Cost of Goods Sold Learn How to Calculate & Account for COGS

The cost at the beginning of production was $100, but inflation caused the price to increase over the next month. By the end of production, the cost to make gold rings is now $150. Using LIFO, the jeweler would list COGS as $150, regardless of the price at the beginning of production. Using this method, the jeweler would report deflated net income costs and a lower ending balance in the inventory. The price of items often fluctuates over time, due to market value or availability.

Because service-only businesses cannot directly tie operating expenses to something tangible, they cannot list any cost of goods sold on their income statements. Instead, service-only companies list cost of sales or cost of revenue. Examples of these types of businesses include attorneys, business consultants and doctors. While conducting its operations, a business incurs expenses in the areas of both the cost of goods sold and operating expenses. As we have just described, the cost of goods sold relates to those expenses used to create a product or service, which has been sold.

The end-of-year inventory value is subtracted from the beginning of the year’s inventory value when calculating COGS. A higher COGS means a company pays less tax, and can also mean a company makes less profit. Hence, in order to increase profit, the COGS should be minimized. XYZ Corporation is a multinational technology company that specializes in the development and manufacturing of consumer electronics, software, and online services. They are known for their popular products such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and digital services.

In procurement, the cost of goods sold (COGS) can be used as both an asset or liability, depending on how it’s managed. COGS represents all expenses incurred in producing and selling a product or service. This includes direct costs like materials and labor, as well as indirect costs like overheads. Costs of revenue exist for ongoing contract services that can include raw materials, direct labor, shipping costs, and commissions paid to sales employees. These items cannot be claimed as COGS without a physically produced product to sell, however. The IRS website even lists some examples of “personal service businesses” that do not calculate COGS on their income statements.

LIFO is where the latest goods added to the inventory are sold first. During periods of rising prices, goods with higher costs are sold first, leading to a higher COGS amount. Any additional productions or purchases made by a manufacturing or retail company are added to the beginning inventory. At the end of the year, the products that were not sold are subtracted from the sum of beginning inventory and additional purchases.

This is not fair if the product or raw material price significantly fluctuates. This type of method is also not allowed based on the current accounting standard (IFRS). Once finishing this article, you would understand the concept and principle of the entity’s cost of goods sold and how they are reporting and presenting in the financial statements. On the other hand, liabilities represent obligations that must be fulfilled by the company in the future. These may include debts owed to suppliers or lenders as well as unfulfilled orders for goods or services.

COGS vs. operating expenses

In addition, the accounting equation only provides the underlying structure for how a balance sheet is devised. Any user of a balance sheet must then evaluate the resulting information to decide whether a business is sufficiently liquid and is being operated in a fiscally sound manner. The Shareholders’ Equity part of the equation is more complex than simply being the amount paid to the company by investors. It is actually their initial investment, plus any subsequent gains, minus any subsequent losses, minus any dividends or other withdrawals paid to the investors. The shareholders’ equity section tends to increase for larger businesses, since lenders want to see a large investment in a business before they will lend significant funds to an organization.

  • Sometimes, companies use an account called other current liabilities as a catch-all line item on their balance sheets to include all other liabilities due within a year that are not classified elsewhere.
  • However, other factors affect the cost of goods sold, for example, the valuation method of inventories, the ending balance, and the beginning balance of inventories.
  • That is, it is a financial statement for only revenue and expenses, and as such does not contain other accounts like assets, liabilities and equity.
  • COGS only applies to those costs directly related to producing goods intended for sale.
  • The quick ratio is the same formula as the current ratio, except that it subtracts the value of total inventories beforehand.

These costs fall into the general sub-categories of direct labor, direct materials, and overhead. Direct labor and direct materials are variable costs, while overhead is comprised of fixed costs (such as utilities, rent, and supervisory salaries). In a service business, the cost of goods sold is considered to be the labor, payroll taxes, and benefits of those people who generate billable hours (though the term may be changed to “cost of services”). In a retail or wholesale business, the cost of goods sold is likely to be merchandise that was bought from a manufacturer. It does not include any general, selling, or administrative costs of running a business. In theory, COGS should include the cost of all inventory that was sold during the accounting period.

Cost of goods sold: How to calculate and record COGS

Your COGS is the primary consideration by bankers and investors. By understanding COGS and the methods of determination, you can make informed decisions about your business. With FreshBooks accounting software, you know you’re on the right track to a tidy and efficient ledger. You should record the cost of goods sold as a debit in your accounting journal. Determining whether Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is an asset or liability can be a challenging task for many businesses.


The cost of goods sold is usually the largest expense that a business incurs. This line item is the aggregate amount of expenses incurred to create products or services that have been sold. The cost of goods sold is considered to be linked to sales under the matching principle. Thus, once you recognize revenues when a sale occurs, you must recognize the cost of goods sold at the same time, as the primary offsetting expense. It appears in the income statement, immediately after the sales line items and before the selling and administrative line items. Cost of goods sold is the total of all costs used to create a product or service, which has been sold.

Formula and Calculation of Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

The higher your production costs, the higher you need to price your product or service to turn a profit. Pricing your products and services is one of the biggest responsibilities you have as a business owner. And just like Goldilocks, you need to find the price that’s just right for your products or services.

When you create a COGS journal entry, increase expenses with a debit, and decrease them with a credit. If you price your products too high, you may see a decrease in interest and sales. And if you price your products too low, you won’t turn enough of a profit. Before you can begin looking into your business’s profit, you need to understand and know how to calculate cost of goods sold (COGS). Start here by learning all about COGS, including the cost of goods sold formula and what you can use it for.

That is, when adding a COGS journal entry, the COGS Expense account is debited and the Purchases and Inventory accounts are credited. Both show the operational costs that go into producing a good or service. If cost of sales is rising while revenue stagnates, this might indicate that input costs are rising, or that direct costs are not being managed properly. Cost of sales and COGS are subtracted from total revenue, thus yielding gross profit.

If you use the FIFO method, the first goods you sell are the ones you purchased or manufactured first. Generally, this means that you sell your least expensive products first. Your COGS can also tell you if you’re spending too much on production costs.

By understanding your COGS metrics effectively you can optimize your pricing strategies which will improve your bottom line profitability for today’s cut-throat market environment. how to get a business loan in 6 simple steps Depending on the COGS classification used, ending inventory costs will obviously differ. Periodic physical inventory and valuation are performed to calculate ending inventory.