Cleaner (Balance) Sheets: The 2009 Working Capital Scorecard

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The 1,000 largest U.S. companies are pulling out all the stops to squeeze cash from their customers and throttle down on their inventories. Their success shows up in this year's Working Capital Scorecard, which shows that 80% of them were able to reduce their days sales outstanding.

To read the complete results of the scorecard, see the box in the bottom right-hand corner of this page.

Cleaner (Balance) Sheets: The 2009 Working Capital Scorecard
Hard times have inspired companies to wring lots of cash out of working capital. How much better can they get?

No Time to Lose: The 2008 Working Capital Scorecard
Tempted to extend payment terms? That's one sign that working capital demands your immediate attention.
Growing Problems: The 2007 Working Capital Survey
Focused on growth and more reliant on overseas suppliers, companies have let inventories swell.
How Low Can It Go? The 2006 Working Capital Scorecard
Companies continue to reduce working-capital levels, and they have 450 billion reasons to keep at it.
Capital Ideas: The 2005 Working Capital Survey
Despite cheap credit and surplus cash, companies still find plenty of reasons to improve operational efficiency.
Off the Shelf: The 2004 Working Capital Survey
Low inventories drove down working capital last year. But will that continue as the economy improves?
Barely Working: The 2003 Working Capital Survey
Companies squeezed more cash from their businesses this year -- but not much. Was it the economy, or too much focus on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance?
We Can Work It Out: The 2002 Working Capital Survey
Some companies have learned how to reduce working capital without punishing customers or suppliers. But the alternatives aren't totally pain-free.
Forget the Float? The 2001 Working Capital Survey
In a tough operating environment, negative working capital isn't always a plus.
Cash Crop: The 2000 Working Capital Survey
Companies that mind their cash flow are enjoying bumper years.

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