Ultimate Guide To Know About Days Sales Outstanding Formula

Ultimate Guide To Know About Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)

What is days sales outstanding? How to calculate days sales outstanding? As a passionate business owner, you value consistency in life and in business. You are taking all necessary steps to maintain the financial health of your company as your business continues to grow.

You only have one problem: as your customer base grows, your claims process lags and you have to keep track of customers and send payment reminders.

There are good days when you send reminders to all of your customers with pending payments and other days you run into maintenance issues. Finally, you decide how effective your accounts receivables process will be. The first thing you’ll want to look at is an indicator called Days Sales Outstanding (DSO).

Many business analysts point to poor cash management as a major cause of corporate bankruptcy. If your company’s cash flow might catch your eye, don’t despair! Analyzing a few simple financial metrics can change the world.

One of the most important is the Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) ratio. Are you ready to learn more? This post will explain what this formula is, how to do DSO calculations, and how you can improve your DSO.

What does DSO meaning?

Days sales Outstanding, also known as DSO, is a basic formula for measuring a company’s performance in retrieving pending payments. If you have healthy sales but your business is taking too long to see the payoff, your cash flow will run out quickly.

Days Sales Outstanding Calculator

The DSO calculation is now made easy.

Days Sales Outstanding Calculator

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) are the average number of days for accounts receivable before being collected. It is used to determine the effectiveness of the company’s lending and collection efforts in providing credit to customers, as well as the company’s ability to collect it.

When measured at the customer level, it can indicate when a customer is having cash flow problems because the customer is trying to build up time before paying the bill. This measurement can be used internally to monitor the estimated amount of cash invested in accounts receivable.

There is no fixed number of days of outstanding sales which makes accounts receivable management very good or bad as the number varies greatly depending on the industry and main payment terms.

Overall, a figure 25% higher than the acceptable standard conditions may indicate opportunities for improvement. Conversely, unpaid sales days that are very close to the specified payment terms tend to indicate that the company’s credit policy is too restrictive.

The definition of days sales in receivables AR

The sales to account receivables AR ratio (also known as average collection time) shows the average number of days it took to collect receivables from the company over the past year.

Example of calculating daily sales in the account

DSO in your AR can be calculated as follows: The number of days in a year (using 360 or 365) divided by last year’s sales ratio. For example, if the company’s accounts receivable turnover was 10 years ago, its daily accounts receivable turnover was 36 days (360 days divided by the sales ratio of 10).


The accounts receivable turnover rate used above is calculated as follows:

Sales of loans in the past year (cash sales are not included because they are not part of receivables)/ Average amount of accounts receivable during the past year

It is possible that in the average inventory there are several accounts receivable that are past due 120 days or more. They can easily be buried on average with most customers transferring amounts to the accounts receivable data. Therefore, it is best to check the accounts receivable age for the details behind the sales quotas on the days on the account.

Days sales outstanding formula

DSO are part of the cash conversion cycle and are often referred to as days payable or average collection time.

DSO formula: Accounts receivable ÷ Annual income) × number of days in a year

As an example of how to calculate DSO, if a company has an average accounts receivable balance of $ 100,000 and annual sales of $ 1,800,000, their DSO would be:

DSO calculation example

If a company has an average accounts receivable balance of $100,000 and annual sales of $1,800,,000, then its DSO figure is:

($100,000 Accounts receivable ÷ $1,800,000 Annual revenue) × 365 Days
= 20.27 Days sales outstanding

Calculations show that it takes the company 20.27 days to collect a typical invoice.

how to calculate days sales outstanding Example

Let us say A is a retailer that offers credit to customers. A often sells inventory to customers at the expense of an agreement that the customer pays for goods within 30 days. Some customers pay for their goods on time, others are late. The following accounts are listed in A financial statements:
Claim: $ 15,000

Net Income on Credit: $ 175,000

DSO Of A are calculated as follows:

dso formula: 31 days = $15000/ 175,00* 365

As you can see, it takes A on average about 31 days to raise money from his clients. This is a good ratio as A is aiming for a 30 day collection period.

An effective way to measure unpaid sales days is to change them from month to month. This indicates any change in the company’s ability to collect from its customers. If the business is highly seasonal, the variation is to compare measures against the same indicator for the same month in the previous year. This provides a more reasonable basis for comparison.

Regardless of how this measure is used, it should be noted that it usually consists of a large number of invoices payable and therefore does not provide an overview of the collectibility of a particular invoice.

Therefore, these documents must be complemented by a continuous review of outdated claims lists and collection letters from office staff.

The DSO can be a useful measure for the acquirer. It can look for companies with very high DSO rates to purchase businesses and improve their credit and collection operations. In this way, they can withdraw a portion of the working capital from the recipient, thereby reducing the amount of initial acquisition costs.

What does DSO mean in terms of payment terms?

DSO is an estimate of the number of days it will take a company or organization to collect its debt. In simple terms, it is a measure of how long it takes your customer to pay the invoice.

This DSO number is typically calculated monthly, quarterly, or annually and is used to compare your company’s billing policy and performance with industry standards for other companies in your sector.

What does the DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) finance tell you?

Because of the importance of money to company management, it is in the company’s interest to collect any account receivables as quickly as possible.

While, because of the principle of the time value of money, most companies can expect with relative certainty that they will actually receive any outstanding debt, the money that the company pays to accept it is the money lost. By converting sales to cash quickly, companies have the ability to get them to use it again faster.

A high DSO number indicates that a company sells its products to customers on credit and needs more time to raise funds. This can create cash flow problems due to the long time between when the company is sold and when the company receives payment.

A low DSO score means the company takes fewer days to collect its claims. In fact, the ability to determine the average length of time a company’s outstanding credit is shown in accounts receivable can in some cases tell a lot about the nature of a company’s cash flows.

It should be noted that the DSO calculation formula only takes into account credit sales. Although a cash sale can be considered a DSO of 0, it is not included in the DSO calculation because it does not represent the time between the sale and the company receiving payment.

If it is included in the calculation, then the DSO will be reduced, and companies with a high percentage of cash sales will have a lower DSO than companies with a high percentage of loan sales.

Why do you need to calculate your DSO (Days Sales Outstanding)?

By tracking these figures on a monthly basis, you can see if they are increasing over time, compared to your indicators and industry indicators. Constant increases from month to month, especially those that deviate from the benchmark, indicate that you may have a big problem:

  • Customers may not be satisfied with your service
  • You can target customers who are not credit worthy and you cannot pay on time
  • The payment terms on your invoice may be too long
  • Your billing process may be inadequate with invoices not being sent on time, back and forth errors, and no delay reminders

The point is, you cannot improve what you are not after. If you don’t know how long it will take the customer to pay you, you don’t know there’s a problem until you run out of cash. Fortunately, if you are improving the way you track DSO, these problems don’t have to arise.

How to Better Track (and Increase) Your DSO?

Accounts receivable one of the best ways to track is to use cloud-based accounting software. For example, this best DSO software lets you organize your invoices in one place so you can easily see what’s unique without having to search through spreadsheets and emails.

They know what bills you are sending and what money is still in circulation. However, accounting software doesn’t just help improve your DSO ratio through better tracking. help in other ways.

You can use accounting software to:

  • Automate your billing
  • Create recurring invoices so customers get used to paying you regularly
  • Reduce invoicing errors to avoid back and forth between you and the customer, which can delay payment
  • Make it easy for your customers to pay you by choosing a payment method and integrating it with a fast credit card
  • Send late payment reminders without lifting a finger. This is ideal, especially if you don’t like talking about money.

Another solution to fix DSO problems

  • Focus on getting better customers
  • Focus on the details of the invoice sent
  • Request deposits before

What’s a “good” DSO number?

There is no such thing as a DSO number that represents very good or bad accounts receivable management as this number varies widely depending on your industry and payment terms. On average, a number below 40 is considered a “good” number.

However, when looking at different industries, the latest data shows that the DSO is 62 days in the pharmaceutical sector, while 98 days for textiles, clothing and shoes and only 7 days for the food and specialty trade. It is clear that the business model and payment options are important.

But in general, the lower rates are cheaper because the company can collect money from customers more quickly and use the money for other operations. This also indicates that the receivables are in good condition and are not written off as uncollectible accounts.

A higher quota could mean a company with poor debt collection processes and customers unable or unwilling to pay for their purchases. A company with a high quota of daily sales cannot turn sales into cash as fast as a company with a lower quota.

Why is less DSO important?

In today’s economy, most of the world’s business transactions are carried out in the form of credits (or credit sales). This idea of selling goods or services based on expectations of future payments can help your business post impressive first-rate loan sales each month, but it doesn’t always guarantee healthy cash flow.

Each loan sale has an outstanding balance called Accounts Receivable (AR) that you must collect. If it takes too long to complete these accounts (i.e. your DSO is too high), the lack of cash flow will further slow down growth, lose extra cash to track payments, and potentially damage customer relationships in the process.

Ways used to reduce DSO?

There are a number of recommendations for reducing a company’s average sales days, including:

  • Specify payment terms for customers
  • Review the billing process
  • Manage AR with care
  • Stricter credit approval
  • Automate manual processes
  • Be careful, but honest

How does DSO affect your business?

DSO is a useful indicator that you can use to assess many important business drivers, such as: For example, how quickly your customers pay you, your company’s liquidity, the sales your company makes over a period of time, the effectiveness of your sales team, and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The value of a DSO depends on the size of your business and there is no one-size-fits-all option. For example, a 45-day DSO might not be a problem for big businesses, but bad for small businesses.

By calculating these DSO trends, you can use them regularly to change and improve your business practices. To get the most out of this metric, it is recommended that you measure the DSO regularly rather than make changes based on the individual DSO results.

DSO Challenges

DSO has its place in providing an overview of business status and business processes. However, there are some metric issues to be aware of, as they are not always the best numbers to represent business efficiency or profitability.


DSO is a linear metric, dso meaning a number in times and quantities are used. This is the law of averages. However, in a seasonal industry, it is best to compare the previous year’s month or quarter with the current year to offset declines and cash flow inequalities. Think of a company that relies heavily on the summer tourist season, or a specialty retailer whose revenue increases depending on the holiday.

Sales Complexity

While a DSO can be a leading indicator, the complexity of a store’s sales offer, the type of promotion, and the credits provided all affect gross sales, which are part of the equation. Complex credit terms or an influx of high-risk customers from a marketing promotion can ruin the real picture of what’s happening to your business.

This challenge can be resolved with calculated adjustments, dso meaning can still be a valuable meteorological attribute for any company that is thinking about it.

Invest in online billing software

Your payout collection process needs to be organized and systematic. Investing in online billing software will help you do this. You can bill your customers at the right time as soon as the sale is complete. If you delay sending an invoice to your customer, it will only delay further payments.

With billing software, you can track the status of your payments, set automatic payment reminders for shipments, and customize your invoices for individual customers. Another advantage is the payment terms and your company’s payment guidelines listed on the invoice.


Improving your company’s cash flow should not have to be difficult. By focusing on your great days, you will have more money to run a thriving business. Of course, you cannot improve what you are not after. This is why it’s so important to track your Days Sales Outstanding over a period of time based on your terms and conditions and industry metrics. You can then identify the problem and find a solution to solve it.

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