What is the Quick Ratio?

Quick Ratio

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Quick Ratio

The Quick Ratio, often referred to as the “acid-test ratio,” is a liquidity metric used to measure a company’s ability to pay off its current liabilities without relying on the sale of inventory. The ratio focuses on the company’s most liquid assets, which can be quickly converted to cash within a short period, typically 90 days or less.

The Quick Ratio is calculated as:

Quick Ratio = Quick Assets / Current Liabilities


The Quick Ratio gives a more stringent assessment of a company’s short-term liquidity than the Current Ratio because it excludes inventory from the assets. Since inventory might not be easily liquidated or might require a discount to sell quickly, the Quick Ratio provides a more conservative view of a company’s liquidity.

Interpreting the Quick Ratio:

  • A Quick Ratio greater than 1 suggests that a company can pay off its current obligations without having to sell its inventory.
  • A Quick Ratio less than 1 indicates that the company might not be able to cover its current liabilities if they all came due at once without selling inventory.
  • A Quick Ratio of 1 means that the quick assets are equal to the current liabilities.

However, it’s important to note that an appropriate Quick Ratio can vary by industry and the nature of a company’s operations. It’s always best to compare a company’s Quick Ratio to that of its peers or its own historical data for a more meaningful analysis.

Example of the Quick Ratio

Let’s use a hypothetical example to calculate and interpret the Quick Ratio:

ABC Tech’s Balance Sheet Excerpt (in USD):

  • Current Assets:
    • Cash: $20,000
    • Cash Equivalents: $10,000
    • Marketable Securities: $5,000
    • Accounts Receivable: $15,000
    • Inventory: $30,000
  • Current Liabilities: $40,000

Step 1: Calculate Quick Assets.

Quick Assets = Cash + Cash Equivalents + Marketable Securities + Accounts Receivable

Quick Assets = $20,000 + $10,000 + $5,000 + $15,000
Quick Assets = $50,000

Note that we did not include the inventory value ($30,000) in the quick assets calculation.

Step 2: Calculate the Quick Ratio.

Quick Ratio = Quick Assets / Current Liabilities

Quick Ratio = $50,000 / $40,000
Quick Ratio = 1.25


ABC Tech has a Quick Ratio of 1.25. This means for every dollar of current liabilities, ABC Tech has $1.25 in assets that can be quickly converted to cash without relying on the sale of inventory. A Quick Ratio above 1 suggests that ABC Tech is in a good position to cover its short-term obligations even if it doesn’t sell any of its inventory.

Again, while this provides some insights into the company’s liquidity, for a comprehensive analysis, one should compare this ratio to industry benchmarks, competitors, and the company’s historical ratios.

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