What are Accounts Receivable (AR) Days

What are Accounts Receivable (AR) Days? Formula, Calculation & Examples

5 Min Reads

Emagia Staff

Accounts Receivable (AR) Days provides valuable insights into the efficiency of a company’s credit and collection processes and plays a significant role in assessing cash flow management. By understanding and analayzing AR Days, businesses can evaluate their receivables performance, identify potential issues, and make informed decisions to optimize their working capital. In this article, we will delve deeper into the concep of AR Days, explore its calculation, and discuss its implications for business.

What is a Good Accounts Receivable Days?

The metric known as accounts receivable days is a dynamic measure that encompasses various factors. Calculating A/R days involves considering elements such as industry type, company payment terms, and historical patterns. It is important to recognize that a favorable or unfavorable A/R days figure depends on these specific factors.

To illustrate, the construction and oil sectors experience a higher incidence of delayed payments, resulting in considerably longer A/R days compared to retail or service industries. Consequently, it is not appropriate to directly compare A/R days between businesses operating in different industry segments.

Furthermore, a company’s payment terms directly influence the duration it takes for customers to settle their dues. For instance, if a company’s credit policy allows for a 30-day payment window, an A/R days figure of 37-38 days (exceeding the limit by 25%) suggests there is room for improvement.

Conversely, if A/R days are significantly lower than the credit period, it may indicate excessively stringent credit terms. In such cases, business risk alienating potential customers.

How to Calculate Accounts Receivable Days

  1. Evaluating Working Capital Efficiency: A Company’s effectiveness in managing working capital can be gauged by the reduced number of days it takes to collect cash payments from customers who make credit-based transactions.
  1. Projecting Accounts Receivable: Within the operation assumptions section of a financial model, the standard approach for forecasting a company’s future accounts receivable balance is by using A/R days. Additionally, it is advisable to consider the industry average among comparable peers as a “sanity check” to ensure the assumptions remain reasonable.

Accounts Receivable A/R Days Formula

Accounts Receivable AR Days Formula - AR Days = Average Accounts Receivable / Revenue x 365 days

This computation yields a representative figure that reflects the average value of accounts receivable over the specified period. By determining the average accounts receivable, businesses can gain insights into their financial performance and effectively manage their cash flow.

When discussing a company’s financials, specifically “net revenue,” it refers to the comprehensive monetary value derived from selling products or services to customers within a designated timeframe.

This figure is determined by subtracting any applicable discounts, returns, and sales allowances from the total sales revenue. By considering these adjustments, net revenue accurately reflects the actual amount earned by the company from its core business operations during the specified period.

Why is the Accounts Receivable Days Calculation Important?

By utilizing the accounts receivables days calculating, you can monitor the trends in accounts receivable on a month-to-month basis, facilitating the tracking of improvements in your company’s ability to collect outstanding invoices.

Therefore, it is advisable to complement this metric with additional reports, such as the accounts receivable aging report. This report provides a detailed listing of unpaid invoices and unused credit memos, organized by date, offering a more granular understanding of the outstanding balances.

How to Reduce Your Accounts Receivable Days Ratio

To expedite the collection of outstanding invoices, optimizing your accounts receivable process is crucial. While various strategies can be employed, one highly effective method is implementing ACH debit, allowing you to directly withdraw payment from your customers’ accounts when it becomes due.

By offering this payment option, you can accelerate the invoicing process significantly, eliminating the delays associated with a slow accounts receivable system. This streamlined approach enhances efficiency and enables your business to maintain a more robust cash flow position.

How Do You Make the Most of the AR Days Metric?

Examining a company’s accounts receivable (A/R) days provides valuable insights into the efficiency of its credit and collection processes. By monitoring and graphing this metric, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the company’s ability to collect receivables and identify any discernible patterns or trends. If there is a consistent increase in the average time it takes to receive payments, it may indicate the need for the business to tighten its credit policy.

On the other hand, if there is a continuous decline, it could be an opportunity to introduce more lenient payment terms, which can attract a larger customer base. Therefore, to fully leverage the A/R days metric it is essential to supplement it with other relevant data.

By combining the A/R data metric with additional information and analytics, businesses can make well-informed decisions to optimize their credit and collection processes. This holistic adapts their credit and collection processes. This holistic approach enables them to adapt their credit policies effectively, maintain healthy cash flow, and foster strong customer relationships.


In conclusion, understanding and effectively managing accounts receivable (AR) days is essential for businesses aiming to maintain healthy cash flow and optimize their financial performance. AR Days provides valuable insights into a company’s credit and collection efficiency, helping to assess the effectiveness of its receivables management.

Ultimately by actively managing and monitoring AR Days, businesses can enhance their working capital management, mitigate risks associated with delayed payments, and foster a healthy financial foundation. By staying vigilant and proactive in optimizing their AR Days, businesses can position themselves for sustained growth, improved cash flow, and long-term success in today’s competitive business landscape.

Understanding the Difference Between Permanent and Temporary Accounts


What is a good AR Days ratio?

1.0 is a good AR Days ratio

How are you supposed to calculate AR Days by month?

You have to dive all the charges, credits received by the number of days.

Is it better to have high or low AR (Accounts Receivable) Days?

Lower days is better for the company.

What does lower Accounts Receivable / AR Days mean?

The company’s extending credit will do better.

Can Accounts Receivable / AR Days be 0?

It can be zero only if there is cash involved.


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