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Home Average Collection Period What Is It, Formula, Calculator

Average Collection Period What Is It, Formula, Calculator


Using this, you can discover how long it takes to collect from the time the invoice is issued to the time you get paid. If the number is on the high side, you could be having trouble collecting your accounts. A high average collection period ratio could indicate trouble with your cash flows. In the first formula, we first need to determine the accounts receivable turnover ratio. The average collection period is the average number of days it takes for a credit sale to be collected.

Collecting its receivables in a relatively short and reasonable period of time gives the company time to pay off its obligations. For the formulas above, average accounts receivable is calculated by taking the average of the beginning and ending balances of a given period. More sophisticated accounting reporting tools may be able to automate a company’s average accounts receivable over a given period by factoring in daily ending balances. The average collection period refers to the length of time a business needs to collect its accounts receivables. Upon dividing the receivables turnover ratio by 365, we arrive at the same implied collection periods for both 2020 and 2021 — confirming our prior calculations were correct. In the next part of our exercise, we’ll calculate the average collection period under the alternative approach of dividing the receivables turnover by the number of days in a year. The average collection period measures a company’s efficiency at converting its outstanding accounts receivable (A/R) into cash on hand.

Average Collection Period — Excel Template

Typically, the average accounts receivable collection period is calculated in days to collect. This figure is best calculated by dividing a yearly A/R balance by the net profits for the same period of time. Accounts receivable is a business term used to describe money that entities owe to a company when they purchase goods and/or services. AR is listed on corporations’ balance sheets as current assets and measures their liquidity. As such, they indicate their ability to pay off their short-term debts without the need to rely on additional cash flows. The average collection period ratio calculates the average amount of time it takes for a company to collect its accounts receivable, or for its clients to pay. The average collection period can be found by dividing the average accounts receivables by the sales revenue.

Let us now do the average collection period analysis calculation example above in Excel. In that case, the formula for the average collection period should be adjusted as needed. First, a considerable percentage of the company’s cash flow depends on the collection period. Knowing the average collection period for receivables is very useful for any company. Credit TermCredit Terms are the payment terms and conditions established by the lending party in exchange for the credit benefit.

Problems with Days Sales Outstanding

Get instant access to video lessons taught by experienced investment bankers. Learn financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel shortcuts. If you have a higher DSO – that is, higher than your industry average – then you’ll want to reduce and improve it. Jenny Jacks is a high-end clothing store that sells men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. Because the store’s items are so expensive, it allows customers to make purchases using credit. When an item is sold on credit, the accounting manager enters the amount of the item into the books as an account receivable.

Let’s say that Company ABC recorded a yearly accounts receivable balance of $25,000. Once a credit sale happens, the customers get a specific time limit to make the payment. Every company monitors this period and tries to keep it as short as possible so that the receivables do not remain blocked for a long time.

Interpretation & Analysis

Conversely, a higher ratio means it now takes longer to collect receivables and could indicate a problem. Comparing the current Average Collection Period ratio to previous years’ ratios shows whether collections improve or worsen over time. It’s wise to interpret the average collection period ratio with some caution. Management may have decided to increase the staffing and technology support of the collections department, which should result in a reduction in the amount of overdue accounts receivable.

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The second equation divides 365 days by your accounts receivable turnover ratio. For the company, its average collection period figure can mean a few things.


You can also offer pricing options depending on the payment terms you decide with your client. You should concentrate on achieving the Best Possible DSO based on the size of your business and your industry rather than aiming for a low DSO at all costs. A receivable turnover ratio is one of the key turnover ratios or efficiency ratios used to analyze the performance of a business. This ratio throws light on the effectiveness of the business in utilizing its working capital blocked in debtors. It also indicates the frequency of conversion of receivables into cash in a given financial year. So, fundamentally, it comments on the liquidity of the business’s receivables.


A lower average, say around 26 days, would indicate collection is efficient and effective. Next, they’ll divide this number over $500,000, the net credit sales.

A low average collection period indicates that the organization collects payments faster. However, this may mean that the company’s credit terms are too strict. Customers who don’t find their creditors’ terms very friendly may choose to seek suppliers or service providers with more lenient payment terms. Companies calculate the average collection period to ensure they have enough cash on hand to meet their financial obligations. Thus, the average collection period signals the effectiveness of a company’s current credit policies and A/R collection practices.

The Average Collection Period Calculator And Formula collection period ratio is limited in that it does not have much meaning on its own. However, comparing it to previous years’ ratios or the credit terms of your company will provide you with meaningful data that can indicate whether you have an accounts receivable problem or not. For example, if your company allows clients 30-day credit, and the average collection period is 40 days, that is a problem. However, an average collection period of 25 days means you are collecting most accounts receivables before the end of the 30 days. The average collection period ratio is the average number of days it takes a company to collect its accounts receivable.

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