Calculating key financial ratios is critically important for any business, yet the process can seem daunting without the right tools.
Luckily, QuickBooks offers a straightforward way to calculate ratios like current ratio, debttoequity ratio, and more to assess your company's financial health.
In this post, you'll learn stepbystep how to extract the necessary data from QuickBooks and use simple formulas to calculate the most useful financial ratios for strategic planning and decision making.
Introduction to Financial Ratios in QuickBooks
Financial ratios are important metrics that provide insight into the financial health and performance of a business. For QuickBooks users, these ratios are easy to calculate right within your existing accounting software. This guide will overview some key financial ratios to analyze and how to leverage QuickBooks' data to compute them.
Understanding Financial Ratios and Their Significance
Financial ratios use different data points from a company's financial statements, like the balance sheet and income statement, to evaluate aspects of business performance. Common categories of financial ratios include:
 Profitability ratios  Measure ability to generate income relative to revenue, assets, or equity. Examples include gross margin, operating margin, ROA, and ROE.
 Liquidity ratios  Assess shortterm financial health and ability to pay debts. Examples are the current ratio and quick ratio.
 Leverage ratios  Evaluate longterm solvency by comparing debt levels to equity or assets. The debttoequity ratio is a key leverage metric.
Monitoring these ratios over time lets businesses identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in their finances. Changes in ratios can signal developing issues or progress in improving financial health.
The Role of QuickBooks in Financial Ratio Calculation
QuickBooks Online and Desktop provide easy access to the key financial data needed for ratio analysis  revenue, expenses, assets, liabilities, and equity. By storing this information in an organized digital format, QuickBooks enables users to quickly pull numbers into formulas to compute various financial ratios.
Rather than digging through financial statements, QuickBooks' reports and tools allow easy calculation of ratios to regularly assess the financial performance and health of your business.
Identifying Key Financial Ratios for Analysis
This guide will focus on current ratio, quick ratio, and debttoequity ratio  three vital indicators of small business financial health and stability. Tracking these specific ratios over time can help QuickBooks users identify financial issues early and highlight progress from operational changes.
What is the formula for calculating financial ratios?
The two key financial ratios used to analyze liquidity in QuickBooks are:
Current ratio = current assets divided by current liabilities. This measures a company's ability to pay off its shortterm liabilities with its current assets. A higher current ratio indicates greater liquidity.
Quick ratio (Acid test ratio) = (current assets minus inventory) divided by current liabilities. This is a more conservative measure of liquidity that excludes inventory from current assets, since it may be more difficult to convert inventory into cash. A higher quick ratio indicates greater liquidity.
To calculate these ratios in QuickBooks:
 Run a Balance Sheet report for the period you want to analyze
 Identify the current assets, inventory (if applicable), and current liabilities amounts
 Plug those amounts into the formulas above to calculate the ratios
For example, if a company had:
 Current assets: $100,000
 Inventory: $20,000
 Current liabilities: $50,000
The current ratio would be $100,000 / $50,000 = 2 And the quick ratio would be ($100,000  $20,000) / $50,000 = 1.6
Benchmark ratios vary by industry, but generally a current ratio above 1.5 and a quick ratio above 1 are considered financially healthy. Comparing ratios over time and to industry averages can provide additional insights into a company's financial strength and liquidity.
How do you find financial ratios?
The two key financial ratios used to analyze liquidity are:

Current ratio = current assets divided by current liabilities. This measures a company's ability to pay shortterm obligations. A ratio of 1.0 or higher indicates good shortterm financial health.

Quick ratio = (current assets minus inventory) divided by current liabilities. Also known as the acid test ratio, this is a more conservative measure of liquidity that excludes inventory assets that may be more difficult to liquidate. A quick ratio of 1.0 or higher is considered sufficient.
To easily calculate these and other useful financial ratios in QuickBooks:

Go to the Reports menu and select Ratios.

Select the ratios you want to calculate from the available options. Common useful ratios include:
 Current ratio
 Quick ratio
 Debttoequity ratio
 Return on assets
 Gross profit margin percentage

Enter a date range to analyze. Focusing on full fiscal years often gives the best indication of overall financial performance.

The calculated ratios will display along with helpful interpretations of what the numbers mean.

Compare ratio values over time to spot positive or negative trends. Also benchmark your ratios against industry averages.

Dig deeper into underlying accounts as needed to understand changes in specific ratios.
Regularly monitoring key financial ratios in QuickBooks provides valuable insight into the financial position and operating performance of your business. Taking the time to calculate and analyze ratios can help identify areas for improvement and growth opportunities.
How do you calculate current financial ratio?
Calculating the current ratio is straightforward: divide a company's current assets by its current liabilities.
Current assets include cash, accounts receivable, inventory, and other assets that can likely be converted into cash within one year. Current liabilities consist of shortterm debt, accounts payable, and other obligations due within one year.
For example, if a company has $2 million in current assets and $1 million in current liabilities, its current ratio is 2 ($2 million / $1 million). A higher current ratio generally indicates a company is more capable of paying its shortterm debts and obligations.
To calculate the current ratio in QuickBooks:
 Run a Balance Sheet report for the period you want to analyze
 Identify the current assets  these are assets that can likely convert to cash within one year
 Identify the current liabilities  these are debts or obligations due within one year
 Divide total current assets by total current liabilities to get the current ratio
Monitoring trends in a company's current ratio over time can provide insight into its financial health and liquidity. As a general guideline, a current ratio between 1.2 and 2 is considered sound financial management.
How are financial statement ratios calculated?
The current ratio measures a company's ability to pay its shortterm liabilities with its shortterm assets. To calculate the current ratio in QuickBooks:
 Navigate to the Balance Sheet report
 Locate the Total Current Assets amount (e.g. $400,000)
 Locate the Total Current Liabilities amount (e.g. $210,000)
 Divide the current assets by the current liabilities ($400,000 / $210,000)
 The resulting ratio is the current ratio (1.9 in this example)
The quick ratio is similar but excludes inventory from current assets, as inventory can be difficult to liquidate quickly. To calculate:
 Navigate to the Balance Sheet report
 Subtract Inventory from Total Current Assets (e.g. $400,000  $100,000 = $300,000)
 Divide this adjusted current assets figure by Total Current Liabilities ($300,000 / $210,000)
 The resulting ratio is the quick ratio
Other useful ratios to monitor business performance include:
 Debttoequity ratio: Total Liabilities / Total Equity
 Return on assets: Net Income / Total Assets
Regularly calculating and tracking financial ratios can reveal trends and areas for improvement in managing business finances over time.
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Preparing for QuickBooks Ratio Analysis
This section outlines the key reports and line items in QuickBooks to pull data needed for financial ratio calculations.
Extracting Balance Sheet Data for Ratios
The QuickBooks balance sheet provides numbers for current assets, current liabilities, total assets, total liabilities, and equity needed for multiple ratios.
To access the balance sheet in QuickBooks:
 Go to the Reports menu
 Select Company & Financial
 Choose Balance Sheet Standard
Key line items to extract:
 Current Assets: Includes cash, accounts receivable, inventory, and other assets that can be converted to cash within a year. Needed to calculate liquidity and efficiency ratios like current ratio and cash ratio.
 Current Liabilities: Shortterm debts payable within a year like accounts payable, wages payable, taxes payable. Used to compute liquidity ratios.
 Total Assets: The sum of current assets, fixed assets, and all other asset accounts. Used to calculate solvency and efficiency ratios.
 Total Liabilities: The total of current and longterm liabilities. Helps determine solvency ratios like debttoequity ratio.
 Total Equity: The residual interest in assets after deducting liabilities. Essential for leverage and solvency ratios.
Having these key balance sheet line items extracted into a spreadsheet makes ratio analysis much easier.
Gathering Income Statement Figures
The income statement in QuickBooks offers data on revenues and expenses required to compute profitability ratios.
To generate an income statement:
 Go to Reports
 Select Company & Financial
 Choose Profit & Loss Standard
Important income statement accounts:
 Total Income: Needed to calculate profit margin, return on assets, return on equity
 Gross Profit: Revenues minus cost of goods sold. Used to determine gross margin percentage.
 Operating Expenses: Overhead costs like salaries, utilities, rent. Used to compute operating margin.
 Net Income: The bottom line profitability number, essential for performance ratios.
Extracting key income statement figures alongside balance sheet data enables easy ratio calculations in Excel.
With the necessary QuickBooks data points gathered into a spreadsheet, users can efficiently compute financial ratios to assess company performance. Common ratios like current ratio, debttoequity ratio, gross margin percentage, and return on equity can be easily calculated using these report figures.
How to Calculate Current Ratio in QuickBooks
The current ratio measures a company's ability to pay shortterm debts and liabilities. This section will cover the formula and how to interpret it in QuickBooks.
Formula for Current Ratio Calculation
The current ratio is calculated by dividing current assets by current liabilities.
In QuickBooks, you can find these values on the balance sheet. Current assets include cash, accounts receivable, inventory, and other assets that can be converted to cash within a year. Current liabilities include accounts payable, shortterm debt, and other debts due within a year.
To calculate the current ratio in QuickBooks:
 Navigate to the balance sheet report
 Locate total current assets
 Locate total current liabilities
 Divide total current assets by total current liabilities
The resulting number is the current ratio.
Interpreting the Current Ratio Results
A current ratio between 1.2 and 2.0 is considered acceptable. A ratio under 1 means the company may have trouble paying shortterm debts. A higher ratio indicates good shortterm financial health.
Key things to consider when interpreting current ratio results:
 Industry averages  Compare to benchmarks in your industry
 Trends over time  Monitor changes in the ratio
 Cash flow  A high ratio doesn't guarantee available cash
 Accounts receivable  Assess collectability
Monitoring the current ratio in QuickBooks can provide an ongoing view of shortterm financial health and liquidity. Taking action when the ratio falls outside norms can prevent cash flow issues.
Calculating QuickBooks Quick Ratio
The quick ratio, also called the acid test ratio, is a liquidity metric that measures a company's ability to pay off its shortterm liabilities with its most liquid assets. Unlike the current ratio, the quick ratio removes inventory from the current assets used in the calculation, as inventory is considered less liquid.
Understanding the Quick Ratio Formula
The formula for calculating the quick ratio in QuickBooks is:
(Current Assets  Inventory) / Current Liabilities
To find this ratio in QuickBooks:
 Go to the Company menu and select Reports, then Balance Sheet Standard.
 Locate the Current Assets and Current Liabilities values, and write them down.
 Subtract Inventory from Current Assets.
 Divide the new Current Assets value by Current Liabilities.
This will give you the quick ratio based on balance sheet data in QuickBooks.
Assessing Liquidity with the Quick Ratio
A quick ratio of 1.0 or higher generally means a company has sufficient liquid assets to cover its shortterm liabilities without needing to sell inventory. However, an acceptable quick ratio varies by industry. Comparing your ratio to industry benchmarks can provide better context for assessing your company's financial health.
If the quick ratio is too low, it may indicate a company is having trouble meeting current obligations. Options to improve the ratio include paying down current liabilities or increasing liquid assets. Monitoring trends in the quick ratio over time can also help assess changes in financial liquidity.
Using the quick ratio along with other financial metrics provides a more complete picture of a company's financial position. As one measure of liquidity and shortterm financial health, the quick ratio is a useful starting point for financial analysis in QuickBooks.
Determining the Debt to Equity Ratio in QuickBooks
The debttoequity ratio compares business debt to shareholder equity to evaluate financial leverage.
Calculating the DebttoEquity Ratio
The debttoequity ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total equity. These figures can be found on the balance sheet in QuickBooks:
 Total Liabilities includes accounts such as Accounts Payable, Credit Cards, and Loans/Notes Payable
 Total Equity includes accounts such as Common Stock and Retained Earnings
To calculate:
DebttoEquity Ratio = Total Liabilities / Total Equity
A lower debttoequity ratio generally indicates less financial leverage and more equity financing relative to debt.
Analyzing Leverage with DebttoEquity
The debttoequity ratio helps assess financial risk and leverage. Guidelines for analyzing debttoequity:
 Ratios below 1.0 mean equity exceeds debt. This suggests low financial leverage.
 Ratios between 1.0 to 2.0 are generally considered reasonable leverage for some industries.
 Highly leveraged companies may have ratios exceeding 2.0 or higher. This level of debt poses more financial risk.
Monitoring changes in debttoequity over time can reveal trends in financial leverage and changing business risk profiles. Taking steps to reduce high leverage may be prudent to improve stability.
Leveraging Ratios for Strategic Business Insights
Financial ratios provide critical insights into a company's financial health and performance. Monitoring trends in ratios over time and benchmarking against industry standards can reveal strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
Utilizing Ratios to Uncover Financial Strengths and Weaknesses

Liquidity ratios like the current and quick ratios measure a company's ability to pay off shortterm debts and expenses. Tracking increases or decreases can show if there are issues meeting obligations.

Profitability ratios like return on assets and return on equity demonstrate how efficiently capital is being used to generate profits. Changes may indicate problems with costs, pricing, or investment decisions.

Leverage ratios like the debttoequity ratio assess financial leverage and risk. Increases could signal taking on too much debt.
Compare ratios to past performance, forecasts, and industry averages to diagnose areas for improvement. If liquidity falls below the norm, assess cash management policies. If profitability declines, examine pricing models and cost structures. Use ratios to reveal weaknesses and drive strategic initiatives.
Incorporating Ratio Analysis into Business Planning
Incorporate ratio analysis into:

Financial planning: Let liquidity and leverage trends guide funding and growth decisions. Set ratio targets to maintain financial health.

Operations planning: Falling inventory turnover could prompt supply chain changes. Improving payables turnover could alter payment terms.

Strategic planning: Increasing customer retention rates or market share ratios can indicate marketing and customer service successes to build on.
Track key ratios on a dashboard. Set performance goals and growth targets based on ratio analysis. Strategically allocate resources to initiatives aimed at driving ratio improvements and propelling longterm prosperity.
Conclusion: Integrating Financial Ratios into Your Financial Strategy
Financial ratios derived from QuickBooks data offer invaluable insight into the financial health and performance of a business. By regularly monitoring key ratios over time, companies can identify areas for improvement and make datadriven decisions to optimize growth and profitability.
Recap of Financial Ratio Calculations in QuickBooks
QuickBooks contains all the raw data required to calculate crucial financial ratios. Specifically:
 The current ratio measures liquidity and the ability to pay shortterm debts. It is calculated by dividing current assets by current liabilities. A higher number indicates greater liquidity.
 The quick ratio also measures liquidity, but focuses on only the most liquid assets. It is calculated by taking cash, marketable securities, and accounts receivable divided by current liabilities.
 The debttoequity ratio assesses financial leverage and longterm solvency. It divides total liabilities by shareholder equity. A lower number implies less financial risk.
These and other financial ratios offer unique insights into the financial position and performance of a business over time.
Actionable Next Steps for Ongoing Financial Analysis
To leverage financial ratios for improved decisionmaking, businesses should:
 Set up dedicated QuickBooks reports to automatically calculate key ratios on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis
 Build custom QuickBooks dashboards to track financial ratio trends and KPIs
 Establish financial ratio benchmarks to measure performance against industry standards
 Review financial ratios regularly and investigate any concerning trends or outliers
Ongoing monitoring of financial ratios allows management to coursecorrect issues before they escalate and capitalize on growth opportunities as they emerge. Integrating these best practices enables datadriven financial strategies tailored to a company's unique needs and objectives.