The operating cycle is the length of time between the company’s outlay on raw materials, wages and other expenditures and the inflow of cash from the sale of the goods. In a manufacturing business, operating cycle is the average time that raw materials remain in stock less the period of credit taken from suppliers, plus the time taken for producing the goods, plus the time goods remain in finished inventory, plus the time taken by customers to pay for the goods.

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Operating cycle concept is important for management of cash and management of working capital because the longer the operating cycle the more financial resources the company needs. Therefore, the management has to remain cautious that the operating cycle should not become too long.

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