?.


22-2 Net Float = Disbursement Float - Collections Float
= (4 ? $10,000) - (3 ? $10,000)
= $10,000.


22-3 Sales = $10,000,000; S/I = 2?.

Inventory = S/2
= = $5,000,000.

If S/I = 5?, how much cash freed up?

Inventory = S/5
= = $2,000,000.

Cash Freed = $5,000,000 - $2,000,000 = $3,000,000.


22-4 DSO = 17; Credit Sales/Day = $3,500; A/R = ?

DSO =
17 =

A/R = 17 ? $3,500 = $59,500.


22-5 a. Cost =
= (10)(260)($9.75) + ($6,500)(12) = $25,350 + $78,000
= $103,350.

b. Reduction in days of float = 3 days.

Benefit =
= (3)($325,000)(0.10) = $97,500.

c. Net gain (loss) = $97,500 - $103,350 = -$5,850.

Malitz should not initiate the lockbox system since it will cost the firm $5,850 more than it will earn on the freed funds.
22-6 a. 0.4(10) + 0.6(40) = 28 days.

b. $900,000/360 = $2,500 sales per day.

$2,500(28) = $70,000 = Average receivables.

c. 0.4(10) + 0.6(30) = 22 days. $900,000/360 = $2,500 sales per day.

$2,500(22) = $55,000 = Average receivables.

Sales may also decline as a result of the tighter credit. This would further reduce receivables. Also, some customers may now take discounts further reducing receivables.


22-7 a. Return on equity may be computed as follows:

Tight Moderate Relaxed
Current assets
(% of sales ? Sales) $ 900,000 $1,000,000 $1,200,000
Fixed assets 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Total assets $1,900,000 $2,000,000 $2,200,000

Debt (60% of assets) $1,140,000 $1,200,000 $1,320,000
Equity 760,000 800,000 880,000
Total liab./equity $1,900,000 $2,000,000 $2,200,000

EBIT (12% ? $2 mil.) $ 240,000 $ 240,000 $ 240,000
Interest (8%) 91,200 96,000 105,600
Earnings before taxes $ 148,800 $ 144,000 $ 134,400
Taxes (40%) 59,520 57,600 53,760
Net income $ 89,280 $ 86,400 $ 80,640
Return on equity 11.75% 10.80% 9.16%

b. No, this assumption would probably not be valid in a real world situation. A firm’s current asset policies, particularly with regard to accounts receivable, such as discounts, collection period, and collection policy, may have a significant effect on sales. The exact nature of this function may be difficult to quantify, however, and determining an “optimal” current asset level may not be possible in actuality.

c. As the answers to Part a indicate, the tighter policy leads to a higher expected return. However, as the current asset level is decreased, presumably some of this reduction comes from accounts receivable. This can be accomplished only through higher discounts, a shorter collection period, and/or tougher collection policies. As outlined above, this would in turn have some effect on sales, possibly lowering profits. More restrictive receivable policies might involve some additional costs (collection, and so forth) but would also probably reduce bad debt expenses. Lower current assets would also imply lower liquid assets; thus, the firm’s ability to handle contingencies would be impaired. Higher risk of inadequate liquidity would increase the firm’s risk of insolvency and thus increase its chance of failing to meet fixed charges. Also, lower inventories might mean lost sales and/or expensive production stoppages. Attempting to attach numerical values to these potential losses and probabilities would be extremely difficult.


22-8 a. Firm’s Bank’s
checkbook records
Day 1 Deposit $1,200,000;
write check for
$1,600,000. -$ 400,000 $1,200,000

Day 2 Write check
for $1,600,000. -$2,000,000 $1,200,000

Day 3 Write check
for $1,600,000. -$3,600,000 $1,200,000

Day 4 Write check
for $1,600,000. -$5,200,000 $1,200,000

Day 5 Write check for
$1,600,000; deposit
$1,600,000. -$5,200,000 $1,200,000

After the firm has reached a steady state, it must deposit $1,600,000 each day to cover the checks written four days earlier.

b. The firm has four days of float.

c. The firm should try to maintain a balance on the bank’s records of $1,200,000. On its own books it will have a balance of minus $5,200,000.

d. For any level of sales, the firm will probably have a higher rate of return on assets and equity if it can reduce its total assets. By using float, SSC can reduce its cash account, by (4 ? $1,600,000) - $1,200,000 = $5,200,000. However, they actually can reduce equity and debt by $6,000,000 as the firm has gross float of $6,400,000 - $400,000 (increase in the amount deposited in the bank) = $6,000,000, so earnings per share will be higher. In terms of the Du Pont system, the rate of return on equity will be higher because of the reduction in total assets.


22-9 a. Presently, HGC has 5 days of collection float; under the lockbox system, this would drop to 2 days.

$1,400,000 ? 5 days = $7,000,000
$1,400,000 ? 2 days = 2,800,000
$4,200,000

HGC can reduce its cash balances by the $4,200,000 reduction in negative float.

b. 0.10($4,200,000) = $420,000 = the value of the lockbox system on an annual basis.

c. $420,000/12 = $35,000 = maximum monthly charge HGC can pay for the lockbox system.


22-10 a. I. Collections and Purchases:
December January February
Sales $160,000 $40,000 $60,000
Purchases 40,000 40,000 40,000
Payments 140,000* 40,000 40,000

II. Gain or Loss for Month:
Receipts from sales $160,000 $40,000 $60,000
Payments for:
Purchases 140,000 40,000 40,000
Salaries 4,800 4,800 4,800
Rent 2,000 2,000 2,000
Taxes 12,000 --- ---
Total payments $158,800 $46,800 $46,800

Net cash gain (loss) $ 1,200 ($ 6,800) $13,200

III. Cash Surplus or Loan Requirements:
Cash at start of month 400 1,600 (5,200)
Cumulative cash $ 1,600 ($ 5,200) $ 8,000
Target cash balance 6,000 6,000 6,000
Cumulative surplus cash or
total loans to maintain
$6,000 target cash balance ($ 4,400) ($11,200) $ 2,000

*November purchases = $140,000.

b. If the company began selling on credit on December 1, then it would have zero receipts during December, down from $160,000. Thus, it would have to borrow an additional $160,000, so its loans outstanding by December 31 would be $164,400. The loan requirements would build gradually during the month. We could trace the effects of the changed credit policy on out into January and February, but here it would probably be best to simply construct a new cash budget.



22-11 a. Helen’s Fashion Designs
Cash Budget, July-December 2002

I. Collections and Payments:

May June July August September October November December January
Sales $180,000 $180,000 $360,000 $540,000 $720,000 $360,000 $360,000 $ 90,000 $180,000

Collections:
1st month 18,000 18,000 36,000 54,000 72,000 36,000 36,000 9,000
2nd month 0 135,000 135,000 270,000 405,000 540,000 270,000 270,000
3rd month 0 0 27,000 27,000 54,000 81,000 108,000 54,000
Total $198,000 $351,000 $531,000 $657,000 $414,000 $333,000
collections

Purchases 90,000 90,000 126,000 882,000 306,000 234,000 162,000 90,000

Payments (1-mo. lag) 90,000 90,000 126,000 882,000 306,000 234,000 162,000

II. Gain or Loss for Month:

July August September October November December
Receipts:
Collections $198,000 $351,000 $531,000 $657,000 $414,000 $333,000

Payments:
Labor and raw materials 90,000 126,000 882,000 306,000 234,000 162,000
Administrative salaries 27,000 27,000 27,000 27,000 27,000 27,000
Lease payment 9,000 9,000 9,000 9,000 9,000 9,000
Misc. expenses 2,700 2,700 2,700 2,700 2,700 2,700
Income tax 0 0 63,000 0 0 63,000
Progress payment 0 0 0 180,000 0 0
Total payments $128,700 $164,700 $983,700 $524,700 $272,700 $263,700

Net cash gain (loss) $ 69,300 $186,300($452,700) $132,300 $141,300 $ 69,300

III. Cash Surplus or Loan Requirements:

July August September October November December
Cash at start of month $132,000 $201,300 $387,600 ($ 65,100)$ 67,200 $208,500
w/o loans
Cumulative cash 201,300 387,600 (65,100) 67,200 208,500 277,800
Less: Target cash balance 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000
Cumulative surplus cash or
total loans outstanding to
maintain target balance $111,300 $297,600 ($155,100)($22,800)$118,500 $187,800

b. The cash budget indicates that Helen will have surplus funds available during July, August, November, and December. During September the company will need to borrow $155,100. The cash surplus that accrues during October will enable Helen to reduce the loan balance outstanding to $22,800 by the end of October.

c. In a situation such as this, where inflows and outflows are not synchronized during the month, it may not be possible to use a cash budget centered on the end of the month. The cash budget should be set up to show the cash positions of the firm on the 5th of each month. In this way the company could establish its maximum cash requirement and use these maximum figures to estimate its required line of credit.
The table below shows the status of the cash account on selected dates within the month of July. It shows how the inflows accumulate steadily throughout the month and how the requirement of paying all the outflows on the 5th of the month requires that the firm obtain external financing. By July 14, however, the firm reaches the point where the inflows have offset the outflows, and by July 30 we see that the monthly totals agree with the cash budget developed earlier in Part a.

7/2/99 7/4/99 7/5/99 7/6/99 7/14/99 7/30/99
Opening balance $132,000 $132,000 $132,000 $132,000 $132,000 $132,000

Cumulative inflows
(1/30 ? receipts
? no. of days) 13,200 26,400 33,000 39,600 92,400 198,000

Total cash available $145,200 $158,400 $165,000 $171,600 $224,400 $330,000

Outflow 0 0 128,700 128,700 128,700 128,700

Net cash position $145,200 $158,400 $ 36,300 $ 42,900 $ 95,700 $201,300

Target cash balance 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000 90,000

Cash above minimum
needs(borrowing needs)$ 55,200 $ 68,400 ($ 53,700)($ 47,100) $ 5,700 $111,300

d. The months preceding peak sales would show a decreased current ratio and an increased debt ratio due to additional short-term bank loans.
In the following months as receipts are collected from sales, the current ratio would increase and the debt ratio would decline.
Abnormal changes in these ratios would affect the firm’s ability to obtain bank credit.
SOLUTION TO SPREADSHEET PROBLEM
22-12 The detailed solution for the problem is available both on the instructor’s resource CD-ROM (in the file Solution for Ch 22-12 Build a Model.xls) and on the instructor’s side of the Harcourt College Publishers’ web site, http://www.harcourtcollege.com/finance/theory10e.


CYBERPROBLEM

22-13 The detailed solution for the cyberproblem is available on the instructor’s side of the Harcourt College Publishers’ web site: http://www.harcourtcollege.com/finance/theory10e.





MINI CASE

DAN BARNES, FINANCIAL MANAGER OF SKI EQUIPMENT INC. (SKI), IS EXCITED, BUT APPREHENSIVE. THE COMPANY’S FOUNDER RECENTLY SOLD HIS 51 PERCENT CONTROLLING BLOCK OF STOCK TO KENT KOREN, WHO IS A BIG FAN OF EVA (ECONOMIC VALUE ADDED). EVA IS FOUND BY TAKING THE AFTER-TAX OPERATING PROFIT AND THEN SUBTRACTING THE DOLLAR COST OF ALL THE CAPITAL THE FIRM USES:

EVA = NOPAT – CAPITAL COSTS
= EBIT(1 – T) – WACC(OPERATING CAPITAL).

IF EVA IS POSITIVE, THEN THE FIRM IS CREATING VALUE. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF EVA IS NEGATIVE, THE FIRM IS NOT COVERING ITS COST OF CAPITAL, AND STOCKHOLDERS’ VALUE IS BEING ERODED. KOREN REWARDS MANAGERS HANDSOMELY IF THEY CREATE VALUE, BUT THOSE WHOSE OPERATIONS PRODUCE NEGATIVE EVAs ARE SOON LOOKING FOR WORK. KOREN FREQUENTLY POINTS OUT THAT IF A COMPANY CAN GENERATE ITS CURRENT LEVEL OF SALES WITH LESS ASSETS, IT WOULD NEED LESS CAPITAL. THAT WOULD, OTHER THINGS HELD CONSTANT, LOWER CAPITAL COSTS AND INCREASE ITS EVA.
SHORTLY AFTER HE TOOK CONTROL OF SKI, KENT KOREN MET WITH SKI’S SENIOR EXECUTIVES TO TELL THEM OF HIS PLANS FOR THE COMPANY. FIRST, HE PRESENTED SOME EVA DATA WHICH CONVINCED EVERYONE THAT SKI HAD NOT BEEN CREATING VALUE IN RECENT YEARS. HE THEN STATED, IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, THAT THIS SITUATION MUST CHANGE. HE NOTED THAT SKI’S DESIGNS OF SKIS, BOOTS, AND CLOTHING ARE ACCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE INDUSTRY, BUT SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY AMISS ELSEWHERE IN THE COMPANY. COSTS ARE TOO HIGH, PRICES ARE TOO LOW, OR THE COMPANY EMPLOYS TOO MUCH CAPITAL, AND HE WANTS SKI’S MANAGERS TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM OR ELSE.
BARNES HAS LONG FELT THAT SKI’S WORKING CAPITAL SITUATION SHOULD BE STUDIED--THE COMPANY MAY HAVE THE OPTIMAL AMOUNTS OF CASH, SECURITIES, RECEIVABLES, AND INVENTORIES, BUT IT MAY ALSO HAVE TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE OF THESE ITEMS. IN THE PAST, THE PRODUCTION MANAGER RESISTED DAN’S EFFORTS TO QUESTION HIS HOLDINGS OF RAW MATERIALS INVENTORIES, THE MARKETING MANAGER RESISTED QUESTIONS ABOUT FINISHED GOODS, THE SALES STAFF RESISTED QUESTIONS ABOUT CREDIT POLICY (WHICH AFFECTS ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE), AND THE TREASURER DID NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT HER CASH AND SECURITIES BALANCES. KOREN’S SPEECH MADE IT CLEAR THAT SUCH RESISTANCE WOULD NO LONGER BE TOLERATED.

DAN ALSO KNOWS THAT DECISIONS ABOUT WORKING CAPITAL CANNOT BE MADE IN A VACUUM. FOR EXAMPLE, IF INVENTORIES COULD BE LOWERED WITHOUT ADVERSELY AFFECTING OPERATIONS, THEN LESS CAPITAL WOULD BE REQUIRED, THE DOLLAR COST OF CAPITAL WOULD DECLINE, AND EVA WOULD INCREASE. HOWEVER, LOWER RAW MATERIALS INVENTORIES MIGHT LEAD TO PRODUCTION SLOWDOWNS AND HIGHER COSTS, WHILE LOWER FINISHED GOODS INVENTORIES MIGHT LEAD TO THE LOSS OF PROFITABLE SALES. SO, BEFORE INVENTORIES ARE CHANGED, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO STUDY OPERATING AS WELL AS FINANCIAL EFFECTS. THE SITUATION IS THE SAME WITH REGARD TO CASH AND RECEIVABLES. FOLLOWING ARE SOME RATIOS FOR SKI:

SELECTED RATIOS: SKI AND INDUSTRY AVERAGE

SKI INDUSTRY
CURRENT 1.75 2.25
QUICK 0.83 1.20
DEBT/ASSETS 58.76% 50.00%
TURNOVER OF CASH AND SECURITIES 16.67 22.22
DAYS SALES OUTSTANDING 45.00 32.00
INVENTORY TURNOVER 4.82 7.00
FIXED ASSETS TURNOVER 2.08 3.00
PROFIT MARGIN ON SALES 2.07% 3.50%
RETURN ON EQUITY (ROE) 10.45% 21.00%
PAYABLES DEFERRAL PERIOD 30.00 33.00

A. DAN PLANS TO USE THE PRECEDING RATIOS AS THE STARTING POINT FOR DISCUSSIONS WITH SKI’S OPERATING EXECUTIVES. HE WANTS EVERYONE TO THINK ABOUT THE PROS AND CONS OF CHANGING EACH TYPE OF CURRENT ASSET AND HOW CHANGES WOULD INTERACT TO AFFECT PROFITS AND EVA. BASED ON THE DATA IN THE TABLE, DOES SKI SEEM TO BE FOLLOWING A RELAXED, MODERATE, OR RESTRICTED WORKING CAPITAL POLICY?

ANSWER: A COMPANY WITH A RELAXED WORKING CAPITAL POLICY WOULD CARRY RELATIVELY LARGE AMOUNTS OF CURRENT ASSETS IN RELATION TO SALES. IT WOULD BE GUARDING AGAINST RUNNING OUT OF STOCK OR OF RUNNING SHORT OF CASH, OR LOSING SALES BECAUSE OF A RESTRICTIVE CREDIT POLICY. WE CAN SEE THAT SKI HAS RELATIVELY LOW CASH AND INVENTORY TURNOVER RATIOS. FOR EXAMPLE, SALES/INVENTORIES = 4.82 VERSUS 7.0 FOR AN AVERAGE FIRM IN ITS INDUSTRY. THUS, SKI IS CARRYING A LOT OF INVENTORY PER DOLLAR OF SALES, WHICH WOULD MEET THE DEFINITION OF A RELAXED POLICY. SIMILARLY, SKI’S DSO IS RELATIVELY HIGH. SINCE DSO IS CALCULATED AS RECEIVABLES/SALES PER DAY, A HIGH DSO INDICATES A LOT OF RECEIVABLES PER DOLLAR OF SALES. THUS, SKI SEEMS TO HAVE A RELAXED WORKING CAPITAL POLICY, AND A LOT OF CURRENT ASSETS.


B. HOW CAN ONE DISTINGUISH BETWEEN A RELAXED BUT RATIONAL WORKING CAPITAL POLICY AND A SITUATION WHERE A FIRM SIMPLY HAS A LOT OF CURRENT ASSETS BECAUSE IT IS INEFFICIENT? DOES SKI’S WORKING CAPITAL POLICY SEEM APPROPRIATE?

ANSWER: SKI MAY CHOOSE TO HOLD LARGE AMOUNTS OF INVENTORY TO AVOID THE COSTS OF “RUNNING SHORT,” AND TO CATER TO CUSTOMERS WHO EXPECT TO RECEIVE THEIR EQUIPMENT IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. SKI MAY ALSO CHOOSE TO HOLD HIGH AMOUNTS OF RECEIVABLES TO MAINTAIN GOOD RELATIONSHIPS WITH ITS CUSTOMERS. HOWEVER, IF SKI IS HOLDING LARGE STOCKS OF INVENTORY AND RECEIVABLES TO BETTER SERVE CUSTOMERS, IT SHOULD BE ABLE TO OFFSET THE COSTS OF CARRYING THAT WORKING CAPITAL WITH HIGH PRICES OR HIGHER SALES, AND ITS ROE SHOULD BE NO LOWER THAN THAT OF FIRMS WITH OTHER WORKING CAPITAL POLICIES.
IT IS CLEAR FROM THE DATA IN TABLE MC22-1 THAT SKI IS NOT AS PROFITABLE AS THE AVERAGE FIRM IN ITS INDUSTRY. THIS SUGGESTS THAT IT SIMPLY HAS EXCESSIVE WORKING CAPITAL, AND THAT IT SHOULD TAKE STEPS TO REDUCE ITS WORKING CAPITAL.

C. CALCULATE SKI’S CASH CONVERSION CYCLE, ASSUMING ALL CALCULATIONS USE A 360-DAY YEAR.

ANSWER: A FIRM’S CASH CONVERSION CYCLE IS CALCULATED AS:


FROM THE GIVEN RATIOS, SKI’S INVENTORY TURNOVER IS GIVEN AS 4.82 SO WE CAN CALCULATE ITS INVENTORY CONVERSION PERIOD AS:

= 74.69 » 75 DAYS.

SKI’S RECEIVABLES COLLECTION PERIOD IS EQUAL TO ITS DSO. FROM THE GIVEN RATIOS, ITS DSO IS GIVEN AS 45 DAYS.
WE ARE GIVEN IN THE RATIOS THAT ITS PAYABLES DEFERRAL PERIOD IS 30 DAYS, SO NOW WE HAVE ALL THE INDIVIDUAL COMPONENTS TO CALCULATE SKI’S CASH CONVERSION CYCLE.

75 DAYS + 45 DAYS – 30 DAYS = 90 DAYS.

THUS, SKI’S CASH CONVERSION CYCLE IS 90 DAYS.


D. WHAT MIGHT SKI DO TO REDUCE ITS CASH AND SECURITIES WITHOUT HARMING OPERATIONS?

ANSWER: TO THE EXTENT THAT “CASH AND SECURITIES” CONSIST OF LOW-YIELDING SECURITIES, THEY COULD BE SOLD OFF AND THE CASH GENERATED COULD BE USED TO REDUCE DEBT, TO BUY BACK STOCK, OR TO INVEST IN OPERATING ASSETS.
TO THE EXTENT THAT ACTUAL CASH IS ON HAND, THE COMPANY COULD TAKE SEVERAL STEPS TO OPERATE WITH LESS CASH:

1. USE LOCKBOXES TO SPEED UP GETTING THE USE OF INCOMING CHECKS.

2. SYNCHRONIZE INFLOWS AND OUTFLOWS, e.g., ARRANGE TO MAKE PAYMENTS SHORTLY AFTER CUSTOMERS PAY.

3. FORECAST CASH FLOWS MORE ACCURATELY, WHICH WOULD ENABLE THE FIRM TO OPERATE WITH SMALLER “SAFETY STOCKS” OF CASH.

4. ARRANGE BACKUP LINES OF CREDIT UNDER WHICH SKI COULD BORROW ON SHORT NOTICE IF INFLOWS DO NOT COME IN AS EXPECTED OR UNANTICIPATED OUTFLOWS OCCUR.

5. ARRANGE TO RECEIVE LARGE PAYMENTS BY WIRE.


E. WHAT IS “FLOAT,” AND HOW IS IT AFFECTED BY THE FIRM’S CASH MANAGER (TREASURER)?

ANSWER: FLOAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CASH AS SHOWN ON THE FIRM’S BOOKS AND ON ITS BANK’S BOOKS. IF THE FIRM IS HIGHLY EFFICIENT IN RECEIVING CHECKS AND GETTING THEM CLEARED, BUT THOSE TO WHOM IT MAKES PAYMENTS ARE NOT, THEN IT WILL HAVE POSITIVE NET FLOAT. IF THE FIRM COLLECTS CHECKS IN 2 DAYS BUT THOSE TO WHOM SKI WRITES CHECKS DON’T GET THEM PROCESSED FOR 6 DAYS, THEN SKI WILL HAVE 4 DAYS OF NET FLOAT. IF THE FIRM WRITES AND RECEIVES ABOUT $1 MILLION OF CHECKS PER DAY, THEN SKI WOULD BE ABLE TO OPERATE WITH $4 MILLION LESS CAPITAL THAN IF IT HAD ZERO NET FLOAT.


IN AN ATTEMPT TO BETTER UNDERSTAND SKI’S CASH POSITION, DAN DEVELOPED A CASH BUDGET. DATA FOR THE FIRST TWO MONTHS OF THE YEAR FOLLOW. (NOTE THAT DAN’S PRELIMINARY CASH BUDGET DOES NOT ACCOUNT FOR INTEREST INCOME OR INTEREST EXPENSE.) HE HAS THE FIGURES FOR THE OTHER MONTHS, BUT THEY ARE NOT SHOWN IN THIS MINI CASE.



SKI’S CASH BUDGET FOR JANUARY AND FEBRUARY

NOVEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL

I. COLLECTIONS AND PURCHASES WORKSHEET
SALES (GROSS) $71,218 $68,212.00 $65,213.00 $52,475.00 $42,909 $30,524
COLLECTIONS:
DURING MONTH OF SALE
(0.2)(0.98)(MONTH’S SALES) 12,781.75 10,285.10
DURING FIRST MONTH AFTER SALE
0.7(PREVIOUS MONTH’S SALES) 47,748.40 45,649.10
DURING SECOND MONTH AFTER SALE
0.1(SALES 2 MONTHS AGO) 7,121.80 6,821.20
TOTAL COLLECTIONS (LINES 2+3+4) $67,651.95 $62,755.40

PURCHASES:
0.85(FORECASTED SALES
2 MONTHS FROM NOW) $44,603.75 $36,472.65 $25,945.40
PAYMENTS (1-MONTH LAG) 44,603.75 36,472.65

II. CASH GAIN OR LOSS FOR MONTH
COLLECTIONS (FROM SECTION I) $67,651.95 $62,755.40
PAYMENTS FOR PURCHASES (FROM SECTION I) 44,603.75 36,472.65
WAGES AND SALARIES 6,690.56 5,470.90
RENT 2,500.00 2,500.00
TAXES
TOTAL PAYMENTS $53,794.31 $44,443.55
NET CASH GAIN (LOSS) DURING MONTH
(LINE 8 - LINE 13) $13,857.64 $18,311.85

III. CASH SURPLUS OR LOAN REQUIREMENT
CASH AT BEGINNING OF MONTH
IF NO BORROWING IS DONE $ 3,000.00 $16,857.64
CUMULATIVE CASH (CASH AT START, + GAIN
OR - LOSS = LINE 14 + LINE 15) 16,857.64 35,169.49
TARGET CASH BALANCE 1,500.00 1,500.00
CUMULATIVE SURPLUS CASH OR LOANS OUTSTANDING
TO MAINTAIN $1,500 TARGET CASH BALANCE
(LINE 16 - LINE 17) $15,357.64 $33,669.49


F. SHOULD DEPRECIATION EXPENSE BE EXPLICITLY INCLUDED IN THE CASH BUDGET? WHY OR WHY NOT?

ANSWER: NO, DEPRECIATION EXPENSE IS A NONCASH CHARGE AND SHOULD NOT APPEAR EXPLICITLY IN THE CASH BUDGET WHICH FOCUSES ON THE ACTUAL CASH FLOWING INTO AND OUT OF A FIRM. HOWEVER, A FIRM’S DEPRECIATION EXPENSE DOES IMPACT ITS TAX LIABILITY, AND HENCE DEPRECIATION AFFECTS SKI’S QUARTERLY TAX PAYMENTS.


G. IN HIS PRELIMINARY CASH BUDGET, DAN HAS ASSUMED THAT ALL SALES ARE COLLECTED AND, THUS, THAT SKI HAS NO BAD DEBTS. IS THIS REALISTIC? IF NOT, HOW WOULD BAD DEBTS BE DEALT WITH IN A CASH BUDGETING SENSE? (HINT: BAD DEBTS WILL AFFECT COLLECTIONS BUT NOT PURCHASES.)

ANSWER: IT IS NOT REALISTIC TO ASSUME ZERO BAD DEBTS. WHEN CREDIT IS GRANTED, BAD DEBTS SHOULD BE EXPECTED. COLLECTIONS IN EACH MONTH WOULD BE LOWERED BY THE PERCENTAGE OF BAD DEBTS. PAYMENTS WOULD BE UNCHANGED, SO THE RESULT WOULD BE THAT LOAN BALANCES WOULD BE LARGER AND CASH SURPLUS BALANCES WOULD BE SMALLER BY THE DIFFERENCE IN THE COLLECTION AMOUNTS.


H. DAN’S CASH BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR, ALTHOUGH NOT GIVEN HERE, IS BASED HEAVILY ON HIS FORECAST FOR MONTHLY SALES. SALES ARE EXPECTED TO BE EXTREMELY LOW BETWEEN MAY AND SEPTEMBER BUT THEN INCREASE DRAMATICALLY IN THE FALL AND WINTER. NOVEMBER IS TYPICALLY THE FIRM’S BEST MONTH, WHEN SKI SHIPS EQUIPMENT TO RETAILERS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON. INTERESTINGLY, DAN’S FORECASTED CASH BUDGET INDICATES THAT THE COMPANY’S CASH HOLDINGS WILL EXCEED THE TARGETED CASH BALANCE EVERY MONTH EXCEPT FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER, WHEN SHIPMENTS WILL BE HIGH BUT COLLECTIONS WILL NOT BE COMING IN UNTIL LATER. BASED ON THE RATIOS IN THE FIRST TABLE, DOES IT APPEAR THAT SKI’S TARGET CASH BALANCE IS APPROPRIATE? IN ADDITION TO POSSIBLY LOWERING THE TARGET CASH BALANCE, WHAT ACTIONS MIGHT SKI TAKE TO BETTER IMPROVE ITS CASH MANAGEMENT POLICIES, AND HOW MIGHT THAT AFFECT ITS EVA?

ANSWER: THE COMPANY’S TURNOVER OF CASH AND SECURITIES (PRESENTED IN THE FIRST TABLE) AND ITS PROJECTED CASH BUDGET (PRESENTED IN THE SECOND TABLE) SUGGEST THAT THE COMPANY IS HOLDING TOO MUCH CASH. SKI COULD IMPROVE ITS EVA BY EITHER INVESTING THE CASH IN PRODUCTIVE ASSETS, OR RETURNING THE CASH TO SHAREHOLDERS. IF SKI USES THE CASH FOR PROFITABLE INVESTMENTS, ITS COSTS WILL REMAIN THE SAME, BUT ITS OPERATING INCOME WILL RISE, THEREBY INCREASING EVA. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF THE COMPANY CHOOSES TO RETURN THE CASH TO ITS SHAREHOLDERS, FOR EXAMPLE, BY INCREASING THE DIVIDEND OR REPURCHASING SHARES OF COMMON STOCK, THE COMPANY’S REVENUES WOULD REMAIN THE SAME, BUT ITS OVERALL COST OF CAPITAL WOULD FALL, THEREBY INCREASING EVA.


I. WHAT REASONS MIGHT SKI HAVE FOR MAINTAINING A RELATIVELY HIGH AMOUNT OF CASH?

ANSWER: IF SALES TURN OUT TO BE CONSIDERABLY LESS THAN EXPECTED, THE COMPANY COULD FACE A CASH SHORTFALL. A COMPANY MAY CHOOSE TO HOLD LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH IF IT DOES NOT HAVE MUCH FAITH IN ITS SALES FORECAST OR IF IT IS VERY CONSERVATIVE. UNFORTUNATELY, GIVEN ITS CURRENT PRESSURE TO PERFORM, SKI’S MANAGEMENT DOES NOT HAVE THE LUXURY TO BE EXTREMELY CONSERVATIVE.


J. WHAT ARE THE THREE CATEGORIES OF INVENTORY COSTS? IF THE COMPANY TAKES STEPS TO REDUCE ITS INVENTORY, WHAT EFFECT WOULD THIS HAVE ON THE VARIOUS COSTS OF HOLDING INVENTORY?

ANSWER: THE THREE CATEGORIES OF INVENTORY COSTS ARE CARRYING COSTS, ORDERING COSTS, AND THE COSTS OF RUNNING SHORT. CARRYING COSTS INCLUDE THE COST OF CAPITAL TIED UP, STORAGE AND HANDLING COSTS, INSURANCE, PROPERTY TAXES, AND DEPRECIATION AND OBSOLESCENCE. ORDERING, SHIPPING, AND RECEIVING COSTS INCLUDE THE COST OF PLACING ORDERS (INCLUDING PRODUCTION AND SET-UP COSTS) AND SHIPPING AND HANDLING COSTS. THE COSTS OF RUNNING SHORT INCLUDE LOSS OF SALES, LOSS OF CUSTOMER GOODWILL, AND THE DISRUPTION OF PRODUCTION SCHEDULES.
IF THE FIRM REDUCES THE AMOUNT OF INVENTORY IT HOLDS, CARRYING COSTS WILL BE LOWERED; HOWEVER, ITS ORDERING COSTS WILL INCREASE BECAUSE THE FIRM WILL SET UP PRODUCTION RUNS MORE FREQUENTLY. IN ADDITION, BY REDUCING ITS INVENTORY INVESTMENT THE FIRM COULD INCREASE ITS CHANCES OF RUNNING SHORT, WHICH RESULTS IN LOSSES OF SALES AND CUSTOMER GOODWILL.


K. IS THERE ANY REASON TO THINK THAT SKI MAY BE HOLDING TOO MUCH INVENTORY? IF SO, HOW WOULD THAT AFFECT EVA AND ROE?

ANSWER: AS POINTED OUT IN PART A, SKI’S INVENTORY TURNOVER (4.82) IS CONSIDERABLY LOWER THAN THE AVERAGE FIRM’S TURNOVER (7.00). THIS INDICATES THAT THE FIRM IS CARRYING A LOT OF INVENTORY PER DOLLAR OF SALES.
BY HOLDING MORE INVENTORY PER DOLLAR OF SALES THAN IS NECESSARY, THE FIRM IS INCREASING ITS COSTS WHICH REDUCES ITS ROE. IN ADDITION, THIS ADDITIONAL WORKING CAPITAL MUST BE FINANCED, SO EVA IS LOWERED TOO.


L. IF THE COMPANY REDUCES ITS INVENTORY WITHOUT ADVERSELY AFFECTING SALES, WHAT EFFECT SHOULD THIS HAVE ON THE COMPANY’S CASH POSITION (1) IN THE SHORT RUN AND (2) IN THE LONG RUN? EXPLAIN IN TERMS OF THE CASH BUDGET AND THE BALANCE SHEET.

ANSWER: REDUCING INVENTORY PURCHASES WILL INCREASE THE COMPANY’S CASH HOLDINGS IN THE SHORT RUN, THUS REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF FINANCING OR THE TARGET CASH BALANCE NEEDED. IN THE LONG RUN, THE COMPANY IS LIKELY TO REDUCE ITS CASH HOLDINGS IN ORDER TO INCREASE ITS EVA. SKI CAN USE THE “EXCESS CASH” TO MAKE INVESTMENTS IN MORE PRODUCTIVE ASSETS SUCH AS PLANT AND EQUIPMENT. ALTERNATIVELY, THE FIRM CAN DISTRIBUTE THE “EXCESS CASH” TO ITS SHAREHOLDERS THROUGH HIGHER DIVIDENDS OR REPURCHASING ITS SHARES.


M. DAN KNOWS THAT SKI SELLS ON THE SAME CREDIT TERMS AS OTHER FIRMS IN ITS INDUSTRY. USE THE RATIOS PRESENTED IN THE FIRST TABLE TO EXPLAIN WHETHER SKI’S CUSTOMERS PAY MORE OR LESS PROMPTLY THAN THOSE OF ITS COMPETITORS. IF THERE ARE DIFFERENCES, DOES THAT SUGGEST THAT SKI SHOULD TIGHTEN OR LOOSEN ITS CREDIT POLICY? WHAT FOUR VARIABLES MAKE UP A FIRM’S CREDIT POLICY, AND IN WHAT DIRECTION SHOULD EACH BE CHANGED BY SKI?

ANSWER: SKI’S DSO IS 45 DAYS AS COMPARED WITH 32 DAYS FOR THE AVERAGE FIRM IN ITS INDUSTRY. THIS SUGGESTS THAT SKI’S CUSTOMERS ARE PAYING LESS PROMPTLY THAN THOSE OF ITS COMPETITOR. BECAUSE THE FIRM’S DSO IS HIGHER THAN THE INDUSTRY AVERAGE, THE FIRM SHOULD TIGHTEN ITS CREDIT POLICY IN AN ATTEMPT TO LOWER ITS DSO.
THE FOUR VARIABLES WHICH MAKE UP A FIRM’S CREDIT POLICY ARE (1) DISCOUNT AMOUNT AND PERIOD, (2) CREDIT PERIOD, (3) CREDIT STANDARDS, AND (4) COLLECTION POLICY. CASH DISCOUNTS GENERALLY PRODUCE TWO BENEFITS: (1) THEY ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS WHO VIEW DISCOUNTS AS A PRICE REDUCTION, THUS SALES WOULD INCREASE, AND (2) THEY CAUSE A REDUCTION IN THE DAYS SALES OUTSTANDING (DSO) SINCE SOME ESTABLISHED CUSTOMERS WILL PAY MORE PROMPTLY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DISCOUNT, THUS THE LEVEL OF RECEIVABLES HELD WOULD DECLINE. DISCOUNTS MIGHT ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS NOW PAYING LATE TO PAY MORE PROMPTLY. OF COURSE, THESE BENEFITS ARE OFFSET TO SOME DEGREE BY THE DOLLAR COST OF THE DISCOUNTS. THE EFFECT ON BAD DEBT EXPENSE IS INDETERMINATE. IF THE FIRM TIGHTENED ITS CREDIT POLICY IT IS UNCLEAR WHAT THE FIRM WOULD DO WITH ITS CASH DISCOUNT POLICY. THE FIRM COULD DECREASE THE DISCOUNT PERIOD AND KEEP THE AMOUNT OF DISCOUNT UNCHANGED.
CREDIT PERIOD IS THE LENGTH OF TIME ALLOWED ALL “QUALIFIED” CUSTOMERS TO PAY FOR THEIR PURCHASES. THE SHORTER A FIRM’S CREDIT PERIOD, THE SHORTER THE FIRM’S DAYS SALES OUTSTANDING, AND THE LOWER THE LEVEL OF RECEIVABLES HELD. A SHORTER CREDIT PERIOD MIGHT ALSO TEND TO DECREASE SALES, ESPECIALLY WHEN A COMPETITOR’S CREDIT PERIOD IS LONGER THAN THE FIRM’S OWN CREDIT PERIOD. THE EFFECT OF THE CREDIT PERIOD ON BAD DEBT EXPENSE IS INDETERMINATE.
IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR CREDIT IN THE FIRST PLACE, CUSTOMERS MUST MEET THE FIRM’S CREDIT STANDARDS. THESE DICTATE THE MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE FINANCIAL POSITION REQUIRED OF CUSTOMERS TO RECEIVE CREDIT. ALSO, A FIRM MAY IMPOSE DIFFERING CREDIT LIMITS DEPENDING ON THE CUSTOMER’S FINANCIAL STRENGTH. TIGHT CREDIT STANDARDS WOULD TEND TO DECREASE SALES (FEWER CUSTOMERS WOULD QUALIFY FOR CREDIT), DECREASE THE LEVEL OF RECEIVABLES HELD, AND WOULD CAUSE A DECREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF BAD DEBT EXPENSES. THE LEVEL OF RECEIVABLES HELD WOULD BE DECREASED DUE TO THE LOWER LEVEL OF SALES AND ALSO THE PROBABILITY THAT CUSTOMERS NOW QUALIFYING FOR CREDIT WOULD TAKE LESS TIME TO PAY. BAD DEBT EXPENSES SHOULD DECREASE DUE TO RAISING CUSTOMERS’ MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE FINANCIAL POSITIONS.
FINALLY, COLLECTION POLICY REFERS TO THE PROCEDURES THAT THE FIRM FOLLOWS TO COLLECT PAST-DUE ACCOUNTS. THESE CAN RANGE FROM A SIMPLE LETTER OR PHONE CALL TO TURNING THE ACCOUNT OVER TO A COLLECTION AGENCY. A TIGHT COLLECTION POLICY WOULD DECREASE THE LEVEL OF RECEIVABLES HELD, AS CUSTOMERS WOULD DECREASE THE LENGTH OF TIME THEY TOOK TO PAY THEIR BILLS. A TIGHT COLLECTION POLICY WOULD ALSO CAUSE A DECREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF BAD DEBT LOSSES THE FIRM INCURRED.
A TIGHTENING OF CREDIT POLICY WOULD TEND TO DECREASE SALES, DECREASE THE LEVEL OF RECEIVABLES HELD, AND DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF BAD DEBT EXPENSES.


N. DOES SKI FACE ANY RISKS IF IT TIGHTENS ITS CREDIT POLICY?

ANSWER: A TIGHTER CREDIT POLICY MAY DISCOURAGE SALES. SOME CUSTOMERS MAY CHOOSE TO GO ELSEWHERE IF THEY ARE PRESSURED TO PAY THEIR BILLS SOONER.


O. IF THE COMPANY REDUCES ITS DSO WITHOUT SERIOUSLY AFFECTING SALES, WHAT EFFECT WOULD THIS HAVE ON ITS CASH POSITION (1) IN THE SHORT RUN AND (2) IN THE LONG RUN? ANSWER IN TERMS OF THE CASH BUDGET AND THE BALANCE SHEET. WHAT EFFECT SHOULD THIS HAVE ON EVA IN THE LONG RUN?

ANSWER: IF CUSTOMERS PAY THEIR BILLS SOONER, THIS WILL INCREASE THE COMPANY’S CASH POSITION IN THE SHORT RUN, WHICH WOULD DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF FINANCING OR THE TARGET CASH BALANCE NEEDED. OVER TIME, THE COMPANY WOULD HOPEFULLY INVEST THIS CASH IN MORE PRODUCTIVE ASSETS, OR PAY IT OUT TO SHAREHOLDERS. BOTH OF THESE ACTIONS WOULD INCREASE EVA.