The majority of activity ratios measure the ability of the company to turn assets into earnings. All businesses utilize a simple principle, buy an asset at a low price and sell it at a higher price. Even service based businesses do this. Labor is purchased for a certain value and then sold for a much higher price. Retail businesses purchase inventory and then turn around, mark it up and then sell it to make a profit. There isn’t any business out there that doesn’t exercise this basic business principle.
Inventory Turnover Rate
The inventory turnover rate is an activity ratio used in business to define the frequency of inventory. Its formula is: Sales/Avg Inventory = Inventory Turnover.
In your typical business operation, turning the inventory over as often as possible has several benefits. First, it generally reduces overall costs, secondly, it generates greater profits and third, by increasing the profitability, the company has a greater return on equity. OK, this seems all well and good, but does turning the inventory over in the house flipping business as fast as possible generate the same benefits?
In business, liquidity is defined as the period of time it takes to turn assets into cash. It takes 20 minutes to turn the balance in the checking account into cash. You head on down to the bank and present a check. You get cash. But most businesses run on just more than the cash in the bank account.
A relationship exists between inventory and sales. This is referred to as ‘Inventory Turnover’ or ‘Turnover Ratio’. It is simply the number of days it takes to turn over the dollar value of the inventory. This relationship is important because as the retailer, you would want this number has high as possible.