A guide to the accounts payable turnover ratio

A key metric used in accounts payable analytics is the AP turnover ratio, which measures how quickly a company pays off its suppliers and vendors. But, since the accounts payable turnover ratio measures the frequency with which the company pays off debt, a higher AP turnover ratio is better. A higher accounts payable turnover ratio is almost always better than a low ratio. It’s used to show how quickly a company pays its suppliers during a given accounting period. Since the accounts payable turnover ratio indicates how quickly a company pays off its vendors, it is used by supplies and creditors to help decide whether or not to grant credit to a business. As with most liquidity ratios, a higher ratio is almost always more favorable than a lower ratio.

  1. That’s why it’s important that creditors and suppliers look beyond this single number and examine all aspects of your business before extending credit.
  2. When you purchase something from a vendor with the agreement to pay for the purchase later, you make an entry into your accounting system debiting an expense and crediting accounts payable.
  3. But in order to improve the way in which accounts payable operates in an organization– and reap the subsequent benefits – you first need a clear understanding of how it currently performs.
  4. By examining the formula, you can see that making payments quickly will raise a company’s AP turnover ratio, whereas slower payments will decrease the turnover ratio.
  5. Drawbacks to the AP turnover ratio relate to the interpretation of its meaning.

In contrast, a lower AP turnover ratio could mean you are making a prudent financial choice to maximize cash on hand by only making payments when they are due and not any sooner. That said, it could also indicate that you aren’t making payments on time, therefore putting vendor relationships at risk. As a result of the late payments, your suppliers were hesitant to offer credit terms beyond Net 15. As your cash flow improved, you began to pay your bills on time, causing your AP turnover ratio to increase. It’s important that the accounts payable turnover ratio be calculated regularly to determine whether it has increased or decreased over several accounting periods. A company with a low ratio for AP turnover may be in financial distress, having trouble paying bills and other short-term debts on time.

Let’s consider a practical example to understand the calculation of the AP turnover ratio. In this guide, we will discuss what the AP turnover ratio is, why it matters, and how to calculate it. After having understood the AP turnover ratio and its dependency on various factors (both internal and external). The organization can further monitor payments and optimize its payables to earn maximum interest and minimize late payment charges or penalties. The average number of days taken for Company XYZ is 58 days, whereas, for Company PQR, it is 63 days, indicating faster processing and a higher frequency of payments.

The ratio shows how well a company uses and manages the credit it extends to customers and how quickly that short-term debt is collected or paid. Suppliers are more likely to offer favorable terms and discounts to companies that consistently pay on time, which can positively impact the AP turnover ratio. To optimize the AP turnover ratio, companies can leverage technology and AP automation to improve the efficiency of their accounts payable processes. Automated AP systems can streamline invoice processing, reduce errors, and provide real-time visibility into payment status. For example, a company might deliberately extend its payment cycles to suppliers to maintain higher cash reserves, thus lowering the turnover ratio.

The accounts payable turnover ratio can also be easily converted to another metric called days payable outstanding (DPO), which is a measure of the average number of days it takes to render payments to suppliers. Businesses can track their accounts payable turnover ratios during each accounting period without having to gather additional information. Using the abovementioned formulas, here is an example of how to calculate your accounts payable turnover ratio.

The AP turnover ratio is unique in that businesses want to show they can pay their bills on time, but they also want to show they can use their investments wisely. Investors and lenders keep a close eye on liquidity, debt, and net burn because they want to track the company’s financial efficiency. But, if a business pays off accounts too quickly, it may not be using the opportunity to invest that credit elsewhere and make greater gains. Finding the right balance between a high and low accounts payable turnover ratio is ideal for the business.

How to calculate accounts payable turnover ratio

Accounts payable turnover shows how many times a company pays off its accounts payable during a period. Accounts payable turnover ratio is a helpful accounting metric for gaining insight into a company’s finances. It demonstrates liquidity for paying its suppliers and can be used in any analysis of a company’s financial statements.

What is a Good Payables Turnover Ratio?

My Accounting Course  is a world-class educational resource developed by experts to simplify accounting, finance, & investment analysis topics, so students and professionals can learn and propel their careers. Add the beginning and ending balance of A/P then divide it by 2 to get the average. You may check out our A/P best practices article to learn how you can efficiently manage payables and stay fairly liquid. While that might please those stakeholders, there is a counterargument that some businesses may be better off deploying that cash elsewhere, with an eye toward growth.

A higher turnover ratio might suggest good liquidity, implying the company is efficiently managing its payables. However, it could also mean that the company is paying suppliers too quickly, potentially foregoing opportunities to use its cash reserves more effectively, such as investing in growth or earning interest. However, it’s crucial to analyze a low ratio within the broader context of the company’s overall financial strategy. In some instances, a lower ratio might be a deliberate strategy to leverage longer payment terms for better cash flow management. However, it’s important to consider this in the context of the company’s overall financial strategy to ensure a balanced approach.


Therefore, COGS in each period is multiplied by 30 and divided by the number of days in the period to get the AP balance. The accounts payable turnover ratio indicates to creditors the short-term liquidity and, to that extent, the creditworthiness of the company. A high ratio indicates prompt payment is being made to suppliers for purchases on credit. A high number may be due to suppliers demanding quick payments, or it may indicate that the company is seeking to take advantage of early payment discounts or actively working to improve its credit rating. The accounts payable turnover ratio is a short-term liquidity measure used to quantify the rate at which a company pays off its suppliers.

Some companies will only include the purchases that impact cost of goods sold (COGS) in their Total Purchases calculation, while others will include cash and credit card purchases. Both scenarios will skew the accounts payable turnover ratio calculation, making it appear the company’s ratio is higher than it actually is. 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.

It is a relative measure and guides the organization to the path where it wants to grow and maximize its profit. On the other hand, a ratio far from its standard gives a different picture to all the stakeholders. The volume of https://www.wave-accounting.net/ the transactions handled by the company determines the AP process to be followed within an organization. Accounts Payable refers to those accounts against which the organization has purchased goods and services on credit.

Getting the data you need is important, but accessing it quickly ensures you can spend your time analyzing the metrics and developing proactive strategies to move the business forward. This comprehensive financial analysis gets to the heart of proactive decision-making so you’re always looking forward and incorporating agile planning to help the business succeed. Request a personalized demo today to find out how to take your analytics to the next level with our financial dashboards and improve efficiency and profitability for the company. Mosaic also offers customizable templates to create unique dashboards that include the metrics you need to track most. Track invoice status metrics — both amount and count — to keep track of the revenue coming in.

High ratio suggests that the company manages its payables efficiently, often paying suppliers on time or even early to take advantage of discounts. Such efficiency is indicative of healthy cash flow, showing that the company has sufficient liquidity to meet its short-term obligations. Furthermore, a high ratio is often linked to strong supplier relationships, as consistent and timely payments can lead to more favorable terms and cooperation. Creditors and investors will look at the accounts payable turnover ratio on a company’s balance sheet to determine whether the business is in good standing with its creditors and suppliers.

For example, get the beginning- and end-of-month A/P balances if you want to get the A/P turnover for a single month. This can be achieved by using accounts payable key performance indicators (KPIs). Measuring performance in key facets of accounts payable can provide you with valuable insights that point out what can be done to improve the process. A low ratio can also indicate that a business is paying its bills less frequently because they’ve been extended generous credit terms.

Companies can leverage these discounts to reduce costs and improve their AP turnover ratio by paying quickly and more efficiently. Manual AP processes are prone to errors, which can delay payments and adversely affect the AP turnover ratio. Automation reduces the likelihood of errors and speeds up the resolution bookkeeping 2021 of any disputes with suppliers. The ratio does not account for qualitative aspects like the quality of the supplier relationship or the nature of goods and services received. Strong supplier relationships can lead to more favorable payment terms, affecting the ratio independently of financial considerations.

If a company does not believe this is the case, finance leaders may wish to have an explanation on hand. 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.

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