Accounts receivable turnover ratio definition

If you can, collect payment information upfront to automatically collect when payment is due. The receivables turnover ratio formula tells you how efficiently a company can collect on the outstanding credit it has extended. Maria’s average collection period, as computed above, is 60.83 days which means the company on average takes 60.83 days to collect a receivable. Whether a collection period of 60.83 days is good or bad for Maria depends on the payment terms it offers to its credit customers. Some companies may use total sales in the numerator, rather than net credit sales.

One key aspect of managing cash flow is ensuring timely collection of dues. A simple and efficient method for tracking timely payments is through effective management of accounts receivable. Given the accounts receivables turnover ratio of 4.8x, the takeaway is that your company is collecting its receivables approximately five times per year.

An efficient company has a higher accounts receivable turnover ratio while an inefficient company has a lower ratio. This metric is commonly used to compare companies within the same industry to gauge whether they are on par with their competitors. To see if customers are paying on time, you need to look for the income statement.

On the other hand, smaller companies often operate with tighter margins. As a result, they can’t carry as high a debt load, meaning their AR turnover ratio should be higher. We can interpret the ratio to mean that Company A collected its receivables 11.76 times on average that year.

What is Accounts Receivables Turnover?

It also serves as an indication of how effective your credit policies and collection processes are. Accounts receivable turnover, or A/R turnover, is calculated by dividing a firm’s sales by its accounts receivable. It is a measure of how efficiently a company is able to collect on the credit it extends to customers.

The Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio is the determiner of if financial profitability or loss status of the company. The receivable account also can also be the cause of liabilities and losses to the business. basic accounting principles & concepts for t This account helps the business in foreseeing the future and understanding the financial relationships of the business with the clients. Low account turnover can be due to a
rapid and effective recovery cycle.

  • By doing so, they can improve their cash flow, reduce the risk of delinquent accounts, and optimize their financial performance.
  • Now we can use the Maria’s receivable turnover ratio to calculate its average collection period ratio which would reveal the average number of days the company takes to collect a credit sale.
  • The most notable difference between these two metrics is that the accounts receivable turnover ratio measures only the credit sales aspect of the operating cycle.
  • Companies are more liquid the faster they can covert their receivables into cash.
  • And if you apply for a small business loan, your lender may ask to see your accounts receivable turnover ratio to determine if you qualify.

Then we add them together and divide by two, giving us $35,000 as the average accounts receivable. Since we already have our net credit sales ($400,000), we can skip straight to the second step—identifying the average accounts receivable. Cleaning companies, on the other hand, typically require customer payment within two weeks. If you own one of these businesses, your idea of “high” or “low” ratios will be vastly different from that of the construction business owner. We calculate the average accounts receivable by dividing the sum of a specific timeframe’s beginning and ending receivables (most frequently months or quarters) and dividing by two. The company had an opening accounts receivable balance of $420,000 and a closing balance of $380,000, giving an average accounts receivable of $400,000.

Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio: How to Analyze and Improve It

In some ways the receivables turnover ratio can be viewed as a liquidity ratio as well. Companies are more liquid the faster they can covert their receivables into cash. Alpha Lumber should also take a look at its collection staff and procedures. The business may have a low ratio as a result of staff members who don’t fully understand their job description or may be underperforming.

Add the two receivables numbers ($1,183,363 + $1,178,423) and divide by two. To figure out the average receivables, look at figures from 2020 and 2019. It had $1,183,363 in receivables in 2020, and in 2019, it reported receivables of $1,178,423. Moreover, investors can get started with a relatively small amount of capital.


In most cases, companies perform better by extending more credit to customers, not less, even if this means a slightly higher receivable turnover ratio. It is therefore vital to only compare turnover ratios of companies in like industries that have similar business models. The lower a company’s AR turnover ratio is, the longer and more difficult it is to collect from its debtors. This negatively impacts its liquidity as it does not have cash, rather only a claim on cash, which it cannot use to pay creditors and expenses or make purchases. If you can’t find “credit sales” on an income statement, you can use “total sales” instead.

Video Explanation of Different Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratios

In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, there were $100,000 gross credit sales and returns of $10,000. Starting and ending accounts receivable for the year were $10,000 and $15,000, respectively. John wants to know how many times his company collects its average accounts receivable over the year. The accounts receivable turnover ratio tells a company how efficiently its collection process is. This is important because it directly correlates to how much cash a company may have on hand in addition to how much cash it may expect to receive in the short-term. By failing to monitor or manage its collection process, a company may fail to receive payments or be inefficiently overseeing its cash management process.

This can inflate the ratio and make it seem as though a company is more efficient than it really is. On the other hand, the cash conversion cycle accounts not just for credit sales, but also for inventory processing and credit purchases. Both of these metrics demonstrate the operational efficiency of a company and the speed of a company’s cash flows, but they measure slightly different things. However, an important point to note is that different industries have different turnover ratios.

Therefore, it takes this business’s customers an average of 11.5 days to pay their bills. By monitoring this ratio from one accounting period to the next, you can predict how much working capital you’ll have on hand and protect your business from bad debt. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about what a receivables turnover ratio is, how to calculate it, and how you can use it to improve your business. Invoice production is a factor that determines when the revenue comes in. Several companies commit the mistake of not producing an invoice right after the sale.

Turnover Ratio: Real World Example

Failure to do so may lead to an unreliable understanding of how high or low a company’s ratio is or should be. Alternative investments should only be part of your overall investment portfolio. Further, the alternative investment portion of your portfolio should include a balanced portfolio of different alternative investments. In business, there are times when a product can barely be kept in stock, such is its popularity. Then there are other situations in which deep discounts are called for to spur sales. You still get your product, but the payment is deferred – meaning it is put off to a later time.

That’s also usually coupled with the fact that you have quality customers who pay on time. These on-time payments are significant because they improve your business’s cash flow and open up credit lines for customers to make additional purchases. By contrast, a low receivables turnover ratio may indicate an inefficient collection process, bad credit policies, or an unreliable customer base. It can also be influenced by factors such as slow deliveries or poor quality, leading to delayed or disputed invoice payments.

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