Course Outline
Join PRO

What is the average collection period?

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of Average Collection Period

The average collection period is the average number of days between 1) the dates that credit sales were made, and 2) the dates that the money was received/collected from the customers. The average collection period is also referred to as the days’ sales in accounts receivable.

Formula for Calculating the Average Collection Period

One formula for calculating the average collection period is: 365 days in a year divided by the accounts receivable turnover ratio.

An alternate formula for calculating the average collection period is: the average accounts receivable balance divided by the average credit sales per day.

Example of Average Collection Period

Assume that a company had on average $40,000 of accounts receivable during the most recent year. During that year the company had credit sales of $400,000.

One calculation of the average collection period is to first determine the accounts receivable turnover ratio, which is $400,0000 divided by $40,000 = 10 times per year. Since there were 365 days during the recent year, the average collection period is 365 days divided by the turnover ratio of 10 = 36.5 days.

Using the alternate formula we first determine the average credit sales per day, which is the $400,000 of credit sales divided by 365 days = $1,096. Next, the average accounts receivable balance of $40,000 is divided by the average credit sales per day of $1,096, which also results in 36.5 days.

The monitoring of the average collection period is one way to track a company’s ability to collect its accounts receivable.

Join PRO to Track Progress
Must-Watch Video

Advance Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Career

  • Perform better at your job
  • Get hired for a new position
  • Understand your small business
  • Pass your accounting class
Watch the Video

Join PRO or PRO Plus and Get Lifetime Access to Our Premium Materials

Read all 2,645 reviews



PRO Plus

Lifetime Access (One-Time Fee)
Word Scrambles
Bookkeeping Video Training
Financial Statements Video Training
Visual Tutorials
Quick Tests
Quick Tests with Coaching
Cheat Sheets
Business Forms
All PDF Files
Progress Tracking
Earn Badges and Points
Certificate - Debits and Credits
Certificate - Adjusting Entries
Certificate - Financial Statements
Certificate - Balance Sheet
Certificate - Income Statement
Certificate - Cash Flow Statement
Certificate - Working Capital
Certificate - Financial Ratios
Certificate - Bank Reconciliation
Certificate - Payroll Accounting

About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on

Learn More About Harold

Certificates of

Certificates of Achievement

We now offer 10 Certificates of Achievement for Introductory Accounting and Bookkeeping:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Adjusting Entries
  • Financial Statements
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital and Liquidity
  • Financial Ratios
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll Accounting
Badges and Points
  • Work towards and earn 30 badges
  • Earn points as you work towards completing our course
View PRO Plus Features
Course Outline
Take the Tour Join Pro Upgrade to Pro Plus