Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio Analysis Formula Example

The cash payment exclusion may be necessary if a company has been so late in paying suppliers that they now require cash in advance payments. As with all financial ratios, it’s best to compare the ratio for a company with companies in the same industry. Each sector could have a standard turnover ratio that might be unique to that industry. Calculate the average accounts payable for the period by adding the accounts payable balance at the beginning of the period from the accounts payable balance at the end of the period. Only a holistic analysis can ensure a comprehensive view of a company’s financial health, and any related credit or investment decisions.

  1. Easy to calculate, the accounts payable turnover ratio provides important information for businesses large and small.
  2. This gives you a constant picture of your company’s financial health, helping you manage your finances in a proactive way.
  3. Each sector could have a standard turnover ratio that might be unique to that industry.
  4. To calculate the average accounts payable balance, add the beginning accounts payable balance to the ending accounts payable balance and divide the sum by two.
  5. To find out the average accounts payable, the opening balance of accounts payable is added to the closing balance of accounts payable, and the result is divided by two.

Consider the factors of your specific industry and your current financial position to set the right strategic target for your own business. The longer it takes to sell inventory and collect accounts receivable, the more cash tied up for that length of time. Financial ratios are metrics that you can run to see how your business is performing financially. From simple to complex, these common accounting ratios are frequently used in businesses large and small to measure business efficiency, profitability, and liquidity. 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.

Net credit purchases are total credit purchases reduced by the amount of returned items initially purchased on credit. Remember to use credit purchases, not total supplier purchases, which would include items not purchased on credit. The first year you owned the business, you were late making payments because of limited cash flow and an antiquated AP system. The 91 days represents the approximate number of days on average that a company’s invoices remain outstanding before being paid in full.


This ratio gauges a company’s proficiency in  managing its accounts payable, and is indicative of the timeliness of its payment to suppliers. A higher accounts payable turnover ratio indicates that the company paysits creditors promptly, thereby enhancing its reputation and creditworthiness. The ratio is a measure of short-term liquidity, with a higher payable turnover ratio being more favorable. As seen in the table above, a higher payable turnover ratio leads to a shorter average payment period, indicating a faster turnaround in payments. This can enhance a company’s creditworthiness and strengthen its relationship with suppliers. It’s important for businesses to regularly analyze their average payment period and implement strategies to optimize their accounts payable turnover, ensuring a healthy cash flow and effective financial management.

To further analyze accounts payable turnover, businesses can break down the ratio by different time periods, such as quarterly or annually. This allows companies to identify any seasonal variations or trends in their payment cycle. It also helps in tracking the effectiveness of strategies implemented to improve the ratio over time.

If a company only uses the cost of goods sold in the numerator, this creates an excessively high turnover ratio. An incorrectly high turnover ratio can also be caused if cash-on-delivery payments made to suppliers are included in the ratio, since these payments are outstanding for zero days. In financial modeling, the accounts payable turnover ratio (or turnover days) is an important assumption for creating the balance sheet forecast. As you can see in the example below, the accounts payable balance is driven by the assumption that cost of goods sold (COGS) takes approximately 30 days to be paid (on average).

Increasing A/P turnover ratios

This gives you a constant picture of your company’s financial health, helping you manage your finances in a proactive way. Improve your accounts payable turnover ratio in days (DPO) by lowering the days payable outstanding to the optimal number that meets your business goals. Optimize cash flow by matching DPO with DRO (days receivable outstanding), quickening accounts receivable collection, speeding inventory turnover through faster sales, and getting financing when needed. Like other accounting ratios, the accounts payable turnover ratio provides useful data for financial analysis, provided that it’s used properly and in conjunction with other important metrics. An important ratio for business owners, CFOs, and suppliers alike, this ratio can help you see how your business handles its short-term debt as well as gain a better understanding of how others view your business.

Over time, your business can respond to new business opportunities and changing economic conditions. Improve cash flow management and forecast your business financing needs to achieve the optimal accounts payable turnover ratio. Compare the AP creditor’s turnover ratio to the accounts receivable turnover ratio. You can compute an accounts receivable turnover to accounts payable turnover ratio if you want to. If so, your banker benefits from earning interest on bigger lines of credit to your company.

On January 1, 2022, your A/P balance was $320,000; on December 31, 2022, it was only $240,000. The important thing is to make sure the time period you choose is as “typical” for your company as possible. If your AP balance changes a lot between the beginning and end of the month, don’t just look at the first 5 days or the last 5 days. If the cash conversion cycle lengthens, then stretch payables to the extent possible by delaying payment to vendors. The cash conversion cycle spans the time in days from purchasing goods to selling them and then collecting the accounts receivable from customers. If your business has cash availability or can make a draw on its line of credit financing at a reasonable interest rate, then taking advantage of early payment discounts makes a lot of sense.

Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. Yes, a higher AP turnover is better because it shows a business is bringing in enough revenues to be able to pay off its short-term obligations. This is an indicator of a healthy business and it gives a business leverage to negotiate with suppliers for better rates.

How to Respond to Vendor Inquiries with AP Automation & Payment

For example, if saving money is your primary concern, there are a few approaches you can take. In some cases, paying vendors more quickly can lead to early payment discounts and also help avoid late fees. This can be done by consolidating multiple invoices into a single payment or automating payments so they are made as soon as invoices are received. This means it took the AP department bookkeeping training programs approximately 14 days to pay suppliers on average during the first quarter. Since AP represents the unpaid expenses of a company, as accounts payable increases, so does the cash balance (all else being equal). When a buyer orders and receives goods and services, but has not yet paid for them, the invoice amount is recorded as a current liability on its balance sheet.

To calculate the average payment period, divide 365 days by the payable turnover ratio. For example, if a company has a payable turnover ratio of 8, the average payment period would be 45.6 days. This means that, on average, it takes approximately 45.6 days for the company to settle its payables. Comparing this figure to the industry average can provide further context and help identify areas for improvement. AP turnover ratio is worked out by taking the total supplier purchases for the period and dividing this figure by the average accounts payable for the period. To find out the average accounts payable, the opening balance of accounts payable is added to the closing balance of accounts payable, and the result is divided by two.

Switch To an Automated AP Solution

A change in the turnover ratio can also indicate altered payment terms with suppliers, though this rarely has more than a slight impact on the ratio. If a company is paying its suppliers very quickly, it may mean that the suppliers are demanding fast payment terms, or that the company is taking advantage of early payment discounts. Before you can understand how to calculate and use the accounts payable turnover ratio, you must first understand what the accounts payable turnover ratio is. In short, accounts payable (AP) represent the money you owe to vendors or suppliers. This key performance indicator can quickly give you insight into the health of your relationships with your vendors, among other things.

Using those assumptions, we can calculate the accounts payable turnover by dividing the Year 1 supplier purchases amount by the average accounts payable balance. Your accounts payable turnover ratio tells you — and your vendors — how healthy your business is. Comparing this ratio year over year — or comparing a fiscal quarter to the same quarter of the previous year — can tell you whether your business’s financial health is improving or heading for trouble. Even if your business is otherwise healthy, having a low or decreasing accounts payable turnover ratio could spell trouble for your relationship with your vendors.

If you want to be perceived as being in good financial standing, then your AP turnover ratio should be in line with whatever is typical for your business size and sector. In financial modeling, it’s important to be able to calculate the average number of days it takes for a company to pay its bills. The cash cycle (or cash conversion cycle) is the amount of time a company requires to convert inventory into cash. It is tied to the operating cycle, which is the total of accounts receivable days and inventory days.

While the A/P turnover ratio quantifies the rate at which a company can pay off its suppliers, the days payable outstanding (DPO) ratio indicates the average time in days that a company takes to pay its bills. They essentially measure the same thing—how quickly are bills paid—but use different measurement units. The turnover ratio is measured in the number of times per year, whereas days outstanding is measured in days. It’s important that the accounts payable turnover ratio be calculated regularly to determine whether it has increased or decreased over several accounting periods. Your vendors might not be willing to continue to extend credit unless you raise your accounts payable turnover ratio and decrease your average days to pay. This may be due to favorable credit terms, or it may signal cash flow problems and hence, a worsening financial condition.

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