Current asset

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In accounting, a current asset is any asset which can reasonably be expected to be sold, consumed, or exhausted through the normal operations of a business within the current fiscal year or operating cycle or financial year (whichever period is longer). Typical current assets include cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments (marketable securities), accounts receivable, stock inventory, supplies, and the portion of prepaid liabilities (sometimes referred to as prepaid expenses) which will be paid within a year. [1] In simple words, assets which are held for a short period are known as current assets. Such assets are expected to be realised in cash or consumed during the normal operating cycle of the business. [2]

On a balance sheet, assets will typically be classified into current assets and long-term assets. [3]

The current ratio is calculated by dividing total current assets by total current liabilities. [4] It is frequently used as an indicator of a company's liquidity, which is its ability to meet short-term obligations. [5] The difference between current assets and current liability is referred to as trade working capital.

The quick ratio, or acid-test, measures the ability of a company to use its near cash or quick assets to extinguish or retire its current liabilities immediately. Quick assets are those that can be quickly turned into cash if necessary. It would not be used for substantial period of time such as, normally, twelve months.

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Market liquidity ability of an asset to be bought or sold on the market without causing a drastic change in the assets price

In business, economics or investment, market liquidity is a market's feature whereby an individual or firm can quickly purchase or sell an asset without causing a drastic change in the asset's price. Liquidity involves the trade-off between the price at which an asset can be sold, and how quickly it can be sold. In a liquid market, the trade-off is mild: one can sell quickly without having to accept a significantly lower price. In a relatively illiquid market, an asset must be discounted in order to sell quickly.

Balance sheet summary of the financial balances of a sole proprietorship, a business partnership, a corporation or other business organization

In financial accounting, a balance sheet or statement of financial position or statement of financial condition is a summary of the financial balances of an individual or organization, whether it be a sole proprietorship, a business partnership, a corporation, private limited company or other organization such as Government or not-for-profit entity. Assets, liabilities and ownership equity are listed as of a specific date, such as the end of its financial year. A balance sheet is often described as a "snapshot of a company's financial condition". Of the four basic financial statements, the balance sheet is the only statement which applies to a single point in time of a business' calendar year.

Factoring (finance) financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount

Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable to a third party at a discount. A business will sometimes factor its receivable assets to meet its present and immediate cash needs. Forfaiting is a factoring arrangement used in international trade finance by exporters who wish to sell their receivables to a forfaiter. Factoring is commonly referred to as accounts receivable factoring, invoice factoring, and sometimes accounts receivable financing. Accounts receivable financing is a term more accurately used to describe a form of asset based lending against accounts receivable. The Commercial Finance Association is the leading trade association of the asset-based lending and factoring industries.

Fractional-reserve banking banking system where bank holds reserves equal to fraction of deposit liabilities

Fractional-reserve banking is the most common form of banking practised by commercial banks worldwide. It involves banks accepting deposits from customers and making loans to borrowers, while holding in reserve an amount equal to only a fraction of the bank's deposit liabilities. Bank reserves are held as cash in the bank or as balances in the bank's account at the central bank. The minimum amount that banks are required to hold in liquid assets is determined by the country's central bank, and is called the reserve requirement or reserve ratio. Banks usually hold more than this minimum amount, keeping excess reserves.

Financial accounting field of accounting concerned with the summary, analysis and reporting of financial transactions related to a business

Financial accounting is the field of accounting concerned with the summary, analysis and reporting of financial transactions related to a business. This involves the preparation of financial statements available for public use. Stockholders, suppliers, banks, employees, government agencies, business owners, and other stakeholders are examples of people interested in receiving such information for decision making purposes.

Cash flow statement financial statement that shows how changes in balance sheet accounts and income affect cash and cash equivalents, and breaks the analysis down to operating, investing, and financing activities

In financial accounting, a cash flow statement, also known as statement of cash flows, is a financial statement that shows how changes in balance sheet accounts and income affect cash and cash equivalents, and breaks the analysis down to operating, investing, and financing activities. Essentially, the cash flow statement is concerned with the flow of cash in and out of the business. As an analytical tool, the statement of cash flows is useful in determining the short-term viability of a company, particularly its ability to pay bills. International Accounting Standard 7 is the International Accounting Standard that deals with cash flow statements.

Financial analysis activity of evaluating financial markets and products

Financial analysis refers to an assessment of the viability, stability, and profitability of a business, sub-business or project. It is performed by professionals who prepare reports using ratios and other techniques, that make use of information taken from financial statements and other reports. These reports are usually presented to top management as one of their bases in making business decisions. Financial analysis may determine if a business will:

Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents (CCE) are the most liquid current assets found on a business's balance sheet. Cash equivalents are short-term commitments "with temporarily idle cash and easily convertible into a known cash amount". An investment normally counts to be a cash equivalent when it has a short maturity period of 90 days or less, and can be included in the cash and cash equivalents balance from the date of acquisition when it carries an insignificant risk of changes in the asset value; with more than 90 days maturity, the asset is not considered as cash and cash equivalents. Equity investments mostly are excluded from cash equivalents, unless they are essentially cash equivalents, for instance, if the preferred shares acquired within a short maturity period and with specified recovery date.

Liquidity risk is a financial risk that for a certain period of time a given financial asset, security or commodity cannot be traded quickly enough in the market without impacting the market price.

Working capital is a financial metric which represents operating liquidity available to a business, organization, or other entity, including governmental entities. Along with fixed assets such as plant and equipment, working capital is considered a part of operating capital. Gross working capital is equal to current assets. Working capital is calculated as current assets minus current liabilities. If current assets are less than current liabilities, an entity has a working capital deficiency, also called a working capital deficit and Negative Working capital.

Solvency, in finance or business, is the degree to which the current assets of an individual or entity exceed the current liabilities of that individual or entity. Solvency can also be described as the ability of a corporation to meet its long-term fixed expenses and to accomplish long-term expansion and growth. This is best measured using the net liquid balance (NLB) formula. In this formula solvency is calculated by adding cash and cash equivalents to short-term investments, then subtracting notes payable.

In finance, the quick ratio, also known as the acid-test ratio is a type of liquidity ratio, which measures the ability of a company to use its near cash or quick assets to extinguish or retire its current liabilities immediately. It is defined as the ratio between quickly available or liquid assets and current liabilities. Quick assets are current assets that can presumably be quickly converted to cash at close to their book values.

The current ratio is a liquidity ratio that measures whether a firm has enough resources to meet its short-term obligations. It compares a firm's current assets to its current liabilities, and is expressed as follows:

Accounting liquidity measure of the ability of a debtor to pay their debts as and when they fall due

In accounting, liquidity is a measure of the ability of a debtor to pay their debts as and when they fall due. It is usually expressed as a ratio or a percentage of current liabilities. Liquidity is the ability to pay short-term obligations.

Financial statement analysis

Financial statement analysis is the process of reviewing and analyzing a company's financial statements to make better economic decisions to earn income in future. These statements include the income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows, notes to accounts and a statement of changes in equity. Financial statement analysis is a method or process involving specific techniques for evaluating risks, performance, financial health, and future prospects of an organization.

Asset and liability management is the practice of managing financial risks that arise due to mismatches between the assets and liabilities as part of an investment strategy in financial accounting.

Asset economic resource, from which future economic benefits are expected

In financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned by a business or an economic entity. It is anything that can be owned or controlled to produce value and that is held by an economic entity and that could produce positive economic value. Simply stated, assets represent value of ownership that can be converted into cash. The balance sheet of a firm records the monetary value of the assets owned by that firm. It covers money and other valuables belonging to an individual or to a business.

Net operating assets (NOA) are a business's operating assets minus its operating liabilities. NOA is calculated by reformatting the balance sheet so that operating activities are separated from financing activities. This is done so that the operating performance of the business can be isolated and valued independently of the financing performance. Management is usually not responsible for creating value through financing activities unless the company is in the finance industry, therefore reformatting the balance sheet allows investors to value just the operating activities and hence get a more accurate valuation of the company.

Strategic financial management

Strategic financial management is the study of finance with a long term view considering the strategic goals of the enterprise. Financial management is nowadays increasingly referred to as "Strategic Financial Management" so as to give it an increased frame of reference.

Financial ratio characteristic number

A financial ratio or accounting ratio is a relative magnitude of two selected numerical values taken from an enterprise's financial statements. Often used in accounting, there are many standard ratios used to try to evaluate the overall financial condition of a corporation or other organization. Financial ratios may be used by managers within a firm, by current and potential shareholders (owners) of a firm, and by a firm's creditors. Financial analysts use financial ratios to compare the strengths and weaknesses in various companies. If shares in a company are traded in a financial market, the market price of the shares is used in certain financial ratios.


  1. J. Downes, J.E. Goodman, "Dictionary of Finance & Investment Terms", Barons Financial Guides, 2003; and J. G. Siegel, N. Dauber & J. K. Shim, "The Vest Pocket CPA", Wiley, 2005.
  2. Muhammad Adam
  3. Larry M. Walther, Christopher J. Skousen, "Long-Term Assets", Ventus Publishing ApS, 2009
  4. "Current Ratio Formula - Examples, How to Calculate Current Ratio". Corporate Finance Institute. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  5. Peavler, Rosemary. "Calculate Liquidity Position Using Financial Ratio Analysis". The Balance Small Business. Retrieved 2019-12-03.