Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio Calculator

Your Turnover Ratio vs. Industry Averages

based on Q3 2023 data

How to use a Receivables Turnover Calculator

The calculator is based on the equation:

Accounts Receivable Turnover = Net Credit Sales / Average Accounts Receivable

Let’s put the accounts receivable turnover to work using an example case. We’ll do a calculation using a fictional company’s financial records for a period of January 1 to December 31. When inputting your own data, feel free to use whatever timeline you prefer.

What are Net Credit Sales?

Net credit sales are revenues made by a company that it extends to consumers on credit, less all sales returns and allowances.

Step 1: Input the company’s Net Credit Sales for a 12-month period

For this example, let’s use $1,800,000 as the annual net credit sales.

Enter “1,800,000” in the calculator’s “Net Credit Sales” data field.

Step 2: Enter your business’s average accounts receivable for the same period.

Here’s how to calculate the average accounts receivable for a period:

Starting accounts receivable + Closing accounts receivable / 2

Let’s say the average accounts receivable is ($270,000 + $230,000) / 2 = $250,000.

In this example, the company would enter “250,000” in the calculator’s “Average Accounts Receivable” data field.

Step 3: Results are displayed

The calculator processes the data using the formula:

(1,800,000 / 250,000) = 7.2

In this example, the company has a low result indicating improvements to the company’s credit management processes are required.

The purpose of A/R Turnover Ratio: Why should we calculate A/R Turnover Ratio?

The Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio is a financial metric used to evaluate how efficiently a company is collecting payments owed by its customers. It measures the number of times a company turns its accounts receivable into cash over a specific time period, typically a year.

Here’s a breakdown of its key purposes:

  1. Efficiency Assessment
    The ratio provides an assessment of the company’s efficiency in collecting payments. A higher ratio indicates quicker collection of receivables, suggesting effective credit and collection policies. Conversely, a lower ratio could mean that the company takes a longer time to collect payments, which could tie up capital and lead to liquidity issues.
  2. Cash Flow Prediction
    This ratio helps in forecasting the company’s cash flow. A high turnover ratio is generally indicative of healthier cash flows, providing the business with more cash to use for operations, investments, or debt payment.
  3. Credit Policy Evaluation
    The ratio can also serve as a basis for evaluating the efficacy of the company’s credit policy and collection efforts. If the ratio is declining over time, it may signify that customers are taking longer to pay their debts, which might necessitate a review and possible adjustment of credit policies.
  4. Benchmarking
    Companies often use this ratio for benchmarking against industry standards or competitors. This helps to identify whether the company is performing on par with, better than, or worse than other businesses in the same sector.
  5. Risk Assessment
    Investors and creditors may use the accounts receivable turnover ratio to assess risk. A low ratio could be a red flag, indicating that the company may have issues with liquidity or with the quality of its customer base.
  6. Comprehensive Analysis
    While useful, the Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio is often used in conjunction with other ratios and metrics to provide a more complete understanding of a company’s financial health. Alone, it may not give a fully accurate picture, but when used with other metrics, it can offer valuable insights.

Overall, the Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio is a useful tool for various stakeholders, including management, investors, and creditors, to gauge the effectiveness of a company’s credit policies and its ability to convert receivables into cash efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • The accounts receivable turnover ratio gauges collection efficiency, indicating how many times a company collects its average accounts receivable during a specific period.
  • To calculate the AR turnover ratio, divide net credit sales by the average accounts receivable for that period.
  • Finance teams use this ratio for balance sheet forecasting, while corporate lenders use it to evaluate a business’s financial well-being.
  • A high AR turnover ratio is typically favorable, unless the company’s credit policies are excessively stringent.
  • Utilizing AR automation software can address common issues that hinder swift collections and enhance the AR turnover ratio.

What’s a healthy Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio?

The ideal accounts receivable turnover ratio can vary significantly across industries. A high accounts receivable turnover ratio is advantageous. Companies should aim for a ratio of at least 11.5 as this is considered a good benchmark for accounts receivable turnover. This means the business turned its receivables into cash 11.5 times during the year. The higher the result the better!

For example, a company that has an accounts receivable turnover of 13.5 would indicate very efficient credit and collection processes, as it is collecting its receivables relatively frequently throughout the year.

But remember, as with any financial ratio, it’s important to compare this to industry averages and the ratios of other similar companies to get a full understanding of its efficiency.

How can a company improve its accounts receivable turnover?

Improving Accounts Receivable Turnover is all about getting customers to pay their bills faster, so you can use that money for other things in the business. A higher Accounts Receivable Turnover rate means you’re doing a good job of quickly collecting money that customers owe you. Here are some strategies a company can use to improve this rate:

  1. Streamlined Invoicing: Make the invoicing process as quick and accurate as possible. The sooner an invoice gets to a customer, the sooner it’s likely to be paid. Many companies utilize invoice factoring to dramatically improve Accounts Receivable Turnover. Using this business financing solution, businesses sell invoice receivables at a discount to receive payment within 24 hours.  
  2. Clear Payment Terms: Clearly define the payment terms on your invoices, such as the due date and any late fees. This helps customers understand when and how they should pay.
  3. Offer Multiple Payment Options: The more ways people can pay, the easier it is for them. Offer credit card payments, bank transfers, and online payment options to make it convenient for customers.
  4. Early Payment Incentives: Consider offering discounts or other incentives for customers who pay their invoices before the due date.
  5. Regularly Review Receivables: Keep an eye on outstanding invoices and follow up as needed. The quicker you identify slow-paying customers, the faster you can take action.
  6. Automated Reminders: Use software to automatically send reminders to customers when their payment is nearing the due date or is overdue.
  7. Credit Checks: Before offering credit terms to a new customer, do a credit check to assess their ability to pay. This can help you avoid extending credit to customers who are likely to pay late or not at all.
  8. Flexible Payment Plans: For larger invoices, offer a payment plan to help customers manage the cost. Make sure the terms are favorable to you as well.
  9. Collections Process: Have a clear, step-by-step collections process in place for accounts that are significantly overdue. This could include sending a series of reminders, making phone calls, and eventually using a collection agency if necessary.
  10. Analyze and Adjust: Periodically analyze your Accounts Receivable Turnover ratio to gauge your performance over time. Use this data to adjust your strategies as needed.

Improving your Accounts Receivable Turnover ratio can make your business more efficient and financially stable, as you’re getting the money you need more quickly to run your operations.

Limitations of Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio

The accounts receivable turnover ratio serves as a convenient tool for promptly assessing collection efficiency, but it does possess certain limitations.

Firstly, since the AR turnover ratio is an average, it can be influenced by customers who either make unusually early or exceptionally late payments, potentially distorting the outcome.

Furthermore, because this ratio considers the average performance across your entire customer base, it lacks the precision needed to pinpoint specific accounts at risk of default. For a deeper understanding at this level, it is advisable to generate an accounts receivable aging report.

Additionally, the AR turnover ratio may not be particularly informative for businesses with significant seasonal variations. In such instances, it becomes more valuable to focus on accounts receivable aging as a more relevant metric.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio

What is Accounts Receivable Turnover? 

Accounts Receivable Turnover is a financial ratio that measures the efficiency with which a company collects payments from its customers. It calculates the number of times accounts receivable are collected and replaced within a specific period, usually one year.

How is Accounts Receivable Turnover calculated? 

The formula to calculate accounts receivable turnover is:

Accounts Receivable Turnover = Net Credit Sales / Average Accounts Receivable

Net credit sales represent the total credit sales during a specific period, while average accounts receivable is calculated by adding the beginning and ending accounts receivable balances and dividing by 2.

What is the normal range for receivable turnover? 

To provide a broad guideline, a receivable turnover ratio of around 5 to 10 is often considered normal or healthy for many businesses. However, it’s important to note that this can vary significantly depending on the nature of the industry. For instance, industries with shorter payment cycles, such as retail, may have higher turnover ratios, while industries with longer payment cycles, such as manufacturing or construction, may have lower ratios.

What if my Accounts Receivable Turnover is high? 

A higher accounts receivable turnover indicates that a company is collecting payments from its customers more quickly. It suggests efficient management of credit and collection policies, as well as a healthy cash flow position.

What if my Accounts Receivable Turnover is low?

A lower accounts receivable turnover suggests that a company takes a longer time to collect payments from its customers. It can indicate potential issues with credit and collection policies, delays in customer payments, or an inefficient cash flow management.

Is a higher or lower Accounts Receivable Turnover ratio better? 

A higher accounts receivable turnover ratio is generally better because it signifies that a company is collecting payments more quickly. However, the ideal ratio can vary across industries, so it’s essential to compare it with industry sector benchmarks for a more accurate assessment.

Can accounts receivable turnover be too high? 

While a higher accounts receivable turnover is generally positive, an extremely high ratio could suggest overly strict credit policies. This might deter potential customers. It’s crucial to balance quick collections and good customer relationships.

What are the implications of a declining Accounts Receivable Turnover ratio? 

A declining accounts receivable turnover ratio could indicate worsening cash flow, increasing bad debts, or challenges in collecting payments from customers. It’s important for a company to investigate the underlying causes and take appropriate actions to address the issue.

Can Accounts Receivable Turnover be used to assess a company’s creditworthiness? 

Yes, accounts receivable turnover can be used as one of the metrics to assess a company’s creditworthiness. A higher turnover ratio suggests better credit management and a lower risk of default, while a declining ratio may raise concerns about the company’s ability to collect payments in a timely manner.

How often should a company calculate its Accounts Receivable Turnover ratio? 

It’s recommended to calculate the accounts receivable turnover ratio on a regular basis, such as quarterly or annually, to monitor changes over time and identify any trends or issues. Regular evaluation allows companies to take timely actions to improve their cash flow and credit management processes.

Explain Accounts Receivables Turnover like I’m 5 years old (ELI5)

Let’s say you have a box of toy cars, and you lend them to your friends to play with. But you tell your friends, “You can play with the cars, but please give them back to me soon!”

Accounts Receivable Turnover is like counting how many times you get all your toy cars back from your friends in a certain amount of time, like a year. If you get your cars back really quickly, it means you’re good at sharing your toys but also getting them back to share again!

It’s a way to see if your friends are good at returning the toys they borrow from you. If they are good at it, you can keep sharing your toys again and again. If they take a long time, then you might not have enough toys to share with other friends.

Just like how you want your toy cars back, companies want the money back from things they sell so they can keep doing business!

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