Average Inventory Formula

Formula to Calculate Average Inventory

Average Inventory Formula is used to calculate the mean value of Inventory at a certain point of time by taking the average of the Inventory at the beginning and at the end of the accounting period. It helps management to understand the Inventory, the business needs to hold during its daily course of business.

Since Ending Inventory can be impacted by a sudden drawdown of Inventory or a large supply of Inventory, therefore Average takes care of such spikes as it takes the mean value of both the Beginning and Ending Inventory.

Average Inventory = (Beginning Inventory + Ending Inventory) / 2

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For eg:
Source: Average Inventory Formula (wallstreetmojo.com)

The above formula is one of the simplest ways for the calculation of the Average Inventory, which is used to avoid the effect of sharp spikes or drops in the Ending Inventory as it involves taking Average of Beginning and Ending Inventory.

Inventory is the driving force behind the ability of a business to generate revenues and resulting profit, and managing Inventory cost-effectively helps the business to optimize their profits. It acts as a comparison tool and helps in analyzing overall Revenue generated by the business from the context of Inventory utilization (Holding Inventory for long also results in a cost for the business in the form of storage cost, labor costLabor CostCost of labor is the remuneration paid in the form of wages and salaries to the employees. The allowances are sub-divided broadly into two categories- direct labor involved in the manufacturing process and indirect labor pertaining to all other processes.read more and also the business carries the risk arising on account of Inventory becoming obsolete, rotted, etc.)

Example (with Excel Template)

You can download this Average Inventory Formula Excel Template here – Average Inventory Formula Excel Template

ABC Limited reported the following details on its Inventory levels as on 31.03.2018.

Beginning Inventory$18,000
Ending Inventory$14,000
Average Inventory?

Avg Inventory-

average inventory example

Use and Relevance

Inventory Analysis helps management to understand its Purchase pattern and Sales trend, which helps them in better planning of Inventory to avoid the problem of stock-outs and also to avoid the cost of carrying excess Inventory as that can result in strain on the finances of the company. Further. It helps in the computation of various useful ratios, namely:

#1 – Inventory Turnover Ratio

One of the important ratios which use Avg Inventory to understand how fast a company sells its Inventory whereby a higher ratio implies either strong sales or insufficient Inventory resulting in loss of business and a lower ratio implying weak sales, excess Inventory, or lack of demand for the company’s product.

Inventory Turnover Ratio= (Cost of Goods Sold/Avg Inventory)
Example of Inventory Turnover Ratio

Continuing with the above-given example, let’s assume ABC Limited made a $200000 in Sales and $128000 in Cost of goods soldCost Of Goods SoldThe cost of goods sold (COGS) is the cumulative total of direct costs incurred for the goods or services sold, including direct expenses like raw material, direct labour cost and other direct costs. However, it excludes all the indirect expenses incurred by the company.read more (COGS). Using the data, we can compute the Inventory Turnover Ratio as follows:

inventory turnover ratio example

= ($128000/$16000) = 8

#2 – Avg. Inventory Period

Another important ratio that makes use of Inventory Turnover Ratio and allows management to understand the time taken in converting goods into sales.

Avg Inventory Period = (Number of Days in Period/Inventory Turnover Ratio)
Example of Avg Inventory Period

Continuing with an above-given example where ABC limited has an Inventory Turnover RatioInventory Turnover RatioInventory Turnover Ratio is a measure to determine the efficiency of a Company concerning its overall inventory management. To calculate the ratio, divide the cost of goods sold by the gross inventory. read more of 8 times. Using the data and assuming 365 days, we can calculate the avg Inventory Period as follows:

average inventory period

= (365/8) = 45.63

Average Inventory Calculator

You can use the following calculator.

Beginning Inventory
Ending Inventory
Average Inventory Formula =

Average Inventory Formula =
Beginning Inventory + Ending Inventory
0 + 0

Issues with Average Inventory Formula

Final Thoughts

  • It is used to measure the amount of Inventory which business usually holds over a longer time frame. It is simply the average between the Inventory level reported during the Beginning of the measurement period and the end of the measurement period.  It holds relevance as the Income Statement (covers a period of time), and the Balance Sheet represents the position as on a particular date only. As such, when comparing the business Sales level with its Inventory level, it makes sense to use Avg. Inventory helps in analyzing how much Inventory Investment is required to support a given level of sales for the business.
  • Inventory becomes more relevant in case of businesses that are seasonal and needs to build up more Inventory than the usual Average of the rest of the non-seasonal period to make up for the increased demand during peak season.
  • Inventory Holding provides various exciting insights into the performance of a company and the movement of Inventory in and out of business, which can further dwell into by the management to make better-informed business decisions.

Recommended Articles

This article has been a guide to the Average Inventory Formula. Here we learn how to calculate Average Inventory using its formula along with its uses, practical examples, and calculator. You can learn more about Accounting from the following articles –

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