08 Feb 2024

Accounts Receivable Days: Boost Cash Flow Now

Subhasis Sahoo (Founding Member - Marketing)

For businesses, cash flow is king. Every entrepreneur or financial professional knows the importance of collecting payments promptly. This is where the concept of accounts receivable days (ARD) comes in. It’s a crucial metric that measures the average time it takes customers to settle their outstanding invoices, offering valuable insights into a business’s financial health.

What is Account Receivable Days?

In simple terms, ARD represents the average number of days between when a product or service is delivered and the full payment is received. A lower ARD indicates faster collection times, meaning better cash flow and financial stability. Conversely, a high ARD implies slower collections and potential cash flow issues.

How to Interpret Account Receivable Days (ARD)

  • Short ARD (less than 30 days): This suggests efficient collection practices and healthy cash flow.
  • Moderate ARD (30-45 days): This is considered average for many industries, but room for improvement exists.
  • High ARD (over 45 days): This indicates potential collection problems and could stress cash flow

Calculating Accounts Receivable Days

The formula for ARD is straightforward:

ARD = (Average Accounts Receivable / Total Credit Sales) * Number of Days in the Period


  • Average Accounts Receivable: Sum of Accounts Receivable balances at the beginning and end of the period, divided by 2.
  • Total Credit Sales: Total value of sales made on credit during the period.
  • Number of Days in the Period: Number of days in the chosen timeframe (month, quarter, year).


Let’s say a company has an average accounts receivable balance of $10,000 and total credit sales of $50,000 in a month with 30 days.

ARD = ($10,000 / $50,000) * 30 = 6 days
This means it takes the company an average of 6 days to collect payments from customers.

Benefits of Tracking Accounts Receivable Days

  • Improved cash flow management: Knowing your ARD helps predict cash inflows and plan for upcoming expenses better.
  • Enhanced financial health: Lower ARD indicates efficient collections, leading to better financial stability.
  • Credit risk assessment: High ARD can signal potential customer creditworthiness issues.
  • Benchmarking: Comparing ARD to industry standards helps identify areas for improvement.

Strategies to Reduce Accounts Receivable Days

Optimizing your collection process can significantly reduce your ARD. Here are some effective strategies:

  1. Implement Clear Invoice Terms:

  • Specify clear payment terms on every invoice, including due date and late payment penalties.
  • Offer early payment discounts to incentivize prompt payments.
  • Electronically send invoices to ensure timely delivery and easy access for customers.

  1. Streamline Your Billing Process:

  • Use efficient invoicing software to automate repetitive tasks and reduce errors.
  • Offer multiple payment options (online, credit card, etc.) for customer convenience.
  • Regularly reconcile accounts to identify and resolve discrepancies quickly.

  1. Enhance Collections Efforts:

  • Develop a robust collection policy outlining follow-up procedures for overdue payments.
  • Implement automated email or SMS reminders for outstanding invoices.
  • Train your team on effective communication and negotiation techniques for collections.
  • Consider outsourcing collections to a professional agency for complex cases.

  1. Tighten Credit Policies:

  • Establish clear creditworthiness criteria before extending credit to customers.
  • Monitor customer payment history and adjust credit limits accordingly.
  • Offer credit cards or alternative payment solutions to improve customer convenience and reduce risk.

  1. Foster Positive Customer Relationships:

  • Open and transparent communication with customers can encourage prompt payments.
  • Offer flexible payment options and consider hardship cases constructively.
  • Building trust and positive relationships foster customer loyalty and timely payments.

Additional Tips:

  • Regularly monitor and analyze your ARD to track progress and identify areas for improvement.
  • Benchmark your ARD against industry averages to understand your relative performance.
  • Consider investing in technology solutions that automate tasks and improve collection efficiency.

Remember, reducing ARD is an ongoing process. By implementing these strategies and continuously monitoring your progress, you can optimize your collection practices, improve cash flow, and strengthen your business’s financial health.

Start optimizing your ARD today and transform your cash flow. Book a demo and talk to our experts today!