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Current Ratio Formula

Current Assets / Current Liabilities

What is the Current Ratio?

The current ratio, also known as the working capital ratio, measures the capability of a business to meet its short-term obligations that are due within a year. The ratio considers the weight of the total current assets versus the total current liabilities. It indicates the financial health of a company and how it can maximize the liquidity of its current assets to settle debt and payables.  The Current Ratio formula (below) can be used to easily measure a company’s liquidity.

 

current ratio formula diagram

Image: CFI’s Financial Analysis Fundamentals Course.

 

Current Ratio Formula

The Current Ratio formulas is:

Current Ratio = Current Assets / Current Liabilities

 

Example of the Current Ratio Formula

If a business has:

  • Cash = $15 million
  • Marketable securities = $20 million
  • Inventory = $25 million
  • Short-term Debt = $15 million
  • Accounts Payables = $15 million

 

Current assets = 15 + 20 + 25 = 60 million

Current liabilities = 15 + 15 = 30 million

Current ratio = 60 million / 30 million = 2.0x

 

The business currently has a current ratio of 2, meaning it can easily settle each dollar on loan or accounts payable twice. A rate of more than 1 suggests financial well-being for the company. There is no upper-end on what is “too much”, as this can be very dependent on the industry, however, a very high current ratio may indicate that a company is leaving excess cash unused rather than investing in growing its business.

 

Download the Free Current Ratio Formula Template

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Current Ratio Calculator

 

Current Ratio Template

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Current Ratio Formula – What are Current Assets?

Current assets are resources that can quickly be converted into cash within a year’s time or less. These include the following:

  • Cash – legal tender bills, coins, undeposited checks from customers, checking and savings accounts, petty cash
  • Cash equivalents – corporate or government securities with 90 days or less maturity
  • Marketable securities – common stock, preferred stock, government and corporate bonds with a maturity date of 1 year or less
  • Accounts receivable – money owed to the company by customers and that is due within a year – This net value should be after deducting an allowance for doubtful accounts (bad credit)
  • Notes receivable – debt that is maturing within a year
  • Other receivables – such as insurance claims, employee cash advances, income tax refunds
  • Inventory – raw materials, work-in-process, finished goods, manufacturing/packaging supplies
  • Office supplies – includes office resources such as paper, pens, and equipment expected to be consumed within a year
  • Prepaid expenses – unexpired insurance premiums, advance payments on future purchases

 

Current Ratio Formula – What are Current Liabilities?

Current liabilities are business obligations owed to suppliers and creditors, and other payments that are due within a year’s time. This includes:

  • Notes payable – interest and the principal portion of loans that will become due within one year
  • Accounts payable or Trade payable – credit resulting from the purchase of merchandise, raw materials, supplies, or usage of services and utilities
  • Accrued expenses – payroll taxes payable, income taxes payable, interest payable, and anything else that has been accrued for but an invoice is not received
  • Deferred revenue – this is revenue that the company has been paid for that will be earned in the future when the company satisfies revenue recognition requirements

 

Why use the Current Ratio Formula?

This current ratio is classed with several other financial metrics known as liquidity ratios. These ratios all assess the operations of a company in terms of how financially solid the company is in relation to its outstanding debt. Knowing the current ratio is vital in decision-making for investors, creditors, and suppliers of a company. The current ratio is an important tool in assessing the viability of their business interest.

Other important liquidity ratios include:

  • Acid-Test Ratio
  • Quick Ratio

Below is a video explanation of how to calculate the current ratio and why it matters when performing analysis of financial statements.

 

Video: CFI’s Financial Analysis Courses.

 

Additional resources

Thank you for reading this guide to understanding the current ratio formula. CFI is the official global provider of the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FVMA)® designation. To keep educating yourself and advancing your finance career, these resources will be helpful:

  • Quick Ratio Template
  • Net Asset Liquidation
  • Liquidation Value Template
  • What is financial modeling?

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