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A measure of a company's ability to meet its short-term obligations using its most liquid assets. It is calculated by subtracting inventories from current assets and dividing the quantity by its current liabilities. A higher acid-test ratio indicates greater short-term financial health. The acid-test ratio is more conservative than the current ratio, which measures much the same thing, because the current ratio excludes the value of inventory. This is because inventory can be less liquid than other current assets. The acid-test ratio thus measures a company's ability to meet obligations in a worst-case scenario. It is also called the quick ratio.
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See quick ratio.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.
acid-test ratioan accounting measure of a firm's ability to pay its short-term liabilities out of its quickly-realizable CURRENT ASSETS, which expresses the firm's liquid current assets (DEBTORS plus cash) as a ratio of CURRENT LIABILITIES. Sometimes called the ‘quick ratio’, this is a more stringent test of liquidity than the WORKING CAPITAL RATIO, because it excludes STOCK from CURRENT ASSETS on the grounds that STOCKS cannot be as readily convertible into cash to meet short-term debts as can DEBTORS where the goods or services have already been sold and only collecting the money remains.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson