How to Calculate Days Inventory Outstanding DIO

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That means if you’re expecting something to happen that’s going to change your DII going forward, like a new supply chain or product launch, your historical DII is going to be less useful to planners. The longer products remain on hand, the more a company’s cash is tied up in inventory. This means it takes Retailer1 about 52 days on average to clear its inventory. It means that, at the current status quo, you can expect to sell out and restock on your inventory about twice per quarter. For a retail store, a DIO of 52 provides tons of agility and flexibility to try out new products and plan for seasonality.

Accounts receivable is the total value of accounts receivable during a particular period. Some companies will use the average accounts receivable balance during the period, while others may use the closing accounts receivable balance. The accounts receivable (A/R) line item on the balance sheet represents the amount of cash owed to a company for products/services “earned” (i.e., delivered) under accrual accounting standards but paid for using credit.

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Therefore, comparing DIO between companies in the same industry offers a much better, more accurate and fair, basis for comparison. During this waiting period, the company has yet to be paid in cash despite the revenue being recognized under accrual accounting. Cost of sales or cost of goods sold can be used from the income statement figures.

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO): Meaning in Finance, Calculation, and Applications

Therefore, a low cloud vs on translates to an efficient business in terms of inventory management and sales performance. DSO is the average time expressed in the number of days businesses or companies take to retrieve their Accounts Receivables or collect cash for their credit sales. However, by comparing a company’s DSO with other companies in the same sector, it may be possible to draw some conclusions about the company’s cash flow and working capital performance. Low Days Sales Outstanding ➝ A low value implies the company can convert credit sales into cash relatively fast, and the duration that receivables remain outstanding on the balance sheet before collection is shorter.

Also, cash sales are not included in the computation because they are considered a zero DSO – representing no time waiting from the sale date to receipt of cash. Days Sales OutstandingDays sales outstanding portrays the company’s efficiency to recover its credit sales bills from the debtors. The number of days debtors took to make the payment is computed by multiplying the fraction of accounts receivables to net credit sales with 365 days. Since DSI indicates the duration of time a company’s cash is tied up in its inventory, a smaller value of DSI is preferred. A smaller number indicates that a company is more efficiently and frequently selling off its inventory, which means rapid turnover leading to the potential for higher profits .

The exception is for very seasonal companies, where sales are concentrated in a specific quarter, or cyclical companies where annual sales are inconsistent and fluctuate based on the prevailing economic conditions. That said, an increase in A/R represents an outflow of cash, whereas a decrease in A/R is a cash inflow since it means the company has been paid and thus has more liquidity . Recall that an increase in an operating working capital asset is a reduction in FCFs .

  • Another important aspect of inventory management is to synchronize the sales and procurement departments of a business.
  • While inventory value is available on the balance sheet of the company, the COGS value can be sourced from the annual financial statement.
  • Inventory turnover is a financial ratio that measures a company’s efficiency in managing its stock of goods.
  • Essentially, it also means a company takes fewer days to convert inventory into sales.

That means we can easily say that day sales of inventory are one of the cash conversion cycle stages, which translates raw materials into cash. From our starting period to the final year of the forecast , we can see how our company’s inventory balance has increased by $20 million to $26 million. For purposes of simplicity, we are using the ending inventory balance in our formulas. But if you wanted to use the average inventory balance, it would just be the sum of the beginning and ending inventory balance divided by two. Note that the average between the beginning and ending inventory balance can be used for both the calculation of inventory turnover and DIO. For purposes of forecasting, inventory is ordinarily projected based on either inventory turnover or days inventory outstanding.

Days inventory outstanding vs. inventory turnover ratio

Days inventory outstanding and inventory turnover ratios can be linked closely. It is important to keep in mind that most companies buy inventory in bulk to avail discounts from suppliers. It means the average inventory figure can fluctuate during the accounting period. DIO is calculated using average figures of inventory, cost of goods sold , and the number of days in the accounting period.

Days Inventory Outstanding measures the number of days it takes on average before a company needs to replace its inventory. Beginning inventory is the book value of a company’s inventory at the start of an accounting period. It is also the value of inventory carried over from the end of the preceding accounting period. Inventory turnover is a financial ratio that measures a company’s efficiency in managing its stock of goods. A stock that brings in a highergross marginthan predicted can give investors an edge over competitors due to the potential surprise factor. Conversely, a low inventory ratio may suggest overstocking, market or product deficiencies, or otherwise poorly managed inventory–signs that generally do not bode well for a company’s overall productivity and performance.

Days in inventory is an important metric for understanding the health and efficiency of a business’s inventory management process. It is not, however, meaningful enough on its own to be used to draw conclusions. Rather, DII must always be considered in the broader context of your business and the challenges you face.

How Do You Interpret Days Sales of Inventory?

Liquidity ratios are a class of financial metrics used to determine a debtor’s ability to pay off current debt obligations without raising external capital. Delinquent Days Sales Outstanding is a good alternative for credit collection assessment or for use alongside DSO. Like any metric measuring a company’s performance, DSO should not be considered alone, but rather should be used with other metrics. A high DSO number suggests that a company is experiencing delays in receiving payments, which can result in a cash flow problem. NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value.

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Financial RatiosFinancial ratios are indications of a company’s financial performance. First of all, days inventory outstanding is a measurement of the company’s performance in terms of inventory management. Next, the company’s days inventory outstanding can be calculated by dividing the $20mm in inventory by the $200mm in COGS and multiplying that by 365 days – which results in 73 days. This means that it takes the company roughly ~73 days to clear out its inventory, on average. While inventory value is available on the balance sheet of the company, the COGS value can be sourced from the annual financial statement. Care should be taken to include the sum total of all the categories of inventory which includes finished goods, work in progress, raw materials, and progress payments.

DSO may vary consistently on a monthly basis, particularly if the company’s product is seasonal. If a company has a volatile DSO, this may be cause for concern, but if its DSO regularly dips during a particular season each year, it could be no reason to worry. Average DSO for companies across various industries in the third quarter of 2022. If this explanation of the DIO formula is all you need, go forth and conquer.


A high DSI can indicate that a firm is not properly managing its inventory or that it has inventory that is difficult to sell. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree from Bridgewater State University and helps develop content strategies for financial brands. A short DIO means inventory is converted to cash more quickly while a high DIO shows poor inventory liquidity.


They both begin the year with $1,000,000 of and end the year with $1,200,000 of inventory. Both companies would report an “average inventory” level of $1.1 million. Average inventory is the average value in dollars of inventory over a time period, and COGS is the cost of goods sold for that same time period.

Instead of waiting for financial statement compilations to get quarterly or annual numbers, good software will let you generate metrics in real time for any length of period you want. Note that inventory turnover, like DII, is an average, meaning the number can mask how long it takes a business to sell every last individual item in inventory. Days inventory outstanding refers to the average span of days it takes to sell all your inventory. On the other hand, if DIO increases, the days it takes to turn inventory into cash also increases. That means the condition of the company’s working capital will also deteriorate. Closing StockClosing stock or inventory is the amount that a company still has on its hand at the end of a financial period.

income statement

(Remember not to diagnose a red flag solely on DII.) DII can also be used to compare similar companies in the same industry during the same time period. DII can be useful for planning purposes, providing the averages aren’t obscuring important cyclical variation. For example, if your business is seasonal, an annual average might not be helpful. It’s also important that nothing substantial be changing about your cost structure or sales environment from the beginning of the time period covered by the data until the end of the time period for which you’re planning.

He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Structured Query Language comprises several different data types that allow it to store different types of information… By facilitating early payment, both types of solution can enable suppliers to reduce their DSO.

A quick turnover means a company can convert more inventory into sales thus maximizing its profit potential. Given the vital importance of cash flow in running a business, it is in a company’s best interest to collect its outstanding accounts receivables as quickly as possible. Companies can expect, with relative certainty, that they will be paid their outstanding receivables. But because of the time value of money principle, time spent waiting to be paid is money lost.

Conclusions can likewise be drawn by looking at how a particular company’s DIO changes over time. For example, a reduction in DIO may indicate that the company is selling inventory more rapidly in the past, whereas a higher DIO indicates that the process has slowed down. If a company has a low DIO, it is converting its inventory to sales rapidly – meaning working capital can be deployed for other purposes or used to pay down debt. If the company has a low DIO, there is also less chance that stock will become obsolete and have to be written off. However, a low DIO might also indicate that the company could struggle to meet a sudden increase in demand.