Understanding the financial health of your company is essential to determining its success. One of the simplest indicators to grasp, turnover, will show you whether or not you’re meeting your financial objectives. 

What is turnover? 

Turnover is an accounting concept essential for businesses to understand to track their financial performance. It refers to the calculation of the total revenue generated by a business over a specific period. This calculation is essential for determining a business’s profitability and making informed investment decisions. 

Inventory, accounts receivable, working capital, and portfolio turnover are common forms of turnover. A variety of these ratios can help businesses, frequently with the aim of maximising turnover, to better gauge the effectiveness of their operations. 

The percentage of a portfolio sold in a particular month or year is referred to as turnover in the investment sector. Increased commissions are the result of a broker’s trading activities with a high turnover rate. 

Understanding turnover 

Understanding the concept of turnover accounting is essential for any business looking to improve its financial performance and make informed decisions about its future. To calculate turnover, a business must first determine its total revenue, including all sales and other income generated during the measured period. This revenue figure is then divided by the average value of the assets used to generate that revenue. This calculation provides a measure of efficiency, indicating how much revenue is generated for each dollar invested in the business. 

Turnover accounting is particularly important for businesses with high fixed assets, such as manufacturing or retail businesses. These businesses must invest significantly in equipment, inventory, and other assets to generate revenue. By tracking turnover, they can determine whether these investments yield a sufficient return and identify areas where improvements can be made. 

Another important aspect of turnover accounting is comparing a business’s performance over time or against industry benchmarks. This allows businesses to identify trends and make strategic decisions about future investments or operational changes.   

Types of turnover 

Businesses may enhance their financial performance and make informed decisions by comprehending and keeping track of these three forms of turnover. 

  • Portfolio turnover 

The rate at which a corporation sells, or purchases fund securities is known as portfolio turnover. Investors examine this rate to assess what costs and taxes a greater turnover rate would entail. Taxes on capital gains, often levied at higher rates, might cancel out the benefit of purchasing or selling a share. Although lower turnover rates are less likely to result in capital gains taxes, they imply decreased profitability. 

  • Accounts receivable turnover 

Accounts receivable turnover measures how quickly a company collects payments from its customers. This turnover is calculated by dividing the average accounts receivable by the total credit sales. The higher the accounts receivable turnover, the more efficiently a company collects customer payments. A low accounts receivable turnover indicates that a company needs help to collect payments, which can cause cash flow problems and increase bad debt expenses. 

  • Inventory turnover 

Inventory turnover measures how quickly a company sells its inventory. It is calculated by dividing the cost of goods sold by the average inventory. A high inventory turnover means a company sells its products quickly, which is a good sign for profitability. However, a low inventory turnover can indicate that a company needs to hold onto more inventory, which ties up cash and can lead to obsolescence or spoilage. 


Example of turnover 

For example, if your monthly cost of sales is US$8,000 and you have US$1000 in inventory, your turnover rate is 8, which means your company sells all of its stock eight times per year. 

Importance of turnover 

Business turnover is crucial for several reasons, including that it benefits companies. Turnover helps companies assess how they’re doing because it reveals how much money a firm makes in a specific time frame. 

Businesses may more accurately predict future sales and choose how to distribute expenditures and where to make the most money by estimating turnover. 

Additionally, companies can determine where they may have a low turnover rate and where they might enhance operational or sales areas by assessing turnover. 

In terms of investment, turnover may assist a business or person in assessing the risk of working with a specific organisation. Since it may indicate that a corporation passively handles its money, low turnover might indicate a higher risk of investing. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Turnover is the net sales a company generates, whereas profit is the earnings left over after all costs have been deducted from net sales. Hence, turnover and profit are the top-line earnings and bottom-line outcomes, which mark the beginning and finish of the income statement.  

Working capital turnover, or net sales to working capital, measures the connection between the resources utilised to finance an organisation’s operations and the revenues earned to maintain operations and make a profit. 

A corporation may create more sales by having a greater working capital turnover ratio, which is good. Still, if working capital turnover increases excessively, it can be a sign that a business needs to seek more money to sustain future expansion. 

There is a relatively straightforward approach for calculating the portfolio turnover ratio. You can divide the minimum amount of shares purchased or sold by the average assets under management (AUM).  

The figure you will get is the fund’s specific portfolio turnover ratio. It is necessary to have the same time horizon for the stocks and the AUM. Monthly or annual time frames are both acceptable. PTR is always expressed as a percentage. 


A percentage of 100% or higher means that all of the fund’s securities were either replaced or sold for new holdings during a year. Before acquiring a mutual fund or other similar financial instruments, it is crucial to consider the portfolio turnover ratio since it impacts the fund’s investment performance. 

For mutual funds, a high portfolio turnover ratio is seen as negative. Many investors in mutual funds think that frequent buying and selling, or “churning,” drives up expenses and reduces profits. Many investors in mutual funds are concerned about increasing portfolio turnover in some schemes. 


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