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Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting

6.2 Compare and Contrast Perpetual versus Periodic Inventory Systems

Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting6.2 Compare and Contrast Perpetual versus Periodic Inventory Systems
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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

There are two ways in which a company may account for their inventory. They can use a perpetual or periodic inventory system. Let’s look at the characteristics of these two systems.

Characteristics of the Perpetual and Periodic Inventory Systems

A perpetual inventory system automatically updates and records the inventory account every time a sale, or purchase of inventory, occurs. You can consider this “recording as you go.” The recognition of each sale or purchase happens immediately upon sale or purchase.

A periodic inventory system updates and records the inventory account at certain, scheduled times at the end of an operating cycle. The update and recognition could occur at the end of the month, quarter, and year. There is a gap between the sale or purchase of inventory and when the inventory activity is recognized.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) do not state a required inventory system, but the periodic inventory system uses a Purchases account to meet the requirements for recognition under GAAP. IFRS requirements are very similar. The main difference is that assets are valued at net realizable value and can be increased or decreased as values change. Under GAAP, once values are reduced they cannot be increased again.

Photo of a factory floor, showing stacks of boxes.
Figure 6.8 Inventory Systems. (credit: “Untitled” by Marcin Wichary/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Continuing Application

Merchandising Transactions

Gearhead Outfitters is a retailer of outdoor-related gear such as clothing, footwear, backpacks, and camping equipment. Therefore, one of the biggest assets on Gearhead’s balance sheet is inventory. The proper presentation of inventory in a company’s books leads to a number of accounting challenges, such as:

  • What method of accounting for inventory is appropriate?
  • How often should inventory be counted?
  • How will inventory in the books be valued?
  • Is any of the inventory obsolete and, if so, how will it be accounted for?
  • Is all inventory included in the books?
  • Are items included as inventory in the books that should not be?

Proper application of accounting principles is vital to keep accurate books and records. In accounting for inventory, matching principle, valuation, cutoff, completeness, and cost flow assumptions are all important. Did Gearhead match the cost of sale with the sale itself? Was only inventory that belonged to the company as of the period end date included? Did Gearhead count all the inventory? Perhaps some goods were in transit (on a delivery truck for a sale just made, or en route to Gearhead). What is the correct cost flow assumption for Gearhead to accurately account for inventory? Should it use a first-in, first-out method, or last-in, first-out?

These are all accounting challenges Gearhead faces with respect to inventory. As inventory will represent one of the largest items on the balance sheet, it is vital that Gearhead management take due care with decisions related to inventory accounting. Keeping in mind considerations such as gross profit, inventory turnover, meeting demand, point-of-sale systems, and timeliness of accounting information, what other accounting challenges might arise regarding the company’s inventory accounting processes?

Inventory Systems Comparison

There are some key differences between perpetual and periodic inventory systems. When a company uses the perpetual inventory system and makes a purchase, they will automatically update the Merchandise Inventory account. Under a periodic inventory system, Purchases will be updated, while Merchandise Inventory will remain unchanged until the company counts and verifies its inventory balance. This count and verification typically occur at the end of the annual accounting period, which is often on December 31 of the year. The Merchandise Inventory account balance is reported on the balance sheet while the Purchases account is reported on the Income Statement when using the periodic inventory method. The Cost of Goods Sold is reported on the Income Statement under the perpetual inventory method.

A journal entry shows a debit to Merchandise Inventory for $$ and credit to Accounts Payable for $$ under the heading of “Perpetual,” followed by a debit to Purchases for $$ and credit to Accounts Payable for $$ under the heading of “Periodic.”

A purchase return or allowance under perpetual inventory systems updates Merchandise Inventory for any decreased cost. Under periodic inventory systems, a temporary account, Purchase Returns and Allowances, is updated. Purchase Returns and Allowances is a contra account and is used to reduce Purchases.

A journal entry shows a debit to Accounts Payable for $$ and credit to Merchandise Inventory for $$ under the heading of “Perpetual,” followed by a debit to Accounts Payable for $$ and credit to Purchase Returns and Allowances for $$ under the heading of “Periodic.”

When a purchase discount is applied under a perpetual inventory system, Merchandise Inventory decreases for the discount amount. Under a periodic inventory system, Purchase Discounts (a temporary, contra account), increases for the discount amount and Merchandise Inventory remains unchanged.

A journal entry shows a debit to Accounts Payable for $$ and credits to Cash and Merchandise Inventory, both for $$ under the heading of “Perpetual,” followed by a debit to Accounts Payable for $$ and credits to Cash and Purchase Discounts, each for $$ under the heading of “Periodic.”

When a sale occurs under perpetual inventory systems, two entries are required: one to recognize the sale, and the other to recognize the cost of sale. For the cost of sale, Merchandise Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold are updated. Under periodic inventory systems, this cost of sale entry does not exist. The recognition of merchandise cost only occurs at the end of the period when adjustments are made and temporary accounts are closed.

A journal entry shows a debit to Accounts Receivable for $$ and credit to Sales for $$, and then a credit to Cost of Goods Sold for $$ and credit to Merchandise Inventory for $$ under the heading of “Perpetual,” followed by a debit to Accounts Receivable for $$ and credit to Sales for $$ under the heading of “Periodic.”

When a sales return occurs, perpetual inventory systems require recognition of the inventory’s condition. This means a decrease to COGS and an increase to Merchandise Inventory. Under periodic inventory systems, only the sales return is recognized, but not the inventory condition entry.

A journal entry shows a debit to Sales Returns and Allowances for $$ and credit to Accounts Receivable for $$, and then a credit to Merchandise Inventory for $$ and credit to Cost of Goods Sold for $$ under the heading of “Perpetual,” followed by a debit to Sales Returns and Allowances for $$ and credit to Accounts Receivable for $$ under the heading of “Periodic.”

A sales allowance and sales discount follow the same recording formats for either perpetual or periodic inventory systems.

A journal entry shows debits to Sales Returns and Allowances for $$, credit to Accounts Receivable for $$, debits to Cash and Sales Discounts, each for $$, and credit to Accounts Receivable for $$, all under the heading of “Perpetual and Periodic.”

Adjusting and Closing Entries for a Perpetual Inventory System

You have already explored adjusting entries and the closing process in prior discussions, but merchandising activities require additional adjusting and closing entries to inventory, sales discounts, returns, and allowances. Here, we’ll briefly discuss these additional closing entries and adjustments as they relate to the perpetual inventory system.

At the end of the period, a perpetual inventory system will have the Merchandise Inventory account up-to-date; the only thing left to do is to compare a physical count of inventory to what is on the books. A physical inventory count requires companies to do a manual “stock-check” of inventory to make sure what they have recorded on the books matches what they physically have in stock. Differences could occur due to mismanagement, shrinkage, damage, or outdated merchandise. Shrinkage is a term used when inventory or other assets disappear without an identifiable reason, such as theft. For a perpetual inventory system, the adjusting entry to show this difference follows. This example assumes that the merchandise inventory is overstated in the accounting records and needs to be adjusted downward to reflect the actual value on hand.

A journal entry shows a debit to Cost of Goods Sold for $$ and credit to Merchandise Inventory for $$ with the note “to adjust Merchandise Inventory on books.”

If a physical count determines that merchandise inventory is understated in the accounting records, Merchandise Inventory would need to be increased with a debit entry and the COGS would be reduced with a credit entry. The adjusting entry is:

A journal entry shows a debit to Merchandise Inventory for $$ and credit to Cost of Goods Sold for $$ with the note “to adjust Merchandise Inventory of books.”

To sum up the potential adjustment process, after the merchandise inventory has been verified with a physical count, its book value is adjusted upward or downward to reflect the actual inventory on hand, with an accompanying adjustment to the COGS.

Not only must an adjustment to Merchandise Inventory occur at the end of a period, but closure of temporary merchandising accounts to prepare them for the next period is required. Temporary accounts requiring closure are Sales, Sales Discounts, Sales Returns and Allowances, and Cost of Goods Sold. Sales will close with the temporary credit balance accounts to Income Summary.

A journal entry shows a debit to Sales for $$ and credit to Income Summary for $$.

Sales Discounts, Sales Returns and Allowances, and Cost of Goods Sold will close with the temporary debit balance accounts to Income Summary.

A journal entry shows a debit to Income Summary for $$ and credits to Sales Discounts, Sales Returns and Allowances, and Cost of Goods Sold, each for $$.

Note that for a periodic inventory system, the end of the period adjustments require an update to COGS. To determine the value of Cost of Goods Sold, the business will have to look at the beginning inventory balance, purchases, purchase returns and allowances, discounts, and the ending inventory balance.

The formula to compute COGS is:

Cost of goods sold equals beginning inventory plus net purchases minus ending inventory.

where:

Net purchases equals (gross) purchases minus purchase discounts minus purchase returns and allowances.

Once the COGS balance has been established, an adjustment is made to Merchandise Inventory and COGS, and COGS is closed to prepare for the next period.

Table 6.1 summarizes the differences between the perpetual and periodic inventory systems.

Perpetual and Periodic Transaction Comparison
Transaction Perpetual Inventory System Periodic Inventory System
Purchase of Inventory Record cost to Inventory account Record cost to Purchases account
Purchase Return or Allowance Record to update Inventory Record to Purchase Returns and Allowances
Purchase Discount Record to update Inventory Record to Purchase Discounts
Sale of Merchandise Record two entries: one for sale and one for cost of sale Record one entry for the sale
Sales Return Record two entries: one for sales return, one for cost of inventory returned Record one entry: sales return, cost not recognized
Sales Allowance Same under both systems Same under both systems
Sales Discount Same under both systems Same under both systems
Table 6.1 There are several differences in account recognition between the perpetual and periodic inventory systems.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both the perpetual and periodic inventory systems.

Concepts In Practice

Point-of-Sale Systems

Advancements in point-of-sale (POS) systems have simplified the once tedious task of inventory management. POS systems connect with inventory management programs to make real-time data available to help streamline business operations. The cost of inventory management decreases with this connection tool, allowing all businesses to stay current with technology without “breaking the bank.”

One such POS system is Square. Square accepts many payment types and updates accounting records every time a sale occurs through a cloud-based application. Square, Inc. has expanded their product offerings to include Square for Retail POS. This enhanced product allows businesses to connect sales and inventory costs immediately. A business can easily create purchase orders, develop reports for cost of goods sold, manage inventory stock, and update discounts, returns, and allowances. With this application, customers have payment flexibility, and businesses can make present decisions to positively affect growth.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Perpetual Inventory System

The perpetual inventory system gives real-time updates and keeps a constant flow of inventory information available for decision-makers. With advancements in point-of-sale technologies, inventory is updated automatically and transferred into the company’s accounting system. This allows managers to make decisions as it relates to inventory purchases, stocking, and sales. The information can be more robust, with exact purchase costs, sales prices, and dates known. Although a periodic physical count of inventory is still required, a perpetual inventory system may reduce the number of times physical counts are needed.

The biggest disadvantages of using the perpetual inventory systems arise from the resource constraints for cost and time. It is costly to keep an automatic inventory system up-to-date. This may prohibit smaller or less established companies from investing in the required technologies. The time commitment to train and retrain staff to update inventory is considerable. In addition, since there are fewer physical counts of inventory, the figures recorded in the system may be drastically different from inventory levels in the actual warehouse. A company may not have correct inventory stock and could make financial decisions based on incorrect data.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Periodic Inventory System

The periodic inventory system is often less expensive and time consuming than perpetual inventory systems. This is because there is no constant maintenance of inventory records or training and retraining of employees to upkeep the system. The complexity of the system makes it difficult to identify the cost justification associated with the inventory function.

While both the periodic and perpetual inventory systems require a physical count of inventory, periodic inventorying requires more physical counts to be conducted. This updates the inventory account more frequently to record exact costs. Knowing the exact costs earlier in an accounting cycle can help a company stay on budget and control costs.

However, the need for frequent physical counts of inventory can suspend business operations each time this is done. There are more chances for shrinkage, damaged, or obsolete merchandise because inventory is not constantly monitored. Since there is no constant monitoring, it may be more difficult to make in-the-moment business decisions about inventory needs.

While each inventory system has its own advantages and disadvantages, the more popular system is the perpetual inventory system. The ability to have real-time data to make decisions, the constant update to inventory, and the integration to point-of-sale systems, outweigh the cost and time investments needed to maintain the system. (While our main coverage focuses on recognition under the perpetual inventory system, Appendix: Analyze and Record Transactions for Merchandise Purchases and Sales Using the Periodic Inventory System discusses recognition under the periodic inventory system.)

Think It Through

Comparing Inventory Systems

Your company uses a perpetual inventory system to control its operations. They only check inventory once every six months. At the 6-month physical count, an employee notices several inventory items missing and many damaged units. In the company records, it shows an inventory balance of $300,000. The actual physical count values inventory at $200,000. This is a significant difference in valuation and has jeopardized the future of the company. As a manager, how might you avoid this large discrepancy in the future? Would a change in inventory systems benefit the company? Are you constrained by any resources?

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