Quick ratio

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on February 14, 2024.


The quick ratio, also known as the acid-test ratio, is a financial metric used to evaluate a company’s short-term liquidity position.

What is a quick ratio?

A quick ratio measures the firm’s ability to cover its immediate or short-term liabilities using its most liquid assets. This ratio is a crucial indicator of a company’s ability to meet its immediate financial obligations without relying on the sale of inventory or other potentially less liquid assets.

The formula for calculating the quick ratio is:

Quick ratio = quick assets / current liabilities

A quick ratio of 1 or higher indicates that a company has enough quick assets to cover its current liabilities, which is generally considered a sign of good short-term financial health. On the other hand, a quick ratio below 1 suggests that the company may face difficulty in meeting its short-term obligations with its readily available liquid assets alone.

The quick ratio is a valuable tool for investors, creditors, and analysts when assessing a company’s financial health, particularly in industries or situations where short-term cash flow management is critical. However, it’s important to use this ratio in conjunction with other financial metrics for a comprehensive evaluation of a company’s overall financial condition.

Example of a quick ratio

Company ABC has the following assets and liabilities:

Quick assets:

  • Cash: £20,000
  • Marketable securities: £10,000
  • Accounts receivable: £15,000

Current liabilities:

  • Accounts payable: £12,000
  • Short-term debt: £8,000

To calculate the quick ratio we use the formula from above:

Quick ratio = (£20,000 + £10,000 + £15,000) / (£12,000 + £8,000)

Quick ratio = £45,000 / £20,000  = 2.25

In this example, Company ABC’s quick ratio is 2.25. This means that the company has £2.25 in quick assets for every £1 in current liabilities, indicating a healthy liquidity position.

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