What Is The Average Collection Period Ratio?

calculating average collection period

The average collection period may also be used to compare one company with its competitors, either individually or grouped together. Similar companies should produce similar financial metrics, so the average collection period can be used as a benchmark against another company’s performance. Having a higher average collection period is an indicator of a few possible problems for your company. From a logistic standpoint, it may mean that your business needs better communication with customers regarding their debts and your expectations of payment. Additionally, this high number may indicate that your customers may no longer intend to pay or may be unable to pay, serious problems for any business. With Versapay, your customers can make payments at their convenience through an online self-service portal.

calculating average collection period

This will shorten the average collection period, but will also likely reduce sales, as some customers take their business elsewhere. For example, if the receivables turnover for one year is 8, then the average collection period would be 45.63 days. If the period considered is instead for 180 days with a receivables turnover of 4.29, then the average collection period would be 41.96 days. For the company, its average collection period figure can mean a few things.

Most businesses require invoices to be paid in about 30 days, so Company A’s average of 38 days means accounts are often overdue. A lower average, say around 26 days, would indicate collection is efficient and effective. Once you have these numbers in hand, you’re ready to calculate the average collection period ratio.

How Is Interest Charged On Most Lines Of Credit?

The average collection period is closely related to the accounts turnover ratio, which is calculated by dividing total net sales by the average AR balance. The average collection period is determined by dividing the average AR balance by the total net credit sales and multiplying that figure by the number of days in the period.

Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. does not warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Set your expectations for payment, including when the client needs to pay you and the penalties for missing a payment. Transparent payment terms help ensure you get paid, and help your customers understand your billing process. Make payment terms clear on contracts and invoices, with due dates, acceptable payment methods, and other key details included (i.e., “checks are payable to X”). When disputes occur, there is often a string of back and forth phone calls that draw out the process of coming to an agreement and getting paid.

General economic conditions could be impacting customer cash flows, requiring them to delay payments to their suppliers. This issue is a major one, since the problem arises entirely outside of the business, giving management no control over it.

We also provide you with the Average Collection Period calculator along with a downloadable excel template. In financial markets, liquidity refers to how quickly an investment can be sold without negatively impacting its price. The more liquid an investment is, the more quickly it can be sold , and the easier it is to sell it for fair value. All else being equal, more liquid calculating average collection period assets trade at a premium and illiquid assets trade at a discount. Here’s everything you need to know about the Average Collection Period ratio, including how to measure it and what it means for your business. Following data have been extracted from the books of accounts of PQR Ltd. We provide third-party links as a convenience and for informational purposes only.

From The Course: Corporate Financial Statement Analysis

When a company creates a credit policy, it sets the terms of extending credit to its customers. Credit policies normally specify when customers need to pay their bills, what the interest charges and fees are if payments are late, and whether there are any benefits for paying early. Credit policies don’t address how often their customers will pay per year, though. Bro Repairs is a small business https://intuit-payroll.org/ that offers maintenance of air conditioning units to commercial establishments, offices and households. They usually give their commercial clients at least 15 days of credit and these sales constitute at least 60% of their annual $2,340,000 in revenues. At the beginning of this year, Bro Repairs accounts receivables were $124,300 and by the end of the year the receivables were $121,213.

calculating average collection period

Today’s B2B customers want digital payment options and the ability to schedule automatic payments. With traditional accounts receivable processes, there’s a significant communication gap between AR departments and their customers’ AP departments. Make things easy by connecting with your customers using an intuitive, cloud-based portal that empowers them to pay when they want and however they want. Instead of carrying out your collections processes manually, you can take advantage of accounts receivable automation software. Even better, when you opt for an AR automation solution that prioritizes customer collaboration, you can improve collection times even further by streamlining the way you handle disputes and queries.

Is A Lower Average Collection Period Better?

Because their income is dependent on their cash flow from residents, she wants to know how the company has been doing with their average collection period in the past year. Accounts receivable turnover ratio is calculated by dividing total net credit sales by average accounts receivable. The Billing Department of most companies is the one in charge of following up on due invoices to make sure the money is collected.

  • If they are not able to successfully collect from their residents, it can affect the cash flow they have to purchase maintenance supplies, cover operating costs, or pay employees.
  • You then calculate the average collection period by dividing the number of days in a year by the accounts receivable turnover, which will show how many days customers are taking to pay their accounts.
  • The accounting manager of Jenny Jacks calculates the accounts receivable turnover by taking all the credit sales and dividing them by the accounts receivable.
  • It is important for the company to manage its average collection period efficiently so as to ensure they run smoothly.
  • He began this role in 2012 and was an integral part of the company’s development.
  • In that case, the formula for the average collection period should be adjusted as per necessity.

To calculate Average collection period, we need the Average Receivable Turnover and we can assume the Days in a year as 365. We have to calculate the Average collection period for Jagriti Group of Companies.

If Will buys a car for $10,000, he might pay $2,000 at the time of purchase and agree to pay the other $8,000 over the course of a year. The car lot would record the $2,000 as cash and the $8,000 as an account receivable. For the purpose of this example, do not worry about the interest, which would also be included and listed in account receivable. As the car lot sells multiple cars, the lot will increase both their cash income and their total accounts receivables. Using this calculation, 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.

Customary Business Practices For Turning A Debt Over To A Collection Agency

The average collection period is the length of time – on average – it takes a company to receive payments in the form of accounts receivable. Average collection period is computed by dividing the number of working days for a given period by receivables turnover ratio.

calculating average collection period

It is mentioned in the Balance Sheet as a Current Asset, because this is the amount that is likely to be recovered from the customers, incurring a cash inflow into the company. StockMaster is here to help you understand investing and personal finance, so you can learn how to invest, start a business, and make money online. The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing. Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the customer’s location, package chosen, added features and equipment, the purchaser’s credit score, etc. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative. Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase. Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products.


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. You should also compare your company’s credit policy with the average days from credit sale to balance collection to judge how well your firm is doing. If the average collection period, for example, is 45 days, but the firm’s credit policy is to collect its receivables in 30 days, that’s a problem. But if the average collection period is 45 days and the announced credit policy is net 10 days, that’s significantly worse; your customers are very far from abiding by the credit agreement terms. This calls for a look at your firm’s credit policy and instituting measures to change the situation, including tightening credit requirements or making the credit terms clearer to your customers.

  • We’ll show you how to analyze your average collection period a little later on in this post.
  • Your company has to find the average collection period and credit policies that work best for your business’s needs, but that also won’t deter your customers from doing business with you.
  • One such measure is the average collection period it takes for your business to be paid by customers.
  • QuickBooks research shows nearly half (44%) of small business owners who experience cash flow issues say the problems were a surprise.

When they are able to collect receivables within a shorter period of time, they will be able to meet short-term obligations. The formula to compute for the Average Collection Period requires the Accounts Receivable balance to be divided by the total sales for the period. Average Collection Periods is a metric best used as an accounting comparative tool within the business to analyze trends, or compared with other companies of the same industry. Using this same formula, Becky can do an estimate of other properties on the market. If her result is lower than theirs, then the company would probably be doing a good job at collecting rent due from residents. This is, of course, as long as their collection policies don’t turn away too many potential renters.

The average collection period is an estimation of the average time period needed for a business to receive payment for money owed to them. This is particularly useful for companies who sell products or services through lines of credit. The average collection period is also referred to as the days to collect accounts receivable and as days sales outstanding. This, in turn, allows the business owner can evaluate how well their credit policy is working and gives them a better handle on their cash flow. If a company can collect the money in a fairly short amount of time, it gives them the cash flow they need for their expenses and operating costs. However, the longer the repayment period, the more energetic the company might need to become in order to collect the cash they need.

If for instance your credit policy allows collection of credit in 30 days, but you have an average collection period of 90 days, then it means there is a problem and you need to do something. It is important to know the average collection period for your business as it offers insight to the business but this has to be analyzed carefully. For it to make sense the average collection period needs comparative interpretation. You should compare it to previous years to see if it is increasing or decreasing. If it is increasing then it means the accounts receivables are losing liquidity which requires you to do something to reverse the trend. A company’s average collection period gives an insight into its AR health, credit terms, and cash flow. Without tracking the ACP, it will become difficult for businesses to plan for future expenses and projects.

Average Collection Period Analysis & Use

In such cases, a business may lose out on potential customers to competitors with better credit policies. A high average collection period suggests that a company is taking too long to collect payments. For example, if a company’s ACP is 50 days and they issue invoices with a due date of 60 days, then the ACP is reasonable, but if the same company sets a due date of 30 days, the ACP is very high. If the company had a longer average collection period, they would have to revisit their credit collection policies and the credit terms provided to their customers. How efficient and effective a management’s Accounts Receivable process is, is determined by how well accounts receivable balances are collected.

Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio: Formula, Definition And Examples

Intuit does not endorse or approve these products and services, or the opinions of these corporations or organizations or individuals. Intuit accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content on these sites. PK started DQYDJ in 2009 to research and discuss finance and investing and help answer financial questions. He’s expanded DQYDJ to build visualizations, calculators, and interactive tools. Rosemary Carlson is an expert in finance who writes for The Balance Small Business. She was a university professor of finance and has written extensively in this area. These strategies mainly revolve around offering early payment discounts.

If you notice your average collection period jump from 22.8 days to 32.8 days, that could have big effects on your cash flow and you’ll want to take steps to keep that upward trend from continuing. A relatively short average collection period means your accounts receivable collection team is turning around invoices quickly and everything is operating smoothly.


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