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Jargon: Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) as a Financial Indicator

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) is an important financial metric for evaluating the effectiveness of converting credit sales (money owed to you) to cash. Considering the time value of money, it indicates the age of an organization’s accounts receivables or AR (sum of all money owed by debtors) in days and the average time it takes to turn receivables into cash. Ideally, this should never exceed the standard payment terms. So for a 52 credit period offered by credit card to borrowers (which is us, debtors to the issuing company), best DSO for the company will be 52. A higher DSO would indicate inefficiency in their collection cycle (and in our payment which they will gladly oblige by slamming exorbitant interest or by delegating collection to recovering agents).

DSO (measured in days) is calculated for a period,

DSO = Accounts Receivables / Credit Sales for the period * 30 (days)

DSO can vary significantly over the course of a year on account of several reasons:
– Fluctuation in sales volume, due to seasonality, economy, etc
– Negotiated payment terms, promotional discounts
Since these situations are common in business, DSO is argued Continue reading Jargon: Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) as a Financial Indicator