Disclosures relating to inventories

Inventory disclosures: 

  • Found in financial statement footnotes
  • Making adjustments to facilitate comparisons with other firms
  • Includes: 
    • Cost flow method used (LIFO, FIFO…)
    • Total carrying value of inventory 
    • Carrying value of inventories reported at fair value – selling costs
  • COGS during period 
  • Amount of inventory writedown
  • Reversals of inventory write-downs
  • Carrying value of inventories

Inventory changes: change inventory flow methods

  • Prior years’ financial statements are recast based on new cost flow method
  • Accumulated effect is reported as an adjustment to beginning retained earnings of the earliest year
  • Under 
    • IFRS: the change will provide reliable and more relevant information
    • U.S. GAAP: explain why the change in cost flow method is preferable


  • Fair value: 
    • In accounting and in most Schools of economic thought, fair value is a rational and unbiased estimate of the potential market price of a good, service, or asset.
  • Inventory flow methods 
    • specific cost; average cost;
    • first‐in, first‐out (FIFO); 
    • last‐in, first‐out (LIFO).

Reported inventory: 

  • Merchandising: using one account on BS
  • Manufacturing firms: raw materials, work-in-process, finished goods

Other source of info to analyse to evaluate future revenues and earnings

  • Management’s discussion and analysis
  • Economic data in the industry
  • Industry trade publication


  • Inventory taxes: 
    • considers the inventory unsold at the end of the financial year, when calculating the tax to pay