Closing Stock

Updated on April 19, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What is Closing Stock?

Closing stock or inventory is the amount that a company still has on its hand at the end of a financial period. This inventory may include products that are getting processed or are produced but not sold. On a broad level, it includes raw material, work in progress, and finished goods—the units of closing stock help in determining the total amount.

Closing Stock

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However, for a larger business, this is often impossible. Improvements in inventory management software and other technologies are helping curb this problem. Irrespective of the size of the organization, the precise documentation of the cost of acquiring raw materials and the cost of production plays a significant role in closing stock calculation.

Closing Stock Explained

Closing stock represents the value of the inventory remaining at the end of an accounting period, usually a fiscal year. The impact of closing stock is seen predominantly in financial reporting and impacts the balance sheet and income statement of a company.

The closing stock equation is essentially the cost of goods that a business still has in its possession or has not sold yet. It includes various items, right from raw materials to finished products to be distributed. Calculating the value of the total inventory remaining in the possession of the company requires a meticulous approach.

The valuation of closing stock significantly depends on the accounting method. The major types are FIFO (First In, First Out), LIFO (Last In, First Out), or weighted average. The choice of the method heavily depends on the nature of the product and related factors.

The impact of this value not only impacts a company’s balance sheet but also the income statement. It affects the cost of goods sold (COGS), a pivotal figure that has a direct impact on the company’s gross profit.

Therefore, closing stock refers to the financial value of the inventory of a company that remains unsold at the end of a financial year. The application of acquiring raw materials and accounting for production costs play an important role in accurately arriving at the precise value of inventory.


Closing Stock Formula

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Below is the formula for closing stock calculation:

Closing Stock Formula (Ending) = Opening Stock + Purchases – Cost of Goods Sold.


The method which company decides to use for pricing its closing stock will have a huge impact on its balance sheetBalance SheetA balance sheet is one of the financial statements of a company that presents the shareholders' equity, liabilities, and assets of the company at a specific point in time. It is based on the accounting equation that states that the sum of the total liabilities and the owner's capital equals the total assets of the company.read more and also on the income statement.

Methods to Calculate Closing Stock

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The top 4 most common methods to calculate closing stock equations are as follows –

#1 First in first out (FIFO)

FIFO inventory methodFIFO Inventory MethodUnder the FIFO method of accounting inventory valuation, the goods that are purchased first are the first to be removed from the inventory account. As a result, leftover inventory at books is valued at the most recent price paid for the most recent stock of inventory. As a result, the inventory asset on the balance sheet is recorded at the most recent cost.read more assumes inventory which is brought first will be sold first, and the latest and the newest inventory is kept unsold. It means that the cost of older inventory is assigned to the cost of goods sold and the cost of the newer inventory is assigned to ending inventoryEnding InventoryThe ending inventory formula computes the total value of finished products remaining in stock at the end of an accounting period for sale. It is evaluated by deducting the cost of goods sold from the total of beginning inventory and purchases.read more

FIFO Example
  • Beginning Inventory – 10 units @ $5 per unit
  • Purchase – 140 units @ $6 per unit
  • Sale – 100 units @ $5 per unit

Ending inventory – 10 + 140 – 100 = 50

Ending inventory amount ($) – 50 * $6 = $300

#2 Last in first out (LIFO)

LIFO Inventory MethodLIFO Inventory MethodLIFO (Last In First Out) is one accounting method for inventory valuation on the balance sheet. LIFO accounting means inventory acquired at last would be used up or sold first.read more assumes that the last item purchased will be sold off first. This method can be used for products which are not perishable or can be obsolete

LIFO Example
  • Beginning Inventory – 10 units @ $5 per unit
  • Purchase – 140 units @ $6 per unit
  • Sale – 100 units @ $5 per unit

Ending Inventory – 40 + 10 = 50

Ending inventory amount ($) – 40 * $6 + 10 * $5 = $240 + $50 = $290

#3 Average cost method

Under this method, the weighted average cost is calculated for the closing stock. It is calculated as – cost of goods in inventory/total units

Average Cost Example
  • Beginning Inventory – 10 units @ $5 per unit
  • Purchase – 140 units @ $6 per unit
  • Sale – 100 units @ $5 per unit

Weighted average cost per unit – (10 * 5 + 140 * 6)/150 = $5.9

Closing stock amount ($) – 50 * $5.9 = $295

#4 Gross profit method

Gross Profit method is also used to estimate the amount of closing stock.

Gross Profit Method Example

Sales = 100 x 5 = 500

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 = 500 x (1-40%) = 300

Closing Stock ($) = 940 – 300 = 640

The drawback of this method is that the estimation of gross profit in step 2, base on the historical estimate, which may not necessarily be the case in the future. Also, if there are any inventory losses in that period are higher or lower than the historical rates, it can lead to an inappropriate amount of closing inventory.

Impact of Pricing Method

The method by which a company decides to price its inflation affects its financial position and profits. If the company decides to use LIFO, then the cost of goods sold will be higher (assuming inflation is increasing), which reduces the gross profitGross ProfitGross Profit shows the earnings of the business entity from its core business activity i.e. the profit of the company that is arrived after deducting all the direct expenses like raw material cost, labor cost, etc. from the direct income generated from the sale of its goods and services.read more and thus reduces the taxes. It is one of the vital reasons company’s prefer LIFO accounting over FIFO. One more valid reason is that on using FIFO, the amount of closing stock in the balance sheet will be higher in comparison to FIFO.

Ratios are also affected by the method in which inventory is used. The current ratioCurrent RatioThe current ratio is a liquidity ratio that measures how efficiently a company can repay it' short-term loans within a year. Current ratio = current assets/current liabilities read more calculated as current assetsCurrent AssetsCurrent assets refer to those short-term assets which can be efficiently utilized for business operations, sold for immediate cash or liquidated within a year. It comprises inventory, cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, accounts receivable, etc.read more/ current liabilitiesCurrent LiabilitiesCurrent Liabilities are the payables which are likely to settled within twelve months of reporting. They're usually salaries payable, expense payable, short term loans etc.read more will be higher when FIFO is used. Ending stock will increase the number of Current Assets. On the other hand, the inventory turnover ratioInventory Turnover RatioInventory Turnover Ratio measures how fast the company replaces a current batch of inventories and transforms them into sales. Higher ratio indicates that the company’s product is in high demand and sells quickly, resulting in lower inventory management costs and more earnings.read more calculated as Sales / Average inventory will be lower if FIFO is used.

Difference Between Opening Stock and Closing Stock

Let us understand the differences between closing and opening stock through the comparison below.

Closing Stock

  • It refers to the unsold inventory at the end of an accounting period, usually a fiscal year.
  • It denotes the inventory that a business has in possession but has not managed to sell by the end of an accounting period.
  • The value of closing stock calculation impacts the calculation of COGS as well. Therefore, it has a direct impact on the gross profit in the income statement of a company.
  • It is determined by the value of the inventory at the end of the current period while considering the cost of acquisition and production and the type of accounting method chosen by the company.

Opening Stock

  • Opening stock is the value of inventory a business has in its possession at the beginning of a specific accounting period.
  • It shows the value carried over from the previous accounting period. It serves as the starting point for calculating different financial metrics.
  • It impacts the COGS and, therefore, the income statement of the current period as well.
  • The calculation is determined primarily by the closing inventory of the previous or preceding period. However, adjustments with respect to quantity of valuation of inventory are made.

This article has been a guide to What is Closing Stock? Here we look at its formula, the top 4 methods to calculate closing stock (LIFO, FIFO, Average Cost, Profit Margin) along with its impact on the financial statements. You may learn more about accounting basics from the following articles –

Reader Interactions


  1. gabriel puri says

    After going through your methods or the formula on how to calculate the cost of goods sold, i ‘ave going to learn a lot and much appreciated for that.

  2. Habtamu says

    I’m much interested by your note. Thanks a lot !

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Thanks for your kind words!

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