Solvency vs Liquidity: What’s The Difference?

solvency vs liquidity

Many companies have negative shareholders’ equity, which is a sign of insolvency. In essence, if a company was required to immediately close down, it would need to liquidate all of its assets and pay off all of its liabilities, leaving only the shareholders’ equity as a remaining value. If your solvency ratio is lower than you’d like, it’s possible to stay afloat for a time, but if your cash flow (liquidity) is struggling, it’s very difficult for a business to survive. Solvency vs. liquidity is essentially a long-term vs. a short-term analysis of a company’s strength. With solvency, you’re assessing how well the company can continue operating into the future. With liquidity, you’re assessing how well the company can run its operations in the short term.

solvency vs liquidity

These are assets that the business could reliably sell within a short period without taking a significant loss. Financial assets like stocks are considered highly liquid because they’re designed for quick sales while retaining their value. On the other hand, capital assets like real estate are not considered part of a liquidity calculation. You can sell off a building or a plot of land very quickly, but that usually means taking a significant loss on the sale. Just like we rely on a savings account for quick funds, companies also need easily accessible liquid assets to meet their short-term financial obligations. Hence, companies keep liquid assets in cash, marketable securities like treasury notes, shares, and fixed deposits.

Liquidity vs Solvency Comparison Table

While total assets might seem like the logical indicator of a company’s financial health, it includes short- and long-term assets, some of which may be difficult to liquidate quickly. Solvency ratios measure a company’s cash flow, which includes non-cash expenses and depreciation, against all debt obligations. For instance, consider the debt-to-assets ratio, a popular metric that measures the degree that a company’s assets are financed by debt, where debt-to-assets equals total debt divided by total assets.

Acceptable solvency ratios vary from industry to industry, but as a general rule of thumb, a solvency ratio of less than 20% or 30% is considered financially healthy. The lower a company’s solvency ratio, the greater the probability that the company solvency vs liquidity will default on its debt obligations. Solvency ratios are primarily used to measure a company’s ability to meet its long-term obligations. In general, a solvency ratio measures the size of a company’s profitability and compares it to its obligations.

What Is Liquidity and Why Is It Important for Firms?

A higher DSO means that a company is taking unduly long to collect payment and is tying up capital in receivables. If you’re thinking there’s a relationship between solvency and liquidity, you’d be right. Analyzing the trend of these ratios over time will enable you to see if the company’s position is improving or deteriorating. Pay particular attention to negative outliers to check if they are the result of a one-time event or indicate a worsening of the company’s fundamentals. A comparison of financial ratios for two or more companies would only be meaningful if they operate in the same industry.

These ratios help to determine the company’s ability to meet its current liabilities (short-term obligations) with current assets (cash and cash equivalents). The company’s current ratio of 0.4 indicates an inadequate degree of liquidity, with only $0.40 of current assets available to cover every $1 of current liabilities. The quick ratio suggests an even more dire liquidity position, with only $0.20 of liquid assets for every $1 of current liabilities. Solvency portrays the ability of a business (or individual) to pay off its financial obligations.