Debtors Turnover Ratio: Formula, Importance and Benefits

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How do you estimate a company’s health before choosing to invest in its stocks? How about we say that there is a way to quantify the overall company’s effectiveness? A tool to estimate its ability to manage its line of credit process. Debtors’ turnover ratio, also known as accounts receivables turnover ratio or efficiency ratio, is your kin.

Let us understand the concept of the Debtors Turnover Ratio and how it is beneficial for you.

What is the Debtor Turnover Ratio?

Debtors turnover ratio, also known as accounts receivable turnover ratio, is an efficiency ratio. It quantifies a company’s effectiveness in collecting outstanding balances from clients.

How is it helpful?

  • The debtors Turnover ratio helps a company to manage its line of credit process.
  • It tells us how fast a company gets its money back from customers who bought stuff on credit.

If the ratio is high, it means the company is good at collecting money from its customers quickly. 

But if the ratio is low, it might mean the company’s debtors are taking a long time to pay up. 

So, a higher ratio is usually a good sign for investors because it shows the company is managing its money well.

What is the Debtor’s Ratio Formula?

The debtors turnover ratio formula helps assess how well a company collects debts owed to it.You can calculate the debtors ratio by dividing the total credit sales by the average accounts receivable balance during a specific time.

Here’s what each part of the debtors’ turnover formula means:

  • Net Credit Sales: This is the total amount of sales made on credit after subtracting any sales returns.
  • Average Accounts Receivable: It represents the balance of accounts receivable during a specific period, calculated as the average of the opening and closing balances.

Let us understand the calculation with the help of an example of debtor turnover ratio:

Debtors Turnover Ratio Example

Let’s consider Company XYZ with the following financial details for the year:

  • Net credit sales amounting to ₹10,00,000.
  • ₹1,20,000 in accounts receivable at the beginning of the year.
  • ₹1,50,000 in accounts receivable at the end of the year.

We’ll calculate the Receivables Turnover Ratio (RTR) using these figures:

  • Average Accounts Receivable (ACR) = (₹1,20,000 + ₹1,50,000) / 2 = ₹1,35,000
  • Receivables Turnover Ratio (RTR) = ₹10,00,000 / ₹1,35,000 ≈ 7.41

This means that, on average, Company XYZ collected its accounts receivable about 7.41 times during the year.

In simpler terms, the company converted its receivables into cash approximately 7.41 times over the year.

Company XYZ can compare this ratio with previous years to track collection efficiency.

How to Determine the Average Turnover Ratio in Days?

If the company has a debtors turnover ratio of 7.41 and the period is 365 days, the debtor turnover days will be 365 / 7.41, which equals approximately 49.24 days.

Let us see how!

Average Collection Period = 365 days / 7.41 ≈ 49.24 days

Therefore, on average, it takes Company XYZ about 49 days to collect its receivables.

If the company expects payments within 30 days, this indicates that, on average, customers are paying about 19 days late.

Debtor Turnover Ratio: Interpretation

It gives a look at a company’s credit efficiency and customer creditworthiness.

1. Manufacturing vs. Retail:

  • Manufacturing Industry
    Companies often use credit for large orders. A moderately high turnover ratio is typical, showing efficient credit management.
  • Retail Industry
    Retailers have frequent transactions with shorter credit cycles. Thus, they usually have higher turnover ratios.

2. Service Industry:

  • Due to the nature of services, service-based businesses have shorter credit periods. A high turnover ratio indicates timely collections.

3. Technology and Software:

  • Companies in this sector have shorter credit periods due to rapid innovation. They typically have high turnover ratios.

Interpretation of Debtors Turnover Ratio

1. Credit Policy Assessment:

  • A high ratio may mean a strict credit policy with quick payment terms, reducing bad debt risks.
  • A low ratio might suggest a lenient credit policy, potentially leading to higher bad debts.

2. Liquidity and Cash Flow:

  • High turnover ratios indicate better liquidity and cash flow.

3. Comparison with Industry Peers:

  • Comparing the ratio with industry benchmarks helps assess a company’s competitiveness in credit and collection management.

You may also want to know the What is the Cash Ratio

What are the Potential Benefits of Using the Debtors Turnover Ratio?

The debtors turnover ratio is an important measure of how efficiently a company collects its credit sales from its customers.

It indicates the number of times the average debtors are converted into cash during a year. 

•  It helps to evaluate the credit policy and the collection efficiency of a company.

A high ratio indicates that the company has a short collection period, a low proportion of bad debts, and a conservative credit policy.

A low ratio indicates that the company has a long collection period. This means a high proportion of doubtful debts and a liberal credit policy. 

•  It helps to assess the liquidity and cash flow of a company.

A high ratio implies that the company has a faster conversion of receivables into cash. This improves its liquidity and cash flow position.

A low ratio implies that the company has a slower conversion of receivables into cash. This reduces its liquidity and cash flow availability. 

•  It helps to compare the performance of a company with its competitors and industry standards.

A high ratio relative to the industry average suggests that the company has a competitive edge in terms of credit and collection management.

A low ratio suggests that the company is lagging behind its peers in terms of credit and collection efficiency. 

Significance of Debtors Turnover Ratio For Business

  1. Capital Investments:

The Debtors Turnover Ratio (DTR) indicates how efficiently a company collects outstanding accounts receivable. 

A higher ratio suggests quicker conversion of credit sales into cash, reflecting strong cash flow. 

2. Insights into Competitive Positioning

Comparing the Debtors Turnover Ratio with industry benchmarks helps evaluate a company’s competitive standing in credit and collection efficiency. 

Limitations of the Debtors’ Turnover Ratio

  • Ignores Quality of Debtors: Does not consider the credit quality of customers, potentially masking risks associated with overdue accounts.
  • Variation in Industry Norms: Industry-specific differences in credit terms and collection cycles can affect comparability across sectors.
  • Influence of Seasonality: Fluctuations in sales volume throughout the year can distort the ratio’s accuracy.
  • Excludes Cash Sales: It does not account for cash transactions, limiting its scope to credit sales only.
  • Limited Context: To comprehensively analyze a company’s credit management efficiency, you must use the debtor turnover ratio along with other financial metrics.


The debtors’ turnover ratio is an important indicator of a company’s financial health and efficiency. However, it should not be used alone. Debtors’ turnover ratio may not reflect the quality and profitability of credit sales. You must use it in conjunction with other ratios, such as the average collection period, the net profit margin, and the return on assets, to get a comprehensive picture of a company’s performance.

FAQs| Debtors Turnover Ratio

What is a good creditor turnover ratio?

A good creditors’ turnover ratio indicates that the company is able to pay its suppliers on time and manage its cash flow effectively

What is the meaning of the Debtors Turnover Ratio?

The debtors turnover ratio is the number of times that a company collects its average receivables from customers in a given period. It measures the efficiency and liquidity of the company’s credit sales.

What Is a Good Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio?

A good debtors turnover ratio indicates that the company is efficient in collecting its receivables from customers. Bigger companies might give longer credit periods. Generally, a higher ratio is better. Companies should aim for at least 1.0 to ensure they collect all their average accounts receivable at least once in a period.


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