Days Sales Outstanding

When a business has a low DSO, it also guarantees inflow of operational liquidity that can be used for other high-value functions. In simple words, a high DSO indicates that a business takes more days to collect its dues. This could be because of two reasons — either the business lacks customers who pay on time or its collections procedure is inefficient.

To calculate days sales outstanding by hand, you will want to look at your accounts receivables and net sales over a defined period of time. We recommend reviewing DSO over at least three months to get an accurate average.

Days Sales Outstanding

Though DSO is often used to measure a company’s ability to collect their receivables, there are factors that influence DSO that have nothing to do with accounts receivable management. If you don’t know how long it’s taking your customers to pay you, you won’t know that there’s a problem until you no longer have cash on hand. Credit sales, however, are rarely reported separate from gross sales on theincome statement.

Whats A good Dso Number?

Delinquent Days Sales Outstanding is a good alternative for credit collection assessment or for use alongside DSO. Like any metric measuring a company’s performance, DSO should not be considered alone, but rather should be used with other metrics. When using DSO to compare the cash flows of a number of companies, one should compare companies within the same industry, ideally when they have similar business models and revenue numbers. Companies of different sizes and in different industries often have very different DSO benchmarks.

There’s a solution, and it involves mastering days sales outstanding . Let’s explore DSO, DSO calculations , why DSO is important, why tracking DSO is important, how to do it, and ways to improve your company’s DSO. As you can see, it takes Devin approximately 31 days to collect cash from his customers on average.

A low DSO, on the other hand, indicates that a company is able to collect its receivables quickly, which is a sign of good liquidity and credit health. To learn how accounts receivable automation can improve your DSO and cash flow, connect with Billtrust.

Challenges With Dso

This is a good ratio since Devin is aiming for a 30 day collection period. A higher ratio indicates a company with poor collection procedures and customers who are unable or unwilling to pay for their purchases. Companies with high days sales ratios are unable to convert sales into cash as quickly as firms with lower ratios.

  • I could’ve avoided such a scenario in my own business had I paid attention when talking to this one client.
  • Also, most firms employ these indicators to stay ahead of the competition.
  • That’s why it’s so important that you track your days sales outstanding over a time period against your business terms and industry benchmarks.
  • Let’s understand the importance of DSO and how it can affect accounts receivable days.

Check out our tips to perform credit checks on existing and potential customers, in order to assess credit risk. To gain a better insight, you should compare your company’s DSO against industry benchmarks, plus factor in economic fluctuations and your company’s capital structure and size. Although it’s worth noting that a “good DSO” number in one industry might not be the same in another. For instance, receiving reimbursement from insurance companies within 40 days or less is generally seen as a positive in the healthcare industry. Whereas a DSO of less than 30 days is a common occurrence in the manufacturing industry.


Invoices must clearly and visibly state payment terms to reduce the chances of confusion over when payment is expected. The company should also be regularly communicating with customers about outstanding invoices and how the company can make it easier for customers to pay them. For example, some customers may be moving to electronic payments or prefer their employees to use payment cards for certain purchasing.

The period of time used to measure DSO can be monthly, quarterly, or annually. If the result is a low DSO, it means that the business takes a few days to collect its receivables. On the other hand, a high DSO means it takes more days to collect receivables. DSO is one of the three primary metrics used to calculate a company’s cash conversion cycle.

Why Is Days Sales Outstanding Important?

DSO can be calculated over various time periods like monthly, quarterly or annually. Days Sales Outstanding measures how many days on average it takes for a company to to collect its account receivables in a given time period. The faster your invoices are paid, the faster sales are converted into cash available to invest back into your business.

Six Ways to Reduce Days Sales Outstanding – CFO –

Six Ways to Reduce Days Sales Outstanding – CFO.

Posted: Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:00:00 GMT [source]

From a business point of view, it is better to collect accounts receivables as quickly as possible. DSO is an important tool for assessing the liquidity of the business concern. The more liquid the current of assets of the business, the more flexible are its operations. Therefore, calculation of DSO is an important accounting tool for any business. A low DSO means it takes a company fewer days to collect its account receivables.

Improve Cash Flow By Mastering Days Sales Outstanding

While lowering DSO is typically the goal, too low of a DSO ratio could indicate that the company’s credit policy is too strict. Calculating the DSO and comparing daily sales outstanding with other KPIs will help to develop a better overall picture of a company’s business performance. Taking all of these variables into consideration can help you reduce your DSO. Streamlining or outsourcing your billing process could be one way to lower the DSO ratio. Another could be to provide incentives to your customers for paying early such as a discount for payments up front, or an extra month of service for every six consecutive months of payment on time. Accounts ReceivablesAccounts receivables is the money owed to a business by clients for which the business has given services or delivered a product but has not yet collected payment. They are categorized as current assets on the balance sheet as the payments expected within a year.

A lower days sales outstanding ratio shows that the company can collect its receivables in lesser time. However, a higher days sales outstanding ratio indicates that a company takes a longer time to collect its accounts receivables. An automated platform can streamline your credit and collections further. If you go for an extensive order-to-cash automation tool, it can enhance your accounts receivables process. Besides, with automation, you can automate payment reminders, formalize collection processes, monitor payment status, and customize invoices for every customer.

For more tips on how to survive and thrive during downturns, find out out what our founder has to say about DSO and other metrics. The information and use of this website is governed by our terms and conditions. YayPay may change these terms and conditions at any time without notification. If you proceed to any other page of this website, you acknowledge that you have read and accepted the terms and conditions. Good database design is a must to meet processing needs in SQL Server systems. We also recommend reading this eBook with 13 proven strategies from Fortune 1000 companies on reducing DSO.

An effective way to use the days sales outstanding measurement is to track it on a trend line, month by month. Doing so shows any changes in the ability of the organization to collect from its customers. If a business is highly seasonal, a variation is to compare the measurement to the same metric for the same month in the preceding year; this provides a more reasonable basis for comparison. Days sales outstanding is an element of the cash conversion cycle and may also be referred to as days receivables or average collection period. At the end of the day, if you focus on your days sales outstanding and continue to work on your strategy, you’llimprove your cash flow.

It’s important to calculate DSO, and you can easily do so using the days sales outstanding formula. Don’t worry, there’s a simple solution and it involves managing your days sales outstanding DSO. In this example you can see, how to calculate the average time, in days, for which the receivables are outstanding. This will help you to determine if a change in receivables is due to a change in sales, selling terms, or other factors.

Customer satisfaction might be declining, or the salespeople may be offering longer terms of payment to drive increased sales. Or the company may be allowing customers with poor credit to make purchases on credit. In the financial industry, relatively long payment terms are common.

Similarly, a decrease in average sales per day could indicate the need for more sales staff or better utilization. days sales outstanding is the number of days it takes to collect your receivables in a given amount of time. It is an important financial indicator as it shows both the age of a company’s accounts receivable and the average time it takes to turn those receivables into cash. DSO reveals how many days worth of sales are outstanding and unpaid within a specific period. DSO is a measure of the average number of days it takes your company to collect payments after making sales. DSO or days sales in receivable is a fancy accounting word for a calculation that businesses use to estimate how many days – on average – it takes clients to pay their invoices. Days sales outstanding is part of your accounts receivable balance sheet.

Days Sales Outstanding

Automating your collections process will decrease human error and lower DSO. A high DSO, on the other hand, means it takes a company more time to collect its account receivables; This may lead to cash flow problems if not properly planned for in the long term. Imagine you have a high volume of sales one month, but half of those sales are late on paying their invoices. If you’ve paid off expenses and invested into your company believing you would receive 100% of the cash, you would be in big trouble.

Author: Kevin Roose

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