Definition
The Quick Liquidity Ratio, also known as the AcidTest Ratio, is a financial metric used to measure a company’s shortterm liquidity. It compares liquid assets including marketable securities, cash, and accounts receivable to current liabilities. This ratio is used to assess a company’s ability to meet its shortterm obligations without having to sell its inventory.
Phonetic
Quick Liquidity Ratio: /kwɪk lɪˈkwɪdɪti ˈreɪʃioʊ/
Key Takeaways
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Definition :
The quick ratio, also known as the acidtest ratio, is a liquidity ratio that measures the ability of a company to pay its shortterm obligations using its most liquid assets. These assets are either cash or assets that can readily be converted into cash.

Importance :
The Quick Liquidity Ratio is a robust indicator of a company’s immediate financial health. It helps in understanding whether a company can meet its short term financial obligations without selling inventory or receiving additional financing.

Calculation :
The Quick Ratio is calculated by taking the total of ‘cash and cash equivalents’ , ‘shortterm marketable securities’ , and ‘accounts receivables’ and then dividing them by ‘current liabilities’. The formula is Quick Ratio = (Cash + Marketable Securities + Accounts Receivable) / Current Liabilities.
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Importance
The Quick Liquidity Ratio, often referred to as the AcidTest Ratio, is essential as it is a measure of a company’s shortterm liquidity and financial health. This ratio is used by investors, creditors, and analysts to assess a company’s ability to immediately pay off its current liabilities without relying on the sale of inventory, which could be timeconsuming and uncertain. It specifically includes cash, marketable securities, and accounts receivable, excluding inventory, in its calculation. If a company has a high Quick Liquidity Ratio, it’s generally considered to be financially stable and capable of meeting its immediate financial obligations, reducing the risk for investors and creditors.
Explanation
The primary purpose of the Quick Liquidity Ratio, also called the Acid Test Ratio, is to evaluate a company’s immediate shortterm liquidity. It’s an invaluable tool used by creditors, investors, and business analysts to understand the firm’s ability to satisfy its current liabilities without relying on the sale of inventory. This is critical as it indicates the financial health of the company, particularly its efficiency in utilizing its assets and meeting its obligations. It measures the proportion of shortterm liquid assets to current liabilities, considering that higher the ratio, the better positioned the company is to clear its debts. The Quick Liquidity Ratio helps businesses to manage their cash flows more effectively, by providing insights into their financial flexibility. If a company’s quick ratio is less than 1:1, this is usually a telltale sign that the company may struggle to pay its immediate obligations, which can be detrimental in maintaining smooth operations. In an environment where consistency in financial stability is crucial, the quick liquidity ratio serves as an alarm bell for potential cash flow issues. Hence, the company can make informed decisions and take prompt action to prevent any financial hiccups.
Examples
1. Retail Industry: A large multinational retail corporation like Walmart might use the Quick Liquidity Ratio to assess their ability to cover current liabilities without relying on inventory sales, given the fact that inventory may not always be quickly converted into cash.2. Tech Industries: Tech companies like Apple Inc. use the Quick Liquidity Ratio to evaluate their capability to cover short term liabilities. Considering the fact that tech companies often hold a substantial part of their assets in the form of patents and other intangible items, it’s crucial to evaluate liquidity with a measure that excludes such items.3. Energy Sector: An Oil and Gas corporation like Exxon Mobil may assess its Quick Liquidity Ratio, especially when the market conditions are unfavorable and there is a risk of unsold inventory. The Quick Ratio would provide a more accurate representation of short term liquidity, disregarding inventory stock.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
What is a Quick Liquidity Ratio?
The quick liquidity ratio is a financial metric that companies use to determine their capacity to pay off their current liabilities without the need to sell their inventory. It includes the company’s marketable securities, accounts receivable, and cash.
How can I calculate the Quick Liquidity Ratio?
The Quick Liquidity Ratio can be calculated by subtracting inventory from current assets and then dividing by current liabilities. The formula is: (Current assets – Inventory) / Current liabilities.
What does it mean if a company has a high Quick Liquidity Ratio?
A high Quick Liquidity Ratio usually suggests that a company has a better chance of paying off its immediate obligations, as it has enough assets that can readily be converted to cash.
And what if a company has a low Quick Liquidity Ratio?
A low Quick Liquidity Ratio might mean a company is struggling to cover its immediate obligations, indicating a potentially poor financial condition. However, standards vary by industry.
How is Quick Liquidity Ratio different from Current Ratio?
Both ratios measure a company’s ability to pay off its shortterm obligations. However, Current Ratio takes into account all current assets, including inventory, while Quick Liquidity Ratio excludes inventory, thereby giving a more stringent measure of a company’s liquidity.
Is a higher Quick Liquidity Ratio always better?
Not always. While a high ratio indicates that a company can cover its current liabilities, excessively high ratios might also mean that the company is not making efficient use of its assets to grow its business.
Should inventory necessarily be excluded from Quick Liquidity Ratio calculations?
Typically, yes. Inventory may not be easily convertible to cash, particularly in comparison to other assets. Therefore, by excluding inventory from the equation, the Quick Liquidity Ratio serves as a conservative and more accurate measure of a company’s shortterm liquidity.
Related Finance Terms
 Current Ratio
 AcidTest Ratio
 Cash Ratio
 Working Capital
 Liquidity Analysis
Sources for More Information