Tax Checklist
2021 - Tax Checklist
To assist in completing your tax return, we have a checklist that will help you with what you need to provide us. Find out more
Virtual Tour
- Virtual Tour
Take a tour and explore our office Find out more

Reducing your lock up days to free up cash


It is vital for businesses to free up as much cash as possible, particularly in these tough economic times.  Your 'lock up days' is the number of days it takes to convert your debtors, stock and work in progress into cash.

A high number of lock up days means your business needs to have more cash injected, either from you of the bank.  You also have a higher risk of losing that cash, particularly if a lot of it is locked up in your debtors.  Worse still, you are likely to be paying tax on that lock up figure before you have received the cash from your customers.

To calculate your lock up days:

(Debtors + stock + work in progress) / annual sales * 365

For example, if debtors are $120,000, stock is $45,000, work in progress is $55,000 and annual sales is $1,200,000, your lock up days would be 67 days (($120,000 + $45,000 + $55,000) / $1,200,000 * 365).

Reducing lock up days means you will have more cash available in your business, so how can you reduce your lock up days?

  1. Increase your sales. Do you know the five ways to increase your sales?
  2. Invoice more often.  Consider sending progress invoices as well as invoices on completion or requesting a deposit before work has started.
  3. Ensure customer agree to your Terms of Trade. Don't start work until your customer has signed off the Terms of Trade and make sure you stick to them by following up customers as soon as payments become overdue.
  4. Reduce stock holdings.  Review stock on hand and reduce where possible.  Consider getting rid of obsolete or slow moving stock.
  5. Use an independent debt collector.  This should be a term in your Terms of Trade, including a clause specifying that the customer will be liable to pay associated costs.
  6. Change your payment terms.  Request payment within 7 days of invoice rather than on the 20th of the month following the invoice.
  7. Request errors and re-work.  Review your team for achieving the targets.
  8. Set targets for stock levels / invoicing levels.  Reward your team for achieving the targets.
  9. Improve your reporting of lock up.  You can manage what you don't measure.
  10. Ask us for 10 more ideas.  We can help you identify the best strategies to reduce your lock up days.

"You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you." - Dave Ramsey

Back to Articles & Guides

Sign Newsletter
What our clients say...
  • "Maclean Partners are very knowledgeable accountants who are always attentive and keen to learn more about how to improve our business. John and his team offer sound advice about tax and general accounting, as well as helping structure and manage the financial aspects of the business to our advantage". - Read more
    - Tony Pascoe, NQ Foot and Ankle
  • "We've worked so hard over the past 10 years to get the business to where it is and sometimes you can't see the forest from the trees. Thanks to the Maclean Partners and the 90 Day Business Challenge, I found each module so helpful and the self-paced online aspect combined with the face to face coaching and workshops worked really well for us. - Read more
    - Nelly Evans,Powdercoat Select
  • "Nelly (my wife) told me she had signed up for some business training and I told her it was a waste of time and money. I wasn't interested in doing it at all because both our businesses are firing on all cylinders, but to show her support, I went along to the first workshop and I was impressed. Nelly and I have been doing a lot of talking, but we realised that we never had the right mindset to take action. - Read more
    - Glenn Evans, The Fencing Factory
Logo Logo Logo Logo Logo Logo