Invoice to Cash

11 Feb 2024

13 Accounts Receivable KPIs Every Executive Needs

Subhasis Sahoo (Founding Member - Marketing)

For finance executives, a healthy accounts receivable (A/R) function is fundamental to maintaining consistent cash flow and business sustainability. But how do you measure and optimize its performance? Enter A/R Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These metrics provide valuable insights into collection efficiency, credit risk, and overall financial health.

This blog dives deep into 13 critical A/R KPIs every finance executive should track, along with their significance and interpretation tips:

1. Days Sales Outstanding (DSO):

DSO measures the average time it takes to collect payment on invoices. Lower DSO indicates faster collections and better cash flow. Formula: DSO = (Average A/R balance / Credit sales) x 365 days. Target: Industry benchmarks and historical trends dictate ideal DSO. Lower is typically better, but aim for a balance with sustainable credit practices.

2. Aging of Accounts Receivable:

This report categorizes outstanding invoices by their due date, revealing concentrations of overdue payments. Analyze which age buckets hold the most significant value and prioritize collection efforts accordingly.

3. Collection Effectiveness Index (CEI):

CEI measures the effectiveness of your collection efforts. Formula: CEI = (Amount collected during period / Average A/R balance) x 100%. Target: Higher CEI suggests efficient collections. Track trends and implement corrective actions if CEI dips below benchmarks.

4. Discount Rate:

Discounts offered for early payments can incentivize faster collections but impact revenue. Monitor the discount rate to ensure it balances timely payments with profit margin.

5. Payment Terms:

Offering optimal payment terms can attract good customers while balancing cash flow needs. Analyze industry practices and customer behavior to set terms that support both objectives.

6. Bad Debt Ratio:

This ratio measures the portion of A/R written off as uncollectible. Formula: Bad Debt Ratio = Bad Debt Expense / Credit Sales. Target: Minimize bad debt through effective credit risk management. Track trends and investigate reasons for increases.

7. Credit Risk Assessment:

Evaluate customer creditworthiness before extending credit to minimize bad debt risk. Utilize credit scoring models, financial statement analysis, and industry insights to make informed decisions.

8. Reserve for Bad Debts:

This financial statement reflects the estimated amount of uncollectible receivables. Regularly assess and adjust the reserve based on historical data and current economic conditions.

9. Invoice Accuracy:

Inaccurate invoices lead to payment delays and disputes. Implement efficient processes and internal controls to ensure accuracy at every stage of the billing cycle.

10. A/R Turnover:

This ratio measures how efficiently you convert credit sales into cash. Formula: A/R Turnover = Credit Sales / Average A/R balance. Target: Higher turnover indicates faster collections and better working capital management.

11. Return on Assets (ROA) for A/R:

This metric assesses the profitability generated from your A/R investment. Formula: ROA for A/R = Operating Profit / Average A/R balance. Target: Maximize ROA by optimizing DSO and minimizing bad debt.

12. A/R Automation Ratio:

This ratio measures the automation level of your A/R processes. Track the percentage of automated tasks versus manual work to identify areas for efficiency improvement.

13. Customer Satisfaction with A/R:

Monitor customer satisfaction with your billing and collection practices. Feedback helps identify areas for improvement and fosters positive relationships.

Beyond the Numbers:

Remember, KPIs are valuable tools, but interpreting them in isolation can be misleading. Consider industry benchmarks, historical trends, and company-specific factors when analyzing metrics.

Actionable Insights:

Use A/R KPIs to:

  • Identify areas for improvement: Analyze trends and compare with benchmarks to pinpoint weaknesses in your A/R function.
  • Set realistic goals: Establish achievable targets for each KPI aligned with your overall financial objectives.
  • Track progress and measure impact: Monitor improvement over time and adjust strategies based on results.
  • Make informed decisions: Utilize data-driven insights to optimize credit risk management, collections efforts, and cash flow.

By actively tracking and analyzing these 13 A/R KPIs, finance executives can gain valuable insights to optimize their A/R function, streamline operations, and ultimately ensure a healthy and sustainable cash flow for their business.

Additional Tips:

  • Establish a regular reporting schedule for tracking KPIs.
  • Share relevant KPIs with stakeholders for transparency and accountability.
  • Utilize technology to automate data collection and analysis.
  • Seek expert advice for interpreting complex metrics and developing improvement strategies.
  • By leveraging the power of A/R KPIs, finance executives can transform their A/R function from a cost center into a strategic profit driver.

Track these 13 accounts receivable KPIs to optimize cash flow and streamline operations. Can’t figure out how? FinFloh can help you track all of these metrics on a single platform, book a demo now and see the platform live in action.