Inventory represents a significant part of the balance sheet for many companies. In accounting for inventory determining and capturing the costs to be recognized as an asset through the inventory lifecycle is key, because it affects a company’s KPIs such as gross profit margin. Here we summarize what we see as the main differences on inventory accounting between the two standards.

  • In this case, you should consider investing in a better, more connected inventory management system or ERP system.
  • The calculations can be done weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly depending on the volume of your transactions; however, all transactions must be completed by June 30.
  • The reporting of various business operations is one of the most valuable instruments of an inventory management system.
  • Many ecommerce stores prefer to be as independent and cost-effective as possible, and usually self-fulfill and self-store their products from their home.

It guarantees that the commercial enterprise’s records are entirely up to speed. For the proper management of inventory records and thereby ensuring the smooth running of your business operations, professional help is an important requisite. You should enlist the services of a reliable accountant and ask them for advice on maintaining proper inventory records for your firm. You can track changes in value and know how much your inventory is worth at the completion of each accounting period by maintaining a comprehensive inventory recordkeeping method. Inventory accounting is made considerably easier when accurate inventory records are maintained. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) require all merchants and manufacturers to keep track of inventory value and count.


A manufacturer’s inventory consists of the cost to produce the items (the costs of direct materials, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead). Now, let’s say you bought $500 in raw materials on credit to create your product. Implementing inventory management best practices is one of the best ways to maintain transparency of stock and assets, keep accounts in line, and create reports for stakeholders. Cost-based valuation considers the materials and labor required to produce the inventory, while market-based valuation uses current market prices. In most cases, businesses will use both methods to assess the value of their inventory more accurately. In addition, it allows the supplier to collect data on customer buying habits, which can be used to forecast future demand and optimize production levels.

It is almost impossible to retain a 100% inventory accuracy rate, no matter what calculation method and technology you employ but it shouldn’t be too far from it. Typically, the average inventory accuracy is 99.6%, where the 0.4% is mostly due to human error that is inevitable for large companies. The more transactions you have, the higher the probability of a discrepancy in inventory data, and the occasional mishap isn’t something to worry much about. Many ecommerce stores prefer to be as independent and cost-effective as possible, and usually self-fulfill and self-store their products from their home. This can lead to inventory accuracy problems when it’s not being stored professionally or managed in a warehouse.

Accurate inventory records make the inventory accounting process much more bearable. This can be done by investing in an inventory management software, which will help you track inventory flow in real time and record live updates without you lifting a finger. Tracking inventory in real time can be done using inventory management solutions, including inventory apps or a more robust system like ERP inventory software. The significance of inventory for certain industries makes accounting and valuation a pertinent focus area.

How are inventory records linked to other business systems?

Unlike IAS 2, US GAAP does not contain specific guidance on storage and holding costs, which may give rise to differences from IFRS Standards in practice. The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB® Board) eliminated the use of LIFO because of its lack of representational faithfulness of inventory flows. Introduce quality control methods to compare the numbers of items coming in and going out with the numbers written down. Finally, when you finish the product using the raw materials, you need to make another journal entry. After you receive the raw materials, you will eventually use them to create your product. Inventory can be expensive, especially if your business is prone to inventory loss, or inventory shrinkage.

Global E-commerce: Universal Postal Union Tracking

This can be done by investing in an inventory management software, which will help you track inventory flow in real time and record live updates without you lifting a finger. Tracking inventory in real time can be done using inventory management solutions, including inventory apps or a more robust system like ERP inventory software. These systems allow you to aggregate data by connecting your upstream manufacturing activities with your downstream sales.

While many resources are available on these topics, it can be challenging to know where to start. The following FAQs and best practices provide an excellent overview of what businesses need to know about inventory accounting and supply chain management. Finally, processes and controls must be implemented to ensure that inventory revaluation is conducted accurately and efficiently. This includes ensuring that only authorized personnel access the inventory data, that all changes are tracked and recorded, and that any discrepancies are investigated and resolved.

How to calculate inventory accuracy

Even if you have a good track record with inventory accuracy, there are key things to consider to keep it that way. US GAAP does not provide specific guidance around accounting for assets that are rented out and then subsequently sold on a routine basis, and practice may vary. Proceeds from the sale would be accounted for in a manner consistent with the nature of the asset, which may be different from IFRS Standards. If a company has a contract to sell inventory for less than the direct cost to purchase or produce it, it has an onerous contract. A provision may be necessary if the write down to net realizable value is insufficient to absorb the expected loss – e.g. if inventory has not been purchased or fully produced. Under IAS 2, the cost of inventories measured using the retail method is reviewed regularly, in our view at least at each reporting date, to determine that it approximates cost in light of current conditions.

Inventory reporting for Management Accountants- #6

By maintaining a proper inventory record-keeping process, you’re also able to track changes in value, so you know how much your inventory is worth at the end of an accounting period. Though many of the principles discussed in this article are based on managing physical records/record series, they can be used as a basis for digital records as well. In an inventory of digital records, the inventory worksheet is used to document record series, retention periods, and disposition requirements. Individuals often have the same tendencies with digital records as they do with physical records, to keep numerous copies of the record. However, in the digital form, they are also kept in numerous formats such as PDF or Word on top of various departments maintaining their “own” copy of the records. The proliferation of digital copies is one of the biggest problems for maintaining an effective records management program.

Under GAAP rules, inventory must be properly valued to limit the potential for overstating profit or inflating the company’s overall value. You can also ask your accountant for their advice on how to choose the best inventory valuation method based on the type of products you sell and your typical sales volume. Keeping up-to-date inventory records help you prevent stockouts and have a better understanding on when it’s time to reorder more inventory. You can also ask your accountant for their advice on how to choose the best inventory valuation method  based on the type of products you sell and your typical sales volume.

One way to improve your inventory accuracy and save time is by scheduling a frequent cycle count. A cycle counting program is an inventory auditing procedure, and conducting these frequently can prevent unchecked inventory from piling up, keeping your records consistent, and minimizing potential inventory error. Cycle counting what is inventory turnover is a way of managing inventory where a portion of inventory is counted in specific locations, on certain days, on a recurring schedule. Implementing a cycle count program allows you to forgo annual physical counts so you can count specific items on a more regular basis and therefore ensure your inventory is accurate.

For some confidential records, that person may need to complete a portion of the inventory. Most record inventories will involve many staff members and can encompass many departments if not all. Optimizing your inventory management and improving inventory accuracy is crucial, but it can also be difficult and resource-demanding. Fortunately, you can outsource all this to a reliable third-party logistics provider, like ShipBob.

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