How to calculate lifo
Last In, First Out (LIFO) is a popular inventory valuation method used by companies to determine the cost of goods sold and the value of their remaining inventory. LIFO operates on the assumption that the most recent items added to inventory are the first ones to be sold or used. This guide will walk you through the steps required to calculate LIFO and gain a better understanding of your company’s financial health.
Step 1: Understand Your Inventory Periods
To begin calculating LIFO, you must first determine your inventory periods. Your accounting period may be monthly, quarterly, or annually; choose one that suits your business operations. Keep track of changes in inventory levels during each period, as this information will be crucial for LIFO calculations.
Step 2: Identify Inventory Layers
LIFO calculation involves dividing your inventory into layers based on the time they were added. For instance, if you receive new inventory shipments each month, you would have separate layers for each month’s items.
Step 3: Determine Cost per Unit
For each layer in your inventory, calculate the cost per unit. This may vary depending on factors like production costs and supplier contracts. Make sure to keep accurate records for each inventory layer to facilitate precise calculations.
Step 4: Calculate Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
To calculate the cost of goods sold using LIFO, start by identifying which inventory layers were sold during a given accounting period. Then, multiply the number of units sold from each layer by their corresponding cost per unit. Add up these values to obtain the total COGS for that period.
Step 5: Determine Ending Inventory Value
Calculating the ending inventory value under LIFO involves determining the value of unsold items at the end of a given accounting period. To do so, subtract the number of units sold from each layer’s total units, and multiply the result by their respective cost per unit. Add up these figures to find the total ending inventory value.
Assume you have the following inventory layers:
Layer 1: 100 units at a cost of $5 per unit
Layer 2: 200 units at a cost of $6 per unit
Layer 3: 150 units at a cost of $7 per unit
During an accounting period, you sell 250 units. Apply LIFO methodology as follows:
1. Sell all 150 units from Layer 3 (cost of $7 per unit) – COGS = $1,050
2. Sell 100 units from Layer 2 (cost of $6 per unit) – COGS = $600
Total COGS during this period = $1,050 + $600 = $1,650
Ending inventory value:
Layer 1: 100 units (no change)
Layer 2: Remaining 100 units at a cost of $6 per unit
Ending inventory value = (100 x $5) + (100 x $6) = $1,100
Mastering LIFO valuation is crucial for companies that experience fluctuations in inventory costs or for those that deal with perishable goods. Understanding how to calculate LIFO helps businesses maintain accurate financial records and make more informed decisions about production strategy and inventory levels.