2 2 Perpetual v. Periodic Inventory Systems Financial and Managerial Accounting

periodic inventory system journal entry

Businesses physically count their products at the end of the period and use the information to balance their general ledger. Determining the cost of the ending inventory and the cost of goods sold helps determine the periodic income and financial position. Preparing financial statements under the periodic inventory system means calculating the cost of goods sold during the period and the ending inventory. Weighted average cost (WAC) in a periodic system is another cost flow assumption and uses an average to assign the ending inventory value. Using WAC assumes you value the inventory in stock somewhere between the oldest and newest products purchased or manufactured. “Periodic systems are better with unknowns. Not all periodic systems have computer systems attached since computer logic does not do well with many unknowns,” explains Relph.

  • Under a periodic inventory system, Purchases will be updated, while Merchandise Inventory will remain unchanged until the company counts and verifies its inventory balance.
  • You can also use a periodic system if you have a handle on your supply chain process, sell a few products and have eyes on your goods as they flow through your business.
  • When the cashier scans a barcode and a customer walks out with a product, the inventory is automatically updated.
  • In the periodic system, you only perform the COGS during the accounting period.
  • Companies using periodic inventory procedure make no entries to the Merchandise Inventory account nor do they maintain unit records during the accounting period.

According to Relph, “When an organization grows such that all items require a SKU (e.g. internet sales), then it is highly likely this business will need to move towards a perpetual inventory system.” A small company with a low number of SKUs would use a periodic system when they aren’t concerned about scaling their business over time. Depending on your products and needs, you could also use a periodic system in concert with a perpetual system. Inventory is a permanent account meaning the balance rolls over from period to period. The ending inventory balance of on period is the beginning inventory of the next period.

What is periodic inventory taking?

To make good business decisions, most business owners and managers need updated information on a very regular basis. Most large businesses update inventory automatically with each sale or shipment. Whenever you make a purchase at a retail store or online, the retailer knows exactly what was sold and when so it can make decisions around restocking. The periodic inventory system is a software system that supports taking a periodic count of stock.

Using the purchase transaction from May 4 and no returns, Hanlon pays the amount owed on May 10. Not only must an adjustment to Merchandise Inventory occur at the end of a period, but closure of temporary merchandising accounts to prepare them for the next period is required. Temporary accounts requiring closure are Sales, Sales Discounts, Sales Returns and Allowances, and Cost of Goods Sold. Sales will close with the temporary credit balance accounts to Income Summary.

Periodic Inventory System

If we take a discount for paying early, we record this discount in the purchase discount account under the periodic inventory method. In a periodic inventory system, you update the inventory balance once a period. You can assume that both the sales and the purchases are on credit and that you are using the gross profit to record discounts. Between the two accounting systems, there are differences in how you update the accounts and which accounts you need.

  • The adjusting entry is based on the formula to calculate the cost of goods sold.
  • In a periodic inventory system, you update the inventory balance once a period.
  • Record the purchase discount by debiting the accounts payable account and crediting the purchase discount account.
  • There are more chances for shrinkage, damaged, or obsolete merchandise because inventory is not constantly monitored.
  • Note that this adjusting entry adjusts the merchandise inventory account to its proper ending balance in order to zero out the purchases account and create a cost of goods sold account.

Record inventory sales by crediting the accounts receivable account and crediting the sales account. Record the purchase discount by debiting the accounts payable account and crediting the purchase discount account. This journal shows your company’s debits and credits in a simple column form, organized by date. Periodic inventory is an accounting stock valuation practice that’s performed at specified intervals.

What Is the Cost of Sales?

The main benefits of employing a periodic inventory system are the ease of implementation, its lower cost and the decrease in staffing needed to run it. Simple counts on legal paper can suffice for collecting product data, especially if you only offer a few goods. A basic count during the day or week is often enough for a small business to get an adequate handle on their inventory. This means there is no need for expensive or complicated equipment, just essential information collection tools – pen and paper. Any business can use a periodic system since there’s no need for additional equipment or coding to operate it, and therefore it costs less to implement and maintain. Further, you can train staff to provide simple inventory counts when time is limited or you have high staff turnover.

periodic inventory system journal entry

To calculate the amount at the end of the year for periodic inventory, the company performs a physical count of stock. Organizations use estimates for mid-year markers, such as monthly and quarterly reports. Accountants do not update the general ledger account inventory when their company purchases goods to be resold. Note that for a periodic inventory system, the end of the period adjustments require an update to COGS.

The Benefits of a Periodic Inventory System

This issue will arise as your operation grows and becomes more challenging to control positively. Periodic inventory works for businesses that don’t need to accurately know current inventory levels on a daily basis. Growing businesses and larger businesses need more detailed inventory tracking and typically choose a perpetual inventory system, which is best managed using an ERP inventory module. The guide has everything you need to understand and use a periodic inventory system. You’ll find basic journal entries, formulas, sample problems, guidance, expert advice and helpful visuals.

Accounting Under the Periodic Inventory System: Journal Entries

Even businesses using perpetual inventory may want to take a physical inventory count periodically to account for shrinkage (theft, broken, and lost items). LIFO means last-in, first-out, and refers to the value that businesses assign to stock when the last items they put into inventory are the first ones sold. The products in the ending inventory are either leftover from the beginning inventory or those the company purchased earlier in the period. In this example, we also say that the physical inventory counted 590 units of their product at the end of the period, or Jan. 31. We use the same table (inventory card) for this example as in the periodic FIFO example. Under periodic inventory system inventory account is not updated for each purchase and each sale.

Adjusting and Closing Entries for a Perpetual Inventory System

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) do not state a required inventory system, but the periodic inventory system uses a Purchases account to meet the requirements for recognition under GAAP. The main difference is that assets are valued at net realizable value and can be increased or decreased as values change. The debit, merchandise inventory (ending), is subtracted from that total to determine the balancing debit to the cost of goods sold.

In a perpetual system, the software is continuously updating the general ledger when there are changes to the inventory. In the periodic system, the software only updates the general ledger when you enter data after taking a physical count. In a perpetual system, the COGS account is current after each sale, even between the traditional accounting periods.