Accounts Receivable and Days Sales Outstanding Industry Report

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A Quarterly Report for Benchmarking A/R Performance

Q3 2021 Report

Dun & Bradstreet and the Credit Research Foundation's quarterly US Accounts Receivable and Days Sales Outstanding Industry Report shows that industries overall are showing strong resilience and recovery from the impact from the coronavirus pandemic – at least from the companies that submit A/R data to Dun & Bradstreet and the CRF.

The Q3 2021 reports shows that 22 of the 228 industry segments report more than 10% of their aging dollars are 90+ days past due. This is higher from Q3 2020 - when 15 industry segments reported more than 10% of their aging dollars were severely delinquent. At the height of the pandemic in Q2 2020, for example, 45 industries reported more than 10% of their aging dollars were severely delinquent.

“The data speaks to resilience and recovery. While some industries were reporting significant slowness and payment delinquency, now there are areas within the economy that are experiencing growth - which is also reflected in their accounts receivable performance,” William F. Balduino, President and COO of the Credit Research Foundation, said. 

Balduino advises business credit professionals to use this quarterly report to benchmark their company's A/R performance against industry averages and investigate the differences. Although differences could be driven by unique company portfolios, using credit best practices plays an important part in driving A/R performance.

“Hence the importance of a full portfolio analysis which allows credit risk management teams to properly assess and apply appropriate strategies across their customer base,” Balduino said.

The Q3 2021 report lists industries by SIC code, along with the percentage of Dun & Bradstreet reporting companies that are current on payments, then slow to 30 days late, slow to 60 days late, slow to 90 days late, and then severely delinquent at 91+ days late (for more information, see Methodology below.) The Q1 2021 report data is presented in 15 different industry segments: Agriculture, Business and Professional Services, Chemicals, Construction, Consumer Goods, Energy and Utilities, Food, Machinery, Manufacturing, Metals and Mining, Retail, Technology and Electronics, Transportation, Wholesale, and Wood and Paper.

Highlights of the Q3 report show that companies in the publishing industry and the construction industry continue to report to Dun & Bradstreet that around half of their accounts receivable dollars are paid severely delinquent. Companies in the oil and gas machinery manufacturing industry, as well as certain types of wholesales (such as frozen food and jewelry) and other manufacturers, report more past due dollars. However, note that many of those industries reporting more than 10% of their dollars severely delinquent still have the majority of their dollars current.

As a preview of the data available, the chart below shows the top 15 industries that paid more than 90 days late during Q3, July 1 – Sept. 30.

Top 15 Industries Getting Paid Severely Late in Q3 2021

SIC Code Industry % Paying Current Up To 30 Days Late 30-60 Days Late 60-90 Days Late 91+ Days Late
2741
Misc. publishing
27%
7%
3%
2%
60%
1542
Nonresidential construction
43%
12%
1%
2%
42%
15
Construction - general contractors & operative builders     43%
12%
1%
2%
42%
3533
Manufacturing - oil & gas field machinery
47%
19%
6%
5%
24%
5047 Wholesale medical and hospital equipment 53%
1%
20%
9%
18%
5142 Wholsale packaged frozen goods 68%
12%
11%
1%
17%
76
Miscellaneous repair services
60%
14%
6%
4%
16%
3444
Manufacturing - sheet metalwork 74%
8%
2%
1%
15%
3699 Manufacturing - electrical equipment and supplies
52%
26%
0%
8%
14%
7371 Custom computer programming 62%
16%
6%
3%
13%
3822
Manufacturing - environmental controls
54%
22%
8%
4%
13%
3993
Manufacturing - signs and advertising specialties
45%
24%
10%
8%
12%
5712 Retail furniture 55%
21%
8%
4%
12%
7359
Equipment rental and leasing
48%
13%
15%
13%
12%
5094
Wholesale jewelry and precious stones
70%
16%
2%
0%
12%

Methodology

This joint report expands upon the Credit Research Foundation's own quarterly report, the National Summary of Domestic Trade Receivables (NSDTR), by providing aging A/R percentages on considerably more industry segments. Dun & Bradstreet’s aging A/R data is supplied by contributors to the Global Trade Exchange Program, its commercial trade data network, who report their trade payment information to help strengthen reporting of trade credit experiences. The DSO numbers are those collected by CRF from its NSDTR survey process. Dun & Bradstreet’s aging A/R data and CRF’s DSO numbers are presented side by side for an industry. Both sets of data are presented when the numbers of providers and survey results meet a minimum threshold of relevance.

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