Last In First Out (LIFO)

This method assumes that inventory purchased last is sold first. Therefore, inventory cost under LIFO method will be the cost of earliest purchases. Consider the following example:


Bike LTD purchased 10 bikes during January and sold 6 bikes, details of which are as follows:

January 1 Purchased 5 bikes @ $50 each

January 5 Sold 2 bikes

January 10 Sold 1 bike

January 15 Purchased 5 bikes @ 70 each

January 25 Sold 3 bikes

The value of 4 bikes held as inventory at the end of January may be calculated as follows:

The sales made on January 5 and 10 were clearly made from purchases on 1st January. However, all sales made on January 25 will be assumed to have been made from the purchases on January 15. Therefore, the value of inventory under LIFO is as follows:

Units$/Units$ TotalUnits$/Units$ TotalUnits$/Units$ Total
Jan 1550250550250
Jan 5250100350150
Jan 1015050250100
Jan 15570350570350
Jan 157450
Jan 25370210250100

As can be seen from above, LIFO method allocates cost on the basis of earliest purchases first and only after inventory from earlier purchases are issued completely is cost from subsequent purchases allocated. Therefore value of inventory using LIFO will be based on outdated prices. This is the reason the use of LIFO method is not allowed for under IAS 2.

Test Your Understanding

Relevance is one of the primary qualitative characteristics of financial information. Which of the following methods of inventory valuation is not consistent with the characteristic?

LIFO Method

FIFO Method