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Quick Ratio


The Quick Ratio, also known as the Acid-Test Ratio, primarily measures a company’s short-term liquidity and ability to meet its immediate liabilities with its most liquid assets. It is determined by dividing quick assets, which include cash, marketable securities, and receivables, by current liabilities. A higher Quick Ratio indicates that the company is more capable of covering its current liabilities without selling off any long-term or capital assets.


The phonetics of “Quick Ratio” is: kwi:k ˈreɪʃioʊ

Key Takeaways

  1. Evaluates Liquidity: Quick ratio is a financial metric that is used to evaluate a company’s short-term liquidity position. It is calculated as (cash + marketable securities + accounts receivable) / current liabilities. It indicates a company’s ability to cover its current liabilities, without relying on the sale of inventory.
  2. Gauges Financial Health: A quick ratio higher than 1.0 suggests that a company can meet its short-term obligations even if it cannot turn inventories into cash. A lower quick ratio indicates potential liquidity problems and poor financial health, as it signifies the company may struggle to pay off its debts.
  3. Valuable for Creditors and Investors: Quick ratio is an important measure for creditors and investors when making decisions. It gives a quick snapshot of a company’s short-term liquidity position and provides an indication of the firm’s financial strength or weakness. If the ratio is too low, it may be a signal of financial distress, while a very high ratio may indicate that the management is not using their assets efficiently.


The Quick Ratio, also known as the Acid-Test Ratio, is an important measurement in business/finance because it helps determine a company’s short-term liquidity and financial health. It measures a company’s ability to use its most liquid assets (those that can be easily converted to cash) to cover its current liabilities. In contrast to the current ratio, which includes all current assets, Quick Ratio only considers the most liquid ones such as cash, marketable securities, and accounts receivable. A higher Quick Ratio indicates a better financial position, implying the company can quickly convert its assets into cash to pay off short-term debt. Hence, it’s a key indicator for stakeholders, creditors, and potential investors, providing insights into the company’s financial stability.


The quick ratio, also known as the acid-test ratio, is a key financial metric mainly used to measure a company’s short-term liquidity position. In essence, it reflects a company’s ability to cover its current liabilities with its most liquid assets. This essentially measures the financial health and stability of an organization by indicating how easily it can meet its short-term financial obligations without relying on the sale of inventory. The ratio thus offers investors and creditors a razor-sharp view of a company’s short-term creditworthiness. For evaluating the efficiency of business operations and for strategic decision making, the quick ratio is very valuable. For instance, a quick ratio that is declining over a period of time may signal a problem with a company’s cash flow, accounts receivables, or current business operations. On the other hand, a high quick ratio tends to suggest that the company is better positioned to pay off its obligations. Hence, the quick ratio is very crucial in providing insights to managers, investors, and creditors about the state of a company’s liquidity position, which assists them in making informed decisions.


1. Tech-Startup Example: Consider a tech start-up company with current assets of $500,000 and inventory worth $200,000. Meanwhile, the firm’s current liabilities total up to $300,000. In this situation, the quick ratio would be calculated by subtracting the inventory from the current assets and then dividing by current liabilities. This yields a quick ratio of 1 ((500,000 – 200,000) / 300,000 = 1).2. Retail Business Example: In the case of a retail clothing store, suppose the store has $700,000 in current assets, with $400,000 in inventory. At the same time, the store has $350,000 in current liabilities. When using these values to calculate the quick ratio, we get 0.86 ((700,000 – 400,000) / 350,000 = 0.86). 3. Manufacturing Company Example: A manufacturing company might have $1 million in current assets and $600,000 of that in inventory. If their current liabilities total $500,000, the quick ratio would be 0.8 ((1,000,000 – 600,000) / 500,000 = 0.8). In these examples, the quick ratio helps the company’s management and potential lenders or investors to understand the firm’s short-term liquidity position and its ability to meet current liabilities without needing to sell off inventory.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Quick Ratio?

The Quick Ratio, also known as the Acid-Test Ratio, is a financial metric used to evaluate a company’s short-term liquidity position. It measures the ability of a company to use its most liquid assets to repay its current liabilities immediately.

How is Quick Ratio calculated?

It’s calculated by subtracting inventories from current assets and then dividing by current liabilities `(Current Assets – Inventories) / Current Liabilities`.

What does a Quick Ratio of less than 1 indicate?

A Quick Ratio of less than 1 suggests that the company may not be able to fully pay off its current liabilities in the short term without selling off long-term assets, indicating poor financial health.

What is the importance of the Quick Ratio?

The Quick Ratio provides an insight into a company’s short-term liquidity without relying on the sale of inventory. This metric is important to creditors and investors looking to understand a company’s liquidity and risk level.

How does Quick Ratio differ from Current Ratio?

Both ratios are used to measure liquidity, but the Quick Ratio excludes inventory from the calculation. This makes it a stricter measure because it only focuses on the most liquid assets – those that can quickly be converted into cash.

What are the shortfalls of the Quick Ratio?

The Quick Ratio does not consider the timing of cash inflows and outflows. Thus, a firm may have a positive Quick Ratio but still face liquidity problems if their most liquid assets are not due to be converted into cash before their liabilities are due.

Can the Quick Ratio vary by industry?

Yes, what’s considered a healthy Quick Ratio can vary by industry, depending primarily on the average liquidity of industry-specific assets.

Should a company’s Quick Ratio be positive?

Ideally yes, a company’s Quick Ratio should be above 1. This implies that the company can pay off its current obligations without relying on the sale of inventory or obtaining additional financing.

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