Days Sales Outstanding DSO Ratio Formula Calculation

days in sales receivables formula

In such cases, the P&L statement shows good profits but the cash flow statement does not show commensurate cash flow from operations. As a result, rising receivable days may represent an initial sign to uncover underlying frauds. As discussed above, whenever the customer believes that it can push the suppliers for a longer credit period, then it will delay the receivables. In addition, whenever there is any dispute between the customer and the supplier e.g. quality of the product, the achievement of the milestones in the projects etc., then the receivables would be delayed.

  • Companies with high DSO, when compared to their peers, tell us that they take longer than average to receive money from their customers.
  • High accounts receivable turnover ratios are more favorable than low ratios because this signifies a company is converting accounts receivables to cash faster.
  • An investor should analyse receivable days of any company with this information at the back of her mind.
  • The receivables turnover ratio is just like any other metric that tries to gauge the efficiency of a business in that it comes with certain limitations that are important for any investor to consider.
  • Interestingly, a report on the technology company Apple recently stated that Apple gets paid for its products before it actually has to pay for them.

To understand the significance of DSO, let’s review some familiar accounting terms. The credit rating agency, CRISIL has highlighted this aspect of the business model of Supreme Industries Ltd in its report in July 2020. Company is able to pass on the increased cost on all its products except commodity furniture. Skipper Limited is a leading Indian manufacturer of transmission towers and PVC pipes. Skipper Ltd.’s products are used in the erection of power transmission and distribution lines where most of the projects are executed under the purview of govt.

Importance of Receivables Turnover Ratio

The latter indicate how long it takes on average for a company to pay its own invoices (e.g. to its suppliers). All these instances of payment delays by the customers result in increasing trade receivables for the company and in turn, increase its receivable days. Therefore, an investor would appreciate that continuously increasing receivable days are a cause for concern. An investor may think that ideally, companies should give as low credit period as possible so that they reduce the risk of a customer not paying after delaying payments for a long time.

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Let’s use an example of a business that has $10,000 in accounts receivable on January 1, 2020. The next month, on February 1, 2020, the business has $12,000 in accounts receivable. The business also sells $8,000 in credit sales between January 1 and February 1. As you can see, it takes Devin approximately 31 days to collect cash from his customers on average. Although accounts receivables and working capital may constitute only a tiny amount of what a public company has on their balance sheet, they may be crucial for smaller companies. This is because smaller companies, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), often rely on their working capital to run their daily operation.

DSO can also be used to analyze the effectiveness of your accounts receivable process, starting with whom you extend credit to and ending with the collection processes used by your business. With this, we have come to the end of the current article in which we have attempted to summarise our learning from the analysis of hundreds of companies and their businesses. We had noticed that there are some common factors in the business model of companies that determine whether the company would have high receivable days (more than 60 days) or low receivable days (less than 30). Let us now focus on another aspect that may lead to an increase in trade receivables and receivable days, which is accounting juggleries or frauds.

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A good or bad DSO ratio may vary according to the type of business and industry that the company operates in. It suggests that the company’s cash is flowing in at a reasonably efficient rate, ready to be used to generate new business. When using DSO to compare the cash flows of a number of companies, you should compare companies within the same industry, with similar business models and revenue numbers. If you try to compare companies in different industries and of different sizes, the results you’ll get will be misleading because they often have very different DSO benchmarks and targets.

days in sales receivables formula

Therefore, companies need to keep a well thought out policy for giving credit period to their customers. As such, the beginning and ending values selected when calculating the average accounts receivable should be carefully chosen to accurately reflect the company’s performance. what is balance sheet lending and how is it different to p2p lending Investors could take an average of accounts receivable from each month during a 12-month period to help smooth out any seasonal gaps. Accounts receivable are effectively interest-free loans that are short-term in nature and are extended by companies to their customers.

About This Article

Days sales outstanding is an element of the cash conversion cycle and may also be referred to as days receivables or average collection period. Accounts receivable days is an important key figure for companies, as it has an influence on the liquidity situation. Here we show you how to calculate, interpret and improve accounts receivable days. In addition, the distributors do not buy antivirus products of Quick Heal Technologies Ltd for their own consumption. The distributors are traders who earn revenue by selling these antivirus products to next tier of distributors or consumers. In case, the distributor is not able to sell the products of Quick Heal Technologies Ltd to other consumers, then in most likely cases, it will delay payments to the company.

  • Company is able to pass on the increased cost on all its products except commodity furniture.
  • Let’s use an example of a business that has $10,000 in accounts receivable on January 1, 2020.
  • This tells us that Company A takes just under 55 days to collect a typical invoice.
  • On day 16, it has to pay the supplier this $100 and will have $0 in the bank until day 31 when it receives $200 for the parts.
  • Credit sales, unlike cash transactions, must be carefully managed in order to ensure prompt payment.

Many times, collecting receivables from PSU organizations may take some time, which might be a reason for relatively high receivables. While analysing Skipper Ltd., an investor notices that over the last 10 years, the company has consistently had high receivable days in the range of days, which have increased to 122 days in FY2020. While analysing WPIL Ltd, an investor notices that the company has had high receivable days over 120 days and at a time going up to 175 days in FY2015. The customers of Vikram Thermo (India) Ltd are pharmaceutical companies who manufacture and sell drugs like Crocin (Paracetamol).

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An investor may appreciate that there can be many genuine situations where a company may not get payments from its customers and in turn may report higher receivable days. In such situations, an investor would note that the profit after tax (PAT) of the company would not translate into CFO. At times, companies would have to rely on debt to meet the gap i.e. they would have to take loans to meet their day to day expenses. This would lead to an increase in debt year on year and in turn, would lead to a higher interest expense.

However, an investor would appreciate that at the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the company to pay the bank if the customer (e.g. Tata Group Company) fails to pay on day 60 or whenever the payment is due. This is because if the bank did not receive the money from the customer then it will initiate recovery proceedings against the company to get its money. Therefore, under “bill discounting”, the company has a contingent liability equal to the amount of trade receivables discounted by it with the banks. If the customer does not pay when the money is due, then the company has to pay the bank. Therefore, an investor would appreciate that if a company sells its goods or services directly to the end customer and does not have an intermediary channel, then it can collect entire payment upfront and have lower receivable days. While analysing the business of the company, an investor notices that Just Dial Ltd sells advertising packages to SMEs and it directly collects money in advance from them.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Calculating Days Sales Outstanding – The Motley Fool

A Step-by-Step Guide to Calculating Days Sales Outstanding.

Posted: Wed, 18 May 2022 16:59:39 GMT [source]

With all the information gathered, you’re now ready to calculate days sales outstanding using the DSO formula. If you’re ready to calculate the days sales outstanding for your business, just follow the steps outlined below. Accounts receivable days is the number of days an invoice remains unpaid or outstanding until the business finally collects the payment from the customer. In such cases of corporate frauds, where the management fabricates the sales to present a good profit and loss (P&L) statement, the first red flag that an investor may see is that the profits are not collected as cash. Therefore, the sales get accumulated as trade receivables and as a result, cash flow from operating activities lags its net profits. Simply, an investor may understand it assuming that Nile Ltd had total trade receivables of about ₹79 cr.


The credit rating agency, CRISIL has also highlighted customer concentration as one of the key risks for Sonata Software Ltd in its April 2020 report for the company. From the above table, an investor notices that the receivable days of Sonata Software Ltd have consistently increased over the years. The company used to have receivable days of 47 in FY2012, which has steadily increased to 74 days in FY2019 and FY2020. The company operates a business, where it needs to get the funds released from Govt./PSU enterprises.

days in sales receivables formula

The numerator of the accounts receivable turnover ratio is net credit sales, the amount of revenue earned by a company paid via credit. This figure include cash sales as cash sales do not incur accounts receivable activity. Net credit sales also incorporates sales discounts or returns from customers and is calculated as gross credit sales less these residual reductions. Low value of trade receivables days suggests that business is able to convert its credit sales into cash pretty swiftly, which is a sign of efficient trade receivables management. It means that the credit control department of the business has done a good job in screening of customers resulting in sales being made to quality customers who pay their dues well in time. This also means that there are fewer long outstanding receivables balances, which is a good thing for the business.

This means that the higher the average receivable amount within a period with constant revenue, the longer the company has to wait for payment. Accounts receivable days is the number of days that a customer invoice is outstanding before it is collected. The point of the measurement is to determine the effectiveness of a company’s credit and collection efforts in allowing credit to reputable customers, as well as its ability to collect cash from them in a timely manner. The measurement is usually applied to the entire set of invoices that a company has outstanding at any point in time, rather than to a single invoice. When measured at the individual customer level, the measurement can indicate when a customer is having cash flow troubles, since it will attempt to stretch out the amount of time before it pays invoices. In addition, another reason for high receivable days is accounting fraud where companies may have reported fictitious sales where the customers are not real.

days in sales receivables formula

If the result is a low DSO, it means that the business takes a few days to collect its receivables. DSO is one of the three primary metrics used to calculate a company’s cash conversion cycle. In normal business practices, companies that sell to retail customers (i.e. B2C) usually have lower receivable days because they sell to individual customers by collecting all the payment upfront at the time of sale.