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Showing posts from June 21, 2011

Inventory and expenses

Inventory is usually the largest current asset of a business that sells products. If the inventory account is greater at the end of the period than at the start of the reporting period, the amount the business actually paid in cash for that inventory is more than what the business recorded as its cost of good sold expense.  When that occurs, the accountant deducts the inventory increase from net income for determining cash flow from profit.

the prepaid expenses asset account works in much the same way as the change in inventory and accounts receivable accounts. However, changes in prepaid expenses are usually much smaller than changes in those other two asset accounts.

The beginning balance of prepaid expenses is charged to expense in the current year, but the cash was actually paid out last year. this period, the business pays cash for next period's prepaid expenses, which affects this period's cash flow, but doesn't affect net income until the next period. Simple, right?