Invoice to Cash

01 Feb 2024

Cash Conversion Cycle: Unlock Efficiency & Growth

Subhasis Sahoo (Founding Member - Marketing)

In any business, a seamless cash flow is lifeblood of its operations. Nevertheless, cash can often become ensnared in inventory, outstanding invoices, and various other facets, impeding the capacity to invest, expand, and meet financial obligations. Enter the cash conversion cycle (CCC): a pivotal concept for ensuring optimal cash flow and fostering financial stability through adept management.

What Is Cash Conversion Cycle?

Fundamentally, the CCC delineates the duration required for a company to convert its investment in inventory into cash proceeds from sales. It comprises three essential components:

  • Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO): This metric quantifies the average time taken to sell inventory.
  • Days Sales Outstanding (DSO): This metric gauges the average time required to collect payment from customers following a sale.
  • Days Payable Outstanding (DPO): This metric measures the average time a company has to settle its accounts payable before incurring late penalties.

The CCC is computed by aggregating DIO and DSO and then subtracting DPO:

Cash Conversion Cycle = DIO + DSO – DPO

A diminished CCC signifies the efficient conversion of inventory into cash, thereby liberating working capital for alternative uses and bolstering overall financial robustness. Conversely, an elongated CCC implies prolonged cash tie-ups, potentially precipitating liquidity challenges and impeding growth prospects.

Calculating Your Cash Conversion Cycle

Deriving your CCC necessitates access to pertinent financial statements, specifically the balance sheet and income statement. Here’s a procedural breakdown:

  • Calculate DIO:
  1. Compute the average of beginning and ending inventory values for a specified period.
  2. Divide the average inventory by the cost of goods sold (COGS) for the same period.
  3. Multiply the resultant figure by the number of days in the period (e.g., 365 for a year).

  • Calculate DSO:
  1. Determine the average of beginning and ending accounts receivable values.
  2. Divide the average accounts receivable by total revenue for the same period.
  3. Multiply the outcome by the number of days in the period.

  • Calculate DPO:
  1. Establish the average of beginning and ending accounts payable values.
  2. Divide the average accounts payable by COGS for the same period.
  3. Multiply the product by the number of days in the period.

  • Compute CCC:
  1. Sum the values obtained for DIO and DSO.
  2. Deduct the DPO value from the aggregate.


Suppose your company’s financial data for the year stands as follows:

Average inventory: $10,000

COGS: $50,000

Average accounts receivable: $5,000

Total revenue: $100,000

Average accounts payable: $2,000

By following the outlined steps, the calculations yield:

DIO = ($10,000 / $50,000) * 365 = 73 days

DSO = ($5,000 / $100,000) * 365 = 18.25 days

DPO = ($2,000 / $50,000) * 365 = 14.6 days

CCC = 73 + 18.25 – 14.6 = 76.65 days

Thus, it takes approximately 76.65 days for your company to convert its inventory into cash.

Strategies for Enhancing Your Cash Conversion Cycle

A diminished CCC is generally coveted. Here are strategies to foster improvement:

  • Inventory Reduction:
  1. Implement lean manufacturing practices to curtail waste and streamline production.
  2. Negotiate improved terms with suppliers to abbreviate lead times and procure smaller, more frequent orders.
  3. Scrutinize inventory turnover ratios to pinpoint avenues for liquidating slow-moving stock.
  • Shorten Days Sales Outstanding:
  1. Offer early payment incentives to prompt expedited customer payments.
  2. Enforce stringent credit terms for new clientele.
  3. Enhance billing and collection protocols to ensure punctual settlements.
  • Extend Days Payable Outstanding:
  1. Negotiate extended payment terms with suppliers whenever feasible.
  2. Capitalize on early payment incentives proffered by select suppliers.
  3. Cultivate robust supplier relationships to sustain favorable payment conditions.

Additional Tips:

  • Routinely monitor your CCC to gauge progress and unearth areas necessitating refinement.
  • Benchmark your CCC against industry standards to gauge comparative performance.
  • By conscientiously managing your CCC and implementing tailored strategies, you can optimize cash flow dynamics, fortify financial resilience, and catalyze sustainable growth within your enterprise.

Take control of your finances! Start calculating your CCC today and learn how to improve it. Talk to our experts today!