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Should Last In First Out Inventory Valuation Methods Be Eliminated?

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  • Peter Harris
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    The Last in First out Method (LIFO) is presently under severe scrutiny from the financial community which may soon culminate in its repeal as an acceptable accounting method. There are pressures from the SEC in conjunction with the International Financial Accounting Standards Board to standardize accounting standards worldwide. In addition, there is political pressure imposed by the US Obama administration to raise additional revenues. Both groups strongly oppose LIFO, raising a strong possibility that’s its complete elimination as an accounting method will occur by as early as 2014. Are these groups correct in their negative assessment of LIFO? This paper examines critically the many disadvantages of LIFO. Ultimately, the author theorizes that these negatives may collectively explain the observed research findings of the inverse relationship between LIFO adoption and firm value. The elimination of LIFO which seems imminent may result in a win-win situation for all; as the negative and added costs of LIFO may well exceed its tax advantage, resulting in greater cash flow for the firm, while allowing for the standardization of worldwide accounting standards and raising additional tax revenue for the US government.

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    Article provided by The Institute for Business and Finance Research in its journal Global Journal of Business Research.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 53-67

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    Handle: RePEc:ibf:gjbres:v:5:y:2011:i:4:p:53-67
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