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What Is Cash Conversion Cycle: Formula, Example, Calculator

Ngoc Lee
What Is Cash Conversion Cycle: Formula, Example, Calculator
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A small business owner should monitor a variety of financial indicators in order to maintain a profitable operation. While indicators like cash flow and sales estimates are certainly front of mind for you, you might not be as vigilant in keeping an eye on your cash conversion cycle. 

In order to evaluate inventory movement, payment, and loan repayment in days, companies with inventory might benefit from using the cash conversion cycle as a helpful metric. The cash conversion cycle, how to calculate it, and some examples are discussed in more detail below. 

Understand the Cash conversion cycle
 Understand the Cash conversion cycle

What is Cash Conversion Cycle Definition?

Understanding the cash conversion cycle (CCC) is crucial for business owners. The net operating cycle is another name for the CCC. This indicator shows how long (in days) it takes a business to turn its investments in resources like inventories and other assets into cash flows generated from sales. A business owner may use this cycle to determine the typical time it takes to buy merchandise and turn it into cash.

To put it another way, it gauges how long it takes a company to acquire resources, transform them into goods or services, sell them, and then receive accounts receivable (if necessary). The CCC time is influenced by how a business funds its purchases, how it accepts payments from buyers (via credit as well as the collection period), and how long it would take to recover the money. 

The CCC is one of a number of quantitative metrics that are used to assess how effectively a company's management and operations are conducted. A quicker process from inventory to sales is indicated by a lower CCC. A slower process is indicated by a greater CCC. Generally speaking, a low CCC is preferable; however, your particular firm, sector, and skills may dictate this. 

👉 Read More: What Is Cycle Stock: Formula And Example 

Remember that CCC only applies to specific industries that depend on inventory management and associated activities. 

What Is Cash Conversion Cycle
What Is Cash Conversion Cycle

The Formula for Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC)

You must first gather the following totals in order to begin the multi-step formula for computing the CCC:

  • Days of inventory outstanding (DIO)
  • Days sales outstanding (DSO)
  • Days payable outstanding (DPO)

Each of these numbers needs to be calculated separately (we will explain in-depth in the next part), and the output of those computations serves as the foundation for computing the CCC. The number of days in which you are calculating the CCC must also be known. 

👉 Read More: What is Cycle service level: Formula and Example

For instance, 365 days would be used if you were computing it for the complete year. Simply use the number of days in the relevant time period when doing a calculation for a month or year. Once you have all of these data, you can use the cash conversion cycle formula to get the CCC: 

Cash conversion cycle formula
Cash conversion cycle formula

How to Calculate CCC

Understanding the components of the formula will make the CCC calculation less difficult for you to complete. To get the data for the computations, you'll need to go to your financial statements, such as the income statement and balance sheet. Several elements from the financial statements are required to determine CCC:

  • Income statement revenue and cost of goods sold (COGS)
  • Inventory at the start and conclusion of the time period
  • Account receivable (AR)  at the start and conclusion of the period
  • Accounts payable (AP)  at the start and conclusion of the time period
  • The number of days such as 365 days ( a year) or 90 days (a quarter)

👉 Read More: What is Goods Receipt? Process and Template

And three main components make up the cash conversion cycle formula: 

Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO) 

Days Inventory Outstanding is the first element in the calculation. This is the typical time it takes to finish manufacturing inventory and sell it. 

DIO = (Average Inventory – COGS) * 365 

Your initial inventory value plus your ending inventory value divided by two gives you your average inventory value for the time period. 

(Beginning Inventory + Finishing Inventory) / 2 The COGS = Beginning Inventory + Purchases - Ending Inventory 

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) 

DSO measures the typical number of days it takes for your accounts receivable—the money due to your company—to be collected. 

DSO = (Accounts Receivable / Net Credit Sales) * 365 

Your beginning and ending receivables are used to calculate your accounts receivable for this component. 

(Beginning Receivables + Ending Receivables) / 2 

Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) 

DPO measures the typical time it takes a firm to make a purchase from a vendor on accounts payable and make payment for it. 

DPO = Ending Accounts Payable / (Cost of Goods Sold / 365) 

In this element, accounts payable are: (Beginning Payable + Ending Payable) / 2 

The financial statements submitted by a publicly traded firm as part of the annual or quarterly reports contain all the aforementioned numbers as standard items. The equivalent time is assumed to have 365 days (a year) or 90 days for a quarter. 

What Can You Gain From the Cash Conversion Cycle?

The main strategy a company uses to increase profits is to increase inventory sales. But how can one increase sales?

What can you gain from the CCC
What can you gain from the CCC

When money is readily available on a regular basis, one may generate more sales and profits since there are more goods to produce and market. A business can purchase inventory on credit, resulting in accounts payable (AP). Additionally, a business may provide credit for its goods, which leads to accounts receivable (AR). 

As a result, cash isn't important until the business settles its accounts payable and collects its receivables. As a result, time is crucial to effective financial management. The lifespan of cash utilized for company operations is tracked by CCC. 

It tracks the cash as it is initially transformed into inventory and accounts payable, and then into costs associated with the creation of new goods or services, on to revenues and accounts receivable, and finally coming back to cash on hand. CCC essentially measures how quickly a business can turn its invested money into profit from beginning to end or from the investments to returns. The better, the smaller the CCC. 

👉 Read More: What is Direct Store Delivery (DSD)? Example and Model

The three essential components of a company are payables, sales generation, and inventory management. The company will suffer if any of these elements go wrong, including poor inventory management, sales limitations, or rising payables in terms of quantity, value, or frequency. 

Beyond the involved cash value, CCC accounts for the period spent on various activities, which offers another perspective on the business's operational efficiency. The CCC value provides insight into a company's financial performance with regard to cash management in addition to many other financial indicators by showing how well companies implement short-term assets and debts to earn and invest cash. The graph also aids in determining the risk of liquidity associated with a business' activities.

Example: How To Utilize Cash Conversion Cycle

Jim creates and markets customized wardrobes. Jim makes the decision to determine his company's CCC for 2021 in order to have a better understanding of his operations. Jim must perform a number of tasks.

Step 1: Determine DIO

Jim must first determine his DIO, or days of inventory outstanding. DIO indicates the number of days inventory is kept until it is sold, and this is used to calculate the time it takes to convert inventory into sales. Jim will need his starting and ending inventory sums for 2021 in order to compute DIO. 

He must additionally acquire the cost of the things sold during that time. Jim's COGS for the year was $98,000, with the initial inventory for 2021 being $9,800 and the ending inventory balance is $8,200. Now that he has calculated his DIO: 

  • ($9,800 + $8,200) ÷ 2 x 365 = 33.52 $98,000 

This indicates that Jim needs about 34 days to convert his goods into sales.

Step 2: Determine DSO

Determining days sales outstanding, or DSO is the second stage. DSO is a crucial statistic in and of itself since it shows how long it takes to recover accounts receivable amounts following a sale. Jim will need to find out the year total of his average accounts receivable balance and credit sales for the time period in order to calculate DSO. 

In 2021, Jim had a starting amount of $14,000 in accounts receivable and an ending balance of $10,000; both of these numbers could be found on his balance sheet. Jim's revenue statement contains information on his total credit sales for the year, which come to $205,000. When Jim has these totals, he can finish the the calculation: 

  • ($14,000 + $10,000) ÷ 2 X 365 = 21.36 $205,000 

According to this finding, Jim needs an average of 21 days to receive cash on an invoice.

Step 3: Determine DPO

Next, Jim needs to determine the days payable outstanding, or how long it takes a company to pay its suppliers, vendors, and creditors. Jim has to get his start and finish payables balances on his balance sheet as well as the period's cost of goods sold in order to compute DPO.

Jim had an accounts payable balance of $7,500 at the start of the period, and $8,100 at the conclusion. His COGS for the year totals $98,000, which is also the figure used to determine the day inventory outstanding. Jim  can determine the number of days that are still owed in this way: 

  • ($7,500 + $8,100) ÷ 2 x 365 = 29.05 $98,000

According to this finding, Jim's business pays its invoices in an average time of 29 days.

Step 4: Determine CCC

The CCC is calculated as the last step. To do this, add the DIO and DSO together and subtract the DPO. 33.52 + 21.36 - 29.05 = 25.83 So, the CCC is 25.83, which indicates that it takes about 26 days for the company to convert its inventory into cash.

Examples: Cash Conversion Cycle Using Excel Template

Before going into each example, don’t forget to download our pre-made template here. We have some particulars from Company AB shown in the table below: 

CCC available data
CCC available data

To calculate CCC, we need first to determine the average stock, COGS, DIO, DSO, and DPO. The calculations (in detail) with the results are shown in the following images: 

Calculate average stock
Calculate average stock
Calculate COGS
Calculate COGS
Calculate DIO
Calculate DIO
Calculate DSO
Calculate DSO
Calculate DPO
Calculate DPO

 OK, now we put all the results here:

  • DIO = 16
  • DSO = 5
  • DPO = 7

Then, CCC = (16 + 5 - 7) =14 days

Calculate CCC
Calculate CCC

In our template, we also give you other two examples that will be helpful for you.

Explaining the Cash Conversion Cycle

The CCC calculation measures the effectiveness with which a business manages its working capital. The quicker the cash conversion cycle, the greater the business sells inventories and recovers cash from sales whilst paying vendors, as with all cash flows. The cash conversion cycle has to be trended and compared to businesses in the same sector. 

One way to determine if a company's working capital management is worsening or improving is to compare its conversion cycle to cycles from prior years. It can also be determined whether a firm's cash conversion cycle is "normal" compared to rivals in the same industry by comparing the cycle of the company to that of its competitors.

What Does CCC Measure?

The CCC is one of several metrics for gauging managerial performance. It gauges how quickly a business can turn over cash on hand into additional cash on hand. The CCC does this by charting the transformation of cash, or capital investment, into inventory and accounts payable (AP), to sales and accounts receivable (AR), and finally back into cash. Typically, the firm will benefit more from a CCC with a lower number.


After all, the management must regard the Cash Conversion Cycle to be a crucial factor in determining the future plan for business and must monitor it regularly. Hope you have a good time with Efex.

Ngoc LeeNgoc Lee is an Content Creator Manager at EFEX. She wields her long-term expertise in Logistics and Supply Chain, harnessing her top-notch writing and research skills to bring incredibly valuable content. Whether you're a small startup or a well-established enterprise, Ngoc Lee is here to equip you with the essential knowledge of e-commerce, fulfillment, and all things business-related.