Definition of Efficiency Ratio, Types and Examples

By | January 7, 2022

This article will be a guide to the efficiency ratio formula. In this article we discuss formulas for calculating efficiency ratios along with practical examples.

Understanding What Efficiency Ratio Is

Efficiency Ratio or efficiency ratio is a measure of how well the company manages its routine affairs.

Conceptually, this ratio analyzes how well the company uses its assets & how well it manages its liabilities.

So the efficiency ratio is a measure of how effectively a company manages its assets and liabilities and includes formulas such as asset turnover, inventory turnover, accounts receivable turnover, and payable turnover.

Let’s take a closer look at each efficiency ratio to get a better idea:

Type of Efficiency Ratio

1. Accounts Receivable Turnover

This ratio measures how quickly a company collects invoices from its customers.

This ratio is an indicator of how efficient a company’s credit policy is & shows the level of investment in receivables needed to maintain the company’s sales level. Accounts receivable turnover formula is:


Accounts Receivable Turnover = Revenue/Average Accounts Receivable


Higher accounts receivable turnover is better for any company. If for any company accounts receivable turnover is too low.

This ratio indicates that the company has difficulty in collecting from its customers or is too generous with lending.

Average Number of Days Receivable Extraordinary

We can go one step further and calculate the average number of days receivable outstanding. The formula is:

Average Days Receivable Payable = 365/Receivable Turnover

The results will show the average number of days a company collects its invoices.

Read also Understanding Debits and Credits in Accounting .

2. Inventory Turnover

The inventory turnover ratio measures how efficiently a company manages its inventory. The inventory turnover formula is:


Inventory Turnover = Cost of Goods Sold /Average Inventory


A lower inventory turnover ratio indicates that the company is not managing its inventory properly.

Maybe it’s overstocked or maybe there’s a problem with sales.

A higher inventory turnover ratio is always better because it indicates that inventory does not stay on the shelves but is changing rapidly.

Average Number of Days Inventory in Stock

Then we can calculate the average number of days of inventory in stock as follows:

Average Number of Days Inventory in Stock = 365/Inventory Turnover

The results will show the average number of days the company’s inventory is held until it is sold.

3. Accounts Payable Turnover

Although accounts payable are liabilities rather than assets, the trend is important because they are an important source of finance for operating activities, thereby affecting operating efficiency.

This ratio is important because it measures how the company manages its own bills. Accounts payable turnover formula is:


Accounts Payable Turnover = Total Purchases/Average Accounts Payable


A high debt turnover ratio indicates that the company does not manage its bills well, may not get favorable credit terms from its suppliers.

Lower debt turnover is better. Learn more here How to Manage Debt? .

Average Number of Days Outstanding Debt

We can then calculate the average number of days payable as follows:

Average Number of Days Payable Extraordinary = 365/Accounts Payable Turnover

The result will show the average number of days the company pays its suppliers.

Read also Understanding What is Short-Term Debt? .

Working Capital Turnover

The working capital turnover ratio   reflects the amount of operating capital required to maintain a certain level of sales.

Only operating assets & liabilities should be used to calculate this ratio. The working capital ratio formula is:


Working Capital Turnover = Sales/Average Working Capital

Note – Working Capital = Current Assets -Current Liabilities


Higher working capital turnover ratio is always better. Higher working capital indicates that the company uses its working capital very efficiently.

The low working capital ratio is an indicator that the company is not operating optimally.

Also read Capital Markets: Definition, Types and Examples .

4. Fixed Asset Turnover (Working Capital Turnover)

Fixed assets measure the turnover ratio of the company’s long-term capital investment efficiency. It reflects the level of sales generated by investments in productive capacity . The fixed asset turnover formula is:


Fixed Asset Turnover = Average Sales/Fixed Assets


Interpreting the fixed asset turnover ratio is tricky. This is because this ratio is affected by many circumstances such as company life cycle, product life cycle, initial plant capacity & relative sales. Also, there are factors such as valuation of assets (  accounting  of  depreciation  ), while the purchase of company assets, etc. which affect this ratio. So all in all, the higher the total asset turnover, the better.

5. Total Assets Turnover (Fixed Assets Turnover)

This ratio provides a measure of overall investment efficiency by summing the combined impact of short-term and long-term assets. The ratio can be calculated as follows:


Total Asset Turnover = Sales/Average Total Assets


Like the fixed asset turnover ratio, the total asset turnover ratio is also affected by similar factors.

All things being equal, higher asset turnover is better because it shows how effectively all funds (Assets = Capital + Liabilities) of the company are being used. It is a holistic measure of company equity.

Also read What is Diversification In Investment And Asset Class .

Example of Efficiency Ratio


The following table represents a summary of Cisco Systems’ finances:

SPECIAL2008 (In MILLION Rupiah)2007 (In MILLION Rupiah)
Net sales39,54034,922
Cost of goods sold14.05612,586
Accounts receivable3.8213.989
Accounts Receivable Average(3.821+3.989)/2=3.905
Accounts payable869786
Average Accounts Payable(869+786)/2=827.50
Smooth Obligations (A)13,85813,358
Current Assets (B)35,69931,574
Working Capital (B)-(A)35,699-13,858=21,84131,574-13,358=18,216
Average Working Capital(21.841+18.216)/2=20.028.5
Average Inventory(1,235+1,322)/2=1278.5
Fixed assets4.1513,893
Average Fixed Assets(4.151+3.893)/2=4.022
Total assets58,73453,340
Average Total Assets(58,734+53,340)/2=56,037

With the help of the above summary, we have calculated the efficiency ratio and it is presented as below. This will give a fair idea of ​​how to calculate the efficiency ratio.

Accounts Receivable TurnoverSales Receivable/Average39,540/3.90510.13
Average Number of Days Receivable Extraordinary365/Receivable Turnover365/10.1336.03 Days
Inventory TurnoverCost of Goods Sold/Average Inventory14,056/1278.511
Average Number of Days Inventory in Stock365/Inventory Turnover Ratio365/1133.18 Days
Accounts Payable TurnoverTotal Purchases/Average Accounts Payable13,969/827.5016.88
Average Number of Days Outstanding Debt365/Debt Turnover365/16.8821.62 Days
Working Capital TurnoverAverage Sales/Working Capital39,540/20,028.51.97
Fixed Asset TurnoverAverage Sales/Fixed Assets39,540/4,0229.83
Total Asset TurnoverTotal Assets Sales/Average39,540/56,0370.71

That’s all the information about the meaning of the efficiency ratio, types, examples and of course hopefully it will bring benefits to those of you who need it. And don’t forget to tell your family, relatives, friends and relatives.