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Now That Youre Experts Now that youre experts in the Accounting Cycle it is time to look at special problems in Accounting. Specifically were going to look at running a merchandising business and issues related to inventory this week. Next week we will look at the accountants role in safeguarding assets. Service Business? Merchandising Business? Whats The Difference? The difference between the two really boils down to the fact that the merchandising business sells a physical product. We call them grocery stores, retail stores, hardware stores, etc. This differs from a business that offers accounting services, beauty services or auto repair services. The principal difference being a merchandising business has merchandise inventory that it sells. From here on out I will refer to merchandise inventory as inventory. So is this a big deal? You bet! The inventory that enters our merchandising business is likely to be one of our largest assets. As it leaves our accounting system it becomes one of our largest expenses. It is very important to learn to manage inventory levels and protect the inventory from loss due to stealing, spoilage, obsolescence, etc. Maintain too small an inventory level and you miss sales as your customer goes to the competition to buy what he or she wants. Maintain too large an inventory and you sink your firm through a pile of Accounts Payable that it cant make payment on. Because it is such an important issue a merchandising business will frequently present a different style of Income Statement. It is called a Multi-step Income Statement. The goals of and principles used in developing it are just the same as you are used to; it just looks different. If you will look in your text to Illustration 6-6 page 238 you will see an example of one. Notice the section labeled Cost of Goods Sold. This is the big addition to our report that reflects the importance of inventory in our operation. Notice in this section there is mention made of a beginning of the period inventory, and end of period inventory, and purchases. It is quite detailed and it reflects the importance our managing all three components of inventory. At the end of the section there is a final line that reflects the Cost of Goods Sold, and another that reflects Gross Profit . What we are doing is a very tight matching of revenue and expense. We not only want to know what did we do and what did we get. We want to know how did our managing of inventory impact our profits on the sales we made. Obviously it takes a year or two to get the data to tell whether our company is going forward or backward, but the Cost of Goods Sold section provides information to our internal users to start managing inventory from day one.Sold section provides information to our internal users to start managing inventory from day one.... View Full Document

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