Finance

Elements Of The Accounting System: Inventory

Are you selling products? Then you'll need to keep track of inventory.
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Unless you are starting a service business, a good inventory-control feature will be an essential part of your bookkeeping system. If you are going to be manufacturing products, you will have to track raw materials, work-in-process and finished goods, and separate subledgers should be established for each of these inventory categories. Even if you are a wholesaler or retailer, you will be selling many different types of inventory and will need an effective system to track each inventory item offered for sale.

Another key reason to track inventory very closely is the direct relationship to cost of goods sold. Since nearly all businesses that stock inventory are required to use the accrual method for accounting, good inventory records are a must for accurately tracking the material cost associated with each item sold.

From a management standpoint, tracking inventory is also important. An effective and up-to-date inventory-control system will provide you with the following critical information:

  • Which items sell well, and which items are slow moving
  • When to order more raw materials or more items
  • Where in the warehouse the inventory is stored when it comes time to ship it
  • Number of days in the production process for each item
  • The typical order of key customers
  • Minimum inventory level needed to meet daily orders

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up Book You'll Ever Need, by Rieva Lesonsky and the Staff of Entrepreneur Magazine, © 1998 Entrepreneur Press

More from Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business at Entrepreneur LIVE! Join us on Nov. 16 in Brooklyn, NY, to learn from legends like Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova, pitch our editors, meet with investors, and potentially walk away with funding!
Register here

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.