What is the Current Ratio Formula & Explanation

Current Ratio Formula

Thus, the higher the ratio, the more current assets a company possesses in comparison to its liabilities. First, the quick ratio excludes inventory and prepaid expenses from liquid assets, with the rationale being that inventory and prepaid expenses are not that liquid. Prepaid expenses can’t be accessed immediately to cover debts, and inventory takes time to sell. Accounts PayableAccounts payable is the amount due by a business to its suppliers or vendors for the purchase of products or services. It is categorized as current liabilities on the balance sheet and must be satisfied within an accounting period. The current ratio measures a company’s ability to pay current, or short-term, liabilities with its current, or short-term, assets, such as cash, inventory, and receivables.

  • Current assets will improve on the balance sheet by reducing short-term borrowings and improve the current ratio percentage.
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  • It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve as a business owner or investor.
  • Indeed, companies with shorter operating cycles tend to have smaller ratios.
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The current ratio is a rough indicator of the degree of safety with which short-term credit may be extended to the business. On the other hand, the current liabilities are those that must be paid within the current https://quick-bookkeeping.net/ year. A company with a low current or quick ratio should likely proceed with some degree of caution, and the next step would be to determine how much more capital and how quickly it could be obtained.

Definition: What Exactly Is Current Ratio?

In theory, the higher the current ratio, the more capable a company is of paying its obligations because it has a larger proportion of short-term asset value relative to the value of its short-term liabilities. However, because the current ratio at any one time is just a snapshot, it is usually not a complete representation of a company’s short-term liquidity or longer-term solvency. To calculate the ratio, analysts compare a company’s current assets to its current liabilities. Naturally, this is so that creditors and investors would have an easier time calculating important ratios – the one that they’re after – rather than diving into more complex calculus. Moreover, on the U.S. financial statements, the current liabilities are always reported before the long-term ones, as they are more important and require earlier paying off.

What does a current ratio of 1.25 mean?

Expressed as a Number

For example, if a company's total current assets are $90,000 and its current liabilities are $72,000, its current ratio is $90,000/$72,000 = 1.25. If the current ratio of a business is 1 or more, it means it has more current assets than current liabilities (i.e., positive working capital).

A current ratio of less than 1 indicates that the company may have problems meeting its short-term obligations. Some types of businesses can operate with a current ratio of less than one, however. If inventory turns into cash much more rapidly than the accounts payable become due, then the firm’s current ratio can comfortably remain less than one. Inventory is valued at the cost of acquiring it and the firm intends to sell the inventory for more than this cost. The sale will therefore generate substantially more cash than the value of inventory on the balance sheet.


By the same token, current liabilities are debts that are due within a year, and would cause a firm to convert its current assets to liquid in order to pay them off. They might include money owed for payroll and other payables, debt from bills, or unearned income . The current ratio is calculated by dividing a company’s current assets by its current liabilities.

  • Taking from the calculation above, MSFT has a current ratio of 2.53 which tells us they can cover their current obligations which is good.
  • One limitation of the current ratio emerges when using it to compare different companies with one another.
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  • The current ratio measures a company’s capacity to pay its short-term liabilities due in one year.
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  • Acceptable current ratios vary from industry to industry and are generally between 1.5 and 3 for healthy businesses.
  • If inventory turns into cash much more rapidly than the accounts payable become due, then the firm’s current ratio can comfortably remain less than one.

On the balance sheet, current assets include cash, cash equivalents , accounts receivable, and inventory. When you calculate a company’s current ratio, the resulting number determines whether it’s a good investment. A company with a current ratio of less than 1 has insufficient capital to meet its short-term debts because it has a larger proportion of liabilities relative Current Ratio Formula to the value of its current assets. They want to calculate the current ratio for the technology company XYZ Ltd which is based in California. The company reports show they have $500,000 in current assets and $1,000,000 in current liabilities. It is important to note that a similar ratio, the quick ratio, also compares a company’s liquid assets to current liabilities.

Current Vs. Quick Ratio

Therefore, the cash level would increase and current assets will grow. Even, the current ratio of less than 1 reflects the company is not earning enough cash from core business operations and ineffective collections of bills receivable. Usually, the current ratio of more than 1 denotes that a good Liquidity of a company and the company can comfortably pay off its short-term obligations. In this scenario, it is a good idea to investigate the reason behind the decrease in current ratio and assess the overall liquidity situation of the company.