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Liquid funds help a business in meeting its short-term expenses commitments. Liquidity can be defined as an organization’s ability to meet an expense or settle a liability towards its stakeholders, as and when it becomes due. It is a parameter that gives a picture of the solvency of the firm.

To measure the liquidity, we need to calculate the liquidity ratios. These ratios give a short-term answer as the creditors are interested in the current liquidity position of the entity. If the organization is not in a position to meet its short-term commitments, it has an adverse effect on its credit rating and credibility. If the organization is not able to honour its financial commitments, it can result in its bankruptcy or closure. The liquidity of the organization must neither be insufficient nor should it be excessive.

Current Ratio

Quick Ratio or Acid test Ratio

Cash Ratio or Absolute Liquidity Ratio

Net Working Capital Ratio

Let’s look at these ratios in detail.

One of the most common ratios for measuring the short-term liquidity of the firm is the current ratio. This ratio is also called the working capital ratio. It measures whether the current assets of the firm are enough to pay the current liabilities or debts of the firm. This ratio keeps a margin of safety for any potential losses that might occur during the realization of the current assets. It can be calculated as the ratio between the Current Assets and Current Liabilities.

The ideal current ratio is 2:1 but it also depends on the characteristics of the current assets and current liabilities along with the nature of business of the firm. Let’s see the heads that are included under current assets and current liabilities.

Stock

Sundry Debtors

Cash/ Bank Balances

Bills receivable

Accruals

Short term loans given

Short term Securities

Creditors

Outstanding Expenses

Short Term Loans taken

Bank Overdrafts

Provision for Taxation

Proposed Dividend

Current Ratio = Current Assets / Current Liabilities

Where,

Current Assets = Sundry Debtors + Inventories + Cash-at-Bank + Cash-in-hand + Receivables + Loans and Advances + Advance Tax + Disposable Investments

Current Liabilities = Creditors + Short-term Loans + Bank Overdraft + Cash Credit + Outstanding expenses + Dividend payable + Provision for Taxation

Quick Ratio is also known as Acid-test Ratio. It is a measure of the liquidity calculated on the basis of the relationship between Quick Assets and Current Liabilities. It is used to calculate if the readily convertible quick funds are enough to pay the current debts. The ideal Quick Ratio or Acid-test Ratio is 1:1.

Quick Ratio= Quick Assets / Current Liabilities

Where,

Quick Assets = Current Assets – Inventories – Prepaid Expenses

The cash ratio is used to measure the absolute liquidity of the firm. It calculates whether a firm can use only its cash balances, bank balances, and marketable securities to pay its current debts. Inventory and Debtors are not included while calculating this ratio because there is no guarantee of their realization.

Cash Ratio Formula

Cash Ratio= Cash and Bank Balances + Marketable Securities + Current Investments / Current Liabilities

Net Working Capital Ratio

It is a measure of the cash flow and this ratio should be positive. This ratio is very important for the bankers as it helps them gauge if there is a financial crisis in the firm.

Net Working Capital Ratio Formula

Net Working Capital Ratio= Current Assets – Current Liabilities (exclude short-term bank borrowing)

1. Calculate the different liquidity ratios from the following particulars:

Current Ratio= Current Assets/ Current Liabilities

Current Assets = Sundry Debtors + Inventories + Cash-in-hand + Bills Receivable

Current Liabilities = Creditors + Bank Overdraft

Current Assets= 300,000 + 150,000+ 50,000+ 30,000= 530,000

Current Liabilities = 350,000+ 30,000= 380,000

Current Ratio= 530,000 / 400,000= 1.3 :1

Quick Ratio or Acid Test Ratio= Quick Assets / Current Liabilities

Quick Assets = Current Assets – Inventories

Quick Assets= 530,000 - 150,000= 380,000

Quick Ratio or Acid Test Ratio= 380,000 / 380,000 = 1:1

Cash Ratio = Cash Balance / Current Liabilities

Cash Ratio = 50,000 / 380,000= 0.13:1

Net Working Capital Ratio = Current Assets – Current Liabilities (exclude short-term bank borrowing)

Net Working Capital Ratio = 530,000- 350,000= 180,000

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is the difference between the Current Ratio and the Quick Ratio?

Ans. The quick ratio is considered a better liquidity ratio formula and a better measure of a firm’s liquidity than the current ratio. Quick ratio is used to calculate if the readily convertible quick funds are enough to pay the current debts. This ratio is calculated by using the quick assets that include only cash and near-cash or readily convertible into cash assets. It does not include inventories as they cannot be readily converted into cash. Prepaid expenses are also not included as they are paid in advance and cannot be converted into cash.

Q2. What are Liquidity Coverage Ratio and Statutory Liquidity Ratio?

Ans. The liquidity coverage ratio requires the banks to hold a sufficient amount of high-quality liquid assets to fund cash outflows for 30 days. Liquidity coverage ratio is similar to liquidity ratios as it is also a measure of the company’s ability to meet its short-term financial obligations. Statutory Liquidity Ratio is the ratio of liquid assets to Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL).