FIFO and LIFO Calculator

FIFO and LIFO are two different methods of inventory valuation, they are used by both finance and accounting departments of businesses. These methods also have implications for taxation, financial reporting, and you can also use them to interpret a company’s financial health.

Here is a FIFO LIFO Calculator that you can use. Just enter the units acquired, their cost, and the total units sold. Entering this data successfully will allow you to figure out the FIFO and LIFO values.

Fifo Lifo calculator

Enter Information


Fill the calculator form and click on Calculate button to get result here
Cost of Goods Purchased
Cost of Goods Sold
Ending Inventory Value
# Units Purchased Price per Unit CoG Purchased Units Sold Units Remaining CoG Sold Inventory Value

Companies are free to choose between the FIFO and LIFO methods. Their choice of inventory management/valuation method will impact the reported profitability, income taxes, and balance sheet values.

What Is Inventory?

Prior to understanding the FIFO and LIFO Inventory management systems, we must first understand what inventory is. Inventory basically refers to the goods and materials the business is holding for the purpose of sale or production. Inventory can be anything from raw materials to finished products, and components. Here are some examples of inventory in a business:

  • Raw Materials
  • Work In Progress (WIP)
  • Stock In The Backroom
  • Stock On Shelves 
  • Finished Goods 

For Inventory Calculation, you can use the following formula:

BI+ Net Purchases- COGS= EI


  • BI= Beginning Inventory 
  • EI= Ending Inventory 
  • COGS= Cost Of Goods Sold

Understanding FIFO and LIFO Methods

Dive into the mechanics of FIFO and LIFO calculators, essential tools for inventory managers seeking precise asset management solutions.

First In First Out (FIFO) Method

The First In First Out (FIFO) method stands at the forefront of inventory management practices, particularly due to its streamlined approach that dictates items stocked first are also sold or used first.

This logical flow mirrors natural consumption patterns and simplifies stock tracking, leading to a more accurate reflection of inventory value over time. With FIFO in place, businesses can efficiently manage their stockpile, ensuring older products move out before they become obsolete or expire.

Employing the FIFO method accurately impacts financial outcomes such as Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) and ending inventory values. To tackle these calculations with ease, professionals use specialized calculators designed to factor in all variables associated with FIFO operations.

How To Calculate FIFO:

To calculate the cost of goods sold using the FIFO method, follow these steps:

  • Figure out the inventory cost (Price)
  • Multiply the cost by the total units sold

Last In First Out (LIFO) Method

Opting for the Last In First Out (LIFO) method can enhance your inventory management strategy. This approach focuses on using the most recently added items first, which keeps the older stock in reserve.

For you as an inventory manager, this means that during times of rising prices, LIFO might reduce your tax liabilities by matching higher costs to current revenues.

LIFO is not just about cost allocation; it also integrates seamlessly with certain types of inventory flows, particularly in industries where items are perishable or become obsolete quickly.

While adopting LIFO may introduce some complexity into record-keeping and financial reporting, its potential benefits for cash flow management often outweigh these challenges. 

How To Calculate LIFO:

To calculate the cost of goods sold using the LIFO method, follow these steps:

  • Figure out the number of units purchased 
  • Multiply it by the purchase price 

Here Is An Example:

Let’s take the example of Kendo Electronics, they have been operating for a year now and these are the inventory costs.

Month Number of Units Price ($)
January 100 800
February 100 800
March 100 825
April 100 825
May 100 825
June 100 850
July 100 850
August 150 875
September 150 875
October 150 900
November 150 900

This means that the total acquired units are 1450.

Units= Televisions 

Now we have to calculate the cost of goods sold (COGS). We will calculate the cost of goods sold using both the FIFO and LIFO methods. 

The FIFO Method

Using the FIFO method, Kendo needs to utilize the older selling price of acquiring his inventory and then work from there. The COGS calculation is as follows:

  • 200 units * $800 = $160,000
  • 300 units * $825 = $247,500
  • 200 units * $850 = $170,000
  • 300 units * $875 = $262,500
  • 100 units * $900 = $90,000

Kendo’s COGS is $930,000

The LIFO Method

Let’s calculate Kendo’s cost of goods sold using the LIFO method now.

  • 450 units * $900 = $405,000
  • 300 units * $875 = $262,500
  • 200 units * $850 = $170,000
  • 150 units *  $825 = $125,750

Kendo’s COGS is $961,250

How FIFO and LIFO Calculators Work

Understanding the mechanics of FIFO and LIFO calculators is essential to unlocking their potential within inventory management, allowing professionals to streamline cost calculations and enhance asset valuation with precision.

These tools are paramount in determining accurate financial metrics, ultimately guiding strategic decisions for inventory managers in the ever-dynamic market landscape.

Inventory Management

Effective inventory management is critical for keeping your stock levels balanced, ensuring that products are available when customers need them. You can streamline this process with FIFO and LIFO calculators by systematically updating your inventory records.

The calculators assist in tracking which items leave the warehouse first, aligning with how you’ve added products to your inventory. Embracing these tools empowers you to maintain an accurate balance sheet and manage the cost of goods sold more effectively. If you’re using the FIFO method, your calculator will prioritize dispatching goods that were stocked earliest.

Conversely, the LIFO approach focuses on sending out the most recently acquired merchandise first – a strategy that can be particularly beneficial in managing cash flow and tax implications.

Establishing solid practices around these accounting methods is key to navigating supply chain management challenges adeptly.

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) Calculation

Building on solid inventory management practices, calculating the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is a crucial step in understanding your company’s profitability. The FIFO and LIFO calculators streamline this process by applying your chosen cost flow assumption to determine how much it costs to produce the goods you sell.

Accurate COGS calculations are not just about compliance with accounting standards; they serve as an essential tool for pricing strategies, identifying potential savings, and maintaining healthy margins.

Using a FIFO or LIFO calculator begins with entering all relevant inventory purchases and sales during the period. These tools then automate the sorting of costs based on your selected method—FIFO assumes that the items first added to inventory are sold first, while LIFO considers that the last items added are sold first.

This subtle shift can have tangible effects on reported earnings and tax liabilities due to differing valuation methods. Inventory costing is made more precise through these calculators, allowing you to focus on optimizing operations rather than getting bogged down in complex manual calculations.

Ending Inventory Value

To accurately gauge your company’s financial health, it is crucial to determine the ending inventory value. This figure reflects the total worth of goods still available for sale at the end of an accounting period.

You calculate it by taking the beginning inventory cost, adding net purchases made during the period, and then subtracting the COGS. It’s a vital component in preparing financial reports and can significantly affect tax implications due to its influence on reported earnings.

Using FIFO and LIFO calculators simplifies this process by automating calculations based on your chosen inventory valuation method. With these tools, you effortlessly track inventory turnover and maintain effective control over stock levels.

They help ensure that your recorded ending inventory value aligns with accounting principles while also providing clarity for financial planning and assessment. Adopting these calculators into your workflow leads to more precise costing measures that enhance decision-making capabilities regarding purchasing strategies and price adjustments.

Remaining Inventory

Calculating the value of your remaining inventory accurately reflects the health of your business’s assets. This is where FIFO and LIFO calculators become indispensable tools for you as an Inventory Manager.

They provide a clear picture by determining what inventory is still on hand after sales are accounted for. The formula takes the sum of the beginning inventory and net purchases, subtracting out the cost of goods sold to reveal the ending inventory.

Remaining stock valuation plays a critical role in financial reporting and has direct tax implications. As every item in storage represents tied-up capital, mastering these accounting methods ensures efficient asset tracking and stock management.

Armed with detailed examples, like those provided for Kendo’s Company, you can confidently apply these calculation techniques to maintain accurate records.

Comparison of FIFO and LIFO Methods

Understanding the nuanced contrast between FIFO and LIFO practices is pivotal for inventory managers striving to optimize financial statements and tax liabilities. This section delves into each method’s distinct advantages and disadvantages, providing you with the knowledge to determine which strategy aligns best with your company’s operational goals and market conditions.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Opting for the LIFO method aligns inventory flow with how items are typically used or sold, allowing for improved cash flow by deferring tax payments on increased profits when product costs are rising.

This approach can be a strategic move in financial reporting and accounting methods, but it comes at a price. The complexity of constantly tracking the last acquired items necessitates advanced record keeping, which may prove challenging and resource-intensive.

Switching to FIFO, meanwhile, simplifies inventory valuation since it assumes the oldest stock is used first, thus keeping inventory turnover straightforward and matching actual physical flow for many businesses.

Yet this simplicity can backfire come tax season; if prices inflate over time, your cost of goods sold (COGS) calculation reflects lower expenses on earlier stock—potentially leading to higher taxable income than under LIFO.

Inventory managers must weigh these aspects carefully to make decisions that serve both operational efficiency and their company’s bottom line.


Question: Is LIFO A Good Method?

The best advantage of using the LIFO Method has to be the tax savings. If by any means the cost of your products increases over time, the LIFO method will help you save on taxes.

Question: Why Is FIFO So Important? 

This method always ensures that customers get the freshest stock possible. Resources are never wasted on older products.

Question: Who Should Use FIFO?

If you are a business that sells perishables or time-sensitive goods then it is recommended that you use the FIFO Method.

Question: Who Should Use LIFO?

If you are planning to decrease your tax liability then it is recommended to use the LIFO method. Gas, oil companies, car dealerships and retailers use the LIFO method often.


Using both the FIFO and LIFO methods will allow you to streamline your inventory management seamlessly. You will be able to make informed decisions, optimize your stock valuation, and embrace sound financial strategies.

The selection of a method depends on various factors, including regulatory requirements, industry norms, and the specific circumstances of the business.

More Finance Calculators:

Leave a Comment