What is Average Collection Period and how is it calculated?

posted in: Bookkeeping | 0
Rate this post

While at first glance a low average collection period may indicate higher efficiency, it could also indicate a too strict credit policy. To calculate your total net credit sales, take your total sales made on credit for a given period and subtract any returns and sales allowances. To calculate your average accounts receivable, take the sum of your starting and ending receivables for a given period and divide this by two. Thus, the average collection period signals the effectiveness of a company’s current credit policies and A/R collection practices.

  1. It currently has an average account receivable of $250,000 and net credit sales of $600,000 over 365 days.
  2. A high collection period often signals that a company is experiencing delays in receiving payments.
  3. An alternative means of calculating the average collection period is to multiply the total number of days in the period by the average balance in accounts receivable and then divide by sales for the period.
  4. Collecting its receivables in a relatively short and reasonable period of time gives the company time to pay off its obligations.

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. From 2020 to 2021, the average number of days needed by our hypothetical company to collect cash from credit sales declined from 26 days to 24 days, reflecting an improvement year-over-year (YoY). Real estate and construction companies also rely on steady cash flows to pay for labor, services, and supplies. 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.

As was the case with a tighter credit policy, this will also reduce sales, as some customers shift their purchases to more amenable sellers. To address your average collection period, you first need a reliable source of data. When you log in to Versapay, you get a clear dashboard of the current status of all your receivables. Your entire team can access your customers’ entire payment history, giving you a clear picture of your collection efforts. Here are a few of the ways Versapay’s Collaborative AR automation software helps bring down your average collection period, improve cash flow, and boost working capital. This can potentially impact the cash flow of the business, leaving it with more or no money.

This can be especially impactful from a working capital perspective, as more extended collection periods mean that companies might face difficulties in managing their short-term obligations. Since cash flows form the lifeblood of any business, ensuring quick customer payment is crucial. In essence, the smoother the inflow of cash, the more smooth-running the company’s operations will likely be. An alternative means of calculating the average collection period is to multiply the total number of days in the period by the average balance in accounts receivable and then divide by sales for the period. A company’s average collection period gives an insight into its AR health, credit terms, and cash flow.

However, a higher DSO may suggest problems in the company’s collection processes or credit policies. The average collection period is an important figure your business needs to know if you’re to stay on top of payments. This industry will emphasize shorter collection periods because real estate frequently requires ongoing financial flow to support its operations. The average collection period figure allows a company to plan effectively for forthcoming costs. This can come in the form of securing a loan to acquire more long-term assets for expansion. The average collection period can be used as a benchmark to compare the performance of two organizations because similar businesses should provide comparable financial measures.

Accounting Close Explained: A Comprehensive Guide to the Process

This is attributable to different factors including industry norms, unique business models, and specific credit terms. A longer collection period might indicate financial distress, as it could mean customers are struggling to pay their bills, or the company is not enforcing its collection terms strictly enough. Consequently, it represents a higher degree of credit risk, which could deter potential investors and lenders. The average collection period should be closely monitored so you know how your finances look, and how this impacts your ability to pay for bills and other liabilities. There’s a big difference between knowing you’re due to be paid $10,000 and safely having it in your business bank account.

Automation can also help reduce manual intervention in collection processes, enabling proactive communication with customers and helping in the establishment of appropriate credit limits. Suppose a company generated $280k and $360k in net credit sales for the fiscal years ending 2020 and 2021, respectively. The average collection period figure is also important from a timing perspective to help a company prepare an effective plan for covering costs and scheduling potential expenditures to further growth. Furthermore, a lengthier collection period reduces the availability of cash for investment opportunities, whether that’s expansion, R&D, or strategic moves to outperform competitors. Over time, missing these growth opportunities can negatively impact a firm’s market position and profitability. All these strategies, while having their distinct benefits, require careful consideration of their implications and must be implemented thoughtfully to optimize the average collection period effectively.

The Accounts Receivable Turnover ratio is calculated by dividing the total net credit sales by the average accounts receivable. The faster the turnover, the shorter the collection period, which indicates efficient credit sales management. The Accounts Receivable Turnover ratio provides insights into a company’s efficiency in collecting debts.

Why Is It Critical to Track the Average Collection Period?

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. Companies may also compare the average collection period with the credit terms extended to customers. For example, an average collection period of 25 days isn’t as concerning if invoices are issued with a net 30 due date. However, an ongoing evaluation of the outstanding collection period directly affects the organization’s cash flows.

Stay up-to-date with the latest small business
insights and trends!

The Average Collection Period represents the number of days that a company needs to collect cash payments from customers that paid on credit. Liquidity is a financial measure of how instantly you can access cash for business expenses. On the other hand, a short https://turbo-tax.org/ average collection period indicates that a company is strict or quick in its collection practices. While this might seem beneficial at first glance, as it provides the opportunity for quick cash turnover and reinvestment, there can also be potential pitfalls.

Implications for Business Stability and Growth

Every business is unique, so there’s no right answer to differentiate a “good” average collection period from a “bad” one. If your business doesn’t rely heavily on accounts receivable for cash flow, you may be okay with a longer collection period than businesses that need to liquidate credit sales to fund cash flow. The average collection period, also known average collection period formula as the average collection period ratio (ACP), estimates the timeline a company can expect to collect its accounts receivable. The number of days can vary from business to business depending on things like your industry and customer payment history. Even though ACP is an important metric for every business, it doesn’t portray much as a standalone unit.

Definition of Average Collection Period

They provide significant insights into the enterprise’s efficiency in managing a crucial aspect of its working capital – accounts receivable. The direct relationship between average collection period and cash flow is straightforward. When customers take longer to pay their bills, less cash is coming into the company. If we imagine a situation where all customers delay their payments, the company would not be receiving any money, though it might be generating significant sales on paper. This can create a cash crunch, making it challenging for the company to meet its regular operational expenses, including employee salaries, utility payments, and supplier invoices.

This includes any discounts awarded to customers, product recalls or returns, or items re-issued under warranty. Let your accounts receivable team put more effort into accepting payments on time. Lastly, offering incentives for prompt payments could motivate your clients to pay their bills faster, thus decreasing the average collection period. There can be significant variations in the average collection period from one industry to the next.

This issue is a major one, since the problem arises entirely outside of the business, giving management no control over it. If your company requires invoices to be paid within 30 days, then a lower average than 30 would mean that you collect accounts efficiently. An average higher than 30 can mean that you’re having trouble collecting your accounts, and it could also indicate trouble with cash flow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *