Accounting in Merchandising Companies

6.6. Multiple-step and single-step income statements

Note a new format of the income statement. This format matches revenues with respective expenses. For example, the net sales and the cost of goods sold provide information about the difference between the sales amount and the cost of goods sold. Such format of the income statement is used to prepare information for financial analysis. Income statements of such kind are called multiple-step income statements:

Multiple-step income statement shows numerous steps in determining the net income (or net loss). Each step provides a different measure of a company's results of operations.

In contrast, a single-step income statement that we used in other tutorials only includes information on total revenues and total expenses:

Single-step income statement shows only one step in determining the net income (or net loss).

7. Comparison of the periodic and perpetual inventory systems

The periodic inventory system is known to be used more frequently than the perpetual one. The reason is simple. It is easier to make a few period-end adjusting entries than to adjust accounting records every time a sale or purchase is made (for example, grocery store sales are very frequent). Under the periodic system the cost of goods sold is determined at the end of the period. Purchases or sales of inventory do not affect the inventory account during the period. When goods are purchased, the cost is recorded in the Purchases (Inventory Purchases) account. When goods are sold, a reduction in the Inventory account does not take place. Transportation-out expenditures, purchase returns, and allowances are recorded in separate accounts. The cost of goods sold is calculated by subtracting the amount of ending inventory from the total cost of goods available for sale (see the table below). The ending inventory is determined by performing a period end physical count.

The schedule of cost of goods sold helps in performing these computations:

Illustration 13: Schedule of cost of goods sold

Beginning Inventory

Plus: Purchases

Plus: Transportation-in

Less: Purchase Returns and Allowances

Less: Purchase Discounts

Cost of Goods Available for Sale

Less: Ending Inventory

Cost of Goods Sold

However, there is one weak point about the periodic system which relates to lost, damaged, or stolen merchandise. Because the periodic system determines the cost of goods sold and the ending inventory at the end of the period, it is impossible, during the period, to figure out whether there were any goods stolen, damaged, or lost. It is rather difficult even at the period end because all goods not available at hand are considered sold.

At the same time, it is quite easy to figure out damaged, lost, or stolen goods if a company employs the perpetual system. A simple comparison of the physically counted merchandise on hand at the end of the period and the book balance of the Merchandise Inventory account will do the job. If there is a difference between the two, then some goods were damaged, stolen, or lost. In such a case an adjusting entry is needed to record the goods not available any more. The adjusting entry acts to decrease assets and equity. The equity is decreased by increasing an expense account called Inventory Loss (or sometimes directly increasing the Cost of Goods Sold account). The assets are decreased by reducing the Inventory account.

For example, let us assume a company applies the perpetual inventory system and has the book balance of the Merchandise Inventory account of $1,500. The physical count at the end of the period showed that only $1,300 of goods was on hand. The inventory loss of $200 ($1,500 - $1,300) should be recorded as follows:

Illustration 14: Effect of recording inventory loss in the horizontal model

Assets

=

Liabilities

+

Equity

Rev.

-

Exp.

=

Net Inc.

Cash Flow

(200)

=

n/a

+

(200)

n/a

-

(200)

=

(200)

n/a

The entry in the general journal looks like this:

Illustration 15: Journal entry to record the inventory loss

Event No

Account titles

Debit

Credit

1

Inventory Loss (Cost of Goods Sold)

200

 

 

        Inventory

 

200

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