Average Collection Period Meaning, Formula

Zoli Bee Bookkeeping

average collection period equation

While math equations may bore you, collecting your payments at a quicker rate is anything but boring. A recent survey found that 10% of payments are never paid or paid so late that businesses have to write them off as bad debt. However, if the payment terms are set at 50 days, then 38 days to pay on average may suggest that the company is not taking advantage of its credit terms. To understand the implications of the payment period and its consequences, we need to look at the payment terms which could deem the result of 38 days as positive or negative. Frequently, when the payment is operated quickly, the buyer might take advantage of specific discounts, which would diminish the overall price of the purchase. For instance, in the case of a 10/30 credit term, as a buyer, you might benefit from a 10 percent discount, granted that the balance is paid within 30 days. In general, the standard credit term is 0/90 – which facilitates payment in 90 days, yet no discounts whatsoever.

The secret to accounts receivable management is knowing how to track and measure performance. For this reason, evaluating the evolution of the ACP throughout time will probably give the analyst a much clearer picture of the behavior of a business’ payment collection situation. Credit TermCredit Terms are the payment terms and conditions established by the lending party in exchange for the credit benefit. Offering Discount to the customers in case they are paying the credit in advance, offering 2 % discount in case customer paid in first ten days. We have Opening and Closing accounts receivables Balances of $25,000 and $35,000 for Anand Group of companies. Jason is the senior vice president of Bill Gosling Outsourcing’s offshore location in the Philippines.

However, if the receivables turnover is evaluated for a different time period, then the numerator should reflect this same time period. In the first formula, we first need to find out the accounts receivable turnover ratio. For the second formula, we need to compute the average accounts receivable per day and the average credit sales per day. Average accounts receivable per day can be calculated as average accounts receivable divided by 365 and Average credit sales per day can be calculated as average credit sales divided by 365. The average collection period is the average number of days between 1) the dates that credit sales were made, and 2) the dates that the money was received/collected from the customers. The average collection period is also referred to as the days‘ sales in accounts receivable.

  • In the first formula, we first need to find out the accounts receivable turnover ratio.
  • If her result is lower than theirs, then the company would probably be doing a good job at collecting rent due from residents.
  • The next step in the process is to look at Jenny Jacks credit policy.
  • Your banker will want to see this track to determine the bank’s risk since accounts receivables are often used as collateral.

To calculate this ratio, you’ll need to gather up a few numbers. The first thing to decide is the time period you want to calculate the average for. Many accountants will use a one-year period , or an accounting year . You can also calculate the ratio for shorter periods, such as a single month. Credit Sales are all sales made on credit (i.e. excluding cash sales) A long debtors collection period is an indication of slow or late payments by debtors. For instance, say your competitors collect receivables every 15 days. You can gain a competitive edge by offering a longer payment period.

What Does The Average Collection Period Say About Your Business?

All you have to do is break out your calculator and face your turnover ratio head on. The accounts receivable turnover ratio is one metric to watch closely as it measures how effectively a company is handling collections. If money is not coming in from customers as agreed and expected, cash flow can dry to a trickle.

It consists of multiplying outstanding accounts payable by the number of days in a year, then dividing the result by the total amount of credit sales and promised contributions. The result expresses, in days, the average length of time it takes for the nonprofit to receive payment during the year that the data in the equation comes from. Calculating the average collection period is a two-step process. You must first calculate the accounts receivable turnover, which tells you how many times customers pay their account within a year. The average collection period is the average amount of time it takes for companies to receive payments from its customers. For example, if you pay for a product using your credit card, the amount of money due to the business is accounts receivable. The time it takes these businesses to receive your payment is the average collection period.

average collection period equation

Enter the total number of days of a collection period, the total net receivables, and total net credit sales into the calculator. Another way to calculate the collection period is that you can utilize the account receivable turnover ratio for the calculation. This figure tells the accounting manager that Jenny Jacks customers are paying every 36.5 days. By subtracting 30 days from retained earnings 36.5 days, he sees that they’re also 6.5 days late, which affects the store’s ability to pay its bills. The accounting manager of Jenny Jacks calculates the accounts receivable turnover by taking all the credit sales and dividing them by the accounts receivable. This is great for customers who want their purchases right away, but what happens if they don’t pay their bills on time?


Find this number by totaling the accounts receivable at the start and at the end of the period. The monitoring of the average collection period is one way to track a company’s ability to collect its accounts receivable. In accounting the term Debtor Collection Period indicates the average time taken to collect trade debts.

Crucial KPMs like your average collection period can show exactly where you need to make improvements to optimize your accounts receivable and maintain a healthy cash flow. A company with a consistent record of failing to collect its payments on time will eventually succumb to financial difficulties due to cash shortages, as its cash cycle will be extended. This is also a costly situation to be in, as the company will have to take debt to fulfill its commitments and this debt carries interest charges that will reduce earnings.

For the company, its average collection period figure can mean a few things. It may mean that the company isn’t as efficient as it needs to be when staying on top of Accounting Periods and Methods collecting accounts receivable. However, the figure can also represent that the company offers more flexible payment terms when it comes to outstanding payments.

average collection period equation

Nevertheless, it could be really useful to do an evaluation on a quarterly basis, or over a specific timeframe. Obviously, if the company does not have adequate cash flows to cover payments at a faster rate, the current average payment period may show the current credit terms are most appropriate. If the industry has an average payment period of 90 days also, for Clothing, Inc., sticking with this plan makes sense. In the formulas provided above the first is popular among investors and requires one to determine the accounts receivable turnover. The accounts receivable turnover can be determined by dividing the total remaining sales by the average accounts receivables. 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.

In property management, almost their entire cash flow is done on credit and dependant on tenants paying their rent monthly. 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. Similarly, it can help in assessing the credit policy of the company as the average days from the credit sale average collection period equation to credit collection can help you know how your business is fairing. 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. Normally the average collection period is very important for those businesses or companies that heavily depend on accounts receivables for cash flow.

Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio: Definition, Formula & Examples

The figure of credit sales is still manageable but average receivables are difficult. The first practical question would be – what average should be taken?

average collection period equation

Understanding how long it takes a business to recoup the money it invests on inventory and raw materials is crucial in determining the length of its cash cycle. The cash cycle tracks how many days it takes the company to get its money back since the moment it places a purchase order until the moment it collects the money from a sale. The top management of the company requests the accountant to find out the collection period of the company in the current scenario. Anand Group of companies have decided to make some changes in their credit policy. In order to analyze the current scenario, they have asked the Analyst to compute the Average collection period. For one thing, to be meaningful, the ratio needs to be interpreted comparatively.

A shorter payment period indicates prompt payments to creditors. Like accounts payable turnover ratio, average payment period also indicates the creditworthiness of the company.

Average Payment Period

If the firm above, with an average collection period of 22.8 days, has 30-day terms, they’re in great shape. If they have 14-day terms, that means few customers are actually paying on time. Whether your average collection period is “good” or “bad” will depend on how close it is to your credit terms—though lower is generally better.

Importance Of The Average Collection Period

Further, if your business is cyclical, your ratio may be skewed simply by the start and endpoint of your accounts receivable average. Compare it to Accounts Receivable Aging—a report that categorizes AR by the length of time an invoice has been outstanding—to see if you are getting an accurate AR turnover ratio.

As long as it is in line with the average payment period for similar companies, this measurement should not be expected to change much over time. Any changes to this number should be recording transactions evaluated further to see what effects it has on cash flows. Property management and real estate companies would also need to be constantly aware of their average collection period.

We also provide you with the Average Collection Period calculator along with downloadable excel template. The first formula is mostly used for the calculation by the investors and other professionals. For calculating Average collection period, we need the Average Receivable Turnover and we can assume the Days in a year as 365. On an average, the Jagriti Group of Companies collects the receivables in 40 Days. 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.

An unchanged Average Collection Period can indicate a fairly stable credit policy environment, if the average collection period is not too high. Thus, it would make more than 10% on its money reinvesting in new inventory sooner. Second, the company needs cash not only to pay to suppliers for the services or products that it purchases for running its operations but also to pay for its employees. Long collection days of credit sales will lead to insufficient cash to pay for these things. This is because of failing in the collection of credit sale or convert the credits sales into cash in a short period of time will adversely affect the company at least two thinks. Account receivable collection period measures the average number of days that credit customers usually make the payment to the company.

Set internal triggers to activate collection escalations sooner rather than later or consider implementing a dunning process, escalating attempts to collect from customers. It doesn’t matter how busy everyone in your company is—if invoices do not go out on time, then money will not come in on time either. Accounting software can help you automate many aspects of the invoicing process and can guard against errors such as double billing.