# Quick Ratio

Written By
Written By
Dan Buckley
Dan Buckley is an US-based trader, consultant, and part-time writer with a background in macroeconomics and mathematical finance. He trades and writes about a variety of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, commodities, currencies, and interest rates. As a writer, his goal is to explain trading and finance concepts in levels of detail that could appeal to a range of audiences, from novice traders to those with more experienced backgrounds.
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## What Is the Quick Ratio?

The quick ratio, also known as the acid-test ratio, is a liquidity ratio that measures a company’s ability to pay its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets.

This ratio is considered to be a more stringent measure of liquidity than the current ratio because it only includes assets that can be quickly converted to cash, such as cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, and accounts receivable.

The quick ratio is calculated by dividing a company’s total quick assets by its total current liabilities.

A quick ratio of 1.0 or higher is generally considered to be good since it means that the company has enough liquid assets to cover its short-term obligations.

A quick ratio of less than 1.0 may indicate that the company is having difficulty meeting its short-term obligations.

The quick ratio is just one tool that can be used to assess a company’s financial health, and it should be considered in conjunction with other ratios and financial indicators.

## How to Calculate the Quick Ratio

The quick ratio is calculated by dividing a company’s total quick assets by its total current liabilities.

“Quick assets” are those assets that can be quickly converted to cash, such as cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, and the portion of accounts receivable that can be collected.

Current liabilities are those obligations that are due within one year.

Here is the quick ratio formula:

Quick Ratio = Quick Assets / Current Liabilities

For example, let’s say that a company has \$1 million in quick assets and \$500,000 in current liabilities. The quick ratio would be 2.0 (\$1 million/\$500,000).

This means that the company has twice as many quick assets as it does current liabilities, so it should be able to comfortably meet its short-term obligations.

## What Is a Good Quick Ratio?

A quick ratio of 1.0 or higher is generally considered a good ratio as it indicates there is at least enough quick assets to cover short-term liabilities.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the quick ratio is just one tool that can be used to assess a company’s financial health.

Other factors, such as the current ratio, debt-to-equity ratio, return on equity, and others should also be considered when making investment decisions.

## What Does a Low Quick Ratio Mean?

A quick ratio of less than 1.0 may indicate that the company is having difficulty (or may have difficulty) meeting its short-term obligations.

This could be a sign that the company is in financial trouble and may not be able to meet its debt payments when they come due.

Investors should tread carefully when considering companies with a low quick ratio, and should always research a company thoroughly before making any investment decisions.

## Are Quick Assets the Same for Each Company?

Quick assets are defined, in an overall sense, as the most liquid current assets that can easily be converted to cash.

For most companies, this means that quick assets are limited to only a few types of assets:

Quick Assets = Cash + Cash Equivalents + Marketable Securities + Net Accounts Receivable*

*Net Accounts Receivable = The amount of receivables that can be collected from the overall total

Depending on the kind of current assets a firm has on its balance sheet, it may decide to calculate quick assets by subtracting illiquid forms of current assets from its balance sheet.

For example, inventory and prepaid expenses may not be easily or quickly converted to cash.

Accordingly, a company may calculate quick assets as:

Quick Assets = Total Current Assets – Inventory – Prepaid Expenses

## How Do the Current Ratio and Quick Ratio Differ?

The quick ratio and the current ratio are both measures of a company’s liquidity.

However, the quick ratio is more stringent than the current ratio because it only includes liquid assets in its calculation.

This means that the quick ratio is a better indicator of a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations.

The current ratio, on the other hand, includes all current assets in its calculation, even those that may not be easily converted to cash.

For this reason, the current ratio is not as accurate of an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity.

Investors should keep both ratios in mind when assessing a company’s financial health.

## Solvency Ratios vs. Liquidity Ratios

Solvency and liquidity are often both thought of as the same thing, but they have important differences.

Solvency refers to the viability of the business. Liquidity refers to the ability of a company to meet its short-term obligations.

A company can be insolvent but still have the liquidity to meet its short-term obligations.

However, a company that is insolvent will eventually become illiquid if it cannot find the funding to cover its long-term debts and obligations.

For this reason, solvency is a more important financial metric than liquidity.

Investors should always research a company thoroughly before making any investment decisions.

When considering solvency, investors will look at things like gross profit and gross margin, EBITDA, net income, operating cash flow, free cash flow, and similar metrics.

## How Can a Company Quickly Increase Its Liquidity Ratio?

There are a few things that a company can do to increase its liquidity ratio:

• Reduce inventory levels
• Sell non-core assets
• Negotiate longer terms with suppliers
• Get a line of credit from a bank

Each company is different, so the best way to increase liquidity will vary from firm to firm.

It’s important to remember that increasing liquidity comes with tradeoffs.

For example, selling assets may help in the short term, but it could hurt the company in the long run if those assets were integral to the business.

Liquidity is an important financial metric, but companies should be careful not to sacrifice long-term viability for short-term gains.

## Components of the Quick Ratio

There are several components to the quick ratio:

### Cash

Cash is the most liquid of all assets.

It can be used to immediately pay off debts or fund other obligations.

For this reason, cash is included in the quick ratio calculation.

### Cash Equivalents

Cash equivalents are short-term investments that can be quickly converted to cash.

They are typically very low risk and have minimal fluctuations in value.

Common examples of cash equivalents include money market funds and Treasury bills.

### Marketable Securities

Marketable securities are another type of asset that can be quickly converted to cash.

However, they are not as liquid as cash or cash equivalents because they may take a bit longer to sell.

Common examples of marketable securities include stocks, bonds, and ETFs.

### Net Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable are amounts that a company is owed by its customers.

They typically have to be collected within 30 days.

For this reason, they are not as liquid as cash or cash equivalents.

And not all accounts receivable may be collected, hence the “net” portion.

For example, a credit card company has lots of payments that it expects, but not everyone will pay their bill on time or pay the amount owed.

However, accounts receivables are more liquid than inventory or prepaid expenses.

### Current Liabilities

Current liabilities are obligations that a company must pay within one year.

They include things like accounts payable, accrued expenses, and short-term debt.

In order to calculate the quick ratio, current liabilities must be subtracted from total assets.

## Quick Ratio vs. Current Ratio vs. Cash Ratio

The quick ratio, current ratio, and cash ratio are all liquidity ratios.

They are used to assess a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations.

The quick ratio is the most conservative of the three ratios because it only includes the most liquid assets in the calculation.

The current ratio includes all current assets, even those that may not be as easily converted to cash.

The cash ratio is the most lenient of the three ratios because it includes all cash and cash equivalents in the calculation, even those that may not be immediately available.

### Which ratio is best?

There is no single “best” liquidity ratio.

Investors may choose to look at all three ratios to get a complete picture of a company’s liquidity.

The quick ratio is a good starting point because it includes only the most liquid assets.

However, the current ratio and cash ratio may also be useful in certain situations.

For example, the current ratio may be more relevant for companies that have a lot of inventory on hand.

The cash ratio may be more relevant for companies that have a lot of cash and cash equivalents.

Ultimately, it’s up to the investor to decide which ratio is most important in any given situation.

## Advantages of the Quick Ratio

There are several advantages of the quick ratio:

1. It’s a good indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity.

2. It’s easy to calculate and understand.

3. It only includes the most liquid assets in the calculation, so it’s conservative.

4. It can be used to compare companies of different sizes.

## Disadvantages of the Quick Ratio

There are also some disadvantages of the quick ratio:

1. It doesn’t take into account long-term assets or liabilities.

2. It doesn’t include inventory in the calculation, even though it is a current asset.

3. It may not be relevant for all companies, especially those with a lot of inventory on hand.

4. It may give a false sense of security if a company has a high quick ratio but low current ratio.

Investors should always look at all three liquidity ratios (quick, current, and cash) to get a complete picture of a company’s financial health.

## Quick Ratio – FAQs

### What is the quick ratio?

The quick ratio is a liquidity ratio that measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations.

It is calculated by dividing a company’s total assets by its total liabilities.

### How do I calculate the quick ratio?

The quick ratio is calculated by dividing a company’s total assets by its total liabilities.

To get a more accurate picture of liquidity, it is important to subtract any non-liquid assets from the numerator and add any non-current liabilities to the denominator.

### Is a high quick ratio better?

There is no single “best” quick ratio, but a higher quick ratio is generally seen as better than a lower quick ratio.

A high quick ratio indicates that a company has more liquid assets than liabilities and is therefore more likely to be able to meet its short-term obligations.

What are the limitations of the quick ratio?

The quick ratio has several limitations:

1. It doesn’t take into account long-term assets or all liabilities (only current liabilities).

2. It doesn’t include inventory in the calculation, even though it is a current asset.

3. It may not be relevant for all companies, especially those with a lot of inventory on hand.

4. It may give a false sense of security if a company has a high quick ratio but a low current ratio.

Investors should always look at all three liquidity ratios (quick, current, and cash) to get a complete picture of a company’s financial health.

### What is a good quick ratio?

There is no single “good” quick ratio.

Investors should look at the quick ratio in conjunction with other liquidity ratios, such as the current ratio and cash ratio.

A high quick ratio may be a sign of financial strength, but it could also indicate that a company is not efficiently using its assets.

A low quick ratio may be a sign of financial weakness, but it could also indicate that a company is investing heavily in inventory or accounts receivable.

Ultimately, it’s up to the investor to decide which is more important in any given situation.

### Why do they call it the quick ratio?

The quick ratio is called the quick ratio because it only includes the most liquid assets.

These are assets that can be converted to cash quickly and easily.

### What is the difference between the quick ratio and the current ratio?

The quick ratio is a more lenient measure of liquidity than the current ratio.

The current ratio includes all current assets, even those that may not be as easily converted to cash.

The quick ratio only includes cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.

### What is the difference between the quick ratio and the cash ratio?

The quick ratio is a more lenient measure of liquidity than the cash ratio.

The quick ratio includes all cash and cash equivalents, even those that may not be as easily converted to cash.

The cash ratio only includes actual cash.

### What is the difference between the quick ratio, the current ratio, and the cash ratio?

The quick ratio, the current ratio, and the cash ratio are all liquidity ratios.

They are used to assess a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations.

The quick ratio is the most conservative of the three ratios because it only includes the most liquid assets in the calculation.

The current ratio includes all current assets, even those that may not be as easily converted to cash.

The cash ratio is the most lenient of the three ratios because it includes all cash and cash equivalents in the calculation, even those that may not be immediately available.

### What happens if a company’s quick ratio is very low?

If a company’s quick ratio is very low, it may indicate that the company is in financial distress.

A low quick ratio means that a company has more liabilities than liquid assets and may not be able to meet its short-term obligations.

### What happens if a company’s quick ratio is very high?

If a company’s quick ratio is very high, it may show that the company has plenty of liquidity but may also indicate that the company is not efficiently using its assets.

A high quick ratio means that a company has more liquid assets than it needs to cover its liabilities.

The excess cash could be invested in other assets, such as inventory or accounts receivable, to generate more income for the company.

### What is the quick ratio formula?

The quick ratio formula is:

(Current Assets – Inventory) / Current Liabilities

This formula can be simplified to:

(Cash + Cash Equivalents + Marketable Securities) / Current Liabilities

In order to calculate the quick ratio, you will need the following information:

• The value of all current assets, including cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, and accounts receivable
• The value of inventory
• The value of all current liabilities

Once you have this information, you can plug it into the quick ratio formula to get your quick ratio.

## Summary – Quick Ratio

The quick ratio is a liquidity ratio that measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations.

The quick ratio only includes the most liquid assets in the calculation, which makes it a more conservative measure of liquidity than the current ratio.

A low quick ratio may be a sign of financial weakness, but it could also indicate that a company is investing heavily in inventory or other assets.

As with any metric, the quick ratio cannot be taken in isolation to determine the financial health of a company or whether it would be a good investment.

When analyzing a company’s quick ratio, investors should keep in mind that there is no magic number that indicates whether or not a company is a good investment.

Instead, the quick ratio should be considered along with other financial ratios and indicators to get a complete picture of the company’s financial health.

The quick ratio is a valuable tool that can give investors insights into a company’s liquidity, but it should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions.

It is important to look at other factors, such as the company’s profitability, its overall balance sheet, operating cash flow, looking at its valuation, among other factors, before making any investment decisions.