Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples | Layer Blog (2024)

When evaluating a company’s financial situation, you can choose from multiple financial ratios and analyses, depending on your purpose. Leverage ratios focus on a company’s reliance on debt, solvency ratios on its ability to cover long-term debt obligations, and liquidity ratios on its ability to pay off short-term debt using liquid assets.

In this article, you will learn about liquidity ratios and why they are important. You will also learn how to set up a template for liquidity analysis in Google Sheets, using the formulas for the most popular liquidity ratios. Finally, you will learn how to interpret the values you get for these ratios. Although Google Sheets or Excel lets you automate calculations to save time and avoid mistakes, using Layer, you can synchronize your data across multiple platforms and formats, schedule updates, and manage access and collaboration.

What is a Liquidity Ratio?

Liquidity ratios are financial metrics that measure a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations. In other words, these ratios indicate whether current liabilities can be paid using current or liquid assets. Depending on the specific ratio, the focus will be on current assets in general or highly liquid assets.

These ratios are of particular interest to short-term lenders and investors because they indicate the likelihood that the company will be able to pay off its short-term debt.

Why are Liquidity Ratios Important?

Liquidity ratios are important metrics when evaluating a company’s short-term financial health. Because they measure a business's ability to pay off current liabilities, short-term lenders and investors can use them to assess risk. These ratios indicate whether the company would be able to pay back short-term debt in the event of unexpected setbacks.

Current liabilities, generally used as the denominator for these ratios, usually refer to debt the company must pay back within a year. There are different types of liquidity ratios, and each considers a narrower subset of current assets. Together, they provide an overview of the company’s liquidity. These ratios are frequently analyzed together with solvency ratios, which focus on paying off long-term financial obligations, including any due interest.

Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples | Layer Blog (1)

Current Ratio: Calculation, Formula & Examples

The current ratio is a good measurement of a company’s liquidity. Here's everything you need to know about the current ratio and its calculation.

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Types of Liquidity Ratios

Depending on your role or the purpose of your analysis, you’ll be interested in different types of liquidity ratios. Although they all express a company’s ability to meet current liabilities, they differ in the selection of current assets considered.

The current ratio, for example, takes into account a broad range of current assets, including inventory and prepaid expenses; the quick ratio, however, only considers highly liquid assets, i.e., assets that can be converted into cash quickly. The cash ratio is even more restrictive since it only accounts for cash and cash equivalents. However, there are even more stringent liquidity ratios. The operating cash flow ratio only considers the cash flow generated directly by operations.

In the next section, you will learn the formulas to calculate these four liquidity ratios.

How are Liquidity Ratios Calculated?

Use the formulas below to calculate four of the most popular liquidity ratios.

  • Current Ratio represents the company’s ability to cover current liabilities using current or liquid assets.
current ratio = current assets / current liabilities
  • Quick Ratio represents the company’s ability to pay off current liabilities using highly liquid assets.
quick ratio = (cash + marketable securities + accounts receivable) / current liabilities
  • Cash Ratio represents a company’s ability to pay for current liabilities using cash and cash equivalents.
cash ratio = (cash + marketable securities) / current liabilities
  • Operating Cash Flow Ratio represents the company’s ability to pay off its current liabilities using the cash flow generated by core operations.
operating cash flow ratio = operating cash flow / current liabilities

In the next section, you have examples of calculating these in Google Sheets, using data from the company’s financial statements.

Liquidity Ratio Examples

The data you need to calculate liquidity ratios is on the company’s financial statements, like balance sheets or cash flow statements. You can easily set up a template in Google Sheets to calculate the ratios you need.

1. Gather Data

The first step is to gather the necessary data in your spreadsheet. The data below belong to Company A.

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Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples - Financial Statement Data

2. Add Formulas

Now that you have the data, you can add the formula for each ratio using cell references. Check the previous section, including the formulas.

Current Ratio

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Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples - Current Ratio Formula

Quick Ratio

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Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples - Quick Ratio Formula

Cash Ratio

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Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples - Cash Ratio Formula

Operating Cash Flow Ratio

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Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples - Operating Cash Flow Ratio Formula

Leverage Ratio: Definition And How To Calculate

A leverage ratio provides you with information on how much a company depends on borrowed capital. Here’s what leverage ratios are and how to calculate them.

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Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples | Layer Blog (7)

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3. Analyze & Compare the Results

Once you have the values for your chosen liquidity ratios, you can interpret them using the general guidelines from the next section. However, remember that it’s important to compare your values to those of similar companies and use industry-specific benchmarks.

Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples | Layer Blog (8)

Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples - Liquidity Ratio Results

Liquidity Ratio Interpretation

As mentioned, financial ratios, including liquidity ratios, should be analyzed in context by comparing them to those of similar companies in the industry. Every industry has its specific customs and accounting practices, which could significantly impact the range of acceptable values for these ratios.

What is a Good Liquidity Ratio?

Because of how we calculate liquidity ratios - assets divided by liabilities, higher values are better. For the current ratio, a value of 1 indicates that the company can cover current debt using current assets. A ratio of 2 indicates it could pay for it twice, a more comfortable financial position.

However, some liquidity ratios take a much stricter approach and only consider cash and cash equivalents. A cash ratio below 1 shouldn’t necessarily be the cause for concern, particularly in specific industries.

Conclusion

You now know about liquidity ratios and what they can tell you about a company’s current finances. Together, these ratios provide an overview of how well a company can cover its current liabilities using current assets. You also know the formulas for the four most common liquidity ratios and how to interpret their values. As with any financial ratio, it’s important to get industry benchmarks and compare values to those of similar companies.

From the current ratio, which provides the broadest view of liquid assets, to the operating cash flow ratio, which is very specific, you can easily set up a quick template in Google Sheets. For a more comprehensive analysis, you can add other types of financial ratios to the template.

To learn more about financial ratios and analyses used to assess a company’s financial health and performance, check out these articles on:

  • Quick Ratio
  • Current Ratio
  • Leverage Ratio
  • Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis
  • Profitability Analysis
  • Scenario Analysis

I am an expert in financial analysis and ratios, with a deep understanding of liquidity ratios and their significance in evaluating a company's financial health. I have extensive experience in utilizing financial ratios to assess short-term and long-term financial stability, and I can provide detailed insights into the calculation, interpretation, and practical application of liquidity ratios.

Liquidity Ratios and Their Importance

Liquidity ratios are essential financial metrics that measure a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations. These ratios indicate whether current liabilities can be paid using current or liquid assets. They are of particular interest to short-term lenders and investors because they provide insight into the company's likelihood of paying off its short-term debt [[1]].

Importance of Liquidity Ratios: Liquidity ratios are crucial when evaluating a company’s short-term financial health. They measure a business's ability to pay off current liabilities, allowing short-term lenders and investors to assess risk. These ratios indicate whether the company would be able to pay back short-term debt in the event of unexpected setbacks [[1]].

Types of Liquidity Ratios

Depending on the purpose of the analysis, different types of liquidity ratios are used. The current ratio considers a broad range of current assets, including inventory and prepaid expenses; the quick ratio only considers highly liquid assets, while the cash ratio is even more restrictive, accounting for cash and cash equivalents. Additionally, the operating cash flow ratio considers the cash flow generated directly by operations [[1]].

Calculation of Liquidity Ratios

The formulas for calculating the four most popular liquidity ratios are as follows:

  • Current Ratio: current assets / current liabilities
  • Quick Ratio: (cash + marketable securities + accounts receivable) / current liabilities
  • Cash Ratio: (cash + marketable securities) / current liabilities
  • Operating Cash Flow Ratio: operating cash flow / current liabilities [[1]].

Setting Up a Template for Liquidity Analysis in Google Sheets

To calculate liquidity ratios in Google Sheets, you can gather the necessary financial statement data and set up a template. The data required for calculating liquidity ratios includes balance sheets or cash flow statements. Once the data is gathered, the formulas for each ratio can be added using cell references [[1]].

Analyzing and Interpreting Liquidity Ratios

After obtaining the values for the chosen liquidity ratios, it's important to interpret them using general guidelines. It's crucial to compare the values to those of similar companies and use industry-specific benchmarks for a comprehensive analysis [[1]].

Conclusion

Liquidity ratios provide an overview of how well a company can cover its current liabilities using current assets. Understanding these ratios and their implications is vital for assessing a company's current financial position. It's also important to compare these ratios with industry benchmarks and the values of similar companies for a more comprehensive analysis [[1]].

I can also provide insights into leverage ratios, which provide information on how much a company depends on borrowed capital, and other financial analyses used to assess a company’s financial health and performance.

Liquidity Ratio: Types, Calculation & Examples | Layer Blog (2024)
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