Fifo Vs. Lifo

417 Words2 Pages
FIFO vs. LIFO Inventory can be a large part of a company’s assets. There are different accounting methods that these companies use to report inventory. These methods can have different effects on profits, income taxes, and cash flow. Two common methods used are FIFO and LIFO. Under first in, first out (FIFO), the first costs into inventory are the first costs assigned to costs of goods sold. Last in, last out (LIFO) costing assigns the last costs of inventory to the first costs of goods sold. A fast moving consumer goods company (FMCG) in times of rising prices would pay less income tax if it used the LIFO inventory accounting method. A FMCG in times of rising prices that uses LIFO would be selling its inventory with the highest prices. This would increase the costs of goods sold and lower the net income for the company for that accounting period. The company would have to pay less tax on the lower net income. If the FMCG decided to use the FIFO method, the costs of goods sold would be lower and the net income would be higher. Thus, the company would have to pay more tax at the end of the accounting period. Low income tax payments are why one-third of U.S. companies use LIFO (Harrison, Horgren, & Thomas, 2010). LIFO also gives the company the most realistic net income figure because the recent costs of inventory are expensed. FIFO would use the oldest costs of inventory which is not a realistic measure of the inventory expense. The ending inventory under LIFO would be lower, due to the highest prices being expensed. If the company wants to lower its income at the end of the accounting period, they would buy more inventory and the cost of that inventory could be used for cost of goods sold. This is done in order to pay less tax. One problem with LIFO is that it is not allowed under the IFRS. This can create a problem when comparing a U.S.
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