How to Measure the Success of Your Accounts Receivable Outsourcing Strategy

How to Measure the Success of Your Accounts Receivable Outsourcing Strategy

Outsourcing accounts receivable (AR) functions has become a popular choice for businesses aiming to streamline their financial operations and improve cash flow. However, once you’ve implemented an accounts receivable outsourcing strategy, it’s essential to measure its success to ensure that it aligns with your business goals and delivers the desired outcomes.

This article will guide you through the key metrics and evaluation methods to measure the effectiveness of your AR outsourcing strategy.


Outsourcing accounts receivable allows businesses to hand over the management of invoicing, payment processing, and collections to a specialized third-party service provider. This strategic decision can lead to significant improvements in efficiency, cost reduction, and customer satisfaction. However, it is crucial to assess the success of your outsourcing strategy to ensure it is delivering the expected outcomes.

Key Metrics for Measuring Accounts Receivable Outsourcing Success

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)

DSO measures the average number of days it takes for a company to collect payment after a sale. By comparing your DSO before and after outsourcing, you can evaluate the efficiency of your accounts receivable process. A lower DSO indicates faster cash flow, improved collection efforts, and better credit management.

Collection Effectiveness Index (CEI)

CEI measures the efficiency of your collection efforts by comparing the total amount of cash collected to the total amount of outstanding receivables. It provides insights into how effectively your outsourcing partner is recovering outstanding payments. A higher CEI indicates improved collections and a more efficient outsourcing strategy.

Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Measuring customer satisfaction is crucial in determining the success of your outsourcing strategy. Customer feedback, surveys, and reviews can help assess whether the outsourcing partner maintains a high level of service quality and professionalism. Additionally, tracking customer retention rates can indicate if the outsourcing strategy is positively impacting customer relationships.

Cash Flow Improvement

One of the primary goals of outsourcing accounts receivable is to improve cash flow. Monitoring the average time it takes to receive payments and the overall cash flow pattern can indicate whether your strategy is effective. A steady increase in cash flow indicates that your outsourcing partner is successfully managing collections and speeding up payment cycles.

Cost Reduction

Reducing costs is a significant advantage of outsourcing accounts receivable. Calculate the cost savings achieved through outsourcing, including the reduction in staffing, technology investments, and administrative expenses. If your outsourcing strategy is delivering cost savings without compromising quality, it is considered successful.

Evaluating the Performance of Your Outsourcing Partner

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Review the SLAs established with your outsourcing partner. Assess whether they are meeting the agreed-upon targets for collections, response times, and customer service. If there are any deviations or discrepancies, address them promptly to ensure the partnership stays on track.

Communication and Transparency

Evaluate the level of communication and transparency between your company and the outsourcing partner. Regular updates, reports, and access to relevant data are essential for monitoring progress and identifying areas for improvement. A strong communication channel indicates a successful outsourcing partnership.

Expertise and Technology

Assess the expertise and technology utilized by your outsourcing partner. They should possess in-depth knowledge of accounts receivable management and employ advanced tools and systems for efficient operations. The outsourcing partner’s expertise and technology play a significant role in the success of your strategy.

Best Practices for Measuring Success

Define Clear Objectives

Before implementing an accounts receivable outsourcing strategy, establish clear objectives and goals. These objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Defining clear objectives enables you to evaluate success accurately.

Establish Baseline Metrics

Determine baseline metrics by evaluating your accounts receivable performance before outsourcing. This provides a benchmark for measuring the impact of outsourcing. Track and compare key metrics regularly to assess the effectiveness of your outsourcing strategy.

Regular Monitoring and Reporting

Implement a robust monitoring and reporting system to track the performance of your outsourcing partner. Regularly review and analyze the collected data, and generate comprehensive reports. Monitoring allows you to identify trends, patterns, and areas requiring improvement promptly.

Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Encourage feedback from both internal stakeholders and customers. Gather insights on the outsourcing strategy’s impact on various aspects, such as customer satisfaction, internal processes, and financial performance. Continuously improve the strategy based on feedback received.


Measuring the success of your accounts receivable outsourcing strategy is crucial for optimizing financial operations and achieving your business objectives. By tracking key metrics, evaluating the performance of your outsourcing partner, and implementing best practices, you can ensure that your strategy delivers the desired results. Regular monitoring, clear objectives, and continuous improvement are essential for long-term success.


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