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Payment Cycle Time

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What is Payment Cycle Time?

Payment Cycle Time is the duration it takes to process and pay an invoice after receiving it. It’s a crucial metric for businesses, as it directly impacts cash flow and liquidity.

A shorter payment cycle benefits businesses by speeding up cash flow. On the other hand, a longer payment cycle can hinder cash flow and impede operations.

Importance of Payment Cycle Time

Understanding and optimizing the payment cycle time is essential for several reasons:

  • Managing cash flow: Shorter payment cycles ensure steady cash flow, crucial for business operations, investments, and growth. Cash flow management is a critical aspect of financial stability for any business.
  • Supplier Relationships: Prompt payments can strengthen supplier relationships, leading to potential discounts or favorable terms in the future.
  • Operational Efficiency: Efficient payment processes reduce administrative burdens and allow teams to focus on core business activities.


Importance of Payment Cycle Time

How to Calculate Payment Cycle Time?


Payment Cycle Time = Date of Payment – Date of Invoice Receipt


If an invoice is received on January 1st and is paid on January 15th, the payment cycle time would be:

Payment Cycle Time = 15 – 1 = 14 days

Difference Between Payment Cycle Time and Other Related Metrics

People often confuse Payment Cycle Time with terms like ‘Days Sales Outstanding’ (DSO) or ‘Invoice Processing Time’. Although they are related, they have different purposes. Understanding the nuances between these metrics can help businesses streamline their financial processes and improve cash flow.

  • Days Sales Outstanding (DSO): Represents the average number of days it takes a company to collect payment after a sale has been made. It’s a measure of the effectiveness of a company’s credit and collection efforts.
  • Invoice Processing Time: Refers to the time it takes to process an invoice once it’s received, before it’s approved for payment.
Metric Definition Purpose
Payment Cycle Time Time taken from receiving an invoice until the payment is made. To measure the efficiency of the accounts payable process.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) Time taken from making a sale until the money is received. To measure the effectiveness of accounts receivable collection efforts.
Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) Average time taken to pay owed invoices. To understand how long a company takes, on average, to pay its bills.
Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO) Average time taken to sell the company’s inventory. To gauge how quickly a company is moving its inventory.
Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC) DSO + DIO – DPO.
It represents the time span between outlaying cash for inventory and receiving cash for the same inventory.
To measure the efficiency of a company’s operations and short-term financial health.

How Payment Cycle Time is Used in Businesses?

Payment Cycle Time is used in various ways:

  • Benchmarking: Companies can compare their payment cycle times with industry standards or competitors to gauge their efficiency.
  • Cash Flow Forecasting: By understanding their average payment cycle time, businesses can make more accurate cash flow predictions.
  • Operational Improvements: Identifying bottlenecks in the payment process can lead to operational enhancements, such as adopting finance management software or automating certain processes.

Ready to Optimize Your Payment Cycle Time ?

KEBS, a leading PSA Software, offers tools that can significantly reduce payment cycle time:

  • Automated Invoice Processing: With KEBS, businesses can automate their invoice processing, ensuring faster approvals and payments.
  • Real-time Analytics: KEBS provides real-time reporting analytics that can help businesses identify and address delays in their payment cycles.

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Ready to optimize your Payment Cycle Time? Contact us today or request a demo to see how KEBS can transform your financial processes.

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