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Average age of accounts receivable

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Definition of Average age of accounts receivable

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Average age of accounts receivable

The weighted-average age of all of the firm's outstanding invoices.

Related Terms:

Absolute Advantage

The ability to produce a good or service with fewer resources than competitors. See also comparative advantage.

Abusive Earnings Management

The use of various forms of gimmickry to distort a company's true financial performance in order to achieve a desired result.

Abusive Earnings Management

A characterization used by the Securities and Exchange
Commission to designate earnings management that results in an intentional and material misrepresentation
of results.


‘Buckets’ within the ledger, part of the accounting system. Each account contains similar transactions (line items) that are used for the production of financial statements. Or commonly used as an abbreviation for financial statements.

Accounts payable

Money owed to suppliers.


Amounts a company owes to creditors.

Accounts payable

Amounts owed by the company for goods and services that have been received, but have not yet been paid for. Usually accounts payable involves the receipt of an invoice from the company providing the services or goods.

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accounts payable

Short-term, non-interest-bearing liabilities of a business
that arise in the course of its activities and operations from purchases on
credit. A business buys many things on credit, whereby the purchase
cost of goods and services are not paid for immediately. This liability
account records the amounts owed for credit purchases that will be paid
in the short run, which generally means about one month.

Accounts payable

Acurrent liability on the balance sheet, representing short-term obligations
to pay suppliers.

Accounts Payable

Amounts due to vendors for purchases on open account, that is, not evidenced
by a signed note.

Accounts Payable Days (A/P Days)

The number of days it would take to pay the ending balance
in accounts payable at the average rate of cost of goods sold per day. Calculated by dividing
accounts payable by cost of goods sold per day, which is cost of goods sold divided by 365.

Accounts receivable

Money owed by customers.


Amounts owed to a company by customers that it sold to on credit. Total accounts receivable are usually reduced by an allowance for doubtful accounts.

Accounts receivable

Amounts owed to the company, generally for sales that it has made.

accounts receivable

Short-term, non-interest-bearing debts owed to a
business by its customers who bought goods and services from the business
on credit. Generally, these debts should be collected within a month
or so. In a balance sheet, this asset is listed immediately after cash.
(Actually the amount of short-term marketable investments, if the business
has any, is listed after cash and before accounts receivable.)
accounts receivable are viewed as a near-cash type of asset that will be
turned into cash in the short run. A business may not collect all of its
accounts receivable. See also bad debts.

Accounts receivable

A current asset on the balance sheet, representing short-term
amounts due from customers who have purchased on account.

Accounts Receivable

Amounts due from customers for sales on open account, not evidenced
by a signed note.

Accounts Receivable

Money owed to a business for merchandise or services sold on open account.

Accounts Receivable Days (A/R Days)

The number of days it would take to collect the ending
balance in accounts receivable at the year's average rate of revenue per day. Calculated as
accounts receivable divided by revenue per day (revenue divided by 365).

Accounts receivable turnover

The ratio of net credit sales to average accounts receivable, a measure of how
quickly customers pay their bills.

accounts receivable turnover ratio

A ratio computed by dividing annual
sales revenue by the year-end balance of accounts receivable. Technically
speaking, to calculate this ratio the amount of annual credit sales should
be divided by the average accounts receivable balance, but this information
is not readily available from external financial statements. For
reporting internally to managers, this ratio should be refined and finetuned
to be as accurate as possible.

activity-based management (ABM)

a discipline that focuses on the activities incurred during the production/performance process as the way to improve the value received
by a customer and the resulting profit achieved by providing
this value


Federal agency securities.


A grouping of sales producers according to region. Compare with Branch.

Agency bank

A form of organization commonly used by foreign banks to enter the U.S. market. An agency
bank cannot accept deposits or extend loans in its own name; it acts as agent for the parent bank.

Agency basis

A means of compensating the broker of a program trade solely on the basis of commission
established through bids submitted by various brokerage firms. agency incentive arrangement. A means of
compensating the broker of a program trade using benchmark prices for issues to be traded in determining
commissions or fees.

Agency cost view

The argument that specifies that the various agency costs create a complex environment in
which total agency costs are at a minimum with some, but less than 100%, debt financing.

Agency costs

The incremental costs of having an agent make decisions for a principal.

Agency pass-throughs

Mortgage pass-through securities whose principal and interest payments are
guaranteed by government agencies, such as the Government National Mortgage Association ("Ginnie Mae"), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac") and Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae").

Agency problem

Conflicts of interest among stockholders, bondholders, and managers.

agency problems

Conflicts of interest between the firm’s owners and managers.

Agency theory

The analysis of principal-agent relationships, wherein one person, an agent, acts on behalf of
anther person, a principal.


The decision-maker in a principal-agent relationship.


One who represents Canada Life when providing services to clients

Allowance for doubtful accounts

A contra account related to accounts receivable that represents the amounts that the company expects will not be collected.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

An estimate of the uncollectible portion of accounts receivable
that is subtracted from the gross amount of accounts receivable to arrive at the estimated collectible

Alternative mortgage instruments

Variations of mortgage instruments such as adjustable-rate and variablerate
mortgages, graduated-payment mortgages, reverse-annuity mortgages, and several seldom-used

Annual percentage rate (APR)

The periodic rate times the number of periods in a year. For example, a 5%
quarterly return has an APR of 20%.

annual percentage rate (APR)

Interest rate that is annualized using simple interest.

Annual percentage yield (APY)

The effective, or true, annual rate of return. The APY is the rate actually
earned or paid in one year, taking into account the affect of compounding. The APY is calculated by taking
one plus the periodic rate and raising it to the number of periods in a year. For example, a 1% per month rate
has an APY of 12.68% (1.01^12).


The simultaneous buying and selling of a security at two different prices in two different markets,
resulting in profits without risk. Perfectly efficient markets present no arbitrage opportunities. Perfectly
efficient markets seldom exist.


The purchase of securities on one market for immediate resale on
another market in order to profit from a price or currency discrepancy.


Transactions designed to make a sure profit from inconsistent prices.

Arbitrage-free option-pricing models

Yield curve option-pricing models.

Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT)

An alternative model to the capital asset pricing model developed by
Stephen Ross and based purely on arbitrage arguments.


People who search for and exploit arbitrage opportunities.

Arithmetic average (mean) rate of return

Arithmetic mean return.

Asset Coverage

Extent to which a company's net assets cover a particular debt obligation, class of preferred stock, or equity position.

Asset-coverage test

A bond indenture restriction that permits additional borrowing on if the ratio of assets to
debt does not fall below a specified minimum.

Asset/liability management

Also called surplus management, the task of managing funds of a financial
institution to accomplish the two goals of a financial institution:
1) to earn an adequate return on funds invested, and
2) to maintain a comfortable surplus of assets beyond liabilities.

Automated storage/retrieval system

A racking system using automated systems
to load and unload the racks.


An arithmetic mean of selected stocks intended to represent the behavior of the market or some
component of it. One good example is the widely quoted Dow Jones Industrial average, which adds the
current prices of the 30 DJIA's stocks, and divides the results by a predetermined number, the divisor.

Average accounting return

The average project earnings after taxes and depreciation divided by the average
book value of the investment during its life.

Average (across-day) measures

An estimation of price that uses the average or representative price of a
large number of trades.

Average Amortization Period

The average useful life of a company's collective amortizable asset base.

Average Collection Period

average number of days necessary to receive cash for the sale of
a company's products. It is calculated by dividing the value of the
accounts receivable by the average daily sales for the period.

Average collection period, or days' receivables

The ratio of accounts receivables to sales, or the total
amount of credit extended per dollar of daily sales (average AR/sales * 365).

Average-Cost Inventory Method

The inventory cost-flow assumption that assigns the average
cost of beginning inventory and inventory purchases during a period to cost of goods sold and
ending inventory.

Average cost of capital

A firm's required payout to the bondholders and to the stockholders expressed as a
percentage of capital contributed to the firm. average cost of capital is computed by dividing the total
required cost of capital by the total amount of contributed capital.

Average inventory

The beginning inventory for a period, plus the amount at the end of
the period, divided by two. It is most commonly used in situations in which just
using the period-end inventory yields highly variable results, due to constant and
large changes in the inventory level.

Average life

Also referred to as the weighted-average life (WAL). The average number of years that each
dollar of unpaid principal due on the mortgage remains outstanding. average life is computed as the weighted average time to the receipt of all future cash flows, using as the weights the dollar amounts of the principal

Average maturity

The average time to maturity of securities held by a mutual fund. Changes in interest rates
have greater impact on funds with longer average life.

Average Propensity to Consume

Ratio of consumption to disposable income. See also marginal propensity to consume.

Average Propensity to Save

Ratio of saving to disposable income. See also marginal propensity to save.

Average rate of return (ARR)

The ratio of the average cash inflow to the amount invested.

Average tax rate

Taxes as a fraction of income; total taxes divided by total taxable income.

average tax rate

Total taxes owed divided by total income.

Balance of Payments Accounts

A statement of a country's transactions with other countries.

Benefit Wage Ratio Method

The proportion of total taxable wages for laid off
employees during the measurement period divided by the total payroll during
the period. This calculation is used by states to determine the unemployment
contribution rate to charge employers.

Bottom-up equity management style

A management style that de-emphasizes the significance of economic
and market cycles, focusing instead on the analysis of individual stocks.

Canadian agencies

agency banks established by Canadian banks in the U.S.

Captive Agent

A licensed insurance agent who sells insurance for only one company.

Cash flow coverage ratio

The number of times that financial obligations (for interest, principal payments,
preferred stock dividends, and rental payments) are covered by earnings before interest, taxes, rental
payments, and depreciation.

Cash management bill

Very short maturity bills that the Treasury occasionally sells because its cash
balances are down and it needs money for a few days.

Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

a professional designation in the area of management accounting that
recognizes the successful completion of an examination,
acceptable work experience, and continuing education requirements

Chart of accounts

A listing of all accounts used in the general ledger, usually sorted in
order of account number.

Closed-end mortgage

Mortgage against which no additional debt may be issued.

Collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO)

A security backed by a pool of pass-throughs , structured so that
there are several classes of bondholders with varying maturities, called tranches. The principal payments from
the underlying pool of pass-through securities are used to retire the bonds on a priority basis as specified in
the prospectus.
Related: mortgage pass-through security

Commercial Mortgage

A loan made on real estate collateral, other than a residential property, in which a mortgage is given to secure payment of principal and interest.

Comparative Advantage

A country has a comparative advantage over another country in the production of good A if to produce a unit of A it forgoes more of the production of good B than would the other country when it produces a unit of good A. Its efficiency in the production of good A relative to its efficiency in the production of good B is greater than is the case for the other country. See also absolute advantage.

Competitive Advantage

The strategies, skills, knowledge, resources or competencies that differentiate a business from its competitors.

Conventional mortgage

A loan based on the credit of the borrower and on the collateral for the mortgage.

Corporate financial management

The application of financial principals within a corporation to create and
maintain value through decision making and proper resource management.

cost management system (CMS)

a set of formal methods
developed for planning and controlling an organization’s
cost-generating activities relative to its goals and objectives
cost object anything to which costs attach or are related

Coverage ratios

Ratios used to test the adequacy of cash flows generated through earnings for purposes of
meeting debt and lease obligations, including the interest coverage ratio and the fixed charge coverage ratio.

Covered interest arbitrage

A portfolio manager invests dollars in an instrument denominated in a foreign
currency and hedges his resulting foreign exchange risk by selling the proceeds of the investment forward for

Currency arbitrage

Taking advantage of divergences in exchange rates in different money markets by
buying a currency in one market and selling it in another market.

Days in receivables

average collection period.

Debt leverage

The amplification of the return earned on equity when an investment or firm is financed
partially with borrowed money.

Debt-service coverage ratio

Earnings before interest and income taxes plus one-third rental charges, divided
by interest expense plus one-third rental charges plus the quantity of principal repayments divided by one
minus the tax rate.

degree of operating leverage

a factor that indicates how a percentage change in sales, from the existing or current
level, will affect company profits; it is calculated as contribution
margin divided by net income; it is equal to (1 - margin of safety percentage)

degree of operating leverage (DOL)

Percentage change in profits given a 1 percent change in sales.

Demand Management Policy

Fiscal or monetary policy designed to influence aggregate demand for goods and services.

Discounting of Accounts Receivable

Short-term financing in which accounts receivable are used as collateral to secure a loan. The lender does not buy the accounts receivable but simply uses them as collateral for the loan. Also called pledging of accounts receivable.

Discouraged Worker

An unemployed person who gives up looking for work and so is no longer counted as in the labor force.

Dow Jones industrial average

This is the best known U.S.index of stocks. It contains 30 stocks that trade on
the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow, as it is called, is a barometer of how shares of the largest
U.S.companies are performing. There are thousands of investment indexes around the world for stocks,
bonds, currencies and commodities.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

Index of the investment performance of a portfolio of 30 “blue-chip” stocks.

Earnings Management

The active manipulation of earnings toward a predetermined target.
That target may be one set by management, a forecast made by analysts, or an amount that is consistent
with a smoother, more sustainable earnings stream. Often, although not always, earnings
management entails taking steps to reduce and “store” profits during good years for use during
slower years. This more limited form of earnings management is known as income smoothing.

Efficiency Wage

Wage that maximizes profits.







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