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Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting

10.4 Explain and Demonstrate the Impact of Inventory Valuation Errors on the Income Statement and Balance Sheet

Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting10.4 Explain and Demonstrate the Impact of Inventory Valuation Errors on the Income Statement and Balance Sheet
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  1. Preface
  2. 1 Role of Accounting in Society
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 1.1 Explain the Importance of Accounting and Distinguish between Financial and Managerial Accounting
    3. 1.2 Identify Users of Accounting Information and How They Apply Information
    4. 1.3 Describe Typical Accounting Activities and the Role Accountants Play in Identifying, Recording, and Reporting Financial Activities
    5. 1.4 Explain Why Accounting Is Important to Business Stakeholders
    6. 1.5 Describe the Varied Career Paths Open to Individuals with an Accounting Education
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
  3. 2 Introduction to Financial Statements
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 2.1 Describe the Income Statement, Statement of Owner’s Equity, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows, and How They Interrelate
    3. 2.2 Define, Explain, and Provide Examples of Current and Noncurrent Assets, Current and Noncurrent Liabilities, Equity, Revenues, and Expenses
    4. 2.3 Prepare an Income Statement, Statement of Owner’s Equity, and Balance Sheet
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Multiple Choice
    8. Questions
    9. Exercise Set A
    10. Exercise Set B
    11. Problem Set A
    12. Problem Set B
    13. Thought Provokers
  4. 3 Analyzing and Recording Transactions
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 3.1 Describe Principles, Assumptions, and Concepts of Accounting and Their Relationship to Financial Statements
    3. 3.2 Define and Describe the Expanded Accounting Equation and Its Relationship to Analyzing Transactions
    4. 3.3 Define and Describe the Initial Steps in the Accounting Cycle
    5. 3.4 Analyze Business Transactions Using the Accounting Equation and Show the Impact of Business Transactions on Financial Statements
    6. 3.5 Use Journal Entries to Record Transactions and Post to T-Accounts
    7. 3.6 Prepare a Trial Balance
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Questions
    12. Exercise Set A
    13. Exercise Set B
    14. Problem Set A
    15. Problem Set B
    16. Thought Provokers
  5. 4 The Adjustment Process
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 4.1 Explain the Concepts and Guidelines Affecting Adjusting Entries
    3. 4.2 Discuss the Adjustment Process and Illustrate Common Types of Adjusting Entries
    4. 4.3 Record and Post the Common Types of Adjusting Entries
    5. 4.4 Use the Ledger Balances to Prepare an Adjusted Trial Balance
    6. 4.5 Prepare Financial Statements Using the Adjusted Trial Balance
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  6. 5 Completing the Accounting Cycle
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 5.1 Describe and Prepare Closing Entries for a Business
    3. 5.2 Prepare a Post-Closing Trial Balance
    4. 5.3 Apply the Results from the Adjusted Trial Balance to Compute Current Ratio and Working Capital Balance, and Explain How These Measures Represent Liquidity
    5. 5.4 Appendix: Complete a Comprehensive Accounting Cycle for a Business
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Multiple Choice
    9. Questions
    10. Exercise Set A
    11. Exercise Set B
    12. Problem Set A
    13. Problem Set B
    14. Thought Provokers
  7. 6 Merchandising Transactions
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 6.1 Compare and Contrast Merchandising versus Service Activities and Transactions
    3. 6.2 Compare and Contrast Perpetual versus Periodic Inventory Systems
    4. 6.3 Analyze and Record Transactions for Merchandise Purchases Using the Perpetual Inventory System
    5. 6.4 Analyze and Record Transactions for the Sale of Merchandise Using the Perpetual Inventory System
    6. 6.5 Discuss and Record Transactions Applying the Two Commonly Used Freight-In Methods
    7. 6.6 Describe and Prepare Multi-Step and Simple Income Statements for Merchandising Companies
    8. 6.7 Appendix: Analyze and Record Transactions for Merchandise Purchases and Sales Using the Periodic Inventory System
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Questions
    13. Exercise Set A
    14. Exercise Set B
    15. Problem Set A
    16. Problem Set B
    17. Thought Provokers
  8. 7 Accounting Information Systems
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 7.1 Define and Describe the Components of an Accounting Information System
    3. 7.2 Describe and Explain the Purpose of Special Journals and Their Importance to Stakeholders
    4. 7.3 Analyze and Journalize Transactions Using Special Journals
    5. 7.4 Prepare a Subsidiary Ledger
    6. 7.5 Describe Career Paths Open to Individuals with a Joint Education in Accounting and Information Systems
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  9. 8 Fraud, Internal Controls, and Cash
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 8.1 Analyze Fraud in the Accounting Workplace
    3. 8.2 Define and Explain Internal Controls and Their Purpose within an Organization
    4. 8.3 Describe Internal Controls within an Organization
    5. 8.4 Define the Purpose and Use of a Petty Cash Fund, and Prepare Petty Cash Journal Entries
    6. 8.5 Discuss Management Responsibilities for Maintaining Internal Controls within an Organization
    7. 8.6 Define the Purpose of a Bank Reconciliation, and Prepare a Bank Reconciliation and Its Associated Journal Entries
    8. 8.7 Describe Fraud in Financial Statements and Sarbanes-Oxley Act Requirements
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Questions
    13. Exercise Set A
    14. Exercise Set B
    15. Problem Set A
    16. Problem Set B
    17. Thought Provokers
  10. 9 Accounting for Receivables
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 9.1 Explain the Revenue Recognition Principle and How It Relates to Current and Future Sales and Purchase Transactions
    3. 9.2 Account for Uncollectible Accounts Using the Balance Sheet and Income Statement Approaches
    4. 9.3 Determine the Efficiency of Receivables Management Using Financial Ratios
    5. 9.4 Discuss the Role of Accounting for Receivables in Earnings Management
    6. 9.5 Apply Revenue Recognition Principles to Long-Term Projects
    7. 9.6 Explain How Notes Receivable and Accounts Receivable Differ
    8. 9.7 Appendix: Comprehensive Example of Bad Debt Estimation
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Questions
    13. Exercise Set A
    14. Exercise Set B
    15. Problem Set A
    16. Problem Set B
    17. Thought Provokers
  11. 10 Inventory
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 10.1 Describe and Demonstrate the Basic Inventory Valuation Methods and Their Cost Flow Assumptions
    3. 10.2 Calculate the Cost of Goods Sold and Ending Inventory Using the Periodic Method
    4. 10.3 Calculate the Cost of Goods Sold and Ending Inventory Using the Perpetual Method
    5. 10.4 Explain and Demonstrate the Impact of Inventory Valuation Errors on the Income Statement and Balance Sheet
    6. 10.5 Examine the Efficiency of Inventory Management Using Financial Ratios
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  12. 11 Long-Term Assets
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 11.1 Distinguish between Tangible and Intangible Assets
    3. 11.2 Analyze and Classify Capitalized Costs versus Expenses
    4. 11.3 Explain and Apply Depreciation Methods to Allocate Capitalized Costs
    5. 11.4 Describe Accounting for Intangible Assets and Record Related Transactions
    6. 11.5 Describe Some Special Issues in Accounting for Long-Term Assets
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  13. 12 Current Liabilities
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 12.1 Identify and Describe Current Liabilities
    3. 12.2 Analyze, Journalize, and Report Current Liabilities
    4. 12.3 Define and Apply Accounting Treatment for Contingent Liabilities
    5. 12.4 Prepare Journal Entries to Record Short-Term Notes Payable
    6. 12.5 Record Transactions Incurred in Preparing Payroll
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  14. 13 Long-Term Liabilities
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 13.1 Explain the Pricing of Long-Term Liabilities
    3. 13.2 Compute Amortization of Long-Term Liabilities Using the Effective-Interest Method
    4. 13.3 Prepare Journal Entries to Reflect the Life Cycle of Bonds
    5. 13.4 Appendix: Special Topics Related to Long-Term Liabilities
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Multiple Choice
    9. Questions
    10. Exercise Set A
    11. Exercise Set B
    12. Problem Set A
    13. Problem Set B
    14. Thought Provokers
  15. 14 Corporation Accounting
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 14.1 Explain the Process of Securing Equity Financing through the Issuance of Stock
    3. 14.2 Analyze and Record Transactions for the Issuance and Repurchase of Stock
    4. 14.3 Record Transactions and the Effects on Financial Statements for Cash Dividends, Property Dividends, Stock Dividends, and Stock Splits
    5. 14.4 Compare and Contrast Owners’ Equity versus Retained Earnings
    6. 14.5 Discuss the Applicability of Earnings per Share as a Method to Measure Performance
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  16. 15 Partnership Accounting
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 15.1 Describe the Advantages and Disadvantages of Organizing as a Partnership
    3. 15.2 Describe How a Partnership Is Created, Including the Associated Journal Entries
    4. 15.3 Compute and Allocate Partners’ Share of Income and Loss
    5. 15.4 Prepare Journal Entries to Record the Admission and Withdrawal of a Partner
    6. 15.5 Discuss and Record Entries for the Dissolution of a Partnership
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  17. 16 Statement of Cash Flows
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 16.1 Explain the Purpose of the Statement of Cash Flows
    3. 16.2 Differentiate between Operating, Investing, and Financing Activities
    4. 16.3 Prepare the Statement of Cash Flows Using the Indirect Method
    5. 16.4 Prepare the Completed Statement of Cash Flows Using the Indirect Method
    6. 16.5 Use Information from the Statement of Cash Flows to Prepare Ratios to Assess Liquidity and Solvency
    7. 16.6 Appendix: Prepare a Completed Statement of Cash Flows Using the Direct Method
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Questions
    12. Exercise Set A
    13. Exercise Set B
    14. Problem Set A
    15. Problem Set B
    16. Thought Provokers
  18. Financial Statement Analysis
  19. Time Value of Money
  20. Suggested Resources
  21. Answer Key
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
    13. Chapter 13
    14. Chapter 14
    15. Chapter 15
    16. Chapter 16
  22. Index

Because of the dynamic relationship between cost of goods sold and merchandise inventory, errors in inventory counts have a direct and significant impact on the financial statements of the company. Errors in inventory valuation cause mistaken values to be reported for merchandise inventory and cost of goods sold due to the toggle effect that changes in either one of the two accounts have on the other. As explained, the company has a finite amount of inventory that they can work with during a given period of business operations, such as a year. This limited quantity of goods is known as goods available for sale and is sourced from

  1. beginning inventory (unsold goods left over from the previous period’s operations); and
  2. purchases of additional inventory during the current period.

These available inventory items (goods available for sale) will be handled in one of two ways:

  1. be sold to customers (normally) or be lost due to shrinkage, spoilage, or theft (occasionally), and reported as cost of goods sold on the income statement; OR
  2. be unsold and held in ending inventory, to be passed into the next period, and reported as merchandise inventory on the balance sheet.

Fundamentals of the Impact of Inventory Valuation Errors on the Income Statement and Balance Sheet

Understanding this interaction between inventory assets (merchandise inventory balances) and inventory expense (cost of goods sold) highlights the impact of errors. Errors in the valuation of ending merchandise inventory, which is on the balance sheet, produce an equivalent corresponding error in the company’s cost of goods sold for the period, which is on the income statement. When cost of goods sold is overstated, inventory and net income are understated. When cost of goods sold is understated, inventory and net income are overstated. Further, an error in ending inventory carries into the next period, since ending inventory of one period becomes the beginning inventory of the next period, causing both the balance sheet and the income statement values to be wrong in year two as well as in the year of the error. Over a two-year period, misstatements of ending inventory will balance themselves out. For example, an overstatement to ending inventory overstates net income, but next year, since ending inventory becomes beginning inventory, it understates net income. So over a two-year period, this corrects itself. However, financial statements are prepared for one period, so all this means is that two years of cost of goods sold are misstated (the first year is overstated/understated, and the second year is understated/overstated.)

In periodic inventory systems, inventory errors commonly arise from careless oversight of physical counts. Another common cause of periodic inventory errors results from management neglecting to take the physical count. Both perpetual and periodic updating inventory systems also face potential errors relating to ownership transfers during transportation (relating to FOB shipping point and FOB destination terms); losses in value due to shrinkage, theft, or obsolescence; and consignment inventory, the goods for which should never be included in the retailer’s inventory but should be recorded as an asset of the consignor, who remains the legal owner of the goods until they are sold.

Calculated Income Statement and Balance Sheet Effects for Two Years

Let’s return to The Spy Who Loves You Company dataset to demonstrate the effects of an inventory error on the company’s balance sheet and income statement. Example 1 (shown in Figure 10.22) depicts the balance sheet and income statement toggle when no inventory error is present. Example 2 (see Figure 10.23) shows the balance sheet and income statement inventory toggle, in a case when a $1,500 understatement error occurred at the end of year 1.

Balance Sheet for Year 1 has Beginning Inventory of 3,150 plus purchases of 13,005 equals Goods Available for Sale of 16,155 minus Ending Inventory of 8,955. This equals Cost of Goods Sold of 7,200 which goes to the Income Statement of Year 1, where you would subtract it from the Sales of $11,340 to get Gross Margin of 4,140, subtract all other expenses of 3,000 to equal Net Income of $1,140. Balance Sheet for Year 2 has Beginning Inventory of 8,955 plus purchases of 8,816 equals Goods Available for Sale of 17,771 minus Ending Inventory of 9,851. This equals Cost of Goods Sold of 7,920 which goes to the Income Statement of Year 1, where you would subtract it from the Sales of $12,474 to get Gross Margin of 4,554, subtract all other expenses of 3,000 to equal Net Income of $1,554.
Figure 10.22 Example 1. Assume these values to be correct (no inventory error). This chart shows excerpted values from The Spy Who Loves You Company’s financial statements without inventory errors. (attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license)
Balance Sheet for Year 1 has Beginning Inventory of 3,150 plus purchases of 13,005 equals Goods Available for Sale of 16,155 minus Ending Inventory (understated by $1,500) of 7,455.  This equals Cost of Goods Sold of 8,700 which goes to the Income Statement of Year 1, where you would subtract it from the Sales of $11,340 to get Gross Margin of 2,640, subtract all other expenses of 3,000 to equal Net Loss of $360. Balance Sheet for Year 2 has Beginning Inventory of 7,455 plus purchases of 8,816 equals Goods Available for Sale of 16,271 minus Ending Inventory of 8,201. This equals Cost of Goods Sold of 6,420 which goes to the Income Statement of Year 1, where you would subtract it from the Sales of $12,474 to get Gross Margin of 6,054, subtract all other expenses of 3,000 to equal Net Income of $3,054.
Figure 10.23 Example 2. Assume these values to be incorrect (with inventory error). This chart shows excerpted values from The Spy Who Loves You Company’s financial statements with inventory errors. (attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license)

Comparing the two examples with and without the inventory error highlights the significant effect the error had on the net results reported on the balance sheet and income statements for the two years. Users of financial statements make important business and personal decisions based on the data they receive from the statements and errors of this sort provide those users with faulty information that could negatively affect the quality of their decisions. In these examples, the combined net income was identical for the two years and the error worked itself out at the end of the second year, yet year 1 and year 2 were incorrect and not representative of the true activity of the business for those periods of time. Extreme care should be taken to value inventories accurately.

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