Periodic Inventory System Definition
Periodic Inventory System is defined as an inventory valuation method in which inventories are physically counted at the end of a specific period to determine the cost of goods sold.
- That means ending inventory balance is updated only at the end of the period, as opposed to a perpetual inventory system where inventories are counted frequently.
- “Generally Accepted Accounting Principal” allows firms to accept any of the models.
- The periodic system can be used in small and retail businesses where the quantity of inventory is generally high, but the value is on the lower side. This way, businesses can save time and resources.
Steps involved in the Periodic Inventory System
Step 1 – In this system, the Beginning and Ending Inventory is physically counted in a given period.
Step 2 – The company will also account for total purchase made for inventory in that period to find out “Cost of Goods Available for Sale.”
Cost of Goods available for Sale = Beginning Inventory + Purchases
Step 3 – So, Cost of Goods Sold for that period will be:
Cost of Goods Sold= Cost of Goods Available for Sale – Ending Inventory.
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Periodic Inventory System Journal Entries
Let’s say you are running a retail business, in which your firm must purchase inventory almost every day to run your day to day business. Suppose your company has adopted the Periodic Inventory system for calculating the “cost of goods sold.” Now let’s say on a given day, your firm needs 10 units of inventory costing $1 each and have purchased that in the current accounting period through cash. In total, purchase made of $10. Now some of that inventory can become” Finished Goods” and will be sold in between the period, but your accountant doesn’t need to worry about that. In a periodic system, for each bought inventory, a “purchase account” will get created, which is an ‘asset.’ All the inventory purchases are stored in this account.
Periodic Inventory System Journal Entries for the same will be as following:
Same as above, let’s say for the accounting period, you purchased inventory in a total of $100(100 units of $1 each). Below will be the journal entries for the Periodic Inventory System –
At the end of the accounting period, you need to find out your firm’s actual ending inventory and “cost of goods sold.” For that, at first, his $100 will be shifted from Purchase Account to Inventory Account. This purchase account can be said as a temporary account to hold all the inventory purchases for a given accounting period.
At the end of the accounting period, below will be the process.
Periodic Inventory System Examples
So, let’s say in this example of periodic inventory system, your current period beginning inventory account was $1,000, and since at the end of a period, $100 also added to that account. The inventory account now will be $1,100. This will be yours. “Cost of goods available for sale.”
Cost of Goods available for Sale = 1000+100 =$1100
Now we are having the final “Cost of Goods Available for Sale” as per our books. But the firm still doesn’t know the amount of inventory which has been sold in between the period. For that, at the end of the period, your company will physically check the inventory. Let’s say Ending inventory count is 1,050 units. Each unit costs $1, so the physical checked ending inventory is $1,050. That means to reconcile physical inventory count with the inventory accounts in books; we will have to shift $50 from inventory account to “Cost of goods sold.”
We can say the same as below equation:
Cost of Goods Sold = Cost of Goods available for Sale -Ending Inventory.
Here you can see that we have not accounted for “Work in Progress,” “Raw Material,” etc. because we are physically counting inventory only at the end of the period and then reconciling that with the inventory recorded in the books.
Difference between Periodic and Perpetual Inventory System
- Inventory is not tracked daily for the periodic system, while in the perpetual system, it is physically tracked regularly after each transaction.
- Perpetual system is a costlier and more time-consuming process.
- In a perpetual system, goods count is limited, but they are of high value. In the periodic system, it is inventory count on the larger side with a lower value per unit value.
- Companies need separate manpower for tracking inventory in the Perpetual system, which is not needed in the Periodic system since it is done occasionally.
- In a perpetual system, inventory quantity and condition can be known for the whole period, which is not possible in the periodic system.
Which Companies use the Periodic Inventory System?
- The periodic Inventory system is useful for small and retail businesses.
- Companies where the quantity of inventory is quite high but per unit price is lower.
- Where companies cannot stop this daily routine to physically inspect inventory on a regular basis;
- Since no physical counting needed in between the periods, so lesser manpower required. That means it is cheaper.
- Regular work does not get hampered because of physical checking only at the end of the period.
- Quantity is physically inspected at the end of the period, so is it is reliable in verifying the end of period accounting.
- No need to verify “Work in progress,” “raw materials” in between the periods;
- It will not provide any information about the Cost of Goods Sold in the interim period.
- Since there is minimal information between the periods so at the end there can be significant adjustment needs to be made.
- Chances of fraud are quite high.
- For large companies, this system is not suitable.
This has been a guide to Periodic Inventory System and its definition. Here we discuss the steps to Period Inventory System and its journal entries along with practical examples. You may learn more about from the following articles –