United Capital Source Logo

How to Calculate Capital Employed: The Essential Guide

dollar, course, dollar rate, what is capital employed

As a small business owner, tracking your company’s financial performance with various financial metrics is crucial. One metric to consider is capital employed, which helps you track your business’s efficiency in investing capital into the enterprise and converting it into profit.

Understanding this crucial financial metric is critical to assessing a company’s operational efficiency and overall financial health. This guide explores how to calculate capital employed and its importance in business finance to help you manage your small business.

Specifically, we’ll answer these questions and more:

Join our Newsletter for great tips and updates.

    We will help you grow your small business.

    What is Capital Employed?

    business, economy, man, average capital employed

    Capital employed, also called funds employed, refers to the total amount of invested capital a company uses for its operations and to generate profits. It plays a crucial role in assessing a company’s financial health and utilizing its resources efficiently.

    Capital employed encompasses various components, including fixed assets like machinery and equipment, working capital such as inventory and accounts receivable, and long-term liabilities like loans and bonds. By understanding these elements, investors can gauge the company’s ability to meet its short-term financial obligations while maximizing returns on their funds for the capital investment.

    In essence, knowing the amount of capital employed enables investors to make informed decisions about where to allocate their money, considering factors like taxes, potential risks, and expected returns. By having a clear snapshot of the company’s financial position, investors can better assess the potential risks and rewards associated with investing in a particular business.

    Why is knowing Capital Employed important?

    teamwork, cooperation, brainstorming

    Understanding capital employed is crucial for evaluating a company’s financial health and efficiency. By analyzing this metric, investors and analysts can gain valuable insights into how effectively a company utilizes its resources to generate profits. This information is essential for making informed investment decisions and assessing a business’s overall performance.

    Capital employed plays a significant role in calculating Return on Capital Employed (ROCE), a key financial ratio used to measure a company’s profitability and efficiency in generating returns from its capital investments. By knowing the capital employed, investors can determine how well a company utilizes its capital to generate profits over time.

    In different contexts, whether looking at annual reports or analyzing financial statements, understanding capital employed provides vital information about a company’s operational efficiency and financial stability. It gives investors and analysts the necessary data to assess the long-term sustainability of a business and its ability to generate value for shareholders. Ultimately, having a clear grasp of capital employed enables stakeholders to make well-informed decisions based on accurate financial analysis.

    What is Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)?

    money, profit, finance

    Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) is a vital financial metric that assesses how efficiently a company utilizes its capital to generate profits. ROCE helps investors and analysts understand the effectiveness of capital allocation within a business.

    To calculate ROCE, you use a simple formula: Net Operating Profit divided by Employed Capital. This calculation provides a clear picture of how well a company is performing in terms of generating returns from the capital invested in its operations.

    By analyzing ROCE, stakeholders gain valuable insights into the company’s profitability and efficiency in utilizing its resources. ROCE indicates the company’s ability to generate profits relative to the total capital employed in its operations.

    What are the pros & cons of Capital Employed?

    stock, trading, monitor

    Capital employed analysis offers a comprehensive view of a company’s financial efficiency by considering debt and equity. Investors can use this metric to compare the return on capital employed (ROCE) to the cost of capital, determining if the company generates adequate returns.

    However, limitations exist, such as not accounting for cash flow timing and challenges in comparing ROCE across different industries due to varying capital intensity levels. Changes in interest rates or debt costs can also impact ROCE calculations. While capital employed calculations are valuable, it is crucial to acknowledge these limitations for accurate interpretation.

    Capital Employed Pros & Cons

    pros, and, cons


    • Provides a clear indication of how much capital is invested in a business.
    • Helps in evaluating the efficiency of a company in generating profits from its assets.
    • Useful for comparing the performance of different businesses within the same industry.


    • Can be influenced by external factors such as inflation or changes in interest rates.
    • Does not provide insights into the specific components of capital employed.
    • May not accurately reflect the true value of intangible assets or intellectual property.

    What are the components of Capital Employed?

    student, typing, keyboard

    Before calculating the capital employed, you must know several vital components. Here are some essential figures.

    Fixed assets: Long-term tangible assets that are used in the production of goods or services and are not intended for sale. These assets include property, plant, and equipment such as buildings, machinery, vehicles, and land. Fixed assets are recorded on a company’s balance sheet and are depreciated over their useful life to reflect their gradual decrease in value. These assets play a crucial role in generating revenue for the business and are essential for its operations.

    Current assets: Assets that are expected to be converted into cash or used up within a year. These assets include cash, accounts receivable, inventory, and other easily liquidated assets. Current assets are essential for assessing a company’s liquidity and ability to meet short-term obligations.

    Total asset: The combined total of fixed and current assets.

    Current liabilities: Obligations or debts that a company is expected to settle within a short period, usually within one year. These can include accounts payable, accrued expenses, short-term loans, and any other financial obligations that need to be repaid in the near future. Current liabilities are crucial for assessing a company’s short-term financial health and ability to meet its immediate financial obligations.

    Working capital: The amount of capital that is readily available to fund the day-to-day operations of a business. Working capital is the financial metric used to measure a company’s operational efficiency and short-term financial health. Businesses must maintain a healthy level of working capital to ensure they can meet their short-term obligations and continue operating smoothly.

    What is the Capital Employed Formula?

    To calculate capital employed, you can use the following two formulas:

    1. Total Assets – Current Liabilities = Capital Employed
    2. Fixed Assets + Working Capital = Capital Employed

    These formulas help determine the amount of capital invested in a business to generate profits and sustain operations. By understanding the components of capital employed, companies can assess their financial health and make informed decisions regarding investments and growth strategies.

    How do you Calculate Capital Employed?

    accountant, accounting, adviser

    To calculate capital employed, follow these steps.

    Step 1: Determine the net value of all long-term assets, including property, equipment, and investments. This figure represents the fixed assets essential for the business’s operation.

    Step 2: Calculate the total value of current assets, such as cash, accounts receivable, and inventory. These are the company’s assets that can be easily converted into cash within a year.

    Step 3: Subtract the total value of current liabilities, such as accounts payable and short-term debt, from the total current assets. This will give you the net working capital.

    Step 4: Add the net working capital to the total value of long-term assets. This sum represents the capital employed in the business.

    Alternate method: Another way to calculate capital employed is by subtracting current liabilities from total assets. This method provides a more straightforward calculation of the capital invested in the business.

    Capital Employed Example

    Let’s calculate the capital employed for our fictional company, XYZ Corp.

    First, we need to determine XYZ Corp’s total assets, which include cash, inventory, equipment, and any other company-owned resources. Let’s say the total assets amount to $1,000,000.

    Next, we need to identify XYZ Corp’s total liabilities, which consist of debts, loans, and other obligations. Let’s assume the total liabilities are $500,000.

    To calculate the capital employed, we use the formula:

    Capital Employed = Total Assets – Total Liabilities

    Capital Employed = $1,000,000 – $500,000 Capital Employed = $500,000

    Therefore, XYZ Corp’s capital employed is $500,000. This figure represents the amount of capital invested in the company to generate profits and operate the business effectively.

    ROCE Example

    To calculate XYZ Corp’s Return on Capital Employed (ROCE), we use the formula:

    ROCE = (Net Operating Profit Before Tax / Capital Employed) x 100

    Let’s say XYZ Corp’s Net Operating Profit Before Tax is $200,000.

    Plugging in the values:

    ROCE = ($200,000 / $500,000) x 100 ROCE = 40%

    Therefore, XYZ Corp’s Return on Capital Employed is 40%. This metric indicates how efficiently the company generates profits from the capital employed in the business. A higher ROCE suggests better utilization of capital and higher profitability.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    seek, help, faq

    Here are the most common questions about calculating capital employed.

    Is Capital Employed the same as equity?

    Capital employed includes both equity and debt used by a company to fund its operations. While equity represents ownership, capital employed considers all funds invested in the business. Equity is just one component of capital employed.

    What is a good ROCE?

    entrepreneur, idea, competence

    A good Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) is typically considered to be higher than the company’s cost of capital. This indicates that the company is generating returns that exceed the costs of financing its operations.

    A ROCE that is consistently above the industry average or the company’s historical performance can also be seen as a positive sign, showing that the company is utilizing its capital efficiently and effectively. Additionally, a stable and increasing ROCE over time can demonstrate the company’s ability to sustain profitability and create long-term value for shareholders. Ultimately, what constitutes a good ROCE can vary depending on the industry and the company’s specific circumstances.

    How do you Calculate Capital Employed from financial statements?

    chart, graph, finance

    To calculate capital employed from the balance sheet, you must add the total value of both equity and long-term debt. Start by locating the balance sheet’s total equity, including common stock, retained earnings, and any additional paid-in capital.

    Next, find the total long-term debt, which consists of loans, bonds, and other long-term liabilities. Once you have these two figures, add them to determine the total capital employed in the business. This calculation is essential as it represents the total amount of funds used to generate profits in the company and gives insight into the financial health and stability of the business.

    How to Calculate Capital Employed – Final Thoughts

    secretary, used, glasses

    Understanding capital employed and its significance in assessing a company’s financial health is crucial. By calculating capital employed and analyzing return on capital employed (ROCE), you gain insights into how efficiently a company is utilizing its resources to generate profits.

    This knowledge empowers you to make informed investment decisions, identify areas for improvement within a business, and accurately gauge its overall financial performance. By mastering these metrics, you can enhance your financial acumen and make sound decisions that align with your investment objectives.

    Contact us if you have more questions about capital employed or to apply for a small business loan. Our alternative business funding pros can help you find the best financing options for your goals.

    We will help you grow your small business.

    Share this post:

    Written by

    Most Recent Articles

    Ready to grow your business? See how much you qualify for:

      Current monthly sales deposit average to your business bank account?

      How much Working Capital would you like for your business?

      Need Instant Help?
      Call Us Now At:

        Current monthly sales deposit average to your business bank account?

        How much Working Capital would you like for your business?

        At UCS, we understand the value of your time and want to ensure that your application has a great chance of approval. Please take note of the following details before applying:
        • To be eligible, it’s necessary to have a business bank account with a well-established U.S. bank such as Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, or other major banks. Unfortunately, online-based bank accounts like PayPal, Chime, CashApp, etc., are not permitted.
        • When describing your current average monthly sales deposits to your business bank account, please provide accurate information. Our approval process is based on your current business performance, and it’s essential to provide accurate details about your current sales in the first question on the application form. We cannot approve applications based on projected revenues after receiving funding.
        We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in ensuring a smooth and successful application process.
        1500+ 5 star reviews
        1500+ 5 star reviews

        Take a minute, Get a FREE Consultation

        Your Connection is
        securely encrypted

        $1.2+ Billion Matched to US Businesses