# Liquidity Ratio

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## What is the liquidity ratio?

A liquidity ratio is a type of financial ratio that measures a company's ability to pay its short-term debt obligations using its current or liquid assets. It indicates how well a company can cover its current liabilities without raising external capital or selling its long-term assets. The liquidity ratio is important for creditors, investors, and managers as it reflects the financial health and solvency of a company.

### Why liquidity ratio is important?

The liquidity ratio is important because it shows how easily a company can meet its short-term financial obligations and deal with unexpected cash needs. A high liquidity ratio means that a company has enough liquid assets to pay off its current liabilities quickly and cheaply. A low liquidity ratio means that a company may struggle to pay its bills on time and may face liquidity problems or insolvency. Liquidity ratio is also important for comparing the performance and efficiency of different companies or industries.

### The formula of liquidity ratio

There are different types of liquidity ratios that use different formulas to calculate the ratio of liquid assets to current liabilities. Some of the common liquidity ratios are:

#### Current ratio

This ratio compares the total current assets to the total current liabilities of a company. It shows how many times a company can pay off its current liabilities with its current assets. The formula is:

Current ratio = Current assets / Current liabilities

#### Quick ratio

This ratio compares the most liquid current assets (cash, marketable securities, and accounts receivable) to the current liabilities of a company. It shows how quickly a company can pay off its current liabilities with its most liquid assets. It is also known as the acid-test ratio. The formula is:

Quick ratio = (Cash + Marketable securities + Accounts receivable) / Current liabilities

#### Cash ratio

This ratio compares the cash and cash equivalents to the current liabilities of a company. It shows how much cash a company has available to pay off its current liabilities immediately. It is the most conservative and stringent measure of liquidity. The formula is:

Cash ratio = (Cash + Cash equivalents) / Current liabilities

### How to calculate liquidity ratios?

Liquidity ratios are calculated by dividing the liquid assets of a company by its current liabilities. Liquid assets are those that can be easily converted into cash within a short period of time, such as cash, marketable securities, and accounts receivable. Current liabilities are those that are due within one year, such as accounts payable, short-term debt, and accrued expenses.

There are different types of liquidity ratios that use different measures of liquid assets and current liabilities. Some of the common liquidity ratios are:

#### Current ratio

This ratio compares the total current assets to the total current liabilities. It indicates the ability of a company to meet its short-term obligations with its available resources. The formula for the current ratio is:

Current ratio = Current assets / Current liabilities

A current ratio of 1 or more means that the company has enough current assets to cover its current liabilities. A current ratio of less than 1 means that the company may face difficulties in paying its bills on time.

#### Quick ratio

This ratio is also known as the acid-test ratio or the liquid ratio. It compares the most liquid current assets to the current liabilities. It excludes inventories and prepaid expenses from the current assets, as they may take longer to convert into cash or may lose value in the process. The formula for the quick ratio is:

Quick ratio = (Current assets - Inventories - Prepaid expenses) / Current liabilities

A quick ratio of 1 or more means that the company can pay off its current liabilities without relying on its inventories or prepaid expenses. A quick ratio of less than 1 means that the company may not have enough liquid assets to meet its immediate obligations.

#### Cash ratio

This ratio is the most conservative measure of liquidity, as it only considers cash and cash equivalents as liquid assets. Cash equivalents are short-term investments that can be easily converted into cash within 90 days, such as treasury bills, commercial paper, and money market funds. The formula for the cash ratio is:

Cash ratio = (Cash + Cash equivalents) / Current liabilities

A cash ratio of 1 or more means that the company has enough cash and cash equivalents to pay off its current liabilities. A cash ratio of less than 1 means that the company may need to borrow money or sell other assets to meet its short-term obligations.

### Examples of liquidity ratios

To illustrate how to calculate and interpret liquidity ratios, let us consider the following example of a hypothetical company's balance sheet:

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Using the above data, we can calculate the following liquidity ratios for this company:

Current ratio = (10,000 + 20,000 + 30,000 + 5,000) / (15,000 + 10,000 + 5,000) = 1.5

Quick ratio = (10,000 + 20,000) / (15,000 + 10,000 + 5,000) = 1

Cash ratio = (10,000) / (15,000 + 10,000 + 5,000) = 0.33

The current ratio of 1.5 indicates that the company has more current assets than current liabilities and can pay off its short-term debts with its available resources. The quick ratio of 1 indicates that the company has enough liquid assets to cover its current liabilities without relying on its inventories or prepaid expenses. The cash ratio of 0.33 indicates that the company does not have enough cash and cash equivalents to pay off its current liabilities and may need to borrow money or sell other assets to meet its short-term obligations.

### Limitations of liquidity ratios

While liquidity ratios are useful tools for assessing a company's financial health and solvency, they also have some limitations that should be considered when using them for analysis. Some of these limitations are:
• Liquidity ratios do not reflect the quality or profitability of a company's assets or operations. A company may have a high liquidity ratio but low profitability or low asset turnover.
• Liquidity ratios do not account for the timing or uncertainty of cash flows. A company may have a low liquidity ratio but high cash inflows in the near future, or a high liquidity ratio but high cash outflows in the near future.
• Liquidity ratios do not consider the market conditions or industry norms. A company may have a different liquidity ratio than its peers or competitors due to different business models, strategies, or risk profiles.
• Liquidity ratios are based on historical data and may not reflect the current or future situation of a company. A company may experience changes in its liquidity position due to external factors, such as economic cycles, customer demand, supplier relations, or regulatory changes.