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Ending Inventory: Definition, Calculation, and Valuation Methods

Companies that utilize this method to sell goods with higher costs are sold first, resulting in a higher COGS amount...

Ending Inventory: Definition, Calculation, and Valuation Methods

Companies that utilize this method to sell goods with higher costs are sold first, resulting in a higher COGS amount during the first few accounting periods. Over time, the net income tends to decrease as lower-priced products are displayed. To calculate ending inventory, you need to know the value of the beginning inventory at the start of the accounting period. This can be obtained from the previous period’s ending inventory or by conducting a physical count at the beginning of the period. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various methods and techniques for calculating ending inventory. Whether you’re a small business owner or a finance professional, understanding how to accurately calculate ending inventory is crucial for making informed financial decisions.

  • This process requires the accuracy of all data inputs at many levels of the business — from physical inventory stock counts to accurate sales and purchase data.
  • Ecommerce inventory can be seen as just another cost until it gets sold.
  • In contrast, Net Purchases refer to the value of the items that were purchased before the end of the accounting period.
  • For example, let's assume that your company has a starting inventory of $30,000 and a net purchase value of $40,000.
  • Subtracting the estimated cost of goods sold from the cost of goods available for sale gives the estimated ending inventory.

Starting inventory is the monetary worth of the inventory at the start of the accounting epoch. The management of the inventory is a huge challenge that companies face, and it is also a crucial thing that plays a role in the success of the company. Partnering with 3PL means that you will be able to manage your inventory much more efficiently and smartly. Grow your sales, market your business, manage your inventory and a lot more with ZapInventory. Items are identified separately through barcodes, stamp receipts, RFID tags, serial numbers, or any other source. This method is popular in industries that sell unique items, such as cars, precious jewels, antiques, and real estate.

Lower of Cost or Market Rule

Here are three different ways to approach your calculations for ending inventory. It’s best to use only one method of accounting each year, as this will paid family leave ensure accuracy for future reports. These ending inventory tips are part of Easyship’s efforts to help businesses of all sizes succeed in eCommerce.

  • The value of closing inventory is required to prepare the income statement, i.e., to know the revenue on what you are selling.
  • At Deskera, we know that the art of inventory management is more than just the process of how you manage your inventory.
  • It considers the initial inventory at the start of the accounting period, the purchases during the period, and the items sold.
  • Trying to figure out how much you need to order to keep your shelves stocked can be a headache.
  • Ending inventory is finding the trend between beginning Inventory and ending inventory.

You can track changes to any beginning inventory by comparing this with the previous period. Increased beginning inventory could also be due to a business increasing stock before a busy holiday season – or it could signal a downward trend in sales. Ending inventory can be calculated for any period but is most commonly done monthly in retail stores and restaurants. For a business that sells goods, it is essential to track the ending inventory because it represents goods that have been produced and are waiting to be sold. Ending inventory is the value of goods available for sale at the end of an accounting period.


Under FIFO, the cost of the oldest items purchased are allocated first to COGS, while the cost of more recent purchases are allocated to ending inventory—which is still on hand at the end of the period. Finished goods refers to the product you sell, not the component you purchase to make an item. The ending balance in finished goods is the total value of sellable inventory you have on hand at the end of an accounting period.

Ending Inventory Methods

Once you calculate ending inventory, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether your actual inventory matches the recorded inventory. If the numbers don’t match up, this could be a sign that you’re paying too much for the initial purchase of goods based on current market value, or that it’s time to rethink your pricing strategy. The net purchases are the items you’ve bought and added to your inventory count.

Gross Profit Method:

The method used to determine the value of ending inventory will impact financial results, so be sure to choose a method that’s right for your business and stay consistent with it. Fortunately there are better ways to calculate ending inventory that provides more accuracy and is more efficient. As an alternative to FIFO, a company may use "last in, first out," or LIFO for short. The assumption under LIFO is that the inventory added most recently is the inventory sold first. In contrast to FIFO, choosing LIFO will create a lower ending inventory during a period of rising prices.

In conclusion, the ending inventory value impacts the balance sheets and taxes of businesses. Hence, it is required to maintain accurate balance sheets and create consistent reports. Ending Inventory, also known as Closing Inventory, is a company's total value of sellable goods at the end of its accounting period. It considers the initial inventory at the start of the accounting period, the purchases during the period, and the items sold.

Therefore, the method chosen to value inventory and COGS will directly impact profit on the income statement as well as common financial ratios derived from the balance sheet. It is essential to report ending inventory accurately, especially when obtaining financing. Financial institutions typically require that specific financial ratios such as debt-to-assets or debt-to-earnings ratios be maintained by the date of audited financials as part of a debt covenant. For inventory-rich businesses such as retail and manufacturing, audited financial statements are closely monitored by investors and creditors. At the close of each accounting period, ending inventory is recorded as a current asset on a business’s balance sheet.