Ending Inventory: Definition, Calculation, and Valuation Methods

It is a key component in the calculation of the cost of goods sold (COGS) and is essential for determining a company’s profitability. The value of ending inventory can be calculated using different methods, such as the first in, first out (FIFO), last in, first out (LIFO), and weighted-average cost methods. To accurately calculate ending inventory, you should also conduct a physical count of the remaining inventory stock on hand. A physical inventory stock count allows you to uncover any discrepancies between the actual stock and what you have in your inventory management system.

  • The valuation assigned to the ending inventory will depend on the cost layering method employed.
  • At the end of the accounting period, conduct a physical count of each item in inventory to determine the quantity on hand.
  • When your inventory is working right, you are getting more profits and better value for your transactions.

In conclusion, the ending inventory value impacts the balance sheets and taxes of businesses. Hence, it is required to maintain accurate balance sheets and create consistent reports. This helps businesses make informed decisions about their inventory balance sheet items items of balance sheet with explanation and ensure that they are able to fulfill customer demand efficiently. In addition, accurate ending inventory records help businesses maintain precise balance sheets, generate consistent reports, and predict future inventory requirements.

Ending inventory vs. closing inventory

Once you have physically counted each item, you multiply the numbers by their recorded value. The numbers you get after this practice should coincide with the cash flow assumption your business uses, i.e., LIFO or FIFO. One of the most critical activities when closing a financial year is calculating the ending inventory. It is every businessman’s responsibility to know how much is left at the end of such an accounting season to plan how to start the next. However, it is a common myth that such serious accounting is only for big companies or companies with hundreds of employees.

  • The simplest way to calculate ending inventory is to do a physical inventory count.
  • An incorrect inventory valuation causes two income statements to be wrong because the ending inventory carries over to the next financial year as the beginning inventory.
  • It can also be referred to as the value of the inventory that the company got at the end of the previous accounting period.
  • Going into the next year, that figure would be listed as your starting inventory.

Overstating or understating ending inventory could be a sign of accounting error, theft, or various other issues. There is a basic ending inventory formula that is used, and then there are also different methods through which you can calculate the inventory. All of these methods have their pros and cons, so let’s take a detailed look at all of these different types of ending inventory methods. Now, you might be wondering why it is so important to calculate the ending inventory. Ending inventory gives clear insights into the inventory of the business that is directly effecting the company’s net profit. It also allows the owners to understand the tax liability that their company needs to pay.


These ending inventory tips are part of Easyship’s efforts to help businesses of all sizes succeed in eCommerce. We offer direct partnerships with a global network of trusted warehouses and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) with exact inventory management systems to empower your eCommerce goals. Average weighted COGS is a simple way to value ending inventory, and best to use when all products sold are identical. During a period of rising prices or inflationary pressures, FIFO (first in, first out) generates a higher ending inventory valuation than LIFO (last in, first out). There are several different ways to calculate the value of your ending inventory. The method you choose will impact everything from budgeting to inventory reorder quantity, and most importantly — growth profit.

Factors Affecting Closing Inventory.

There are several ways to calculate the ending inventory formula, and the one that works best depends on your specific situation. Divide the result by your average daily sales over a set period (usually one month, three months, or one year). The key here is to look for opportunities to minimize your ending inventory without sacrificing sales. You made $1.8 Million in additional inventory purchases during the January period. Since accuracy is key, many businesses opt to estimate ending inventory with one of two ending inventory formulas.


When valuing ending inventory, it is important to consider the lower of cost or market rule. This rule states that inventory should be valued at the lower of its acquisition cost or market value minus any selling costs. Under the Special Identification method, inventory items are tracked from the time they’re purchased until the time they’re sold.

Your chosen inventory method will impact your business’s financial results. Thus, their beginning inventory of Thomas during the accounting period start is $640,000. The figures of your inventory balance must equal what is currently on your hand.

It also helps the companies with their inventory process, which means they don’t even have to worry about the ending inventory formula. The last thing that is present in this formula is the COGS, which is the cost of goods sold. This is the value of manufacturing and the purchasing of the finished products that are then sold during this period. This will provide the value of the remaining units of inventory at the end of the period.

Is there a faster way to calculate ending inventory?

Take the time to choose the method that is best suited to your type of business and then stick with it. Which method you decide to use will affect many processes and procedures, including budgeting, reordering quantities and growth profit. The ending inventory of the one financial year, becomes the opening inventory of the subsequent financial year. This classification offers an overall elaboration of how one can calculate their ending inventory.