Calculate SLOB Inventory: Slow Moving And Obsolete Inventory

obsolete inventory
poor inventory management

Unlike running a sale on bundling inventory, liquidation will not aim to cover costs. Businesses don’t set out to purchase inventory they know will become obsolete. Rather, purchasing decisions and market conditions are what typically, inadvertently causes goods to become obsolete. Be used or sold, a business will usually write down or write off that inventory as a loss. Calculate the value of the damaged inventory at the end of the accounting cycle to write-off the loss.

Inventory visibility, it will be hard to understand how much of each product you need to restock and when (and what product might be worth discontinuing). Historical order data or market insights to help make the best decisions. As such, they might predict a much higher demand and end up ordering an excess amount of inventory. For most ecommerce business, having enough inventory to meet demand is often a top concern. The last time this level of change occurred was in 1986, which was under President Ronald Reagan.

How to Determine the Effects of Inventory Errors and Calculate Inventory Turnover

If the inventory management system tells a retailer it has 100 pairs of pants in a certain size, but there are actually 400 pairs in the warehouse, for example, it will end up buying more product than it needs. Similarly, if a business can’t monitor inventory turn or days of inventory on hand, it has to guesstimate when it should order more inventory. Additionally, minimizing obsolete inventory makes it easier for companies to put together accurate financial statements and get a clear picture of their current inventory carrying costs.

When the purchase invoice is later reconciled against the purchase order, make any corrections. If your accounting system is not integrated with yourinventory management system, then you’ll lose this detail. Depending on the inventory management platform you use, you may get the provisional cost of sale figure or the corrected cost of sale figures. Last In First Out The LIFO method uses the most recent inventory value for the cost of sale transaction when the sale is made.


In the past, if the inventory was held for too long, the goods may have reached the end of their product life and become obsolete. Currently, with technology, the state of abundance, and customers’ high expectations, the product life cycle has become shorter and inventory becomes obsolete much faster. Obsolete inventory is inventory at the end of its product life cycle that needs to be either written-down or written-off the company’s books. Obsolete inventory is a term that represents inventory that is at the end of its item lifecycle and has not seen any product sales or utilization for a few days usually identified by the market. Explain how a skeptical auditor might come to understand management’s potential for adjusting earnings through manipulation of long-asset accounts. Explain the reporting treatment of when a discontinued operations has not been sold when the accounting period ends.

LIFE360, INC. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (form 10-K) –

LIFE360, INC. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (form 10-K).

Posted: Thu, 23 Mar 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Sometimes, even we can sell the obsolete inventory goods for a low price, selling them may make us lose more money. Hence, disposing of those obsolete inventory goods by discarding them completely may be a logical action sometimes. Let’s review several possible scenarios of accounting for such disposal. If you write down ​$10,000​ of inventory to ​$2,000​, you make an Inventory Reserve journal entry for ​$8,000​.

How does an inventory reserve account work?

Freshbooks Another popular accounting software solution used by small businesses is Freshbooks, which offers many of the same invoicing and transaction-tracking features as QuickBooks. Inventory write-off occurs when inventory becomes unusable or unsellable due to obsolescence, damage, theft or loss, expiry, quality issues, or overstocking. Companies must carefully manage their inventory to minimize the risk of write-offs and optimize their financial performance.

To avoid unnecessary inventory, staff must know when they should order more items and how big those orders should be. Software can trigger alerts for purchasers when it’s time to reorder, but supply chain employees need to be on the lookout for a surge or drop in sales of a certain inventory item. In most industries, there are liquidators that buy leftover inventory at a steep discount and then resell it. This is a good option if you tried remarketing, discounting and bundling and it didn’t move enough product. While the price liquidators pay may be at or below cost, it’s still better than writing-off obsolete stock as a loss. Reviewing these and other inventory metrics regularly will help businesses improve purchasing and inventory management, which helps decrease obsolete inventory.

Similarly, when you make a sale, no accounting transactions are made since the asset has no value. If you’re using Periodic Accounting, don’t include the consignment inventory in the stock valuation at the end of the period. Needs to be able to sync with your inventory management system These days, few companies are still tracking and managing their inventory with a pen and paper.

Example of Obsolete Inventory

For example, if your inventory is $100,000 and your inventory obsolescence reserve is $10,000, you report $90,000 as your net inventory value. On the income statement, you report your inventory obsolescence expense as a component of your cost of goods sold, and show the impact on your gross profit and net income. Additionally, you must disclose the method and assumptions used to calculate and estimate your inventory obsolescence reserve, and explain any significant changes or adjustments made during the reporting period. You should also disclose any contingencies or uncertainties that may affect your inventory obsolescence reserve in the future.

A write-down is a standard accounting obsolete inventory journal entry used to record the value of the old stock. This write-down is typically done when a company has certain products that are no longer useful and will not be sold. A company might improperly increase the inventory reserve when business is booming even though the outlook on its ability to sell the inventory hasn’t changed. Boosting the inventory reserve will result in an expense on the income statement that artificially reduces income and taxes. So, in a year or two, when times are tougher, the company might fraudulently decrease its inventory reserve and enter a “negative” expense in COGS, which boosts net income. In this case, the company is improperly using its inventory reserve as a piggy bank, inflating it when times are good and withdrawing from it when times are bad to fraudulently manipulate earnings.

Accounting Methods for Obsolete Inventory by GAAP

Damaged goods is a type of dead stock and is sometimes considered obsolete if the product is unfixable and therefore, loses its value. Buffer inventory, and know exactly what items need to be repurchased and when to meet future demand. Though there are several great inventory forecasting solutions on the market, you can always rely on a 3PL to provide the insights you need to better forecast demand without the extra cost.

balance sheet

Indicate how large of inventories because of obsolescence is recorded in the accounting records in the current year of Coronet Co. Ultimately, your inventory may have become so obsolete that there’s no demand for it whatsoever. If even a highly-experienced liquidator refuses your inventory, writing off the obsolete products may be your best bet. While businesses will often liquidate all of their inventory before closing shop, a company can always consider liquidating a certain segment of their inventory that’s fallen into obsolescence.


As such, this type of How to Calculate Marginal Cost must be written off or written down, which can result in a large loss for your parts department. This Iconotech video looks at the cost savings if you switch from pre-printed case inventories to generic case inventories. Put simply; the term refers to items that are either impossible or very difficult to sell.

The accurate value of inventory is crucial in calculating gross profit or loss. This is why it’s important for businesses to account for inventory write-off when the value of inventory changes significantly. Inventory management systems today do a great job of tracking inventory. To avoid carrying excess and obsolete stock, you need to first optimize your planning, demand forecasting and replenishment processes. If you’re using Cost of Sales accounting, you’ll need a system that allows items to physically ship without creating the “shipped” cost of sale accounting transactions. You just need to create a sales order for the retailer and mark the inventory as allocated.

New inventory, like the latest phone model or a must-have dress, will sell quickly and command a high price. Adjusting the price or offering a discount can help avoid obsolete inventory and keep products moving. Track best sellers and slow-moving stock with a computerized inventory system to ensure you don’t carry too much inventory and adjust when and how much you re-order accordingly. Fulfillment solutions and ecommerce software that powers insights and efficiencies for merchants selling online and ensures effective inventory tracking. The Flowspace platform offers real-time visibility into orders, inventory, and more, and offers easy-to-implement control over supply chain systems.

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