Accounting Lecture Week 4
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Accounting Lecture Week 4

Course Number: ACCT 490, Spring 2011

College/University: DeVry Long Beach

Word Count: 1879

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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...

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That Now 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. If you will turn in you text to Illustration 5-13 on page 206, will see an even more focused version of a Multistep Income Statement. While the Cost of Goods Sold section is not shown in detail, notice we have two other sections added. We have a section for Selling Expenses and one for Administrative Expenses. The Selling Expenses reflect the cost to the business of selling its product. It definitely will reflect sales salaries, advertising costs, in-store demonstration costs and such other costs as the accountants figure directly support the sales effort. The Administrative Expenses reflect the costs to the business of having accountants, administrative assistants, all manner of executives and other costs that support the organization as a whole. These costs cannot be directly traced to the generating of revenue. Looking at Illustration 5-18 on page 209 you will see another form of Income Statement. Single-Step Income Statements? Multi-step Income Statements? Costs of Goods Sold schedules? Administrative Expenses? Selling Expenses? Whats up with all of this? Well the idea reflects back to the idea of accounting as an information system. The object of this system is to empower its users to manage the business better, or to manage their investments better. Toward that end the accountant is empowered to make such changes in style and presentation to advance those goals. There is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes a selling expense, or for that matter an administrative one. Its a judgment call. Is a Single-step Income Statement better than a Multi-step one? Could be. It might depend on the user of the statement. These are all examples where the judgment of either the accountants are brought to bear. As you deal with the accountants in your organization it would be well to remember that they make decisions that do not rest solidly on accounting principles. Rather the decisions rest on judgment calls which may up for dispute. So in other words, just because someone throws a number at you do not roll over and play dead. Your ideas and numbers might be just as valid as theirs. Valuing Inventory Part I So OK! inventory is important. What does it cost? Does that seem obvious? Consider this. I go to the local Office Max for some office supplies. I buy $100 worth but pay $106 due to sales tax. At what figure do I value that office supplies purchase? $100? $106? Well, it was up to me, I would value it at $106. I dont care what price Office Max puts on the price tag. Im not out of the building unless I pay $106. The sales tax is their problem; paying for office supplies is mine. This true is with all assets. The cost isnt just what the price tag says it is. On a businesss records it is free to record all costs necessary to buy an asset and make it ready for usage as part of the cost of that asset. So what about inventory? Generally there are two distinct costs attached to inventory purchase. There is the list price or costs. There is the cost of delivery. What do we do with delivery costs? It depends on the terms of sale. If I buy inventory at Free On Board Shipping (FOB Shipping) I take title to the goods at the point they reach the sellers shipping dock. Since the goods now belong to me I pay the freight and get to include the cost in the value of inventory. If I choose to set up a separate account to track these freight costs I would call it Freight-in. If I buy inventory at Free on Board Destination (FOB Destination) terms, I dont take title to the goods until they are delivered to me. Since the goods dont really belong to me until they are delivered, the delivery costs belong to the seller. The seller might collect these costs under an account called not surprisingly Delivery Expense. Valuing Inventory Part II Ace Blueberries You might be happy if this were all there was to valuing our inventory. Me, too! But such is not the case. Lets take a look at an example, Ace Blueberries. Ace is a retailer of premium blueberries in Des Moines, Iowa. During blueberry season it receives shipments of blueberries on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. It packages them and sells them along with blueberry related products at markets throughout the state. Lets say it receives its three weekly shipments in week one. Which of them would you like to put out for sale first? Well, of course, youd like to sell all of Mondays shipment first. Why? Because youd be afraid of spoilage. So even though you might receive Wednesdays shipment you will hold back on putting it out for sale until almost all of Mondays is sold. If you put out the new berries while you still have some old ones, youre likely to still have Mondays on Thursday or Friday. To me there is nothing more appetizing than an old blueberry!J This is true in many industries whether you look at technology, fashion, or industial goods. All businesses are concerned about losses in inventory due to spoilage, obsolescence, or the passage of time. So all businesses have a tendency to put the First Items In as the First Items Out of inventory (FIFO). Does this have an impact on the value of inventory? Well, as long as the cost of blueberries to us stays the same, the answer is No. But once the value of inventories begins to change from shipment it could very well have some implications. Lets look at an example. Lets say Ace Blueberry receives 5 gallons of berries with each shipment. You may multiply this by one thousand if youre having trouble imagining a business based on 15 gallons of blueberries per week! J. This is how business worked out the first week Gallons Mondays shipment Wednesdays shipment Fridays shipment 5 5 5 Cost /Gallon $1.00 1.25 1.50 Total Cost $5.00 $6.25 $7.50 Total blueberries Available for sale 15 $18.75 During week one we sold 12 gallons of blueberries. What would be the cost of the blueberries sold, and the cost of the ending inventory, 3 gallons of blueberries? Working with the FIFO assumption, inventory values look like this. Having sold 12 gallons I know Ive sold the following. All of Mondays shipment All of Wednesdays Two gallons from Friday 5 gallons x $1.00 5 gallons x $1.25 2 gallons x $1.50 $5.00 $6.25 $3.00 Total Cost of Goods Sold $14.25 Our ending inventory of blueberries is 3 gallons for which we have paid $1.50 each. The total for ending inventory is $4.50 (3 x $1.50). Now what would happen if we were not worried about the spoilage of blueberries? Lets adopt an opposite assumption, LIFO. Under the Last In First Out assumption, we sell Fridays blueberries first. So what does this do to our example? Our cost of goods sold calculation looks like this. All of Fridays shipment 5 gallons x $1.50 $7.50 All of Wednesdays Two of Mondays 5 gallons x $1.25 2 gallons x $1.00 $6.25 $2.00 Total Cost of Goods Sold $15.75 For ending inventory we have 3 gallons at $1.00 each or a total ending inventory of $3.00. What does this mean? What this means in times of rising prices my expense, Cost of Goods Sold, is larger under LIFO, $15.75, than under FIFO, $14.25. This, of course, would mean a smaller income and lower income taxes under LIFO. But so what? Can we do this? Yes! There is no accounting principle that requires the cost of goods follow the FIFO assumption. As a business you are free to move items out of your warehouse on a FIFO basis. But you are also free to record the cost of goods sold under a LIFO assumption. The reasoning behind this is that todays revenues (sales) are being matched against todays costs (the most recent). So the implication is that we have a better matching of revenue and expense and more valid financial statements. The practical result of this is smaller income taxes. While we are free to do this consistency requires that once we have chosen a method of valuing inventory we cannot change that method any time we like. If we choose to adopt LIFO we must continue with LIFO for the indefinite future. This is the end of lecture 4.

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