DEBT RATIO Definition

Bookmark and Share

DEBT RATIO measures the percent of total funds provided by creditors. Debt includes both current liabilities and long-term debt. Creditors prefer low debt ratios because the lower the ratio, the greater the cushion against creditors losses in liquidation. Owners may seek high debt ratios, either to magnify earnings or because selling new stock would mean giving up control. Owners want control while "using someone elses money." Debt Ratio is best compared to industry data to determine if a company is possibly over or under leveraged. The right level of debt for a business depends on many factors. Some advantages of higher debt levels are:

  • The deductibility of interest from business expenses can provide tax advantages.
  • Returns on equity can be higher.
  • Debt can provide a suitable source of capital to start or expand a business.

Some disadvantages can be:

  • Sufficient cash flow is required to service a higher debt load.
  • The need for this cash flow can place pressure on a business if income streams are erratic.
  • Susceptibility to interest rate increases.
  • Directing cash flow to service debt may starve expenditure in other areas such as development which can be detrimental to overall survival of the business.

 Formula: Total Liabilities / (Total Liabilities + Stockholders Equity)

Learn new Accounting Terms

NORMAL SPOILAGE consists of defective units that arise as part of regular operations. If normal spoilage arises from the requirements of a specific job, the cost of the spoiled units is charged to the job.

BOOK VALUE is an accounting term which usually refers to a business historical cost of assets less liabilities. The book value of a stock is determined from a companys records by adding all assets (generally excluding such intangibles as goodwill), then deducting all debts and other liabilities, plus the liquidation price of any preferred stock issued. The sum arrived at is divided by the number of common shares outstanding and the result is the book value per common share. Book value of the assets of a company may have little or no significant relationship to market value.
Tangible Book Value is different than Book Value in that it deducts from asset value intangible assets, which are assets that are not hard (e.g., goodwill, patents, capitalized start-up expenses and deferred financing costs).
Economic Book Value allows for a Book Value analysis that adjusts the assets to their market value. This valuation allows valuation of goodwill, real estate, inventories and other assets at their market value.

Suggest a Term

Enter Search Term

Enter a term, then click the entry you would like to view.