Analysis of Bad Debts
Allowance for doubtful accounts receivable (bad debts) is a contra account which reduce the balance of the company’s gross accounts receivable. The relationship between the allowance and the balance in receivables should be relatively constant unless there is a change in the economy overall or a change in customer base.
Accounting Policy on Receivables
Accounts receivable are stated net of allowances for doubtful accounts. Accounts receivable balances primarily consist of trade receivables due from customers, including amounts due from third-party payers (e.g., pharmacy benefit managers, insurance companies and governmental agencies), clients and members. Trade receivables were $6.0 billion and $5.4 billion at August 31, 2019 and August 31, 2018, respectively. Other accounts receivable balances, which consist primarily of receivables from vendors and manufacturers, including receivables from AmerisourceBergen, were $1.2 billion at August 31, 2019 and 2018.
Charges to allowance for doubtful accounts are based on estimates of recoverability using both historical write-offs and specifically identified receivables. The allowance for doubtful accounts for trade receivables at August 31, 2019 and August 31, 2018 was $95 million and $75 million, respectively.
Source: 10-K (filing date: 2019-10-28).
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts Receivable
Based on: 10-K (filing date: 2019-10-28), 10-K (filing date: 2018-10-11), 10-K (filing date: 2017-10-25), 10-K (filing date: 2016-10-20), 10-K (filing date: 2015-10-28), 10-K (filing date: 2014-10-20).
1 2019 Calculation
Allowance as a percentage of accounts receivable, gross = 100 × Allowance for doubtful accounts ÷ Accounts receivable, gross
= 100 × ÷ =
|Financial ratio||Description||The company|
|Allowance as a percentage of accounts receivable, gross||Allowance for doubtful accounts divided by the gross accounts receivable.||Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s allowance as a percentage of accounts receivable, gross decreased from 2017 to 2018 but then slightly increased from 2018 to 2019.|