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What Is Included on a Cost of Goods Sold Statement?

A company's actual inventory costs are reflected in a cost of goods sold statement.
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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 24 July 2014
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A cost of goods sold statement reflects a company's actual inventory costs. The statement starts with beginning inventory and adds in new purchases and expenses. Ending inventory is subtracted to arrive at cost of goods sold. Manufacturing firms factor direct materials, labor, factory overhead, work in progress and finished inventory into the expense section.

Beginning inventory is the first entry on a cost of goods sold statement. This figure reflects the book value of a company's existing inventory at the start of an accounting period. For example, if a company is figuring cost of goods sold on a quarterly basis, the beginning inventory for the fourth quarter would be equal to the ending inventory from the third quarter.

Companies that do not manufacture their own goods will typically add in inventory purchases. The second line of a cost of goods sold statement reflects the amount of inventory that was purchased during the period. After purchases, non-manufacturing companies add in expenses related to the sale of inventory. Some of those expenses could include shipping costs and trade tariffs.

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Returns and allowances are usually subtracted from the value of beginning inventory on a cost of goods sold statement. Included in returns and allowances are trade and volume discounts, in addition to refunds due to damaged or lost merchandise. The cost of goods available for sale reflects the value of beginning inventory plus purchases, minus returns, allowances, and direct expenses. For a non-manufacturing company, the last step is to subtract ending inventory to arrive at costs of goods sold.

It is important to note that a company may use either the first-in first-out (FIFO) or last-in first-out (LIFO) inventory method. With the FIFO method, a company calculates inventory costs by assuming that the oldest goods are sold before new purchases. The LIFO method assumes the opposite.

On the cost of goods sold statement for a manufacturing company, the first line represents the value of beginning direct materials. Purchases are added and returns and allowances are subtracted to arrive at materials available for use. The amount of direct materials at the end of the period is subtracted from materials available for use to arrive at the amount of direct materials a company has used.

Direct labor and factory overhead are included on a statement for a manufacturing company. These are the costs associated with producing the final product. Some of those costs could include depreciation on a factory, payroll taxes and utilities. Direct materials consumed, direct labor and factory overhead are added together to get the total manufacturing cost.

The value of work in process inventory at the beginning of the period is added to the total manufacturing cost. Ending work in process inventory for the period is then subtracted. This figure is referred to as the cost of goods manufactured. Finished goods inventory at the beginning of the period is added and then the value of finished goods inventory at the end of the period is subtracted to arrive at cost of goods sold.

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