Sure, they are interested in your ARR and growth in sales, but what they really care about is how quickly sales are converted into cash – and then into their wallet. While these tips can certainly help improve DSO, businesses must also pay close attention to these instances to avoid any possible misinterpretation of DSO. Without sufficient funds to fuel day-to-day operations, companies are at risk of collapse.

  • On the other hand, if a company’s days sales outstanding (DSO) is decreasing, the downward trend is a positive sign suggesting the company is more efficient at cash collection (and thus has more cash).
  • So, let’s say that a company sells inventory to customers agreeing that the payment can be done within 30 days.
  • These discounts can be offset easily by increasing cash flow, savings on loan fees as well as more discounts from creditors.
  • Promptly resolve disputes or discrepancies to ensure smooth payment transactions.

If you’re calculating DSO for the month, you use the number of days in the month. In our example, we’re calculating DSO for the quarter, so we’ll need to add together the number of days in each month. Learn how to calculate the DSO for your business and what the results of that calculation mean. Among the deals that were held up by the ban was a planned $478 million sale of precision-guided munitions.

Prompting your customers to pay in this way can also preserve customer relationships by avoiding the need for what could become confrontational collections calls. That means it takes the business on average 51 days to collect on their invoices. It’s assumed sales made on cash are collected upfront (and would have a DSO of 0 as a result). Days sales outstanding (DSO) is a metric that every finance team should watch closely.

Find total credit sales

Your accounts receivable (A/R) is all outstanding payments owed to your company, and can be found by reviewing your balance sheet and income statement. But DSO is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to analyzing business performance. Business owners should assess days sales outstanding alongside other KPIs and financial ratios to get a full understanding of business health. In effect, determining the average length of time that a company’s outstanding balances are carried in receivables can reveal a great deal about the nature of the company’s cash flow. Days sales outstanding (DSO) is a measure of the average number of days that it takes a company to collect payment for a sale. A business that offers digital recurring services to its customers can make sure they pay on time by saving or storing their credit card details.

Needless to say, a small business can use its days sales outstanding number to identify and flag customers that are weighing it down by not paying promptly. A business can reduce its days sales outstanding for better cash flow it invests in an online invoicing and billing software. Having an online invoicing system will allow a business to be organised and systematic in the way it issues invoices to its clients and collects payment. With such a system, a business can issue an invoice to a client as soon as a sale has been made thus reducing delays in collecting payments.

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) represents the average number of days it takes credit sales to be converted into cash or how long it takes a company to collect its account receivables. DSO can be calculated by dividing the total accounts receivable during a certain time frame by the total net credit sales. Days sales outstanding is an important element in the cash conversion cycle for every business and plays a significant role in improving a business’s cash flow.

What does DSO mean?

It suggests how efficient the company’s collections department is, and the degree to which the company is maintaining customer satisfaction. In general, small businesses rely more heavily on steady cash flow than large, diversified companies. Days sales outstanding is an element of the cash conversion cycle and may also be referred to as days receivables or average collection period. If the non-payment by the customer continues for a long period without solutions, the business should have a clear policy for handling these cases and any disputes that may arise. This policy may include forwarding unpaid invoices to a debt collection agency.

Tracking DSO at the most granular levels with a tool like Mosaic will allow you to identify slow-paying customers and proactively address potential issues before they escalate into larger problems. If your business only accepts checks, don’t be surprised if you have a higher-than-average DSO. Or you might put in place a payment portal to provide buyers with a single place to pay.

GE Healthcare

Remember, DSO can be impacted by confounding factors and your finance team’s effectiveness may not always be the answer. When using DSO to track how quickly your credit sales are converting to cash, don’t forget the cash flow that may be coming from cash sales. Keep your payments organized – your accounting or payment processing system should be able to spit out a report that tracks payments received, late ones, failed transactions, etc. However, if your DSO is 35 days with a payment term of 30 days – it might be time to take a deeper look in your business. A high DSO, on the other hand, means it takes a company more time to collect its account receivables; This may lead to cash flow problems if not properly planned for in the long term.

A low days sales outstanding (DSO) indicates that a company is able to collect all its customer’s outstanding payments. It shows that a company’s cash collection process is efficient with a proactive collection team and has creditworthy customers. A company with a lower DSO value suggests a business’s ability to recover past dues effectively. You can understand your business performance much better if you know the difference between a High DSO and Low DSO and how it affects your business. While DSO calculation do not only help you calculate your credit sales but also your cash sales.

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You can see from the above examples that a small DSO value is favourable for a company. The shorter the period in which customers pay their bills, the faster the company receives its revenues and the better it can ensure its liquidity. Average Accounts Receivable is the amount of accounts receivable submitted by the company within 365 days. People naturally love freebies, so introducing these in your payment terms can effectively improve your DSO. Giving your customers discounts or coupons for early payments can encourage them to make payments on time. Consider communicating this information with your customers via automated platforms or email campaigns.

Calculate ending accounts receivable total for the period

AR automation software can make it much easier for your team to identify these at-risk customers. In the Versapay platform, you can view your top overdue customers at a glance and view all your receivables by aging period. In a recent Versapay survey, the top reason finance leaders said they were offering their customers digital payment methods (cited by 76% of them) was that they’re simply easier for customers to use. For businesses with seasonal sales or sales that fluctuate month-over-month, calculating your DSO over the course of a quarter instead of a month is a great way to normalize your data and see trends over time. Using an invoice email reminder template can help you decide what to say when you reach out.

For the company, this means a lack of income, which ultimately pushes liquidity down. In the worst case, the company can fall into arrears because it does not have enough cash to pay its own bills. Once you have compared your Days Sales Outstanding with other businesses in your industry, you should focus on improving this number.