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Difference Between Current Ratio and Quick Ratio

21 Sep 2023

Fundamental analysis is an essential tool for investors to assess a company’s financial performance before investing. It involves using formulas, calculations, and ratios to evaluate a company’s fundamental strength. Liquidity ratios, including the current ratio and quick ratio, are crucial in this analysis. 

These ratios help determine a company’s ability to meet its debt obligations. Investors prefer companies with strong liquidity ratios, as they indicate financial stability. In this blog, we will explore the formulas, calculations, and differences between the current ratio and quick ratio. 

What is the Current Ratio?

The current ratio is a measure of a company’s ability to meet short-term liabilities with short-term assets. It is calculated by dividing current assets by current liabilities (Current Ratio = Current Assets / Current Liabilities). 

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A Current Ratio below one indicates that a company has fewer current assets than liabilities, making it a financial risk for creditors. Conversely, a current ratio above one signifies a lower risk, as the company can easily liquidate current assets to settle short-term obligations. This ratio provides valuable insights into a company’s liquidity and financial health. 

What is Quick Ratio?

The quick ratio is a liquidity ratio used by investors to assess a company’s ability to pay off current liabilities with its readily available assets. Unlike the current ratio, the quick ratio is a more conservative measure, as it considers only assets that can be quickly converted into cash within 90 days. Also known as the acid-test ratio, it is calculated using the formula:

Quick Ratio = (Cash + Cash Equivalents + Current Receivables + Short-Term Investments)/ Current Liabilities. 

Ideally, a company’s quick ratio should be above 1, indicating its capability to meet liabilities if they become due simultaneously. 

What is the key difference between the Current Ratio and the Quick Ratio?

The difference between the current ratio and the quick ratio lies in the inclusion of certain assets. The quick ratio takes a more conservative approach by excluding inventory and other less liquid assets, focusing solely on the company’s most liquid assets. 

The current ratio includes all current assets, including those with lower liquidity. This means that the current ratio mat overstates a company’s liquidity, while the quick ratio may provide a more accurate representation. Both ratios consider accounts receivable, but if receivables are difficult to collect and convert to cash, even the quick ratio may not fully reflect liquidity. 

Conclusion

Calculating multiple ratios, including the current ratio and quick ratio, is crucial for assessing liquidity in your business. Combining these ratios with other accounting ratios provides a clearer understanding of your financial situation. These ratios can help identify potential issues and guide financial projections.

 

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