# Days Payable Outstanding (DPO)

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Written By
Dan Buckley
Dan Buckley is an US-based trader, consultant, and part-time writer with a background in macroeconomics and mathematical finance. He trades and writes about a variety of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, commodities, currencies, and interest rates. As a writer, his goal is to explain trading and finance concepts in levels of detail that could appeal to a range of audiences, from novice traders to those with more experienced backgrounds.
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## What is Days Payable Outstanding?

Days payable outstanding (DPO) is a measure of how many days it takes a company to pay its invoices from its suppliers.

In other words, it’s a measure of how long it takes a company to pay its bills.

DPO is important because it can give you insight into a company’s cash flow.

A high DPO means that the company is taking longer to pay its bills, which could be a sign that the company is having cash flow problems.

## How to Calculate DPO

To calculate DPO, you need to know the following three things:

• the number of days in the period being measured (this could be a month, quarter, or year), and
• the amount of accounts payable for the period being measured
• the amount of the cost of goods sold (payments made to suppliers or other entities the company owes money to)

Accounts payable is the total amount of money that the company owes to its suppliers.

Once you have these two pieces of information, you can calculate DPO using the following formula:

DPO = (Average Accounts Payable / Cost of Goods Sold) x Number of Days in Accounting Period

For example, let’s say that we want to calculate DPO for the month of January.

We know that there are 31 days in January, and we also know that the company’s accounts payable for January is \$100,000 and the COGS was \$80,000.

Using the formula above, we would calculate DPO as follows:

DPO = (\$100,000 / \$80,000) x 31 = 13.25 x 31 = 38.75 days

This means that it takes the company an average of 38.75 days to pay back its accounts payable.

## Importance of Days Payable Outstanding

DPO is important because it can give you insight into a company’s cash flow.

A high DPO means that the company is taking longer to pay its bills, which could be a sign that the company is having cash flow problems.

Conversely, a low DPO could be a sign that the company is doing a good job of managing its cash flow and paying its bills in a timely manner.

## What Does a Stretched Days Payable Outstanding Mean?

When a company stretches its payments out further and further, it could suggest cash flow issues.

For example, let’s say that a company’s DPO was 39 days in January, but in February, it increases to 50 days.

This may not necessarily mean anything on its own, as the number itself lacks context. But if it represents a pattern, it could be a sign that the company is having difficulty paying its bills on time.

A stretched DPO isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes companies intentionally stretch their payments out in order to improve their cash flow.

However, if a company is stretching its payments out further and further without any apparent reason, it could be a cause for concern.

## FAQs – Days Payable Outstanding

### What is Days Payable Outstanding?

Days payable outstanding (DPO) is a measure of how quickly a company pays its invoices from trade creditors.

DPO is calculated by dividing accounts payable by the cost of sales, multiplied by the number of days in the period being measured.

### Why is Days Payable Outstanding important?

A high DPO means that a company is taking a long time to pay its invoices, which could indicate financial distress.

A low DPO, on the other hand, could indicate that a company has excess cash and is not efficiently using its working capital.

### What are some factors that can affect Days Payable Outstanding?

There are several factors that can affect DPO, including:

• The credit terms offered by suppliers
• The company’s own policies and procedures for paying invoices
• The industry in which the company operates

### What is a good Days Payable Outstanding?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the ideal DPO will vary from company to company and from industry to industry.

However, as a general rule of thumb, a DPO of 30 days or less is generally considered to be healthy.

### What are some ways to improve Days Payable Outstanding?

There are several ways that a company can improve its DPO, including:

• Offering early payment discounts to suppliers
• Automating accounts payable processes
• Negotiating longer payment terms with suppliers

### What are the risks of having a high Days Payable Outstanding?

There are several risks associated with having a high DPO, including:

• Suppliers may be less willing to extend credit in the future
• The company may have difficulty raising capital
• The company may have to pay higher interest rates on its debt

### What are the risks of having a low Days Payable Outstanding?

There are a couple main risks associated with having a low DPO, including:

• The company may be paying before it receive the cash from customers, potentially creating a cash flow issue
• The company may be tying up too much of its working capital in accounts payable, which could limit its ability to invest in other areas

## Conclusion – Days Payable Outstanding

DPO is a measure of how many days it takes a company to pay its invoices from its suppliers. In other words, it’s a measure of how long it takes a company to pay its bills.

DPO is important because it can give you insight into a company’s cash flow.

A high DPO means that the company is taking longer to pay its bills, which could be a sign that the company is having cash flow problems. A low DPO is considered healthier than a high DPO.

It’s calculated by dividing the number of days in the period being measured by the amount of accounts payable for the period being measured.