Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio: Definition, Formula & Examples

Effective accounts receivable management is crucial when it comes to maintaining healthy cash flow, building operational resilience, and fueling growth. This offers a range of benefits, including the ability to put the money you’re owed to use more quickly. A limitation to consider is that some companies use total sales instead of net sales when calculating their turnover ratio, which inflates the results.

For example, a company with a ratio of four, not inherently a “high” number, will appear to be performing considerably better if the average ratio for its industry is two. Investors need to dig into the numbers shown under accounts receivable to determine if the company follows sound practices. When a company owes debts to its suppliers or other parties, these are accounts payable. To illustrate, imagine Company A cleans Company B’s carpets and sends a bill for the services. Company B owes them money, so it records the invoice in its accounts payable column.

What is accounts receivable turnover ratio?

Accounts Receivable Turnover Calculation Average Accounts Receivable is the average of the opening and closing balances for Accounts Receivable. You still get your product, but the payment is deferred – meaning it is put off to a later time. My Accounting Course  is a world-class educational resource developed by experts to simplify accounting, finance, & investment analysis topics, so students and professionals can learn and propel their careers. With Moody’s Analytics Pulse, you can constantly monitor the financial health of your customer portfolio. We’ll provide you with the real-time updates you need to make informed decisions and mitigate risk. The net credit sales come out to $100,000 and $108,000 in Year 1 and Year 2, respectively.

Two components of the formula of receivables turnover ratio are “net credit sales” and “average trade receivables”. The formula states that the numerator should include only credit sales; however in examination problems, the examiners often don’t provide a separate breakdown of cash and credit sales. In that case, the students should define receivable turnover use the total sales number given in the question as the numerator of the equation, assuming that all the sales have been made on account. Receivables turnover ratio (also known as debtors turnover ratio) is an activity ratio which measures how many times, on average, an entity collects its trade receivables during a selected period.

Problems with the Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio

For example, a company with a $5 million inventory that takes seven months to sell will be considered less profitable than a company with a $2 million inventory that is sold within two months. Similarly, accounts payable turnover (sales divided by average payables) is a short-term liquidity measure that measures the rate at which a company pays back its suppliers and vendors. However, what is considered a “good” ratio can also depend on the specific circumstances and goals of a particular business. It’s important to monitor the AR turnover ratio over time to identify trends and make adjustments as needed to improve the company’s financial health. As such, the beginning and ending values selected when calculating the average accounts receivable should be carefully chosen to accurately reflect the company’s performance. Turnover ratios are also referred to as activity ratios or efficiency ratios with which a firm manages its current assets.

define receivable turnover

Low receivable turnover may be caused by a loose or nonexistent credit policy, an inadequate collections function, and/or a large proportion of customers having financial difficulties. It is also quite likely that a low turnover level indicates an excessive amount of bad debt. The accounts receivable turnover ratio tells a company how efficiently its collection process is.

Example of Receivable Turnover

Many companies even have an accounts receivable allowance to prevent cash flow issues. Given the accounts receivables turnover ratio of 4.8x, the takeaway is that your company is collecting its receivables approximately five times per year. An efficient company has a higher accounts receivable turnover ratio while an inefficient company has a lower ratio. This metric is commonly used to compare companies within the same industry to gauge whether they are on par with their competitors. For example, if a company offers credit to essentially all customers (known as a loose credit policy), then some customers will delay their payments or never pay at all. Conversely, a tight credit policy accelerates receivable turnover, since customers are allowed less credit.