Quick ratio or Acid Test ratio is the ratio of the sum of cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities and accounts receivable to the current liabilities of a business. It measures the ability of a company to pay its debts by using its cash and near cash current assets (i.e. accounts receivable and marketable securities).
Quick ratio is calculated using the following formula:
|=||Cash + Marketable Securities + Receivables|
Marketable securities are those securities which can be coverted into cash quickly. Examples of marketable securities are treasury bills, saving bills, shares of stock-exchange, etc. Receivables refer to accounts receivable. Alternatively, quick ratio can also be calculated using the following formula:
|=||Current Assets − Inventory − Prepayments|
Quick ratio measures the liquidity of a business by matching its cash and near cash current assets with its total liabilities. It helps us to determine whether a business would be able to pay off all its debts by using its most liquid assets (i.e. cash, marketable securities and accounts receivable).
A quick ratio of 1.00 means that the most liquid assets of a business are equal to its total debts and the business will just manage to repay all its debts by using its cash, marketable securities and accounts receivable. A quick ratio of more than one indicates that the most liquid assets of a business exceed its total debts. On the opposite side, a quick ratio of less than one indicates that a business would not be able to repay all its debts by using its most liquid assets.
Thus we conclude that, generally, a higher quick ratio is preferable because it means greater liquidity. However a quick ratio which is quite high, say 4.00, is not favorable to a business as whole because this means that the business has idle current assets which could have been used to create additional projects thus increasing profits. In other words, very high value of quick ratio may indicate inefficiency.
Example 1: A company has following assets and liabilities at the year ended December 31, 2009:
|Total Current Assets||111,590|
|Total Current Liabilities||73,780|
Calculate quick ratio (acid test ratio).
Quick ratio = ( 34,390 + 12,000 + 56,200 ) / 73,780 = 102,590 / 73,780 = 1.39
Quick ratio = ( 111,590 − 9,000 ) / 73,780 = 102,590 / 73,780 = 1.39
Example 2: Calculate quick ratio from the following information:
|Total Current Assets||79,890|
|Total Current Liabilities||52,960|
In this example, treasury bills are marketable securities thus we will calculate quick ratio as follows:
Quick ratio = ( 79,890 − 6,500 − 17,240 ) / 52,960 = 56,150 / 52,960 = 1.06
Quick ratio = ( 21,720 + 18,500 + 15,930 ) / 52,960 = 56,150 / 52,960 = 1.06
Written by Irfanullah Jan