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Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting

6.5 Discuss and Record Transactions Applying the Two Commonly Used Freight-In Methods

Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting6.5 Discuss and Record Transactions Applying the Two Commonly Used Freight-In Methods
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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

When you buy merchandise online, shipping charges are usually one of the negotiated terms of the sale. As a consumer, anytime the business pays for shipping, it is welcomed. For businesses, shipping charges bring both benefits and challenges, and the terms negotiated can have a significant impact on inventory operations.

Photo of tractor-trailer truck.
Figure 6.13 Shipping Merchandise. (credit: “Guida Siebert Dairy Milk Delivery Truck tractor trailer!” by Mike Mozart/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

IFRS Connection

Shipping Term Effects

Companies applying US GAAP as well as those applying IFRS can choose either a perpetual or periodic inventory system to track purchases and sales of inventory. While the tracking systems do not differ between the two methods, they have differences in when sales transactions are reported. If goods are shipped FOB shipping point, under IFRS, the total selling price of the item would be allocated between the item sold (as sales revenue) and the shipping (as shipping revenue). Under US GAAP, the seller can elect whether the shipping costs will be an additional component of revenue (separate performance obligation) or whether they will be considered fulfillment costs (expensed at the time shipping as shipping expense). In an FOB destination scenario, the shipping costs would be considered a fulfillment activity and expensed as incurred rather than be treated as a part of revenue under both IFRS and US GAAP.

Example

Wally’s Wagons sells and ships 20 deluxe model wagons to Sam’s Emporium for $5,000. Assume $400 of the total costs represents the costs of shipping the wagons and consider these two scenarios: (1) the wagons are shipped FOB shipping point or (2) the wagons are shipped FOB destination. If Wally’s is applying IFRS, the $400 shipping is considered a separate performance obligation, or shipping revenue, and the other $4,600 is considered sales revenue. Both revenues are recorded at the time of shipping and the $400 shipping revenue is offset by a shipping expense. If Wally’s used US GAAP instead, they would choose between using the same treatment as described under IFRS or considering the costs of shipping to be costs of fulfilling the order and expense those costs at the time they are incurred. In this latter case, Wally’s would record Sales Revenue of $5,000 at the time the wagons are shipped and $400 as shipping expense at the time of shipping. Notice that in both cases, the total net revenues are the same $4,600, but the distribution of those revenues is different, which impacts analyses of sales revenue versus total revenues. What happens if the wagons are shipped FOB destination instead? Under both IFRS and US GAAP, the $400 shipping would be treated as an order fulfillment cost and recorded as an expense at the time the goods are shipped. Revenue of $5,000 would be recorded at the time the goods are received by Sam’s emporium.

Financial Statement Presentation of Cost of Goods Sold

IFRS allows greater flexibility in the presentation of financial statements, including the income statement. Under IFRS, expenses can be reported in the income statement either by nature (for example, rent, salaries, depreciation) or by function (such as COGS or Selling and Administrative). US GAAP has no specific requirements regarding the presentation of expenses, but the SEC requires that expenses be reported by function. Therefore, it may be more challenging to compare merchandising costs (cost of goods sold) across companies if one company’s income statement shows expenses by function and another company shows them by nature.

The Basics of Freight-in Versus Freight-out Costs

Shipping is determined by contract terms between a buyer and seller. There are several key factors to consider when determining who pays for shipping, and how it is recognized in merchandising transactions. The establishment of a transfer point and ownership indicates who pays the shipping charges, who is responsible for the merchandise, on whose balance sheet the assets would be recorded, and how to record the transaction for the buyer and seller.

Ownership of inventory refers to which party owns the inventory at a particular point in time—the buyer or the seller. One particularly important point in time is the point of transfer, when the responsibility for the inventory transfers from the seller to the buyer. Establishing ownership of inventory is important to determine who pays the shipping charges when the goods are in transit as well as the responsibility of each party when the goods are in their possession. Goods in transit refers to the time in which the merchandise is transported from the seller to the buyer (by way of delivery truck, for example). One party is responsible for the goods in transit and the costs associated with transportation. Determining whether this responsibility lies with the buyer or seller is critical to determining the reporting requirements of the retailer or merchandiser.

Freight-in refers to the shipping costs for which the buyer is responsible when receiving shipment from a seller, such as delivery and insurance expenses. When the buyer is responsible for shipping costs, they recognize this as part of the purchase cost. This means that the shipping costs stay with the inventory until it is sold. The cost principle requires this expense to stay with the merchandise as it is part of getting the item ready for sale from the buyer’s perspective. The shipping expenses are held in inventory until sold, which means these costs are reported on the balance sheet in Merchandise Inventory. When the merchandise is sold, the shipping charges are transferred with all other inventory costs to Cost of Goods Sold on the income statement.

For example, California Business Solutions (CBS) may purchase computers from a manufacturer and part of the agreement is that CBS (the buyer) pays the shipping costs of $1,000. CBS would record the following entry to recognize freight-in.

A journal entry shows a debit to Merchandise Inventory for $1,000 and credit to Cash for $1,000 with the note “to recognize freight-in shipping costs.”

Merchandise Inventory increases (debit), and Cash decreases (credit), for the entire cost of the purchase, including shipping, insurance, and taxes. On the balance sheet, the shipping charges would remain a part of inventory.

Freight-out refers to the costs for which the seller is responsible when shipping to a buyer, such as delivery and insurance expenses. When the seller is responsible for shipping costs, they recognize this as a delivery expense. The delivery expense is specifically associated with selling and not daily operations; thus, delivery expenses are typically recorded as a selling and administrative expense on the income statement in the current period.

For example, CBS may sell electronics packages to a customer and agree to cover the $100 cost associated with shipping and insurance. CBS would record the following entry to recognize freight-out.

A journal entry shows a debit to Delivery Expense for $100 and credit to Cash for $100 with the note “to recognize freight-out shipping costs.”

Delivery Expense increases (debit) and Cash decreases (credit) for the shipping cost amount of $100. On the income statement, this $100 delivery expense will be grouped with Selling and Administrative expenses.

Discussion and Application of FOB Destination

As you’ve learned, the seller and buyer will establish terms of purchase that include the purchase price, taxes, insurance, and shipping charges. So, who pays for shipping? On the purchase contract, shipping terms establish who owns inventory in transit, the point of transfer, and who pays for shipping. The shipping terms are known as “free on board,” or simply FOB. Some refer to FOB as the point of transfer, but really, it incorporates more than simply the point at which responsibility transfers. There are two FOB considerations: FOB Destination and FOB Shipping Point.

If FOB destination point is listed on the purchase contract, this means the seller pays the shipping charges (freight-out). This also means goods in transit belong to, and are the responsibility of, the seller. The point of transfer is when the goods reach the buyer’s place of business.

To illustrate, suppose CBS sells 30 landline telephones at $150 each on credit at a cost of $60 per phone. On the sales contract, FOB Destination is listed as the shipping terms, and shipping charges amount to $120, paid as cash directly to the delivery service. The following entries occur.

A journal entry shows a debit to Accounts Receivable for $4,500 and credit to Sales for $4,500 with the note “to recognize sale, F O B Destination, 30 times $150,” followed by a debit to Cost of Goods Sold for $1,800 and credit to Merchandise Inventory for $1,800 with the note “to recognize cost of sale, 30 times $60,” followed by a debit to Delivery Expense for $120 and credit to Cash for $120 with the note “to recognize freight-out shipping costs.”

Accounts Receivable (debit) and Sales (credit) increases for the amount of the sale (30 × $150). Cost of Goods Sold increases (debit) and Merchandise Inventory decreases (credit) for the cost of sale (30 × $60). Delivery Expense increases (debit) and Cash decreases (credit) for the delivery charge of $120.

Discussion and Application of FOB Shipping Point

If FOB shipping point is listed on the purchase contract, this means the buyer pays the shipping charges (freight-in). This also means goods in transit belong to, and are the responsibility of, the buyer. The point of transfer is when the goods leave the seller’s place of business.

Suppose CBS buys 40 tablet computers at $60 each on credit. The purchase contract shipping terms list FOB Shipping Point. The shipping charges amount to an extra $5 per tablet computer. All other taxes, fees, and insurance are included in the purchase price of $60. The following entry occurs to recognize the purchase.

A journal entry shows a debit to Merchandise Inventory for $2,600 and a credit to Accounts Payable for $2,600 with the note “to recognize purchase on credit, F O B Shipping Point, 40 times $65.”

Merchandise Inventory increases (debit) and Accounts Payable increases (credit) by the amount of the purchase, including all shipping, insurance, taxes, and fees [(40 × $60) + (40 × $5)].

Figure 6.14 shows a comparison of shipping terms.

F O B Shipping Point is impacted by the facts that the buyer owns the inventory and pays for shipping, and the point of transfer at which the inventory leaves the seller. The F O B Destination is impacted by the facts that the seller owns the inventory and pays the shipping, and the point of transfer at which the inventory arrives at the buyer.
Figure 6.14 FOB Shipping Point versus FOB Destination. A comparison of shipping terms. (attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license)

Think It Through

Choosing Suitable Shipping Terms

You are a seller and conduct business with several customers who purchase your goods on credit. Your standard contract requires an FOB Shipping Point term, leaving the buyer with the responsibility for goods in transit and shipping charges. One of your long-term customers asks if you can change the terms to FOB Destination to help them save money.

Do you change the terms, why or why not? What positive and negative implications could this have for your business, and your customer? What, if any, restrictions might you consider if you did change the terms?

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