Business Finance Online

Short-term Solvency or Liquidity Ratios


Short-term Solvency Ratios attempt to measure the ability of a firm to meet its short-term financial obligations. In other words, these ratios seek to determine the ability of a firm to avoid financial distress in the short-run. The two most important Short-term Solvency Ratios are the Current Ratio and the Quick Ratio. (Note: the Quick Ratio is also known as the Acid-Test Ratio.)

Current Ratio

The Current Ratio is calculated by dividing Current Assets by Current Liabilities. Current Assets are the assets that the firm expects to convert into cash in the coming year and Current Liabilities represent the liabilities which have to be paid in cash in the coming year. The appropriate value for this ratio depends on the characteristics of the firm's industry and the composition of its Current Assets. However, at a minimum, the Current Ratio should be greater than one.

Example Problems
Use the information below to calculate the Current Ratio.
Current Assets: $
Current Liabilities: $
Current Ratio:
   

Quick Ratio

The Quick Ratio recognizes that, for many firms, Inventories can be rather illiquid. If these Inventories had to be sold off in a hurry to meet an obligation the firm might have difficulty in finding a buyer and the inventory items would likely have to be sold at a substantial discount from their fair market value.

This ratio attempts to measure the ability of the firm to meet its obligations relying solely on its more liquid Current Asset accounts such as Cash and Accounts Receivable. This ratio is calculated by dividing Current Assets less Inventories by Current Liabilities.

Example Problems
Use the information below to calculate the Quick Ratio.
Current Assets: $
Inventory: $
Current Liabilities: $
Quick Ratio:
   

 

© 2002 - 2010 by Mark A. Lane, Ph.D.