Days Sales Outstanding Dso Calculation And Definition

Days Sales Outstanding – DSO Definition

As a “Rule of Thumb,” your DSO delinquent balances should not exceed 33% to 50% of the selling terms. If terms are 30 days, then an acceptable DSO or the “Safe Collection Period” is 40 to 45 days. Remember, the less money that is being tied up in accounts receivable the more money that can be used for company investment or dividends. From a business point of view, it is better to collect accounts receivables as quickly as possible.

DSO stands for day sales outstanding, the average number of days your business takes to collect payment after selling a product or service. If your company’s DSO is high, this indicates that you are waiting a long time to collect payment from your customers. A low DSO, on the other hand, indicates that your business is effiicent in collecting its accounts receivable.

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Gaviti’s automated A/R collection platform can accelerate cashflow and improve DSO on average by 30%. Automating important A/R tasks eliminates hours of manual work and helps organizations like yours get paid faster. DSO calculation requires input of your ending accounts receivable for a given time period against the credit sales during the same timeframe. What happens when the customer fails to pay for the product or service within the agreed upon time frame?

  • That said, an increase in A/R represents an outflow of cash, whereas a decrease in A/R is a cash inflow since it means the company has been paid and thus has more liquidity .
  • An effective way to use the days sales outstanding measurement is to track it on a trend line, month by month.
  • Too low DSO is bad if it is due to a very stringent credit policy resulting in loss of revenue & new customers.
  • Sage’s acquisition of Futrli is part of its continued strategic approach to support accountants from proposal to advisory services.
  • Credit sales, however, are rarely reported separate from gross sales on theincome statement.
  • Total credit sales includes sales which are made on credit – in other words, are due to be paid on a future date – as opposed to cash sales, which are paid immediately.
  • Furthermore, any excess money collected can be immediately reinvested in order to increase future earnings.

That’s why it’s important for businesses that make most of their sales on credit to have a solid understanding of their available cash and overall financial health. Because if the lungs aren’t operating at maximum efficiency, neither is the rest of the body.

Average Days Delinquent

DSO is also known as average collection period, or receivable days. It’s a measure of the average time it takes to collect the cash from sales—in other words, how fast customers pay their bills. Let’s take a closer look at how to calculate DSO, why it’s important, and how it can be used to shorten your cash collection cycle (or put another way, speed up cashflow!). Day sales outstanding refers to the average number of days your business takes to collect payment after selling a product or service. If your business has a high DSO, this indicates your business takes a long time to collect payment for outstanding invoices.

  • A low DSO number generally means that it takes the company less time to collect payments.
  • Comparing such companies with those that have a high proportion of credit sales also says little.
  • Automating important A/R tasks eliminates hours of manual work and helps organizations like yours get paid faster.
  • If, for example, your days sales outstanding is on the rise, it could indicate that your customers are becoming less satisfied with your service, and therefore taking longer to pay their invoices.
  • By scheduling automatic reminders, you’ll be able to keep the process under control.
  • A low DSO, on the other hand, is a sign of good liquidity and health.

With DSO, you can measure the efficiency of your collection process and come up with practices to get paid quicker. Getting paid quicker means more funds to reinvest for your business operations. With the right tools at hand, you can master your accounts receivable process and stay on top of your cash flow. 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.

What Is The Days Sales Outstanding Calculation?

A low DSO suggests a business collects its debt within its payment time and has prompt-paying customers. It also indicates that the business has an efficient collections process and a proactive collections team. And that is what leads to a lower DSO and helps a business recover past dues seamlessly.

  • As a Collections Manager you need to understand the Days Sales Outstanding metrics and use the analytics to make decisions.
  • The first step to projecting accounts receivable is to calculate the historical DSO.
  • If your DSO is low, this indicates your payment collection is running efficiently.
  • This means that the remaining debt at the end of August represent at least the whole of August’s sales.
  • This is a situation where the company is unable to quickly collect on its sales.
  • A low DSO number means that it takes your company a reasonably short time to collect payment from customers paying on credit terms.

Finance managers and executives use DSO as a way of tracking and measuring how quickly the company is converting credit sales into cash that can be used in the business. Perhaps more important, DSO can help to spot trends as to whether it’s taking longer to collect payments from customers and determine whether credit and collections policies need to be adjusted. Cash is important for payroll, to purchase inventory, to fund operations, and to reinvest in the company. So, it’s in your company’s best interest to collect payment on invoices in accounts receivable as quickly as possible. This is particularly important for small business where late or delayed customer payments have a disproportionately adverse impact on operations. Innovative solutions like using accounts receivable automation software are a requirement. Sometimes, it’s not feasible to control open invoices, engage clients on scale, and measure the success of your collection process when you’re focused on the big picture.

Example Calculation Of Dso:

Before joining Versapay, Nicole held various marketing roles in SaaS, financial services, and higher ed. The easiest way to reduce DSO is with timely billing through lightning-fast invoicing, and fast payment incentives like keeping a credit card on file or shortening net terms for payments. Because for every additional day in your DSO metric, you’re doing work that you haven’t been paid for. Unless you’re in the business of lending people money – you should reduce your DSO.

Days Sales Outstanding – DSO Definition

Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products. Tracking the DSO can encourage the payment department at a company to try to collect unpaid invoices. This means the company converts its receivables into cash in a short period of time on average. It’s best when considering a specific business’s cash flow to look at its DSO over a longer period of time to see if the DSO is increasing or decreasing or if there is any sort of a pattern.

A Holiday Wish List For Accounts Receivable Professionals

Days Sales Outstanding is the average number of days that customers take to pay their bill. To find out what your industry average is, contact a credit reference agency for up to date information. In other words, it takes this company’s customers an average of about 50 days to pay their bills.

The accounts receivable function of the business attempts to collect money from the business’s customers and encourage timely payment of invoices. This function of the business is very important, as it focuses on turning sales into cash. 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. 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.


In addition, the days sales outstanding formula isn’t especially helpful for comparing businesses with different proportions of credit sales. A low DSO number generally means that it takes the company less time to collect payments. Although it varies depending on the business type and structure, DSO numbers under 45 days are considered low. A low DSO value may also indicate that customers are paying on time or even early to benefit from discounts or the company has a very strict credit policy in place.

Days Sales Outstanding – DSO Definition

George Michael International Limited reported a sales revenue for November 2016 amounting to $2.5 million, out of which $1.5 million are credit sales, and the remaining $1 million is cash sales. The accounts receivable balance as of month-end closing is $800,000. Days Sales Outstanding is a measure of how long it takes a company to collect revenue on its outstanding invoices.

Keep reading for our short guide to how DSO works, the day sales outstanding formula, examples, why the calculation is important, and how to reduce Days Sales Outstanding – DSO Definition your company’s DSO. Days sales outstanding can vary from month to month, and over the course of a year with a company’s seasonal business cycle.

Days Sales Outstanding Formula

On the other hand, the same value is unexpectedly low for the oil and gas sector as its normal DSO ranges between 50 and 130 days. Cash FlowsCash Flow is the amount of cash or cash equivalent generated & consumed by a Company over a given period. It proves to be a prerequisite for analyzing the business’s strength, profitability, & scope for betterment. OpenText Cloud Editions customers get Teams-Core integration among a raft of new features, as OpenText kicks off ‘Project … As data use increases and organizations turn to business intelligence to optimize information, these 10 chief data officer trends…

Set reasonable receivables turnover and DSO goals depending on your industry. Don’t dip too low or too high, rather find a sweet spot that provides the necessary cash flow you need to grow. Receivables turnover measures the effectiveness of your company’s revenue collection.

Due to the high importance of cash in operating a business, it is in the company’s best interests to collect receivable balances as quickly as possible. Managers, investors, and creditors see how effective the company is in collecting cash from customers. A lower DSO value reflects high liquidity and cash flow measurements. Days Sales Outstanding is a metric used to measure a company’s liquidity and credit risk.

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