qualified: An audit opinion that states, except for the effect of a matter to which a qualification relates, the financial statements are fairly presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

qualified bidder: A contractor, supplier, or vendor possessing the experience, financial ability, managerial and organizational capability, and reputation to meet the minimum standards defined by a business, organization, or agency seeking suppliers through a competitive process.

qualitative research: An inquiry process that involves unstructured interviews with individuals or small groups to obtain and assess their experiences and beliefs about a topic, product, or service, resulting in a subjective understanding that aids future decision-making but that cannot be used to make generalizations about the target population in general. In direct contrast to qualitative research, which obtains results from a randomly selected sample of the target audience to arrive at objective generalizations.

quality assurance and control: Processes used to set and maintain product and service standards. Involves reviewing and assessing all steps involved in product manufacturing or service delivery with the intent of finding and eliminating defects, monitoring and evaluating production and delivery systems and activities, and ensuring optimum efficiency for the purpose of meeting or exceeding customer expectations.

quantitative research: A research method that uses structured surveys such as online questionnaires or face-to-face, mail, or phone interviews to measure opinions from a randomly selected sample of individuals of sufficient number and appropriate characteristics to represent the researcher’s target audience. The interviewees’ responses permit statistical analysis leading to results that allow for predictive conclusions about future consumer behavior or attitudes by the target market in general.

quick ratio; acid-test ratio: A formula for measuring a business’s capability to pay its short-term liabilities with cash or near-cash assets. Calculated by dividing total cash, accounts, receivables, and any marketable securities by total current or short-term liabilities.