Tag Archives | DSO

Black Friday

In America, Black Friday is an event that is not only the most shopped on day during a typical year, but it also generates huge sales.

“Only in America do people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.”

~Author Unknown

Black Friday Definition

The Black Friday definition is a retail store sale that occurs the Friday after Thanksgiving – an American holiday in November. Many consider this event to be the kick-off to the Christmas shopping season. Many retailers, such as Walmart, Kohls, Kmart, Macy’s, Express, and other major retailers, open their stores in the early hours of the morning to receive the first rush of customers. Door busters, sales, huge discounts, and giveaways are all part of this event.

The History Of Black Friday

Black Friday originated in 1952 as the start of the Christmas shopping season. Because many states in the United States considered the day after Thanksgiving to be a holiday as well, retail shops realized that there were enormous amounts of potential shoppers available during this four-day weekend. But since 2005, this event has launched into record numbers for sales, shoppers, etc. For example, sales dropped for the first time since the 2008 recession in 2014. Yet, sales boasted $50.9 billion over that weekend.

Although not all states in the United States permit workers to work on national holidays or even the day after Thanksgiving, companies have broken many boundaries to take advantage of this rush of customers. Over time, retail stores and e-commerce platforms have expanded on Black Friday to include Cyber Monday. It’s become a tradition to many.

Cyber Monday

Because Black Friday became such a hit, online companies created another shopping event – Cyber Monday. It occurs the Monday after Thanksgiving and encourages shoppers to purchase more gifts and things on Monday. Originally, it was launched in 2005.

The Cost of Black Friday

While it may be tempting to join in on Black Friday specials and sales, you have to consider the cost. Remember, a sale isn’t necessarily a good sale. It has to be a profitable sale.

Some of the costs associated with Black Friday include.

How to Win on Black Friday

In order to win on Black Friday, you have to price your products for profit. Especially since you project to sell large quantities of product, you need to make sure you don’t start with a pricing problem. If you cut prices off a product that is already not profitable, then you will loose more potential profit. Before you start planning for Black Friday, make sure your pricing is in check. Click here to download our Pricing for Profit Inspection Guide.

Price for Profit During These Sales

Each sale you make has to return a profit. Therefore, you need to allocate as many costs to each good to make it easier. How much inventory do you need to push in order to turn a profit? But also, what prices are customers willing to spend? The trick with Black Friday is that since everyone is competing for the best deal, you must know what others are pricing the same product at.

Reduce DSO by Turning Over Inventory

The risk for big sales like Black Friday is that there will be some that cancel their credit card transaction for $1,800 worth of product. Because you are putting a lot of cash up front to increase inventory, you need to collect cash as quickly as possible. For example, you can offer discounts for cash only. For other pricing tips, download the free Pricing for Profit Inspection Guide to learn how to price profitably.

Black Friday

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Black Friday

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Turnover in Collections is Destroying Your DSO

One of our clients called us up because his DSO went from 34 days to over 72 days within a couple months. He couldn’t figure out what was causing his daily sales outstanding (DSO) to increase so dramatically in such a short time. When we came in the office to investigate, we found that there was significant turnover in the A/R and A/P staff. As a result, collections were not being consistently collected on. Turnover in collections is destroying your DSO. But how does turnover impact your DSO?

Turnover in Collections is Destroying Your DSO

What happens when there is high turnover in a company? Decreased productivity, bad communication, reduced training, lost processes, and so much more. When we started working with our client mentioned above, they were turning over A/R personnel very quickly. At first, the management didn’t think about their DSO. Sales were going great! But no cash was being collected. What they originally thought was a cash flow problem became more of a management issue.

How are you managing your cash? After 25+ years of working with clients in cash crunches, we designed the A/R Checklist AND you can access for free here. Enjoy!

maintaining accurate records

What Happens When Turnover Is High The Collections Departments

Think about what happens when turnover is high in the collections department. Communication is not clear on who has been contacted, what to charge, if an invoice has been sent out, etc. It can easily get out of hand if communication is not seamless during the transition. There simply is no continuation and follow up.

You also need to address why turnover is high. Are you firing your employees? Are many employees retiring? Is morale down due to an upcoming transition? Are you not compensating them enough to stay? There is typically a reason for high turnover. But it may take some investigating. Do you have a good idea for what is an acceptable turnover rate?

Consider calculating the transaction turnover per A/R employee. If your number is low, you need to start improving the collections process.

      Number of Transactions Processed      
Number of Accounts Receivable Employees

Collections Cannot Be Automated

There’s a lot of things you can automate, but collections are not one of them. You cannot automate human behavior and nothing can replace a live call or meeting between two parties. While we may see some sort of automation built into this process, we don’t foresee it taking the humans out of this role. For example, if a client needs to explain that they need to extend their payment another week, they need a speak to a person, someone authorized to extend payment terms. Furthermore, if their contact person in A/R keeps changing, then those receivables will not be collected timely.  Management often underestimates the importance of having someone in receivables developing a relationship with the customer.

[HINT: Turnover may be high for a myriad of reasons, but your company still needs cash. Consider offering a discount to the client for paying in a certain number of days. Read more about discounting receivables here.]

 

How to Save Your DSO When Turnover is High

Your DSO is a key indicator for management to look at. But like other indicators, you need to know what impacts those variables and why. Employee turnover in A/R can directly impact DSO as those employees are the people responsible for collecting. When turnover is high, communications and processes don’t always get passed down properly or effectively. Let’s learn how to save your DSO when turnover is high.

Know the Cycle

First, you need to know the cycle. Companies (and economies) going through cycles where cash is tight, turnover is high, and credit becomes tight. .  Look at the recent oil & gas crisis. Oil price hit record highs, companies began to spend more, they took on more debt. Then the price of oil drops, companies find themselves paying for debt service based on a bigger size and larger revenue, cash gets tight.  The bank and other creditors tighten up until things get better down the road.

But if you’re experiencing high turnover that doesn’t reflect what the macro economy is doing, then you need to look internally.

Start by tracking your DSO at regular intervals. Make this part of your normal monthly reporting process.  This will give you a basis to predict cash flow and indicates when things are going south. When you create a DSO trend, it is easier to spot irregularity.

Identify Areas With Low Turnover

What areas in your company have low turnover? Is it sales, operations, upper level management, etc.? Identify the areas with low turnover. Regardless of their role in the company, someone needs to collect the cash or the company will be in trouble. For example, you have 5 sales people that have been there for an average of 15 years. Your A/R department has turned over 5 employees in the last 2 years. Choose one of your sales persons to manage the transition between A/R employees. Your sales people often have the relationship with the customer.

Write Down Your DSO Improvement Strategies

This is probably the most important step to saving your DSO when turnover is high. Write it down! A strategy isn’t a good strategy if you don’t write it down. Have written processes for collections as well as notes of what has been done for the entire accounting department will help everyone know where you are at.

Write the collections process down with all your DSO improvement strategies.

Then, write down notes from client conversations, steps in the collections processes. Have frequent internal meetings about collections.  Assign tasks to individuals and write down the progress or lack of progress.  The CFO should be made aware of collections, DSO and trouble accounts.

Improve Your DSO

Whether you are experiencing high turnover in your A/R staff or not, it’s important to continually improve your DSO. For more ways to add value to your company, download your free A/R Checklist to see how simple changes in your A/R process can free up a significant amount of cash.

Turnover in Collections is Destroying Your DSO

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Turnover in Collections is Destroying Your DSO

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Reducing Your Cash Conversion Cycle

reducing your cash conversion cycle

What is the impact of reducing your cash conversion cycle?  Is it worth the effort?  In order to quantify the benefit of reducing your cash conversion cycle, it’s important to understand exactly what it is. 

Definition of Cash Conversion Cycle

Cash Conversion Cycle is a metric that expresses the length of time, in days, that it takes for a company to convert resource inputs into cash flows (also known as the cash cycle or operating cycle)

Formula of Cash Conversion Cycle

Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC) = Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO) + Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) – Days Payable Outstanding (DPO)

– or –

CCC = DIO + DSO – DPO

Put simply, it measures how quickly an unfinished product can be turned into cash.

Why Reduce Your CCC?

Now that we understand the components of the CCC, let’s look at what kind of impact changes in each component can have.  Consider the following example:

cash conversion cycle

In this example, a company with $25 million in sales volume (with gross margin of 35%) could free up over $2 million in cash by collecting receivables one week sooner, turning inventory once more per year and stretching payables by one week.  At a cost of capital of 5.25%, it would also see an additional savings of over $100K in interest fall straight to the bottom line

Plug in the variables for your business and see what kind of improvement in the cash conversion cycle you could expect by tightening up your collections, inventory or payables processes. The results may surprise you.

Who Should be Looking at This?

Certainly anyone in the organization with access to the data can do the calculation, but the CFO is responsible for making things happen.  To be able to do this, the CFO has to be plugged into what’s going on in operations as well as finance in order to identify areas of improvement.  This is one of the many ways a CFO can do more than simply crunch the numbers by providing strategic opportunities for growth through savings.

What could your company do with an extra $2 million in liquidity and $100K in profits? 

Learn how to apply concepts like this in your career with CFO Coaching.  Learn More

For more ways to add value to your company, download your free A/R Checklist to see how simple changes in your A/R process can free up a significant amount of cash.

reducing your cash conversion cycle

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reducing your cash conversion cycle

See Also:

Continuous Accounting: The New Age of Accounting

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Operating Cycle Analysis

See Also:
Operating Cycle Definition
days inventory outstanding
Cash Cycle
day sales outstanding
days payable outstanding
Financial Ratios

Operating Cycle Formula

Complete operating cycle analysis calculations simply with the following formula:

Operating cycle = DIO + DSO – DPO

Where

DIO represents days inventory outstanding

DSO represents day sales outstanding

DPO represents days payable outstanding

Operating Cycle Calculation

Calculating operating cycle may seem daunting but results in extremely valuable information.

DIO = (Average inventories / cost of sales) * 365 DSO = (Average accounts receivables / net sales) * 365

DPO = (Average accounts payables / cost sales) * 365

For example, what is the operating cycle of a business? A company has 90 days in days inventory outstanding, 60 days in days sales outstanding and 70 in days payable outstanding. See the following calculation to see how to work it out:

Operating cycle = 90 + 60 – 70 = 80

In conclusion, it takes an average 80 days for a company to turn purchasing inventories into cash sales. In regards to accounting, operating cycles are essential to maintaining levels of cash necessary to survive. As a result, maintaining a beneficial net operating cycle ratio is a life or death matter.

Resources

If you want statistical information about industry financial ratios, then go to the following websites: www.bizstats.com and www.valueline.com.

For more ways to add value to your company, download your free A/R Checklist to see how simple changes in your A/R process can free up a significant amount of cash.

Operating Cycle Analysis

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Projections Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to get ahead of your cash flow.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Operating Cycle Analysis

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