Acid-test ratio

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on April 12, 2024.


The acid-test ratio, also known as the quick ratio, is a financial metric used to evaluate a company’s ability to cover immediate financial obligations without relying on the sale of inventory.

What is an acid-test ratio?

The acid-test ratio is calculated using the following formula:

Acid-test ratio = current asset – inventory / current liabilities

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Key points about the acid-test ratio:

  1. Focus on short-term liquidity: It specifically looks at a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations without relying on the sale of inventory.
  2. Stringent measure: By excluding inventory, the acid-test ratio provides a more conservative measure of a company’s ability to cover its current liabilities.
  3. Ideal ratio: A ratio of 1 or higher is generally considered satisfactory. This means that the company has enough liquid assets to cover its current liabilities.
  4. Comparison and analysis: It’s important to compare the acid-test ratio with industry benchmarks and the company’s historical performance to get a sense of its financial health.
  5. Limitations: While the acid-test ratio provides valuable insights into short-term liquidity, it doesn’t provide a complete picture of a company’s overall financial health.

Overall, the acid-test ratio is a valuable tool for assessing a company’s ability to meet its short-term financial obligations, providing insights into its liquidity position and financial risk.

Example of acid-test ratio

  1. Balance sheet information:
    • ABC Retail’s balance sheet, as of a specific date, shows the following relevant figures:
      • Current assets: £100,000
      • Inventories: £20,000
      • Current liabilities: £40,000
  2. Calculation of acid-test ratio:
    • Using the formula, you can calculate the acid-test ratio:

    The acid-test ratio for ABC Retail is 2, meaning the company has £2 in quick assets available to cover each £1 of current liabilities.

Try our acid test ratio calculator for yourself.

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