In accounting terms, what is discussed in the literature is a possible trade-off between accounting liquidity and profitability caused by the assumption that companies that carry more liquid assets would be less apt to generate greater accounting returns for shareholders (commonly defined as net income per unit of net equity, or return on equity, or simply ROE).
Higher accounting returns would be the natural compensation for an increase in operational risk brought on by greater immobilization of capital (lower accounting liquidity), as argued by Walker (1964).
There are, however, authors such as Chan (2010) who argue in favor of a positive relationship between accounting liquidity and profitability in a context of financial constraint, consistent with the idea postulated by Hirigoyen (1985) and verified both by Baghiyan (2013) and by Ding, Guariglia, and Knight (2010) for developing markets.
In Brazil, Pimentel (2008) found a positive relationship between accounting liquidity and profitability in the long run.
Following on from the paper by Pimentel (2008), Vieira (2010) also sought to verify whether there was a negative relationship between accounting liquidity and profitability in the short run, and a positive one in the long run.
They concluded that, in the medium to long run, there was, in fact, a positive relationship between liquidity and profitability; that is, companies with low accounting profitability would also be those with low accounting liquidity, which would again contradict a potential trade-off between liquidity and return on the accounting level.
Fleuriet, Kehdy, and Blanc (2003) argue that in order to define excess accounting liquidity, i.e., that which is really able to destroy accounting profitability, it is first necessary to reclassify current assets and liabilities.
Therefore, it would be interesting to verify not only the relationship between market liquidity and market risk/ expected return and between accounting liquidity and accounting return, but also cross-relationships between the four indicators.
(2012) observe that papers such as those from Chordia, Roll, and Subrahmanyam (2007) and Foley, Hartzell, Titman, and Twite (2007) show a simultaneous growth in market liquidity and in the accounting liquidity of firms in a context of constraint.
(2012) is that there is a relationship between accounting liquidity and market liquidity, but that this relationship may be both positive and negative.
Almeida and Eid (2014) also remind us that for financially constrained companies, greater accounting liquidity can increase the likelihood of firms implementing projects with positive net present value, which would be abandoned under the hypothesis of not maintaining accounting liquidity.