Accounts Payable Ratios

Ratios are the most popular tool for financial analysis and meeting your short term obligations is one of the most challenging financial activities for many companies. So one good way to help manage this challenge is to use Accounts Payable Ratios.

For example, we can use a ratio to determine the time required to pay accounts payable invoices. This ratio is calculated as follows: Accounts Payables / Purchases per Day. For example, assume we have total accounts payables of $ 20,000 and our annual purchases on account total $ 400,000. Our purchases per day are $ 400,000 / 365 days in the annual reporting period or $ 1,096. The average number of days to pay accounts payable is $ 20,000 / $ 1096 or 18 days. The result of this ratio should be compared to the average terms available from creditors.

If the average number of days is close to the average credit terms, this may indicate aggressive working capital management; i.e. using spontaneous sources of financing. However, if the number of days is well beyond the average credit terms, this could indicate difficulty in making payments to creditors.

Another ratio that can be used in managing accounts payable is Sales to Accounts Payable. This ratio gives an indication of a company's ability to obtain interest free funds. For example, if we had sales of $ 600,000 and accounts payables of $ 20,000, this gives us a ratio of 30. As this ratio increases, it becomes more difficult to obtain trade credit.

matt evans photo Written by: Matt H. Evans, CPA, CMA, CFM | Email: | Phone: 1-877-807-8756

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