Accounts Payable Turnover: Definition, Ratio & More

As such, the optimum position is one in which an organization pays off its accounts payable in a timely manner, without compromising its ability to invest and reinvest. Learning how to calculate your accounts payable turnover ratio is also important, but the metric is useless if you don’t know how to interpret the results. Understanding the dynamics between AP and AR Turnover Ratios can offer invaluable insights into a company’s overall cash management strategy. By effectively managing these two aspects, businesses can optimize cash flow, enhance liquidity, and build stronger relationships with both suppliers and customers. Accounts payable turnover is the rate at which a company pays off its short-term debt to suppliers during a specified period. In other words, it shows the number of times a company pays off its accounts payable within a certain period.

  • Each approach comes with pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh all the factors before making a decision.
  • Achieving a high AP turnover ratio is possible, and a company can work with a reputable payment processing company like Corcentric to get its ratio where it wants it to be.
  • Average payment period is a useful metric derived from the payable turnover ratio, helping businesses understand the average number of days their payables remain unpaid.
  • Review billings and collections dashboards side-by-side to get better insights into cash inflow and outflow to improve efficiency.
  • Keep track of whether the accounts payable turnover ratio is increasing or decreasing over time for valuable insight into how the business is doing financially.
  • In that case, a business may take longer to pay off bills while it uses funds to benefit the business.

If your AP turnover is too low or too high, you need a ratio analysis to identify what’s causing your AP turnover ratio to fall outside typical SaaS benchmarks. You also need quick access to your most important metrics without taking valuable time entering them manually into Excel from different source systems and financial statements. To demonstrate the turnover ratio formula, imagine a company’s total net credit purchases amounted to $400,000 for a certain period.

Ways To Improve Your Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio

Though sometimes overlooked, accounts payable turnover ratio is one of the metrics that sheds light on this aspect. It operates behind the scenes, quietly disclosing how quickly a business can settle its short-term debts within a given period. To both astute business operators and informed investors, this ratio acts as a financial GPS, charting a course through the intricacies of a company’s cash management techniques. The accounts payable turnover ratio shows investors how many times per period a company pays its accounts payable. 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.

Some businesses pay creditors too fast, leaving them with insufficient funds to cover other bills, while others unnecessarily miss payments and damage relationships with suppliers. It shows how well a company can pay off its accounts payable by comparing net credit purchases to the average accounts payable. By analyzing the accounts payable turnover and average payment period, businesses can gain actionable insights into their financial strategy. They can identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to enhance their accounts payable turnover, thereby optimizing their cash flow and overall financial performance. This higher ratio can lead to more favorable credit terms, such as extended payment periods or discounts on purchases.

Importance of Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio

When you purchase something from a vendor with the agreement to pay for the purchase later, you make an entry into your accounting system debiting an expense and crediting accounts payable. Yes, a higher AP turnover is better because it shows a business is bringing in enough revenues to be able to pay off its short-term obligations. This is an indicator of a healthy business and it gives a business leverage to negotiate with suppliers for better rates. Working to bring the ratio down substantially could stabilize cash flow and help prevent work delays. Whether you want to make your ratio higher or lower will depend on the size of your business and your overall goals.


It offers valuable insights into a company’s short-term liquidity and creditworthiness. The accounts payable turnover ratio is an accounting liquidity measure that evaluates how quickly a company pays its creditors (suppliers). The ratio shows how often a company pays its average accounts payable in a given period (typically 1 year). An accounts payable turnover ratio measures the number of times a company pays its suppliers during a given fiscal period. The ratio is a measure of short-term liquidity, with a higher payable turnover ratio being more favorable.

Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio: What It Is, How To Calculate and Improve It

Therefore, industry-specific benchmarks serve as a useful reference point for evaluating a company’s performance. A ratio that is significantly higher than the industry average suggests efficient cash flow management, and serves as a positive signal to creditors. Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR) are both critical aspects of a company’s working capital management, but they serve distinct roles and have unique implications for cash flow and financial health. Understanding the differences between AP Turnover and AR Turnover Ratios can provide a more nuanced perspective on a company’s operational efficiency and financial stability.

Luckily, there are software and services that can help identify any issues with cash flow management and streamline payments. When determining total supplier purchases for the AP turnover ratio formula, some companies only include the purchases that impact the cost of goods sold (COGS). This is generally not recommended as it will result in an incorrect and very high accounts payable turnover ratio. When you’re looking at your organization’s AP turnover ratio, it can be helpful to take a strategic view. Once you know what your goal is, you can put together a plan to optimize the accounts payable turnover ratio to help achieve that goal. Each approach comes with pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh all the factors before making a decision.

What a Low AP Turnover Ratio Means

We’re transforming accounting by automating Accounts Payable and B2B Payments for mid-sized companies. As a measure of short-term liquidity, the AP turnover ratio can be used as a barometer of a company’s financial condition. AP turnover ratio and days payable outstanding both measure how quickly bills are paid but using different units of measurement. While measuring this metric once won’t tell you much about your business, measuring it consistently over a period of time can help to pinpoint a decline in payment promptness.

Analyzing Accounts Payable Turnover

This allows companies to identify any seasonal variations or trends in their payment cycle. It also helps in tracking the effectiveness of strategies implemented to improve the ratio over time. Additionally, the accounts payable turnover in days can be calculated from the ratio by dividing 365 days by the payable turnover ratio. Just as accounts receivable turnover ratios can be used to assess a company’s incoming cash situation, this figure can show how a company handles its outgoing payments.

By understanding the various components that contribute to the ratio, companies can make informed decisions and ensure efficient management of their accounts payable. By monitoring the average payment period, businesses can identify potential cash flow bottlenecks or delays in payment. For instance, if the average payment period is longer than desired, businesses can work with their suppliers to adjust payment terms, allowing for more efficient use of cash and improved accounts payable turnover. Companies sometimes measure the accounts payable turnover ratio by only using the cost of goods sold in the numerator.