# Average Collection Period Formula, How It Works, Example

This may also include limiting the number of clients it offers credit to in an effort to increase cash sales. It can also offer pricing discounts for earlier payment (i.e. 2% discount if paid in 10 days). The best way that a company can benefit is by consistently calculating its average collection period and using it over time to search for trends within its own business. The average collection period may also be used to compare one company with its competitors, either individually or grouped together. Similar companies should produce similar financial metrics, so the average collection period can be used as a benchmark against another company’s performance. For the formulas above, average accounts receivable is calculated by taking the average of the beginning and ending balances of a given period.

It is very important for companies that heavily rely on their receivables when it comes to their cash flows. Businesses must manage their average collection period if they want to have enough cash on hand to fulfill their financial obligations. When calculating average collection period, ensure the same timeframe is being used for both net credit sales and average receivables. For example, if analyzing a company’s full year income statement, the beginning and ending receivable balances pulled from the balance sheet must match the same period.

For example, analyzing a peak month to a slow month by result in a very inconsistent average accounts receivable balance that may skew the calculated amount. As discussed, it represents the average number of days it takes for a company to receive payment for its sales. The average collection period emerges as a valuable metric to help in this endeavor. It stands as an essential financial metric that grants businesses insight into the speed at which they can convert credit sales into actual cash. �� You can also use the same method to calculate your average collection period for a particular day by dividing your average amount of receivables with your total credit sales of that day. Using those assumptions, we can now calculate the average collection period by dividing A/R by the net credit sales in the corresponding period and multiplying by 365 days.

Alternatively and more commonly, the average collection period is denoted as the number of days of a period divided by the receivables turnover ratio. For the second formula, we need to compute the average accounts receivable per day and the average credit sales per day. Average accounts receivable per day can be calculated as average accounts receivable divided by 365, and Average credit sales per day can be calculated as average credit sales divided by 365. The receivables turnover can use the total accounts receivable at the end of a period or the average throughout the period. Investors and analysts may not have access to the average receivables so they would need to use the ending balance or an average of four quarters for a full year. Also, this metric is an average across a specified number of days, so it is not an exact measure and will be more broadly skewed with the number of days involved.

## Average Collection Period

Accounts receivable is a business term used to describe money that entities owe to a company when they purchase goods and/or services. AR is listed on corporations’ balance sheets as current assets and measures their liquidity. As such, they indicate their ability to pay off their short-term debts without the need to rely on additional cash flows.

1. Average collection period refers to the amount of time it takes for a business to receive payments owed by its clients in terms of accounts receivable (AR).
2. A company’s average collection period is indicative of the effectiveness of its AR management practices.
3. The average collection period is the average number of days it takes for a credit sale to be collected.
4. Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more.

�� To calculate the average value of receivables, sum the opening and closing balance of your required duration and divide it by 2. Thus, the average collection period signals the effectiveness of a company’s current credit policies and A/R collection practices. Although cash on hand is important to every business, some rely more on their cash flow than others. The average collection period is often not an externally required figure to be reported. The usefulness of average collection period is to inform management of its operations. This comparison includes the industry’s standard for the average collection period and the company’s historical performance.

## Average Collection Period Example Calculation

The Average Collection Period represents the number of days that a company needs to collect cash payments from customers that paid on credit. Real estate and construction companies also rely on steady cash flows to pay for labor, services, and supplies. In the first formula, we need the average receiving turnover to calculate the average collection period, and we can assume the days in a year to be 365. In the above case, the Analyst has to calculate the average accounts receivable for the Anand group of companies based on the above details.

In the following scenarios, you can see how the average collection period affects cash flow. Below you will find an example of how to calculate the average collection period. �� You can also enter your terms of credit in our calculator to compare them with your average collection period. Once you have the required information, you can use our built-in calculator or the formula given below to understand how to find the average collection period. A fast collection period may not always be beneficial as it simply could mean that the company has strict payment rules in place.

## How Can a Company Improve its Average Collection Period?

However, using the average balance creates the need for more historical reference data. Anand Group of companies can change its credit term depending on the collection period policy. By automating their AR process with HighRadius Autonomous Receivables, businesses can significantly improve their order to cash cycle. While ACP holds significance, it doesn’t provide a complete standalone assessment.

## How to calculate average collection period?

The average collection period amount of time that passes before a company collects its accounts receivable (AR). In other words, it refers to the time it takes, on average, for the company to receive payments it is owed from clients or customers. The average collection period must be monitored to ensure a company has enough cash available to take care of its near-term financial responsibilities. If this company’s average collection period was longer—say, more than 60 days— then it would need to adopt a more aggressive collection policy to shorten that time frame. Otherwise, it may find itself falling short when it comes to paying its own debts. When analyzing average collection period, be mindful of the seasonality of the accounts receivable balances.

## What is the Average Collection Period?

Accrual accounting is a business standard under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that makes it possible for companies to sell their goods and services with credit. While it is expected to help increase sales for a firm, it’s a concept that creates a core element of complexity for financial statement reporting. �� Another average collection period interpretation is days’ sales in accounts receivable or the average collection period ratio. From 2020 to 2021, the average number of days needed by our hypothetical company to collect cash from credit sales declined from 26 days to 24 days, reflecting an improvement year-over-year (YoY).

## What Is an Average Collection Period?

Even though a lower average collection period indicates faster payment collections, it isn’t always favorable. If customers feel that your credit terms are a bit too restrictive for their needs, it may impact your sales. The best average collection period is about balancing between your business’s credit terms and your accounts receivables. Similarly, a steady cash flow is crucial in construction companies and real estate agencies, so they can timely pay their labor and salespeople working on hourly and daily wages.