What is FIFO and LIFO- Definition, Methods

What is FIFO and LIFO- Definition, Methods

The balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows are the three most important financials a company uses to calculate its inventory costs and the correct data of inflow and outflow of money in it. 

What is the FIFO method?

The First-In, First-Out (FIFO) technique is predicated on the idea that the oldest or first item added to the inventory will be the first to be sold. 

We will learn FIFO meaning through this illustration; consider a bakery that makes 100 loaves of bread on Monday for $0.5 each and 100 more on Tuesday for $0.75 each. 

According to the FIFO method, the cost of goods sold (COGS) is $0.5 per loaf if the bakery sells 100 loaves on Wednesday. 

This is because each of the first loaves in the inventory costs $0.5. The $0.75 loaves would be used to replenish the ending stock (on the balance sheet).

Because the older things have been used up while, the more recent purchases match current market pricing, FIFO can be a better estimate of the value of ending inventory. 

Since most businesses use their oldest inventory first, FIFO is the most sensible option because COGS valuation follows the production schedule.

FIFO method in Cost Accounting and Inventory Valuation

For cost flow assumptions, the FIFO method is employed. The associated costs for a product must be recorded as an expense in manufacturing as it moves through subsequent phases of development and is sold.

It is anticipated that under the FIFO method of cost accounting, the cost of inventory acquired first will be recorded first. 

Due to the removal of inventory from the company's ownership during this procedure, the total monetary worth of inventory declines. 

There are numerous techniques to determine inventory costs, including the FIFO method.

Typical economic conditions include price increases and inflationary markets.

The oldest expenses in this scenario would theoretically be priced lower than the most recent inventory bought at present inflated pricing. 

This is because FIFO assigns the oldest costs to the cost of goods sold.

Higher net income is the result of lower expenses. Additionally, the closing inventory balance is overstated due to the purchase of new inventory at generally higher prices.

The FIFO method of inventory valuation posits that to prevent obsolescence, a business should sell its oldest inventory first and keep its newest ones in stock. 

An entity must be able to explain why it chose to adopt a specific inventory. 

This is a valuation technique, even though the actual method used does not have to correspond to the real flow of inventory through a corporation.

What is the LIFO method?

The last or more units to arrive in inventory are sold first, according to the Last-In, First-Out (LIFO) approach. 

So, there is still an older inventory at the end of the accounting period. Let's understand LIFO's meaning through an example; the same bakery would deduct $0.75 from COGS for the 100 loaves that were sold on Wednesday. 

It would then use the remaining $0.5 loaves to determine the value of inventory at the end of the quarter.

Since the LIFO method values COGS using the most recent inventory received, the remaining inventory may be severely dated or out of date. 

Because the valuation is substantially lower than the cost of inventory items today, the LIFO method needs to provide an accurate and up-to-date value of inventory. 

Additionally, many businesses would not adhere to LIFO since they would not sell their most recent acquisitions while leaving their older inventory on hand. 

The rational production method of utilizing the oldest inventory first needs to be accurately reflected by LIFO, making it unworkable for many businesses that offer perishable commodities.

LIFO method in Cost Accounting and Inventory Valuation

Only in the United States were generally accepted accounting standards permit all three inventory-costing techniques, is last in, first out (LIFO) practised (GAAP). 

The LIFO method in cost valuation is prohibited by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Retailers and auto dealerships are typical examples of businesses adopting the LIFO inventory valuation method because they can benefit from lower taxes (when prices are rising) and better cash flows.

However, many American businesses prefer to work with FIFO. This is because if a company uses a LIFO valuation when filing taxes, it must also use a LIFO valuation when reporting financial results to shareholders. This reduces net income and, ultimately, earnings per share.

Which method is better: LIFO OR FIFO?

Over the LIFO method the FIFO method is the more trustworthy and transparent way of determining the cost of goods sold. 

The "First-In, First-Out" approach is simpler to comprehend and use by nature.

Due to the possibility of older inventory being out-of-date and losing value, most businesses already dump the oldest products first. 

As a result, the FIFO method of inventory valuation follows the inventory's natural flow, reducing the possibility of bookkeeping errors. 

With the LIFO inventory valuation method, a company can first use the most current inventory costs. 

Typically, these expenses are more than what it used to cost to develop or purchase older stock. 

Profits are thus reduced. Because older inventory represents the true costs of that inventory, FIFO's declared earnings are significantly more accurate even though a corporation may pay less tax under LIFO. 

If profits are consistently high under the FIFO method in cost accounting, the business will be much more alluring to investors. 

If a business uses the LIFO method in cost accounting, older inventory could remain on the books indefinitely if it is not perishable or obsolete. 

It will not reflect current market values. It won't be over the top. Finally, financial statements are much simpler to manipulate under LIFO. FIFO is considered the best practice.

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Conclusion

We have looked at the LIFO and FIFO methods' actual workings and the advantages of using them for cost accounting, inflation monitoring, and inventory value. The FIFO system generally offers superior accounting and is relevant to more business settings than LIFO. These techniques and methods are crucial for a business to maintain its financials.

Faq related to What is FIFO and LIFO

1. What is the LIFO and FIFO method formula?

Ans. To calculate LIFO (Last-In, First-Out), multiply the cost of your most recent inventory by the number of goods sold, as opposed to FIFO (First-In, First-Out), which multiplies the cost of your oldest inventory by the quantity of inventory sold.

2. What business employs the LIFO method?

Ans. Automotive industries frequently use the LIFO method when expeditious shipments are required. Firms that produce things using petroleum. Pharmaceutical businesses produce a few things.

3. Why isn't the LIFO method used?

Ans. Due to the potential for distortions in a company's profitability and financial statements, IFRS forbids LIFO. For instance, the LIFO method in cost accounting inflates a company's earnings to reduce its taxable income. It may also lead to inaccurate and obsolete inventory valuations.

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