Acid-Test Ratio

The Acid-Test Ratio, also known as the Quick Ratio or the Liquid Ratio, is a financial metric used to evaluate a company’s short-term liquidity and ability to cover immediate financial obligations. It measures the company’s ability to pay off its current liabilities using its most liquid assets, excluding inventory. The Acid-Test Ratio is an important indicator of a company’s financial health, indicating its ability to weather short-term financial challenges without relying on the sale of inventory.


The Acid-Test Ratio is calculated by dividing a company’s quick assets by its current liabilities. Quick assets encompass cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and accounts receivable.

Acid-Test Ratio = (Cash + Cash Equivalents + Marketable Securities + Accounts Receivable) / Current Liabilities


The Acid-Test Ratio provides insights into a company’s short-term liquidity position by excluding inventory from its calculation. This exclusion is based on the assumption that a company might face difficulty in quickly converting inventory into cash during an urgent financial situation. By focusing on liquid assets, the Acid-Test Ratio paints a more conservative picture of a company’s ability to meet its immediate financial obligations.


The Acid-Test Ratio is a vital tool for assessing a company’s liquidity risk since it indicates its ability to meet short-term liabilities. Lenders, investors, and creditors often use this ratio to evaluate a company’s financial health before extending credit or investing in the company. Additionally, the Acid-Test Ratio is commonly used by financial analysts and credit rating agencies to benchmark a company against industry standards and identify potential red flags.


A value higher than 1.0 indicates that a company has sufficient quick assets to cover its immediate liabilities. This implies a strong liquidity position, as the company could meet its obligations even if all inventory was sold off. On the other hand, a value lower than 1.0 suggests that a company may struggle to meet its short-term liabilities, potentially indicating liquidity constraints or excessive reliance on inventory.


While the Acid-Test Ratio provides valuable insights into a company’s liquidity position, it has some limitations. Firstly, it does not consider the timing of cash flows, making it important to analyze the overall quality of a company’s receivables. Moreover, the ratio might not be suitable for industries where inventory is quickly converted into cash, such as retail. Finally, the Acid-Test Ratio solely focuses on short-term liquidity and does not reflect a company’s long-term financial stability.


– Quick Ratio

– Liquid Ratio

Related Terms:

– Current Assets

– Current Liabilities

– Working Capital

– Inventory Turnover

– Cash Ratio


The Acid-Test Ratio is a key financial metric used to gauge a company’s liquidity position and its ability to cover immediate financial obligations without relying on inventory. By focusing on the company’s most liquid assets, excluding inventory, this ratio provides valuable insights into a company’s short-term financial health. Lenders, investors, and creditors utilize the Acid-Test Ratio to assess the risk associated with providing credit or investing in a company. Understanding this ratio helps stakeholders make informed decisions, contributing to effective financial management and risk assessment.

This glossary is made for freelancers and owners of small businesses. If you are looking for exact definitions you can find them in accounting textbooks.

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