LIFO Reserve

AAA

DEFINITION of 'LIFO Reserve'

The difference between the FIFO and LIFO cost of inventory for accounting purposes. The LIFO reserve is an account used to bridge the gap between FIFO and LIFO costs when a company is using FIFO but would like to report LIFO in its financial statements. The constant increase in cost can create a credit balance in the LIFO reserve, which results in reduced inventory costs when reported on the balance sheet.

BREAKING DOWN 'LIFO Reserve'

In order to ensure accuracy, a LIFO reserve is calculated at the time the LIFO method was adopted. The year-to-year changes in the balance within in the LIFO reserve can also give a rough representation of that particular year's inflation, assuming the type of inventory has not changed. Account professionals have discouraged the use of the word "reserve," therefore causing accountants to use other terms like revaluation to LIFO, excess of FIFO over LIFO cost and LIFO allowance.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Balance Sheet

    A financial statement that summarizes a company's assets, liabilities ...
  2. Last In, First Out - LIFO

    An asset-management and valuation method that assumes that assets ...
  3. Inventory Accounting

    The body of accounting that deals with valuing and accounting ...
  4. Inventory Reserve

    An accounting entry that represents a deduction from earnings ...
  5. First In, First Out - FIFO

    An asset-management and valuation method in which the assets ...
  6. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    12 Things You Need To Know About Financial Statements

    Discover how to keep score of companies to increase your chances of choosing a winner.
  2. Fundamental Analysis

    Inventory Valuation For Investors: FIFO And LIFO

    We go over these methods of calculating this component of the balance sheet, and how the choice affects the bottom line.
  3. Investing Basics

    The Importance Of Corporate Transparency

    Clear and honest financial statements not only reflect value, they also help ensure it.
  4. Options & Futures

    Find Investment Quality In The Income Statement

    Use these key attributes to uncover top-level investments.
  5. Investing Basics

    How To Evaluate A Company's Balance Sheet

    Asset performance shows how what a company owes and owns affects its investment quality.
  6. Professionals

    Financial History: The Evolution Of Accounting

    Follow accounting from its roots in ancient times to the profession we now depend on.
  7. Investing

    What’s Holding Back the U.S. Consumer

    Even as job growth has surged and gasoline prices have plunged, U.S. consumers are proving slow to respond and repair their overextended balance sheets.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Calculating Return on Net Assets

    Return on net assets measures a company’s financial performance.
  9. Credit & Loans

    What's a Nonperforming Loan?

    A nonperforming loan is any borrowed sum where the borrower has failed to pay scheduled payments for at least 90 days.
  10. Economics

    Understanding Cost of Revenue

    The cost of revenue is the total costs a business incurs to manufacture and deliver a product or service.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the formula for calculating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Excel?

    The compound annual growth rate, or CAGR for short, measures the return on an investment over a certain period of time. Below ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are some examples of general and administrative expenses?

    In accounting, general and administrative expenses represent the necessary costs to maintain a company's daily operations ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do dividend distributions affect additional paid in capital?

    Whether a dividend distribution has any effect on additional paid-in capital depends solely on what type of dividend is issued: ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why can additional paid in capital never have a negative balance?

    The additional paid-in capital figure on a company's balance sheet can never be negative because companies do not pay investors ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When does the fixed charge coverage ratio suggest that a company should stop borrowing ...

    Since the fixed charge coverage ratio indicates the number of times a company is capable of making its fixed charge payments ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  2. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  3. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  4. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  5. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  6. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!