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Average Payment Period: Definition, Formula, and Example

average payment period

As such, they indicate their ability to pay off their short-term debts without the need to rely on additional cash flows. The average payment period is the measure of days the business takes to pay off accounts payable. It’s a solvency ratio and indicates business practice to satisfy obligations that fall due. The length of the average payment period is dependent on multiple factors including business policies, liquidity, adequacy of financial planning, and pattern of negotiation with the suppliers. After dividing the total credits by the time period, divide this result into the average accounts payable.

  • However, if they pay their vendors just 4 days sooner, then they would be eligible for a 10% discount on their parts and materials.
  • Before calculating the average payment period, you need to calculate the average accounts payable of the company.
  • Dividing this amount by the 365 days in a year yields the average credit purchases per day.
  • As such, they indicate their ability to pay off their short-term debts without the need to rely on additional cash flows.

The company has great sales forecasts, so the management team is trying to formulate a lean plan to retain the most profit from sales. One decision they need to make is to determine if it’s better for the company to extend purchases over the longest available credit terms or to pay as soon as possible at a lower rate. The average payment period can help the management team see how efficient the company has been over the past year with such credit decisions. The average payment period is a vital solvency ratio of any company that helps track the ability to pay the amount payable to the supplier. For investors and stakeholders, knowing the average payment period helps in making necessary decisions and can also trigger good investments.


The formula can be modified to exclude cash payments to suppliers, since the numerator should include only purchases on credit from suppliers. However, the amount of up-front cash payments to suppliers is normally so small that this modification is not necessary. Average payment period analysis also identifies trends in the payment of the accounts payable. This can bring to management’s attention important variables that must be investigated to ensure successful operation of the business. However, the credit terms granted by creditors to First Parsons Company is 30 days.

Keep reading for our breakdown of payment terms by industry, so that you know what to expect. The monitoring of the average collection period is one way to track a company’s ability to collect its accounts receivable. When a business has outstanding receivables, the credit sales do not count toward the evaluation, as a receivable is not cash collected, taking away from perceived value the organization is making. Calculating the average collection period for any company is important because it helps the company better understand how efficiently it’s collecting the money it needs to cover its expenditures. Compliance with fecal coliform bacteria or E coli bacteria limitations shall be determined using the geometric mean. Working capital management is a strategy that requires monitoring a company’s current assets and liabilities to ensure its efficient operation. Days sales outstanding is a measure of the average number of days that it takes for a company to collect payment after a sale has been made.

How to improve payment timings

In light of this information, it is evident that payment of accounts payable is inadequately managed. If First Parsons Company will not attend to this issue in a timely manner, the current payment practices may lead to a number of harmful effects. Such harmful effects may include the inability to buy on credit from current suppliers, damage to the credibility of the business and a significantly deteriorating credit rating. This will be very harmful for the firm due to the further limitations it will impose on obtaining credit. If your payment period has room for improvement, consider working with Apruve. Apruve takes away the burdens of extending terms by paying companies within 24 hours of invoicing, eliminating financial risk and increasing forecast accuracy.

average payment period

This information helps investors decide whether it’s beneficial to fund business ventures. The APP also gives banks and other financial institutions necessary information to approve business loans or lines of credit. It is important to note that the average payment period is a vital company metric in evaluating cash flow management. The comparison of the average payment period should be done relative to the company’s needs and industry.

Average Payment Period – The Specifics

This period indicates the effectiveness of a company’s AR management practices. It’s important to note that shorter working capital is more desirable from a financial standpoint. This metric overlooks non-financial factors factor-like customer relations, creditworthiness, trust, and payment history, etc. On the contrary, if the business is more focused on creditworthiness, it may raise more finance and incur interest charges. You will learn how to use its formula to assess a company’s operating efficiency.

  • Accounts payable payment period measures the average number of days it takes a business to pay its accounts payable.
  • This metric is connected with the liquidity perspective of the financial analysis.
  • A low average collection period indicates that the organization collects payments faster.
  • A high average payment period may be bad for a company that is likely to lose customers if they are slow with paying their bills.
  • Extending payment terms to your B2B customer has been proven to increase customer loyalty, order size, purchase frequency and strengthen supplier relationships.
  • This means that company’s creditors require accounts to be settled within 30 days.

Let’s analyze the concept from suppliers’ perspective as they are primary stakeholders in the average payment period of the business. Again, there are two sides of the equation where profitability and liquidity act in a reverse direction.

Why Is a Lower Average Collection Period Better?

An early collection of their dues (centered on improving liquidity/funds collection). The world’s leading E-learning platform that provides the best courses on all things about financial trading, value investing and personal finance.

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The average collection period must be monitored to ensure a company has enough cash available to take care of its near-term financial responsibilities. As an example of how average payment period is calculated, imagine that a certain company has made a total of $730,000 US Dollars in credit purchases in a single year. Dividing this amount by the 365 days in a year yields the average credit purchases per day. In general, the period of time that is used in the formula is for a year so the days with period variable would be 365. Alternately, you can calculate the average payment period on a quarterly, semi-annual or monthly basis.

The average collection period indicates the effectiveness of a firm’s accounts receivable management practices. It is very important for companies that heavily rely on their receivables when it comes to their cash flows. Businesses must manage their average collection period if they want to have enough cash on hand to fulfill their financial obligations.

Thus, it is highly recommended to analyze other companies’ metrics in your specific industry. In other words, it refers to the time it takes, on average, for the company to receive payments it is owed from clients or customers.

The average collection period is closely related to the accounts turnover ratio, which is calculated by dividing total net sales by the average AR balance. As noted above, the average collection period is calculated by dividing the average balance of AR by total net credit sales for the period, then multiplying the quotient by the number of days in the period. The average payment period helps to understand the cash flow/liquidity position of the business.

The Average Payment Period is the average time period taken by a company to pay off their dues against the purchases made on a credit basis from the supplier. The average collection period figure is also important from a timing perspective to help a company prepare an effective plan for covering costs and scheduling potential expenditures to further growth. Clearly, it is crucial for a company to receive payment for goods or services rendered in a timely manner. It enables the company to maintain a level of liquidity, which allows it to pay for immediate expenses and to get a general idea of when it may be capable of making larger purchases. Maturity Valuation Period means the period consisting of one or more calculation days shortly before the maturity date.

Another use for the https://simple-accounting.org/ is to determine how efficiently a company uses its credit in the short term. If a company generally pays its vendors quickly and on time might result in the company being offered better payment terms from new or existing vendors. Businesses and organizations rely on credit for some of the key processes and operations that support revenue generation. Companies may purchase necessary assets on credit and depend on investors for funding key business aspects. The average payment period is an essential financial metric that allows businesses to understand how efficiently and quickly revenues can cover the costs of these credits. In short, payment period is a sensor for how efficiently a company utilizes credit options available to cover short-term needs.

How can cash flow be improved?

  1. Negotiate quick payment terms.
  2. Give customers incentives and penalties.
  3. Check your accounts payable terms.
  4. Cut unnecessary spending.
  5. Consider leasing instead of buying.
  6. Study your cash flow patterns.
  7. Maintain a cash flow forecast.
  8. Consider invoice factoring.