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CFO Services - Quick Cash Flow Metrics


As a Part Time CFO I am called upon to do some quick cash flow analysis for clients.




CFO Services - Quick Cash Flow Metrics
This is not often very easy as with cash flow there can be a lot going on. One of my favorite metrics and first places to go to get a good sense of what is happening is Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) and Days Payables Outstanding (DPO). DSO tells you the average number of days it takes a company to collect their accounts receivable. DPO tells you the number of days it takes a company to pay its trade creditors. If you are paying your trade creditors appreciably faster than you are collecting your receivables you probably identified one source of a cash flow problem.

DSO is calculated by taking your accounts receivable as the numerator and Total Credit sales as the denominator. Multiply that quotient times the number of days you are tracking and that is your DSO. Let's get more specific as to the numbers. You can take the accounts receivable off of your balance sheet. Most companies total credit sales are usually their total sales, however if they can specify a certain percentage of sales that they know are COD they can deduct that from sales to determine credit sales. The number of days represents the number of days you are tracking. So for example if you want to determine what your DSO is for the fourth quarter you take the accounts receivable on the December 31 balance sheet and put it in the numerator and then you take your total sales (assuming all your sales are credit sales) for the fourth quarter off of the income statement and put it in the denominator. Then you take that quotient and multiply it times 92 days which are the number of days in the fourth quarter. That will give you DSO.

DPO is calculated by taking your Trade Accounts Payable as the numerator and Cost of Sales as the denominator. Multiply that quotient times the number of days you are tracking and that is your DPO. Let's get more specific as to the numbers. You can take the Trade Accounts Payable off of your balance sheet or Accounts Payable Detail. Keep in mind that your Trade Accounts Payable are the amounts you owe to your inventory vendors versus your expense vendors like the phone bill or Office supplies etc... Take the cost of sales off of your income statement. The number of days represents the number of days you are tracking. So for example if you want to determine what your DPO is for the fourth quarter you take the Trade Accounts Payable on the December 31 balance sheet and put it in the numerator and then you take your cost of sales for the fourth quarter and put it in the denominator. Then you take that quotient and multiply it times 92 days which are the number of days in the fourth quarter. That will give you DPO.

As a CFO these are my "go to metrics" when making a quick assessment of a cash flow problem.

By Michael Barbarita
Michael Barbarita has owned and operated Retail, Manufacturing and Service companies over the last 25 years.
He was a Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for a large specialty retailer. He was Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for all of his previously owned companies as well.

cfo-chief-financial-officer.blogspot.com/

Retrouvez toute l'actualité du credit management dans notre magazine en ligne DSOnews
www.dsonews.fr

Mercredi 2 Février 2011
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