Do You Know: What is the Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC)?

Aug 08, 2022 By Susan Kelly


What is the Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC)? Cash conversion is also referred to as "the Net Operating Cycle" or the "Cash Cycle." CCC is a technique for calculating how long each net input dollar spends in the sales and production process before turning it into cash. This metric considers how long a business takes to pay its debts, collect outstanding accounts receivable, and sell its inventory. CCC is a metric for effectiveness. CCC is one of the many quantitative measures that can evaluate how well a company's management and operations are performing. Positive signs include an increase or decrease in constant CCC values over time while increasing values should be followed by an investigation and analysis based on other factors. Remember that CCC only applies to areas that depend on inventory management and related activities.

The Formula For The Cash Conversion Cycle

Cycle of Cash Conversion = DIO + DSO - DPO

Days Inventory Outstanding is abbreviated DIO, Days Sales Outstanding is abbreviated DSO, and Days Payable Outstanding is abbreviated DPO.

  • Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO), also known as Days Inventory Remaining (DIO), is a capital ratio that indicates the typical number of days a business holds inventory before making it available for sale. The longer cash is held in inventory, the greater the likelihood it will become out-of-date, and the lower the number, the longer it is held in inventory. Days sales of inventory (DSI) and days stock outstanding are other names for days inventory outstanding (DII). Along with days due in outstanding (DPO), days sale not yet sold, and special inventory days, these components make up the cash cycle (CCC) (DSO). The CCC assesses how quickly a company turns its investment in inventory into cash.
  • Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) is a measure of how long it typically takes for credit sales to become cash or for a company to settle its accounts receivable. DSO is computed by dividing the total amount of credit sales for a specific period by the total amount of accounts receivables. The number of days throughout the time is then multiplied by this. DSO may be calculated over a monthly or even quarterly period. Lower DSO results mean the company takes a little longer to collect its receivables. In contrast, a high DSO shows that receivables are paid later. Over time, problems with cash flow can arise from a high DSO. DSO is one of the three critical metrics to assess a company's cash conversion cycle.
  • Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) The number of days an average business takes to settle outstanding vendor invoices for credit-purchased goods and services. The DPO assessment typically gauges a buyer's capacity to exert pressure on suppliers and vendors to agree to favorable terms or the buyer's bargaining power (e.g., price reductions, extensions of payment dates).

How to Put It Together?

The cash flow process can be divided into three separate parts: (1) DIO, (2) DSO, and (3) DPO. The first establishes how extended a business takes to sell its goods depending on the days its inventory is outstanding. The second factor, based on the number of days a transaction is still outstanding, measures how long it takes to get the sales proceeds. The time the company must pay its suppliers is the final factor, which depends on the days the account is past due. The process by which a business purchases goods, sells them on credit, collects accounts receivable, and turns cash into is called the cash conversion cycle.

CCC Analysis

The cash conversion cycle measures the time it takes a company from its initial cash outlay to buy inventory. Within thirty days, the payment is made. The inventory is advertised to prospective consumers before being sold to a buyer on the account. Within 30 days of purchasing, the consumer purchases their inventory. The period between when a vendor pays for inventory and when the buyer pays the vendor in cash is known as the cash cycle. Similar to most financial calculations, shorter or smaller calculations typically perform better. A quick conversion time suggests that a business holds its cash in inventory for a shorter time.


The CCC is an essential metric for businesses that acquire and manage inventory because it reveals operational effectiveness and financial health. It should, however, be viewed in conjunction with other financial indicators, such as the return on equity, rather than as a stand-alone phenomenon.

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