Short-term solvency ratios, like the current ratio, assess a company’s ability to meet immediate obligations using current assets. Long-term solvency ratios, such as the debt-to-equity ratio, gauge a company’s ability to meet long-term obligations by evaluating its debt in relation to equity. Both ratios offer insights into different time frames of a company’s financial stability.
- Short-term solvency ratios assess a company’s ability to meet its short-term financial obligations, while long-term solvency ratios evaluate its ability to meet its long-term financial obligations.
- Key short-term solvency ratios include the current and quick ratios, which measure liquidity. In contrast, key long-term solvency ratios include the debt-to-equity ratio and the debt ratio, which measure financial leverage.
- A higher short-term solvency ratio indicates better liquidity, while a lower long-term solvency ratio suggests a lower level of financial risk.
Short Term vs Long Term Solvency Ratio
The difference between short-term and long-term solvency ratios is that Short term solvency ratio indicates the company’s current assets divided by the current liabilities. At the same time, Long term solvency suggests the company’s net worth divided by total debt obligation in the market.
Both these terms are linked to a company’s economic, financial, and business status. However, we may discuss the differences between them.
|Short-Term Solvency Ratio
|Long-Term Solvency Ratio
|Company’s ability to meet short-term obligations (within 1 year)
|Company’s ability to meet long-term obligations (more than 1 year)
|Current Ratio, Quick Ratio, Cash Ratio
|Debt-to-Equity Ratio, Debt-to-Assets Ratio, Interest Coverage Ratio
|Assesses ability to pay bills, secure loans, avoid financial distress
|Assesses financial stability, future sustainability, and riskiness for long-term investors
|Higher ratio indicates better short-term liquidity
|Higher ratio indicates better long-term financial health and ability to manage debt
|Varies by industry, but >1 for current ratio, >1 for quick ratio, and >0.1 for cash ratio
|No single benchmark, but debt-to-equity < 2 and debt-to-assets < 0.5 considered healthy
|Can be distorted by accounting practices and timing issues
|May not fully capture future risks and uncertainties
|Use in conjunction with other financial analysis
|Debt ratios, profitability measures, industry analysis
|Liquidity ratios, cash flow statements, business model analysis
What is Short Term Solvency Ratio?
Short-term solvency ratios, also known as liquidity ratios, measure a company’s ability to meet its short-term financial obligations. These ratios provide insights into the firm’s liquidity and its capacity to cover immediate liabilities with its readily available assets.
The current ratio is a key short-term solvency ratio calculated by dividing a company’s current assets by its current liabilities. It reflects the company’s ability to cover short-term obligations with its short-term assets. A ratio above 1 indicates the firm has more current assets than liabilities, suggesting good short-term solvency.
Quick Ratio (Acid-Test Ratio)
The quick ratio is a more stringent measure of short-term solvency, excluding inventory from current assets. It considers only the most liquid assets like cash, accounts receivable, and marketable securities. A higher quick ratio implies a better ability to meet short-term obligations without relying on selling inventory.
The cash ratio is the most conservative short-term solvency ratio, considering only cash and cash equivalents in relation to current liabilities. This ratio provides a strict assessment of a company’s ability to settle its immediate debts using only its available cash.
What is Long Term Solvency Ratio?
Long-term solvency ratios, also known as leverage ratios, focus on a company’s ability to meet its long-term financial obligations and manage its long-term debt. These ratios help assess the financial risk associated with a firm’s capital structure and its capacity to sustain long-term financial commitments.
The debt-to-equity ratio is a fundamental long-term solvency ratio calculated by dividing a company’s total debt by its total equity. This ratio measures the proportion of financing provided by creditors compared to shareholders. A higher debt-to-equity ratio suggests a higher level of financial leverage, indicating higher financial risk.
Interest Coverage Ratio
The interest coverage ratio evaluates a company’s ability to meet its interest payments on outstanding debt. It is calculated by dividing the company’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) by its interest expenses. A higher interest coverage ratio indicates a better capacity to fulfill interest obligations, signaling lower financial risk.
The debt ratio assesses the proportion of a company’s assets financed by debt. It is calculated by dividing total debt by total assets. A lower debt ratio signifies a lower reliance on debt for financing, indicating a more conservative capital structure and lower long-term solvency risk.
Main Differences Between Short-Term and Long-Term Solvency Ratios
- Time Horizon:
- Short-Term Solvency Ratios: Focus on a company’s ability to meet immediate financial obligations within a year or the operating cycle.
- Long-Term Solvency Ratios: Assess a company’s ability to fulfill long-term financial commitments and manage obligations beyond one year.
- Components Considered:
- Short-Term Solvency Ratios: Include current assets and current liabilities, emphasizing liquidity elements like cash, receivables, and inventory.
- Long-Term Solvency Ratios: Examine the company’s long-term debt, equity, and assets, emphasizing the capital structure and financial leverage.
- Short-Term Solvency Ratios: Provide insights into a company’s ability to handle immediate financial challenges and maintain day-to-day operations.
- Long-Term Solvency Ratios: Assess the financial risk associated with a company’s capitalization and its capacity to meet long-term debt obligations.
- Measurement Period:
- Short-Term Solvency Ratios: Typically cover a 12-month period or the company’s operating cycle, focusing on the near future.
- Long-Term Solvency Ratios: Extend beyond one year, providing a more extended outlook on the company’s financial health and sustainability.
- Short-Term Solvency Ratios: Current ratio, quick ratio, cash ratio.
- Long-Term Solvency Ratios: Debt-to-equity ratio, interest coverage ratio, debt ratio.
- Risk Evaluation:
- Short-Term Solvency Ratios: Assess the immediate risk of the company facing liquidity issues and being unable to meet short-term obligations.
- Long-Term Solvency Ratios: Focus on evaluating the financial risk associated with a company’s capital structure and its ability to manage long-term debt commitments.
Last Updated : 11 February, 2024
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.