Lenders and investors may use liquidity ratio calculations to determine how healthy your business is. They generally want to know that you have cash flow under control, you spend responsibly, and you pay off your debts. A steady stream of cash is key to a successful business, but that’s just one part of the entire financial picture. It’s also important to maintain a strong liquidity ratio, which indicates the business is able to pay off its existing debts with its existing assets.

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## What Is Liquidity and Why Is It Important for Firms?

Fundamentally, all liquidity ratios measure a firm’s ability to cover short-term obligations by dividing current assets by current liabilities (CL). It considers more liquid assets such as cash, accounts receivables, and marketable securities. It leaves out current assets such as inventory and prepaid expenses because the two are less liquid. So, the quick ratio is more of a true test of a company’s ability to cover its short-term obligations. Absolute liquid assets are the liquid assets of the company excluding the accounts receivable.

If the payment is in cash then current assets will be reduced whereas current liabilities will remain at the same figure. In the second alternative when purchase is on credit basis, current liabilities will go up while current assets will remain at their previous figure. Absolute liquid assets are equal to liquid assets minus accounts receivable and bills receivable. These assets usually include cash, cash equivalents, bank balances and marketable securities etc.

- Creditors and investors like to see higher liquidity ratios, such as 2 or 3.
- In each of the liquidity ratios, the current liabilities amount is placed in the denominator of the equation, and the liquid assets amount is placed in the numerator.
- Yes, a company with a liquidity ratio of 8.5 will be able to confidently pay its short-term bills, but investors may deem such a ratio excessive.
- If the payment is in cash then current assets will be reduced whereas current liabilities will remain at the same figure.
- It is logical because the cash ratio only considers cash and marketable securities in the numerator, whereas the current ratio considers all current assets.

A ratio of 3.0 would mean they could cover their current liabilities three times over, and so forth. This article guides you about how to calculate absolute liquid ratio or cash ratio in test of liquidity. Let’s use a couple of these liquidity ratios to demonstrate their effectiveness in assessing a company’s financial condition. The solvency ratio is calculated by dividing a company’s net income and depreciation by its short-term and long-term liabilities. This indicates whether a company’s net income can cover its total liabilities. Generally, a company with a higher solvency ratio is considered to be a more favorable investment.

## Types of Liquidity Ratios

An abnormally high ratio means the company holds a large amount of liquid assets. For investors, they will analyze a company using liquidity ratios to ensure that a company is financially healthy and worthy of their investment. Working capital issues will put restraints on the rest of the business as well. This ratio only considers a company’s most liquid assets – cash and marketable securities. They are the assets that are most readily available to a company to pay short-term obligations. The receipt of cash will increase cash or bank balance while sundry debtors will be reduced by the same amount.

- These assets include cash in hand, cash at bank, short-term investments, marketable securities, etc.
- Liquidity refers to how easily or efficiently cash can be obtained to pay bills and other short-term obligations.
- A ratio of 3.0 would mean they could cover their current liabilities three times over, and so forth.
- Creditors analyze liquidity ratios when deciding whether or not they should extend credit to a company.

Solvency, on the other hand, is a firm’s ability to pay long-term obligations. For a firm, this will often include being able to repay interest and principal on debts (such as bonds) or long-term leases. In terms of how strict the tests of liquidity are, you can view the current ratio, quick ratio, and cash ratio as easy, medium, and hard.

## What Happens If Ratios Show a Firm Is Not Liquid?

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With liquidity ratios, there is a balance between a company being able to safely cover its bills and improper capital allocation. Capital should be allocated in the best way to increase the value of the firm for shareholders. Therefore, an acceptable current ratio will be higher than an acceptable quick ratio.

## What business owners can do

For example, a company may have a current ratio of 3.9, a quick ratio of 1.9, and a cash ratio of 0.94. All three may be considered healthy by analysts and investors, depending on the company. Cash is generally the most liquid asset because it’s available at the touch of a few buttons on an ATM pad or a digital app — or sometimes in your wallet. The better a business’s liquidity ratio, the more attractive it will be to lenders and investors, both of which can be extremely important for growth. Creditors analyze liquidity ratios when deciding whether or not they should extend credit to a company. They want to be sure that the company they lend to has the ability to pay them back.

## How Does Liquidity Differ From Solvency?

While this may sound fairly simple, there are several ways to calculate a business’s liquidity ratios. Liquidity ratios are important to investors and creditors to determine if a company can cover their short-term obligations, and to what degree. A ratio greater than 1 (e.g., 2.0) would imply that a company is able to satisfy its current bills. In fact, a ratio of 2.0 means that a company can cover its current liabilities two times over.

## ABSOLUTE LIQUID RATIO FORMULA

Any hint of financial instability may disqualify a company from obtaining loans. Liquidity ratios measure how quickly assets can be turned into cash in order to pay the company’s short-term obligations. Alternatively, external analysis involves comparing the liquidity ratios of one company to another or an entire industry. This information is useful to compare the company’s strategic positioning to its competitors when establishing benchmark goals. Liquidity ratio analysis may not be as effective when looking across industries as various businesses require different financing structures.

Note that in our example, we will assume that current liabilities only consist of accounts payable and other liabilities, with no short-term debt. Liquidity is the ability to convert assets into cash quickly and cheaply. Information and views provided are general in nature and are not legal, tax, or investment advice. Information and suggestions regarding business risk management and safeguards do not necessarily represent Wells Fargo’s business practices or experience. Please contact your own legal, tax, or financial advisors regarding your specific business needs before taking any action based upon this information. We can draw several conclusions about the financial condition of these two companies from these ratios.