The Importance of Improving DSO – Three Case Studies

Man balancing pie chart while sitting on chart graph with two men at ends.
Image Source: vectorstock.com

The reduction of Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) stands as a vital target for businesses attempting to achieve sustainable growth and increased liquidity in the field of financial optimization. Industry data underlines the importance of this effort by showing that the average DSO across several sectors frequently exceeds 40 days and that accounts receivable hold onto 2.6% of an organization’s annual revenue. These numbers categorically demonstrate the need for sensible DSO management techniques. In light of this, Sirius Solutions has resolutely taken on the mission of tackling these issues and achieving meaningful results. 

This article dives into some enthralling success stories in which Sirius Solutions, operating with distinction and resolution, has deftly handled clients’ DSO obstacles while arranging significant turnarounds. These examples effectively illustrate the methodical realization of DSO reductions, the augmentation of working capital, and the streamlining of crucial procedures through the customization of comprehensive solutions and the implementation of digital transformation. By looking at these real case studies, this piece effectively emphasizes the efficacy of financial and digital transformation while illuminating concrete examples of success achieved via the strategic management of DSO.


The Vital Role of DSO in Financial Health

It’s essential to understand the relevance of Days Sales Outstanding in assessing an organization’s financial health before diving into the success stories. A high DSO can have a domino effect on the organization’s liquidity and operational capacity, signaling delayed cash inflows.

Think about it: a business with a DSO of 60 days is essentially waiting two months to be paid for its goods or services. During this time, the liquidity is constrained, making it difficult for the organization to maintain ongoing operations, invest in expansion plans, or promptly pay its debts. The possibility of cash flow gaps and financial instability grows as DSO rises.

Let’s put these numbers into context:

Organization A’s DSO is 45 days, indicating that it typically takes 45 days to turn revenues into cash.

Contrarily, Organization B has a DSO of 75 days, suggesting a notably longer period between the sale and payment.

In this case, Organization A experiences a more stable and healthy cash flow, whereas Organization B struggles with slow revenue realization and limited liquidity. 

Generally, DSO under 45 is seen as very low, but it’s critical to compare within the same industry to determine whether you should focus on raising it.

Now that we know the function DSO serves let’s examine how Sirius Solutions has contributed to improving the financial status of numerous organizations by using successful techniques and revolutionary methods.

#1 - Transforming Order-to-Cash for Rapid DSO Improvement

Challenge: Alarming DSO Expansion and the Need for Scalability

Growth is not simply a goal but also a need in the competitive corporate world. In this success story, our client’s growth was achieved through acquisitions, which enhanced the need for scalability in their Order-to-Cash (OTC) process. Their ambitions were overshadowed by a significant obstacle: a fast-rising Days Sales Outstanding (DSO). The DSO had increased to more than 110 days, which raised serious issues within the organization. The matter required a quick response because the organization’s cash flow was strained, and its growth prospects were diminishing due to the increasing DSO.

Solution: Swift DSO Reduction through Streamlined Processes

The Sirius Solutions team put together a team of professionals in treasury, project management, internal controls, process optimization, and management reporting after seeing how urgent the situation was. This multidisciplinary approach was crucial for thoroughly analyzing the intricate variables causing the high DSO.

The journey started with a thorough examination of the current Order-to-Cash procedure. Every stage was examined to find bottlenecks and inefficiencies, from sales to billing to collections. The team discovered essential areas for development and optimization by taking a holistic approach.


The following tactics were used to face the challenge head-on:

Streamlined Procedures: Throughout the OTC cycle, Sirius Solutions introduced a number of simplified and uniform procedures. This required reengineering workflows, eliminating unnecessary procedures, and incorporating best practices.

Enhancing Efficiency: Automation was essential to raising efficiency. Automating formerly manual and time-consuming tasks allowed for the release of necessary resources and a faster overall process.

Procedure Documentation: The improved procedures were recorded, resulting in a thorough reference for the organization’s staff. This documentation guaranteed consistency, reduced errors, and promoted ongoing development.

Results: A Remarkable Transformation

This group effort had a genuinely transformational effect:
  • The DSO was reduced by an impressive 25 days from its previous weight of over 110 days.
  • This immediate 23% cut not only boosted the organization’s cash flow but also gave its growth trajectory newfound confidence.
  • It’s incredible how quickly the program was completed from study to implementation in just 12 weeks.
  • Sirius Solutions allowed the business to preserve and expand upon its gains by empowering the workers and giving them the tools to use the new procedures.
This success story emphasizes the critical importance of teamwork, knowledge, and data-driven initiatives in overcoming DSO issues. It is evidence of the significant effect a successfully implemented financial transformation can have on an organization’s operational effectiveness, cash flow, and overall financial health.

#2 - Streamlining Accounts Receivable for Enhanced Financial Agility

Challenge: Overdue Accounts and Manual Processes

A multinational chemical-industry organization finds itself battling a developing problem in the competitive business world. As the number of past due accounts increased, their Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) increased alarmingly. The fact that their Order-to-Cash (OTC) activities were spread across various SAP platforms and relied heavily on manual processes further complicated the problem. It was clear that a shift was required because inefficiency was increased and visibility was veiled.

Solution: Leveraging Digital Transformation for Elevated DSO Metrics

Sirius Solutions engineered a strategic change towards digital transformation after realizing how urgent the situation was. The deployment of the HighRadius credit, collections, and dispute modules, which cost $1 million, served as the initiative’s crucial component. This radical reform was intended to centralize and standardize procedures, building a single platform to eliminate inefficiencies and improve visibility.


Unified Platform Implementation: Sirius Solutions initiated the integration of HighRadius credit, collections, and dispute modules into a unified platform. This streamlined the Order-to-Cash (OTC) activities by consolidating them into a single system, eliminating the inefficiencies associated with multiple SAP platforms.

Automation of Collections Processes: The organization embraced automation in the collections process by leveraging digital tools. This involved automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, reducing manual errors, and accelerating the pace at which overdue accounts were addressed.

Standardization of Procedures: The digital transformation initiative focused on standardizing and centralizing procedures across the organization. This ensured consistency in the Accounts Receivable processes, making them more efficient and transparent.

Results: Impactful Outcomes of Digital Transformation

Working Capital Surge: A notable increase in working capital of $30 million was made, giving the organization the financial adaptability required for expansion and smooth operations.

Turnaround of Past-Due Accounts: Digital procedures resulted in a stunning reduction of past-due accounts, from 8% to an astounding 4%, highlighting the streamlined and effective collections procedure.

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) Contraction: From 53 days to a substantially better 42 days, DSO experienced a significant decline. This compression indicated a quicker cycle of cash conversion.

Collections Productivity Amplified: The organization communicated with customers more efficiently, resulting in a quicker settlement of unpaid invoices.

The success of this transformation is proof of the effectiveness of strategically integrating new technologies. The organization revitalized its financial operations and opened doors for expansion and profitability by adopting digital solutions. The story of this turnaround highlights the importance that creative thinking plays in transforming financial trajectories and reaffirms Sirius Solutions’ commitment to being a partner in taking financial transformations to new heights.

#3 - Accelerating Cash Flow: Sustainable DSO Reduction

Challenge: Delays in Collections and the Quest for Sustainable Cash Flow

The story of a multinational services organization serves as a reminder of the significance of a successful collection process. The organization’s Chief Financial Officer set a challenging goal: decrease DSO and improve cash flow within a single quarter. This was done in response to the organizational struggles with account receivable collection delays. An immediate and sustainable change was needed to ensure continued improvement in operating cash flow.

Solution: A Holistic Approach Yielding Impressive Results

Sirius Solutions’ Financial Operations practice created a comprehensive program. This program covered four essential areas: commercial contracting, field operations, invoicing, and collections. This program addressed behavioral factors that impacted cash flow, targeted root cause concerns, streamlined operations, and improved data management.


Enhancing Collections Practices: The organization implemented a rigorous collections strategy, prioritizing high-value accounts and establishing proactive communication channels with clients to expedite payments.

Optimizing Payment Terms: Sirius Solutions negotiated revised payment terms with critical clients, aligning them with the organization’s cash flow needs while maintaining strong customer relationships.

Streamlining Invoicing Processes: The invoicing process was revamped to ensure accuracy and efficiency, reducing the chances of disputes or delays in payment.

Results: Driving Financial Transformation

The results were compelling:

  • The project accelerated a remarkable $22 million cash flow in just ten weeks.
  • DSO experienced a significant decline, settling at 47 days.
  • The accounts receivable performance was impressively improved by 330% due to adopting sustainable practices.

This success story is proof of the transformational potential of a properly implemented financial program. The organization improved its free cash flow immediately and laid the groundwork for future financial success. This was all possible because of Sirius Solutions’ experience, strategic insights, and collaborative approach.

Key Takeaways

  • Sirius Solutions specializes in reducing Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) for improved financial sustainability.
  • DSO exceeding 40 days is common across various sectors, emphasizing the importance of effective management.
  • High DSO can negatively impact liquidity, operational capacity, and cash flow.
  • Lower DSO contributes to more stable cash flow and better financial health.
  • Sirius Solutions employs multidisciplinary approaches, automation, and documentation to address DSO challenges.

How Sirius Solutions Can Help?

Sirius Solutions stands out with its innovation in enhancing DSO and fostering financial reforms. The organization has a track record of success, and it provides a wide range of services to handle various financial challenges:

  • Expert teams are assembled to identify and solve the underlying causes of excessive DSO.
  • Sirius Solutions’ expertise in digital transformation enables firms to improve visibility, drive efficiency, and streamline accounts receivable procedures.
  • Long-term success is made possible by the strategic programs created by Sirius Solutions.


The success stories above clearly show Sirius Solutions’ revolutionary ability to improve financial processes and optimize DSO. Sirius Solutions has continuously demonstrated its competence and dedication to providing concrete outcomes for its clients, from optimizing scalable OTC operations to fostering digital transformation and creating lasting cash flow gains.