# Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio Formula, Example, Interpretation

A ratio that increases quarter on quarter, or year on year, shows that suppliers are being paid more quickly, which could indicate a cash surplus. As such, a rising AP turnover ratio is likely to be interpreted as the business managing its cash flow effectively and is often seen as an indicator of financial strength in the company. The days payable outstanding (DPO) metric is closely related to the accounts payable turnover ratio.

After performing accounts payable turnover ratio analysis and viewing historical trend metrics, you’ll gain insights and optimize financial flexibility. Plan to pay your suppliers offering credit terms with lucrative early payment discounts first. To generate and then collect accounts receivable, your company must sell purchased inventory to customers. But set a goal of increasing sales and inventory turnover to improve cash flow to the extent possible. There is no definite answer as to whether a high or low accounts payable turnover ratio is better.

Conversely, a low accounts payable turnover is typically regarded as unfavorable, as it indicates that a business might be struggling to pay suppliers on time. One such KPI, and a common way of measuring AP performance, is the metric known as the accounts payable turnover ratio. The rules for interpreting the accounts payable turnover ratio are less straightforward.

## Limitations of AP Turnover Ratio

The ending balance might be representative of the total year, so an average is used. To find the average accounts payable, simply add the beginning and ending accounts payable together and divide by two. This ratio helps creditors analyze the liquidity of a company by gauging how easily a company can pay off its current suppliers and vendors. Companies that can pay off supplies frequently throughout the year indicate to creditor that they will be able to make regular interest and principle payments as well.

Calculating the accounts payable ratio consists of dividing a company’s total supplier credit purchases by its average accounts payable balance. Lower accounts payable turnover ratios could signal to investors and creditors that the business may not have performed as well during a given timeframe, based on comparable periods. Determine whether your cash flow management policies and financing allow your company to pursue growth opportunities when justified. Over time, your business can respond to new business opportunities and changing economic conditions.

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The cost of goods sold can be used to arrive at net purchases for a company by adjusting it using the begging and ending inventories. The figure for net credit purchases is often not very easy to discover because such information is not always available in the financial statements. The AP turnover ratio formula is relatively simple, but an explanation of how it’s used to calculate AP turnover ratio can make the metric even clearer. The 91 days represents the approximate number of days on average that a company’s invoices remain outstanding before being paid in full. The A/P turnover ratio and the DPO are often a proxy for determining the bargaining power of a specific company (i.e. their relationship with their suppliers).

## Breaking Accounts Payable Turnover into Days

Average accounts payable is found by summing the beginning and ending accounts payable figures, then divide by two. Notes payable are considered as part of accounts payable, so any time the average of the two is being computed, notes payable are always added to them. But if the figure for net purchase is missing, the total net purchase can be used instead of credit purchases assuming that for that given period, the company purchased everything on credit. Different authors have stated that the cost of goods sold can as well be used, but how?

The speed with which a business makes payments to the creditors and suppliers that have extended lines of credit and make up accounts payable is known as accounts payable turnover (AP turnover). Accounts payable turnover ratio (AP turnover ratio) is the metric that is used to measure AP turnover across a period of time, and one of several common financial ratios. While creditors will view a higher accounts payable turnover ratio positively, there are caveats. If a company has a higher ratio during an accounting period than its peers in any given industry, it could be a red flag that it is not managing cash flow as well as the industry average. If a company does not believe this is the case, finance leaders may wish to have an explanation on hand. While businesses may have strategic reasons for maintaining lower accounts payables turnover ratios than cash on hand would show is necessary, there are other variables.

## Industry Benchmarking for AP Turnover Ratio

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• Plan to pay your suppliers offering credit terms with lucrative early payment discounts first.
• The speed with which a business makes payments to the creditors and suppliers that have extended lines of credit and make up accounts payable is known as accounts payable turnover (AP turnover).
• Graphing the AP turnover ratio trend line over time will alert you to a break from your typical business pattern.

A limitation of the ratio could be when a company has a high turnover ratio, which would be considered as a positive development by creditors and investors. If the ratio is so much higher than other companies within the same industry, it could indicate that the company is not investing in its future or using its cash properly. If the AP turnover ratio is 7 instead of 5.8 from our example, then DPO drops from 63 to 52 days. A high ratio for AP turnover means that your company has adequate cash and financing to pay its bills. As with all ratios, the accounts payable turnover is specific to different industries. The average payables is used because accounts payable can vary throughout the year.

## Decreasing Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio

Similarly, they might have higher ratios because suppliers demanded payment upon delivery of goods or services. Some companies may spend more during peak seasons, and likewise may have higher influxes of cash at certain times of the year. The accounts payable turnover ratio shows investors how many times per period a company pays its accounts payable.

Have you thought about stretching accounts payable and condensing the time it takes to collect accounts receivable? If you do, you want to be sure that your business treats vendors reasonably well. Vendors will cut off your product shipments when your company takes too long to pay monthly statements or invoices. Accounts payable turnover is expressed in terms of times, and it shows how many times accounts payable are paid over a given period. Depending on the cash situation of the company, suppliers can either receive their pay faster or slow. As you can see, Bob’s average accounts payable for the year was \$506,500 (beginning plus ending divided by 2).

## What is a good accounts payable turnover ratio?

However, the company received credits for adjustments and returned inventory amounting to \$100,000. After subtracting the \$100,000 in credits from the \$1 million in gross AP, the net AP equals \$900,000. For instance, APTR of 20 means the company has managed to pay its suppliers 20 times in one year. A solid understanding of APTR is of utmost importance, and the need for it is universal for any business person who wants to prosper in dealings with the suppliers.

However, a general rule of thumb is that a higher number is better as it indicates that the company is paying its suppliers quickly. You can use the accounts payable turnover ratio calculator below to quickly calculate the number of times in a year a company able to pay its creditors/suppliers by entering the required numbers. The accounts payable turnover ratio of a company is often driven by the credit terms of its suppliers. For example, companies that obtain favorable credit terms usually report a relatively lower ratio. Large companies with bargaining power who are able to secure better credit terms would result in lower accounts payable turnover ratio (source). Accounts receivable turnover shows how quickly a company gets paid by its customers while the accounts payable turnover ratio shows how quickly the company pays its suppliers.

Accounts payable turnover shows how many times a company pays off its accounts payable during a period. Accounts payable turnover, therefore, can be used to judge the company’s financial status as well as the creditworthiness of a company. Also, we can accounts payable turnover ratio as an indicator of efficient delivery of supplier’s short term debts.