Average Collection Period: Formula and How It Works

The term  refers to the time frame it takes for a company to receive the money owed by clients under the accounts payable . Businesses utilize the average collection period to ensure that they have sufficient cash in their accounts to cover the financial needs. The average collection time can be used to gauge the efficiency of a company’s AR management strategies and is a crucial metric for firms that heavily rely upon receivables to manage their cash flow.

Average Collection Periods Works

Accounts receivable is a business term used to refer to the amount that companies owe an organization when they purchase products or services. The majority of companies sell their products to their customers through credit. AR is included on companies’ balance sheets as current assets, and is a measure of the company’s liquidity. This means that they demonstrate the ability of companies to pay off their short-term obligations without relying on cash flow flows that are not available. A shorter average period of collection is usually preferable to the one with a higher. A short average collection time suggests that the company is able to collect more quickly. This could indicate that the company’s credit terms are not as flexible. Customers who do not feel your lenders’ conditions to be very accommodating might prefer to find services or suppliers who have more flexible terms for payment.

Formulation for the average collection period

The average collection period is determined by dividing the average balance of accounts receivable with its credit sales net over the specified time frame, then multiplying the result by all 365 days.

Average Collection Period = 365 Days * (Average Accounts Receivables / Net Credit Sales)

More frequently the term “average collection period” is defined as the number of days in a given interval divided by rate of receivables’ turnover. The formula is called the ratio of days sales receivable.

Average Collection Period = 365 Days / Receivables Turnover Ratio

The average turnover of receivables represents the total account payable balance divided by sales of net credit. the formula in the following is an easier way to write the formula.

Average Accounts Receivables

In the above formulas, the average receivables is determined by using the mean of the end and beginning balances of a specific period. Advanced accounting tools might be able simplify the average of a company’s receivables over a particular period by taking into account daily balances that end on a daily basis. When you are analyzing the average collection period be aware about your seasonality of the receivable balances. In the example above, comparing an extremely busy month in comparison to slow months can it will result in an extremely uneven balance of accounts receivable which could result in a skew of the amount calculated.

Net Credit Sales

The average collection period also depends on sales of net credit for the duration of. This measurement should not take into account cash sales (as they are not based by credit and don’t have the benefit of a collection period). They are limited to credit sales only Net credit sales also exclude residual transactions which can impact and frequently decrease sales. This includes discounts given for customers products recalls or return, or products that are reissued under warranty.

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