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Types of Ratios

Accounting & finance for Banking

JAIIB Exam Study Material: Types of Ratios

There is a two way classification of ratios:
(1) traditional classification, and
(2) functional classification.
The traditional classification has been on the basis of financial statements to which the determinants of ratios belong. On this basis the ratios are classified as follows:
1. ‘Statement of Profit and Loss Ratios:
A ratio of two variables from the statement of profit and loss is known as statement of profit and loss ratio. For example, ratio of gross profit to revenue from operations is known as gross profit ratio. It is calculated using both figures from the statement of profit and loss.
2. Balance Sheet Ratios:
In case both variables are from the balance sheet, it is classified as balance sheet ratios. For example, ratio of current assets to current liabilities known as current ratio. It is calculated using both figures from balance sheet.
3. Composite Ratios: If a ratio is computed with one variable from the statement of profit and loss and another variable from the balance sheet, it is called composite ratio.
For example, ratio of credit revenue from operations to trade receivables (known as trade receivables turnover ratio) is calculated using one figure from the statement of profit and loss (credit revenue from operations) and another figure (trade receivables) from the balance sheet.
Although accounting ratios are calculated by taking data from financial statements but classification of ratios on the basis of financial statements is rarely used in practice. It must be recalled that basic purpose of accounting is to throw light on the financial performance (profitability) and financial position (its capacity to raise money and invest them wisely) as well as changes occurring in financial position (possible explanation of changes in the activity level). As such, the alternative classification (functional classification) based on the purpose for which a ratio is computed, is the most commonly used classification which is as follows:
1. Liquidity Ratios: To meet its commitments, business needs liquid funds. The ability of the business to pay the amount due to stakeholders as and when it is due is known as liquidity, and the ratios calculated to measure it are known as ‘Liquidity Ratios’. These are essentially short-term in nature.
2. Solvency Ratios: Solvency of business is determined by its ability to meet its contractual obligations towards stakeholders, particularly towards external stakeholders, and the ratios calculated to measure solvency position are known as ‘Solvency Ratios’. These are essentially long-term in nature.
3. Activity (or Turnover) Ratios: This refers to the ratios that are calculated for measuring the efficiency of operations of business based on effective utilisation of resources. Hence, these are also known as ‘Efficiency Ratios’.
4. Profitability Ratios: It refers to the analysis of profits in relation to revenue from operations or funds (or assets) employed in the business and the ratios calculated to meet this objective are known as ‘Profitability Ratios’.

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