Accounting Ratios

What are Accounting Ratios?

Accounting ratios are the ratios which indicate the performance of the company by comparing various different figures from financial statements, compare results/performance of the company over the last period, indicates the relationship between two accounting items where financial statement analyses are done by using liquidity, solvency, activity and profitability ratios.

There are 4 main types of accounting ratios –

  1. Liquidity Ratio
  2. Profitability Ratio
  3. Leverage Ratio
  4. Activity Ratios

Let us discuss each of these in detail –

Accounting Ratios

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Types of Accounting Ratios with Formulas

There are four types of Accounting Ratios with formulas

#1 – Liquidity Ratios

This first type of accounting ratio formula is used for ascertaining the liquidity position of the company. It is used for determining the paying capacity of the company towards its short term liabilities. A high liquidity ratio indicates that the cash position of the company is good. The liquidity ratio of 2 or more is acceptable.

Current Ratio

The Current Ratio is used to compare the current assets to current liabilities of the businessCurrent Liabilities Of The BusinessCurrent Liabilities are the payables which are likely to settled within twelve months of reporting. They're usually salaries payable, expense payable, short term loans more. This ratio indicates whether the company can settle its short term liabilities.

Current Ratio = Current Assets / Current Liabilities

Current Assets include Cash, Inventory, Trade receivables, other current assets, etc. Current liabilities include Trade payables and other current liabilities.


ABC Corp. has the following assets and liabilities in its balance sheet.

Current Assets = Short Term capital + Debtors + Stock + Cash and bank = $10,000 + $95,000 + $50,000 + $15,000 =$170,000.

Current-Ratio Example 1

Current Liabilities = Debentures + Trade payables + Bank Overdraft = $50,000 + $40,000 +$40,000 = $130,000

Current-Ratio Example 1-1

Current Ratio = $170,000/ $130,000 = 1.3

Current-Ratio Example 1-2
Quick Ratio

Quick Ratio is the same as the current ratio except it considers only quick assets that are easy to liquidate. It is also called an acid test ratio

Quick Ratio = Quick Assets / Current Liabilities

Quick Assets exclude Inventory and prepaid expenses.

Cash Ratio

Cash RatioCash RatioCash Ratio is calculated by dividing the total cash and the cash equivalents of the company by total current liabilities. It indicates how quickly a business can pay off its short term liabilities using the non-current more considers only those current assets which are immediately available for liquidity. The cash ratio is considered ideal if it is 1 or more.

Cash Ratio = (Cash + Marketable securities) / Current Liabilities

#2 – Profitability Ratios

This type of accounting ratio formulas indicates the company’s efficiency in generating profits. It indicates the earning capacity of the business in correspondence to capital employed.

Gross profit Ratio

Gross Profit Ratio compares the gross profit to the net sales of the company. It indicates the margin earned by the business before its operational expenses. It is represented as % of sales. The higher the gross profit ratio more profitable the business is.

Net Revenue from operations = Net Sales (i.e.) Sales (-) Sales Returns

Gross profit = Net Sales – Cost of goods sold

The Cost of goods sold includes raw materials, labor cost, and other direct expenses 


Zinc Trading Corp. has gross sales of $100,000, Sales return of $10,000, and the cost of goods sold of $80,000.

Net Sales = $100,000 – $10,000 = $90,000

Gross profit = $90,000 – $80,000 = $10,000

Gross profit ratio

Gross profit ratio = $10,000/ $90,000 = 11.11%

Operating Ratio

The operating ratio expresses the relationship between operating costs and net sales. It is used to check on the efficiency of the business and its profitability.

Operating Ratio = ((Cost of goods sold + Operating expenses)/ Net revenue from operations) X 100

Operating expenses include Administrative expenses, Selling, and distribution expenses, salary costs, etc.

Net profit Ratio

Net Profit Ratio shows the overall profitability available for the owners as it considers both the operational and non-operational income and expenses. Higher the ratio, the more returns for the owners. It is an important ratio for investors and financiers.

Net profit Ratio = (Net profits after tax / Net revenue) X 100
Return on capital employed (ROCE)

ROCE shows the company’s efficiency with respect to generating profits in comparison to the funds invested in the business. It indicates whether the funds are utilized efficiently.

Return on capital employed = (Profits before interest and taxes / Capital employed) X 100


R&M Inc. had PBIT of $10,000, total assets of $1,000,000 and liabilities of $600,000

Capital employed = $1,000,000 – $600,000 = $400,000

Return on capital employed
Return on capital employed = $10,000/ $400,000 = 2.5 %

Earnings per Share

Earnings Per share shows the earnings of a company with respect to one share. It is helpful to investors for decision making in relation to the purchasing/ sale of shares as it determines the return on investment. It also acts as an indicator of dividend declaration or bonus issuesBonus IssuesBonus shares refer to the stocks issued by the companies for free of cost to their existing shareholders in the proportion of their stock holdings. Companies issue such shares to compensate the shareholders with a higher dividend payout in the form of more shares. If EPS is high, the stock price of the company will be high.

Earnings per share = Profit available to equity shareholders / Weighted average outstanding shares

#3 – Leverage Ratios

These types of accounting ratios are known as solvency ratios. It determines the company’s ability to pay for its debts. Investors are interested in this ratio as it helps to know how solvent the company is to meet its dues.

Debt to Equity ratio

It shows the relationship between total debts and the total equity of the company. It is useful to measure the leverage of the company. A low ratio indicates that the company is financially secure; a high ratio indicates that the business is at risk as it is more dependent on debts for its operations. It is also known as the gearing ratio. The ratio should be a maximum of 2:1.

Debt to Equity Ratio = Total debts / Total Equity


INC Corp. has total debts of $10,000, and its total equity is $7,000.

Example 3

Debt to Equity ratio = $10,000/ $7,000 = 1.4:1

Debt ratio

The Debt Ratio measures the liabilities in comparison to the assets of the company. A high ratio indicates that the company may face solvency issues.

Debt Ratio = Total Liabilities/ Total Assets
Proprietary ratio

It shows the relationship between total assets and shareholders’ funds. It indicates how much of shareholders’ funds are invested in the assets.

Proprietary Ratio = Shareholders funds / Total Assets
Interest Coverage ratio

Interest Coverage Ratio measures the company’s ability to meet its interest payment obligation. A higher ratio indicates that the company earns enough to cover its interest expense.

Interest Coverage Ratio = Earnings before interest and taxes / Interest Expense


Duo Inc. has EBIT of $1,000 and it has issued debentures worth $10,000 @ 6%

Interest expense = $10,000*6% = $600

Example 3-1

Interest coverage ratio = EBIT / Interest expense = $1,000/$600 = 1.7:1

So the current EBIT can cover the interest expense for 1.7 times.

#4 – Activity/Efficiency Ratios

Working Capital Turnover ratio

It establishes the relationship of sales to Net Working capitalNet Working CapitalThe Net Working Capital (NWC) is the difference between the total current assets and total current liabilities. A positive net working capital indicates that a company has a large number of assets, while a negative one indicates that the company has a large number of more. A higher ratio indicates that the company’s funds are efficiently used.

Working Capital Turnover Ratio = Net Sales/ Net working capital
Inventory Turnover ratio

The Inventory Turnover RatioInventory Turnover RatioInventory Turnover Ratio is a measure to determine the efficiency of a Company concerning its overall inventory management. To calculate the ratio, divide the cost of goods sold by the gross inventory. read more indicates the pace at which the stock is converted into sales.  It is useful for inventory reordering and to understand the conversion cycle.

Inventory Turnover Ratio = Cost of goods sold / Average inventory
Asset Turnover ratio

Asset Turnover Ratio indicates the revenue as a % of the investment. A high ratio indicates that the company’s assets are managed better, and it yields good revenue.

Asset Turnover Ratio = Net Revenue / Assets
Debtors turnover ratio

Debtors Turnover Ratio indicates how efficiently the credit salesCredit SalesCredit Sales is a transaction type in which the customers/buyers are allowed to pay up for the bought item later on instead of paying at the exact time of purchase. It gives them the required time to collect money & make the payment. read more value is collected from debtors. It shows the relationship between credit sales and the corresponding receivables.

Debtors Turnover Ratio = Credit sales / Average debtors


X Corp makes a total sales of $6,000 in the current year, out of which 20% is cash sales. Debtors at the beginning are $800 and at the year-end is $1,600.

Credit sales = 80% of the total sales = $6,000 * 80% = $4,800

Average debtors = ($800+$1,600)/2 = $1,200

Example 4

Debtors Turnover Ratio = Credit Sales/Average debtors = $4,800 / $1,200 = 4 times


Accounting ratios are useful in analyzing the company’s performance and financial position. It acts as a benchmark, and it is used for comparing between industries and companies. They are more than just numbers as they help to understand the company’s stability. It helps investors in relation to stock valuation. For macro-level analysis, ratios can be used, but to have a proper understanding of the business an in-depth analysis needs to be done.

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