Current Assets (Quick Assets) - Explained
What is a Quick Asset?
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Table of ContentsWhat is a Quick Asset?How are Quick Assets Used?About Quick RatioCalculating Quick AssetsAcademic Research on Quick Assets
What is a Current Asset?
A current asset, also known as a quick asset, refers to cash or an asset that a company can convert into cash quickly. Quick assets are under a subset known as current assets, and they do not include inventory. Note that to convert inventory into cash, you will need time. Therefore, the quick assets are the most highly liquid assets that a company can hold, including accounts receivable and marketable securities. Quick assets, however, do not include non-trade receivables like loans because they are difficult to convert into cash quickly.
Calculating Current Assets
You can construct a quick ratio against the current ratio that equals the total current assets of a company, and this includes the company's inventories. You then divide the results by its current liabilities. You can use the following two formulas to calculate quick assets:
Quick Assets = Cash + Marketable Securities + Accounts Receivable
Quick Assets = Current Assets - Inventories - Prepaid Expenses
Key Components of Current Assets
Liquid assets, cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, inventory and prepaid liabilities are part of the current assets that a company has.
- Accounts Receivable: This refers to the amount of money that the customers of a company owe that are expected to be paid within a year such as money for goods purchased and services delivered. Companies that offer sales of product on credit to customers often have a backlog of accounts receivable.
- Inventory: The inventory of a business refers to the raw materials and finished products that a company has. These are current assets because the products can be sold within a space of one year and the raw materials also transformed to finished products. Inventory are often regarded as liquid assets because they can be converted to money easily.
- Prepaid Expenses: Prepaid expenses are money paid by a company to vendors for goods and services yet to be received but scheduled to be received in the future. Payments for inventory or company vendors for items that are yet to be delivered are also categorized as current assets.
When recorded on a company's balance sheet, current assets are ranked based on the order of their liquidity, that is, based on their chances of being converted to cash quickly. In most cases, cash often comes first when recording current assets on a company's balance sheet. The cash holdings of a company include petty cash, currency and checking accounts. After cash is recorded, other current assets such as cash equivalents, accounts receivable, prepaid expenses, inventory and marketable securities are recorded.
Ratios Using Current Assets or Their Components
There are different metrics used in calculating the current assets of a company, diverse factors are put into consideration when using each of these metrics. The following are the common ratios used in measuring the liquidity of a firm;
- The quick ratio: this calculates the most liquid assets of the company and the ability of the company to settle its short-term obligations. The current assets of the company are calculated in relation to its current liabilities.
- The current ratio: this ratio measures a company's ability to pay both short and long-term debt obligations.
- The cash ratio: This ratio examines the ability of a company to make an immediate payment for all short-term liabilities.
Example of Current Assets
Lets assume that Company XYZs balance sheet shows cash as well as cash equivalents of $2,219,000, net receivable worth $3,867,000, and short-term investments worth $1,416,000. XYZs company quick assets will be as follows: Quick Asset = $2,219,000 + $1,416,000 + $3,867,000 (7,502,000)
- Trend Analysis of Financial Statements
- Common-Size Analysis (Vertical Analysis) of Financial Statements
- Common-Size Financial Statement
- Net Dollar Retention
- Horizontal Analysis
- Per Share Basis
- Profitability Ratios
- Gross Margin Ratio
- Profit Margin
- After Tax Profit Margin
- Return on Assets
- Total Shareholder Return
- Cash on Cash Return
- Earnings Per Share
- Diluted Earnings Per Share
- Asset Turnover Ratio
- Berry Ratio
- Break-Even Analysis
- Liquidity Ratio
- Current ratio (Working Capital Ratio)
- Working Ratio
- Quick Ratio
- Quick Assets
- Days Sales Outstanding
- Cash Ratio (Operating Cash Flow Ratio)
- Receivables turnover ratio (often converted to average collection period)
- Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio
- Inventory turnover ratio (often converted to average sale period)
- Solvency (Coverage Ratios)
- Leverage Ratio (Debt Ratio)
- Asset Coverage Ratio
- Debt to Equity
- Debt to Income Ratio
- Debt Coverage Ratio
- Times Interest Earned
- Market Capitalization
- Price to Equity Ratio
- Book-To-Market Ratio
- Price to Earnings Ratio
- Price to Earnings Growth (PEG) Ratio
- Price to Earnings Growth Payback Ratio
- CAPE Ratio
- Price to Cash Flow Ratio
- Capital Maintenance
- Book to Bill Ratio
- Asset Turnover Ratio
- Plowback Ratio
- Days Inventory Outstanding
- Days Payable Outstanding
- Days Sales Outstanding
- Non-financial Performance Measures: The Balance Scorecard