What is Average Collection Period? Formula & Calculation

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SMS payment reminders Increase your chances of getting paid and reach customers in the most effective way possible, with SMS invoice chasing. An unchanged Average Collection Period can indicate a fairly stable credit policy environment, if the average collection period is not too high. A decreasing Average Collection Period generally indicates the company is increasingly able to reduce the time it takes to collect on its credit extended to customers. It is important to consider that a company that has seasonal sales will affect the outcome when using this formula.

  • It is important for the company to manage its average collection period efficiently so as to ensure they run smoothly.
  • The average collection period, or ACP, refers to the amount of time it takes for a business to receive any payments that it is owed by its clients.
  • Let us now do the average collection period analysis calculation example above in Excel.
  • Here are a few reasons why businesses need to keep an eye on their average collection period.

On the other hand, if the https://1investing.in/’s average collection period was 25 days, then it would be safe to assume that customers are paying their bills on time. Now that you have determined the average number of days that it takes to collect an accounts receivable, how do you use this information? Generally, a lower average collection period indicates that the company is collecting payments faster. A common accounts receivable collection period formula involves trying to find the accounts receivable turnover ratio or DSO .

How to Automate Your Accounts Receivable Process for Accelerated Cash Flow

Maintaining a proper average collection period is the way to receive payments on time and keep them at your disposal. If you lose sight of that, the accounts receivables can get out of hand anytime, leading to funds scarcity. When companies reduce how strict their credit policies are, it opens the door for some clients to abuse that freedom.


There are many ways you can improve your processes, ranging from simple—such as using collections email templates—to more transformative—like investing in accounts receivable automation software. This is one of many accounts receivable KPIs we recommend tracking to better understand your AR performance. And while no single metric will give you full insight into the success—or lack of success—of your collections effort, average collection period is critical to determining short-term liquidity. A company’s average collection period gives an insight into its AR health, credit terms, and cash flow.

Why is the average collection period important?

The average collection period reflects the number of days from when the company makes a sale on credit to the day the buyer makes the payment for that sale. It is usually indicative of how effective the company’s accounts receivable management practices can be. It is important for the company to manage its average collection period efficiently so as to ensure they run smoothly. Normally the average collection period is very important for those businesses or companies that heavily depend on accounts receivables for cash flow. This will shorten the average collection period, but will also likely reduce sales, as some customers take their business elsewhere. So in order to figure out your ACP, you have to calculate the average balance of accounts receivable for the year, then divide it by the total net sales for the year.

The 2nd portion of this formula is essentially the % of sales that is awaiting payment. The % of sales awaiting payment is then used as the % of time awaiting payment throughout the period. From here, the % of time awaiting payment is converted into actual days by multiplying by 365. You can easily get these figures on a company’s balance sheet and income statement. The average receivables period is computed by dividing Net Credit Sales by 365 days, and then dividing the result into Average Accounts Receivables. On the other hand, a higher average collection period could suggest that sales are being converted to cash much slower than required.


If a company’s ACP is 15 days, but the industry standard is close to 30 days, it could be because the credit terms are too strict. In such cases, a business may lose out on potential customers to competitors with better credit policies. Businesses can plan their expenses in advance by predicting the cash flow from their accounts receivable. In this example, first, we need to calculate the average accounts receivable. Once a credit sale happens, the customers get a specific time limit to make the payment. Every company monitors this period and tries to keep it as short as possible so that the receivables do not remain blocked for a long time.

In other words, the average collection period is the amount of time a person or company has to repay a debt. For example, the average collection period for debt in America is about 30 days. There are various ways to calculate average collection periods, such as when a payment is due and made, but the most practical is through the average collection period formula. Average collection period is a company’s average time to convert its trade receivables into cash. It can be calculated by dividing 365 by the accounts receivable turnover ratio or average accounts receivable per day divided by average credit sales per day. The average collection period is calculated by taking the ratio of the number of days in a year and the accounts receivable turnover ratio.

The average collection period ratio is closely related to your accounts receivable turnover ratio. While the turnover ratio tells you how often you collect your accounts, the collection period ratio tells you how long it takes you to collect accounts. There are plenty of metrics to choose from, of course, so you must select those you measure wisely.


Providers could also provide incentives for early paymentsor apply late fees to those who do not make their payments on time. In some years, the company will have more time to collect on that debt, and in other years it might be less. This way, companies can use this formula to determine how many days they have until they need to start charging interest on unpaid debts. Because the amount of time a company has to collect on debt changes yearly, the average collection period is a crucial calculation to help you determine how long debt collection typically takes. The repayment terms of the collection might be too soon for some, and they would go looking for credit options that had a longer repayment period.

Payback period analysis ignores the time value of money and the value of cash flows in future periods. This is a financial ratio that measures the number of times, on average, receivables are collected during a period. Increased collection efforts- dedicating a team or sourcing externally to collect outstanding debt and repayments.

Advisory debits and credits provided by Carbon Collective Investment LLC (“Carbon Collective”), an SEC-registered investment adviser. If the average collection period is too low, it can also be a deterrent for potential clients. Join the 50,000 accounts receivable professionals already getting our insights, best practices, and stories every month.

What Is the Average Collection Period Formula? Definition + Examples

The accounting manager of Jenny Jacks calculates the accounts receivable turnover by taking all the credit sales and dividing them by the accounts receivable. The average collection period ratio depends on the type of business and their credit policies. If the company offers credit for 90 days and the average collection period is 80 days, that would be considered good.

  • It is one of the many vital accounting metrics for any company that relies on receivables to maintain a healthy cash flow.
  • Most businesses require invoices to be paid in about 30 days, so Company A’s average of 38 days means accounts are often overdue.
  • That means the average accounts receivable for the period came to $51,000 ($102,000 / 2).
  • This allows them to have more cash on hand to cover their costs and reinvest in the business.
  • MNO Company has beginning accounts receivables of $9,000 and ending account receivables of $5,000.

Integrating best practices into the collections department and team can help to improve collection efficiency. This is because payments are handled through third parties, such as insurance. Insurance companies will need to do a thorough investigation to authorize payments which can take a long time. COVID-19has further highlighted the importance of the average collection period. In 2020 alone, more than 340 companies in the US filed for bankruptcy, with well-known names such asJ.Crew,Hertz,Guitar Center, andMallinckrodt. These credit terms can range from 30 to 90 days, depending on the business’s track record and financial needs.

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Shorter payment terms- imposing shorter payment terms help to increase sales efforts by retaining and attracting customers. Without this, predicting future cash flows, demand, and liquidity of the business will be tough; therefore, planning expenses and investments will be a relatively complex task. Chaser’s automated credit control platform is designed to reduce your collection period, increase cash flow and save you time. Say you sell gardening supplies and had a total of $30,000 in sales during the month of May. Once you subtract returns and discounts, your net credit sales balance comes to $29,000. Offer customers a range of payment options such as credit cards, direct deposits, and online payments.

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Managers can evaluate the time a credit account remains open by calculating a company’s accounts receivable collection period. It helps them determine the length of a credit extension that is long enough to entice customers to make a purchase but not so long that the company cannot maintain inventory levels or pay bills. The average collection period ratio calculates the average amount of time it takes for a company to collect its accounts receivable, or for its clients to pay. Some businesses, including the construction industry, have high average collection period ratios due to the nature of the business.

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