# How to Calculate Days in Inventory: 10 Steps

If sales decreases in isolation DSO will increase indicating that may run into cash flow problems in future when the sales dip flows through the collection cycle. If sales decreases proportionally to accounts receivable, DSO will not increase. While this may not be welcome news, it does not indicate a change in the balance of sales and receivables, and therefore will not affect DSO.

## What is Days Sales Outstanding?

A lower inventory days measurement means that you are achieving higher inventory turnover and a better return on assets. Calculating inventory days involves determining the cost of goods sold and average inventory in a given period. To calculate the days in inventory, you first must calculate the inventory turnover ratio, which comprises the cost of goods sold and the average inventory. Then, you’ll need to divide the number of days in the period by this inventory turnover ratio to determine days in inventory. The average collection period represents the average number of days between the date a credit sale is made and the date the purchaser pays for that sale.

The accounts receivable turnover ratio measures a company’s effectiveness in collecting its receivables or money owed by clients. The ratio shows how well a company uses and manages the credit it extends to customers and how quickly that short-term debt is converted to cash. Days sales outstanding is an element of the cash conversion cycle and is often referred to as days receivables or average collection period.

### How do you calculate DSO?

Days sales outstanding (DSO) is a measure of the average number of days that it takes a company to collect payment after a sale has been made.

The ‘Days Sales Outstanding’ ratio shows both the average time it takes to turn the receivables into cash and the age, in terms of days, of a company’s accounts receivable. This ratio is of particular importance to credit and collection associates. Days sales outstanding (DSO) is the average number of days that receivables remain outstanding before they are collected. It is used to determine the effectiveness of a company’s credit and collection efforts in allowing credit to customers, as well as its ability to collect from them. When measured at the individual customer level, it can indicate when a customer is having cash flow troubles, since the customer will attempt to stretch out the amount of time before it pays invoices.

As the average payment period increases, cash should increase as well, but working capital remains the same. Most companies try to decrease the average payment period to keep their larger suppliers happy and possibly take advantage of trade discounts. There is not an absolute number of days sales outstanding that represents excellent or poor accounts receivable management, since the figure varies considerably by industry and the underlying payment terms. Generally, a figure of 25% more than the standard terms allowed may represent an opportunity for improvement. Conversely, a days sales outstanding figure that is very close to the payment terms granted probably indicates that a company’s credit policy is too tight.

A company’s average collection period is indicative of the effectiveness of its accounts receivable management practices. Businesses must be able to manage their average collection period in order to ensure they operate smoothly.

The measurement can be used internally to monitor the approximate amount of cash invested in receivables. Days sales outstanding can vary from month to month, and over the course of a year with a company’s seasonal business cycle.

Of interest when analyzing the performance of a company is the trend in DSO. If DSO is getting longer, accounts receivable is increasing or average sales per day are decreasing. Similarly, a decrease in average sales per day could indicate the need for more sales staff or better utilization. A high DSO number shows that a company is selling its product to customers on credit and taking longer to collect money.

## How long can accounts receivable be outstanding?

Once you know the inventory turnover ratio, you can use it to calculate the days in inventory. Days in inventory is the total number of days a company takes to sell its average inventory. It also determines the number of days for which the current average inventory will be sufficient. Companies use this metric to evaluate their efficiency in using their inventory. The average collection period is the average number of days between 1) the dates that credit sales were made, and 2) the dates that the money was received/collected from the customers.

- The ‘Days Sales Outstanding’ ratio shows both the average time it takes to turn the receivables into cash and the age, in terms of days, of a company’s accounts receivable.

A slower turnaround on sales may be a warning sign that there are problems internally, such as brand image or the product, or externally, such as an industry downturn or the overall economy. If you have not calculated the inventory turnover ratio, you could simply use the cost of goods sold and the average inventory figures. Then you would multiply that number by the number of days in the accounting period. DefinitionThe average payment period (APP) is defined as the number of days a company takes to pay off credit purchases. It is calculated as accounts payable / (total annual purchases / 360).

To calculate the inventory turnover ratio, you would divide the COGS by the average inventory. As such, the beginning and ending values selected when calculating the average accounts receivable should be carefully chosen so to accurately reflect the company’s performance.

The formula to calculate days in inventory is the number of days in the period divided by the inventory turnover ratio. This formula is used to determine how quickly a company is converting their inventory into sales.

Investors could take an average of accounts receivable from each month during a 12-month period to help smooth out any seasonal gaps. The ratio shows how well a company uses and manages the credit it extends to customers and how quickly that short-term debt is collected or being paid. A high receivables turnover ratio can indicate that a company’s collection of accounts receivable is efficient and that the company has a high proportion of quality customers that pay their debts quickly. A high receivables turnover ratio might also indicate that a company operates on a cash basis. The accounts receivable turnover ratio is an accounting measure used to quantify a company’s effectiveness in collecting its receivables or money owed by clients.

## Example of Days Sales Outstanding

This may lead to cash flow problems because of the long duration between the time of a sale and the time the company receives payment. A low DSO value means that it takes a company fewer days to collect its accounts receivable. In effect, the ability to determine the average length of time that a company’s outstanding balances are carried in receivables can in some cases tell a great deal about the nature of the company’s cash flow. The average collection period is the amount of time it takes for a business to receive payments owed by its clients in terms of accounts receivable (AR).

## The Formula for Days Sales Outstanding Is

The average collection period is also referred to as the days’ sales in accounts receivable. Days sales outstanding is considered an important tool in measuring liquidity. In some sense it measures the balance between a company’s sales efforts and collection efforts.

The second is the days sales outstanding, which is the number of days it takes the company to collect on accounts receivable. The third part is the days payable outstanding, which states how many days it takes the company to pay its accounts payable. Once you know the COGS and the average inventory, you can calculate the inventory turnover ratio. Using the information from the above examples, in this 12 month period, the company had a COGS of $26,000 and an average inventory of $6,000.

Using 360 as the number of days in the year, the company’s days’ sales in inventory was 40 days (360 days divided by 9). Since sales and inventory levels usually fluctuate during a year, the 40 days is an average from a previous time. The average collection period is closely related to the accounts turnover ratio. The accounts turnover ratio is calculated by dividing total net sales by the average accounts receivable balance. The average collection period is calculated by dividing the average balance of accounts receivable by total net credit sales for the period and multiplying the quotient by the number of days in the period.

## What Does Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC) Say About a Company’s Management?

Companies calculate the average collection period to make sure they have enough cash on hand to meet their financial obligations. Days sales outstanding (DSO) is a measure of the average number of days that it takes a company to collect payment after a sale has been made. Managing inventory is very important in a company that sells products to make a profit. Calculating inventory days is an indicator of how well the business is doing in terms of inventory. With this information, you can compare your business’s inventory days with that of your competitors.

The receivables turnover ratio measures the efficiency with which a company collects on their receivables or the credit it had extended to its customers. The ratio also measures how many times a company’s receivables are converted to cash in a period. The receivables turnover ratio could be calculated on an annual, quarterly, or monthly basis. To illustrate the days’ sales in inventory, let’s assume that in the previous year a company had an inventory turnover ratio of 9.