What’s Your DSO?

If you grant credit to customers, then you have a balance in accounts receivable.  DSO stands for Days Sales Outstanding, and this helps you measure how fast your receivables are being converted to cash.

Here’s how to calculate it:

DSO = Accounts receivable balance / Annual net credit sales * 365.

DSO is measured in days and it represents how many days it takes to collect the customer invoice balance and convert it to cash.

Whether the DSO measure is “good” or not varies by industry as well as the terms you’ve set for your clients.  If you’ve set your invoices to be due in 30 days and your DSO is 45 days or less, that’s pretty good.  If you’ve set your invoices to be due in 10 days and your DSO is 60 days, then you might want to consider a more aggressive collection policy to speed up your cash flow.

Here are some tips to reduce DSO:

  1. Invoice clarity.

Make sure your invoices are accurate and clear.  Make it clear whom to make the check out to, where to mail it, the due date, and the amount due.  All of these features should be easy to find on the invoice.

2. Consider discounts.

A common discount term is 2/10, net 30.  This means the customer can take two percent off their invoice if they pay in 10 days; otherwise they owe the whole amount in 30 days.  If you have customers from large companies, discounts are often required by policy to be taken and this can speed up your payments from them.

3. Consider electronic payments.

Going paperless with your invoicing as well as your payment process can speed up the entire billing cycle.  Customers getting their bills earlier will also pay earlier.

What’s your DSO?  If you need help calculating it, give us a call.

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