What is Days Sales Outstanding? DSO Formula + Calculator

What is Days Sales Outstanding? DSO Formula + Calculator

days sales outstanding

Besides, with automation, you can automate payment reminders, formalize collection processes, monitor payment status, and customize invoices for every customer. In simple words, a high DSO indicates that a business takes more days to collect its dues. This could be because of two reasons — either the business lacks customers who pay on time or its collections procedure is inefficient. A business with high DSO often fails to convert orders to cash, and in some cases, it writes off the payment as a bad debt. Cash Conversion CycleThe Cash Conversion Cycle is a ratio analysis measure to evaluate the number of days or time a company converts its inventory and other inputs into cash. It considers the days inventory outstanding, days sales outstanding and days payable outstanding for computation.

  • Overall, companies should focus on DSO reductions that are both attainable and sustainable based on the realities of the business.
  • It is a good credit management technique and can be used to help businesses determine credit policies and as a reminder to chase overdue payments.
  • Fast credit collectability decreases problems related to paying operational expenses, and any excess money that is collected can be reinvested right away to increase future earnings.
  • Our DSO Calculator can provide you with advice on maximizing your busiess’s days sales outstanding after identifying where you currently stand.
  • The latter is particularly useful to companies that offer subscriptions or monthly memberships.
  • In this situation, delinquent days sales outstanding is a good alternative.

Credit SalesCredit Sales is a transaction type in which the customers/buyers are allowed to pay up for the bought item later on instead of paying at the exact time of purchase. It gives them the required time to collect money & make the payment. It can look for businesses with unusually high DSO figures, with the intention of acquiring the firms and https://www.bookstime.com/ then improving their credit and collection activities. By doing so, they can strip some working capital out of the acquirees, thereby reducing the amount of the initial acquisition cost. For example, A/R is forecasted to be $33mm in 2021, which was calculated by dividing 55 days by 365 days and multiplying the result by the $220mm in revenue.

Example With Calculation

While customer retention is important, if a customer is constantly paying you late despite repeated reminders and penalties, you may have to re-evaluate your business ties with them. Say, if your average DSO is 38 days and your customer pays after 55 days, it’s time to let them go. If the cost and effort in retaining a customer is beyond the average limit, continuing business with them might not be worth it in the long run. If you’re offering recurring services, then auto-charging is your best option. Storing your customers’ credit card details is an easy way to get paid, since you can charge them right on the due date.

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Ensure your collections team is evaluating your customers’ creditworthiness. Offering incentives such as discounts or coupons to early-paying customers will improve your DSO. You can use an automated platform to communicate with your customers; you can run email campaigns to share incentives and encourage early payments. While you’re at it, ensure there’s a penalty policy for late-paying customers too.


In this example, this would be the total open receivables for March. This document explains how the system calculates the Days Sales Outstanding figures for a specific period.

  • This example illustrates why evaluating companies based solely on DSO could be misleading.
  • This formula can be interpreted as DSO – “Best Possible” DSO, though.
  • In some cases, companies can strategically deploy tools like credit insurance to help mitigate these risks without losing an otherwise attractive customer.
  • Not only does automation improve the days to collect, but it may help you to avoid a high DSO.
  • Managers, investors, and creditors see how effective the company is in collecting cash from customers.
  • In our hypothetical scenario, we have a company with revenues of $200mm in 2020.

Like DSO, AR turnover reflects a company’s ability to collect money owed to it by customers, though in this case a high ratio is the end goal. Working together, a high receivables turnover and a low DSO means all receivables are returned on time. A low receivables turnover and high DSO means something isn’t working properly and the collections process needs attention.

What is a good DSO ratio?

The good news is that there are several strategies you can implement to optimise your debt collection processes and reduce your DSO. When sales suddenly spike, AR and DSO will likely follow suit, and vice versa. This applies to companies that experience seasonal spikes and troughs in sales, as well as cyclical companies whose sales are in lockstep with economic growth and slowdowns, such as travel and hospitality. Any immediate effect on DSO is not necessarily a reflection on a company’s performance or that of its collection department. Comparing a company with many customers that buy on credit to another company with many customers that pay with cash. If DSO starts rising, it could lead to a cash crunch that can harm a business’s ability to buy materials or pay employees.

days sales outstanding

It’s cash you could be using for paying your own suppliers or investing in other projects. The efficiency of your process comparing your net sales and your A/R. Therefore, as the current value of money is more, the sooner it is received, the better it is. Your ideal DSO should be determined by comparing it against industry benchmarks, factoring in economic fluctuations, and your company’s capital structure as well as size. The average DSO is 64 days, while one in four companies are waiting 88 days or longer and 9% exceed 120 days. Indicate that the sales department has been extending credit to clients that aren’t creditworthy in order to boost sales.

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. Day Sales Outstanding is a measurement of the average number of days a company typically takes to collect revenue once a sale has been completed. It’s a key performance indicator for analyzing accounts receivables. Usually completed on a monthly or quarterly basis , DSO calculations can be highly beneficial once you understand the process for completing them. Since days sales outstanding is the number of days it takes to collect due cash payments from customers that paid on credit, a lower DSO is preferred to a higher DSO.