Why is analyzing inventories on balance sheet important?

Inventories on balance sheet are one of the most crucial factors in a financial statement because of playing an essential role in the business's operations, representing the raw materials, work in progress and finished goods that will be sold to generate revenue. In this article, Viindoo - Enterprise Management Software will provide a clear vision of why businesses need to analyze inventory in their balance sheet.   

What are inventories on balance sheet?


What are inventories on a balance sheet? It is the total value of a company's goods that are held for sale or used in production. 

These goods can include:

  • Raw materials
  • Work in progress
  • Finished products.

The value of inventory is based on the cost of acquiring or producing the items, and can be adjusted for things like damage or obsolescence. It is an important part of a company's financial position as it is a current asset and affects working capital, liquidity, and financial performance. In simpler terms, inventories on balance sheet represent the value of a company's products and materials that it has on hand and are important for understanding its financial health.

Why is analyzing inventories on balance sheet important?

Inventories on balance sheet are the total value of a company's goods that are held for sale or used in production

Types of Inventory

It's important to understand that inventory is generally divided into three categories: 

Raw materials

Raw materials are the basic materials that are in their natural state and have not yet been processed. These materials are utilized in the manufacturing of goods, such as steel for car manufacturing or flour for bread production.


Work-in-progress inventory is inventory that includes goods that are not yet complete and require further processing or assembly before they can be sold or classified as finished goods. A good example of work-in-progress inventory is a yacht that has been partially constructed but still needs additional work to be completed.

Finished goods

Finished goods are products that have completed the production process and are ready for sale, like cars or electronics. Finally, merchandise and supplies are additional categories of inventory, typically held by retailers, such as clothing or office supplies. Merchandise is the term used by retailers to refer to their inventory of finished goods that are ready to be sold to customers. Examples of merchandise held by retailers include electronics, clothing, and cars.

Why is analyzing inventories on balance sheet important?

Inventory is generally divided into three categories

Examples of inventories

A good example of inventory in today's world would be the inventory of a grocery store. The raw materials in this case would be the unprocessed food products, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, and dairy products that are used to create the finished products sold in the store. The finished products would be packaged and labeled food items, such as canned goods, cereal, and frozen meals that are sold to consumers. Because grocery stores also operate on a fast turnover schedule, they are under pressure to sell inventory rapidly, especially for perishable items that have a short shelf life.

Why is analyzing inventories on balance sheet important?

Inventory of a grocery store

How to Analyze Inventories on Balance Sheet?

Inventory in accounting refers to the raw materials, work in progress, and finished products of a company. Financial professionals use various techniques to understand inventory in their investment analyses. These techniques include quantitative and qualitative methods.

Quantitative techniques involve calculating ratios using financial statements to perform ratio analysis of the inventory. On the other hand, qualitative analysis includes examining the notes to financial statements to ensure consistency in inventory valuation methodology, researching inventory valuation methods used by competitors, and comparing them to the company's methods.

Ratio analysis in finance is performed by calculating ratios using historical inventory balances. The aim is to identify issues with inventory management, such as difficulty selling inventory, inventory build-up, and obsolescence. This article focuses on three common inventory ratios: days inventory outstanding, inventory turnover, and inventory-to-sales ratio.

Why is analyzing inventories on balance sheet important?

Inventory in accounting is important

Days Inventory Outstanding

The day's inventory outstanding ratio is a metric used to determine how long a company holds inventory before selling it. 

This ratio is calculated by dividing the inventory by the cost of goods sold and then multiplying by 365. It's essential to note that this ratio differs by industry and is most effective when compared to industry peers. 

A company that has a higher ratio compared to its peers may be struggling to sell its inventory, which can be problematic. When a company holds onto unsold inventory, it can be costly because funds are tied up in an unproductive asset. It can be expensive to store inventory, particularly when it requires special handling. 

Furthermore, certain inventory can become obsolete and may need to be sold at a significant discount to get rid of it.

Inventory Turnover

Inventory turnover is a metric used to measure how many times a company sells and replaces its inventory within a year. It is calculated by dividing the cost of goods sold (or sometimes revenues) by the average inventory balance. This ratio is particularly relevant for businesses that have physical inventory, as it can reveal how efficiently they are managing their inventory levels.

As with the day's inventory outstanding ratio, it is important to compare a company's inventory turnover to that of its peers in the same industry, as different industries may have varying inventory turnover rates. A low or decreasing inventory turnover rate can be a negative sign for a company, as it may indicate that products are losing value over time or that the company is struggling to sell its inventory.

Inventory to Sales Ratio

The inventory-to-sales ratio is a metric used to calculate the ratio of inventory to revenue. This ratio can be calculated by dividing inventory by revenue or by using an average inventory balance. An increase in this ratio can signal that a company is investing more in inventory than in sales, or that sales are decreasing. Conversely, a decrease in the ratio can indicate that a company is investing less in inventory relative to revenue, or that revenue is growing. This ratio can provide a broad overview of a company's balance sheet and may prompt further analysis of inventory management.

Why is analyzing inventories on balance sheet important?

Analyzing inventories on balance sheet is important for several reasons:

  • Assessing a company's financial health: The amount of inventory a company holds and how it handles it can reveal clues about its financial condition and operational effectiveness. Having an excessive inventory level can be an indication of inadequate sales, subpar inventory management, or insufficient cash flow.
  • Evaluating liquidity: Analyzing inventory is crucial to evaluate a company's liquidity. While inventory can be an important asset for many companies, it can also become a liability if it cannot be sold. By examining inventory turnover ratios and days inventory outstanding, investors can assess the ability of a company to convert inventory into cash and its liquidity. This analysis helps investors understand whether a company can handle its short-term financial obligations and meet its financial goals.
  • Detecting financial irregularities: Examining inventory accounting policies is important in detecting financial irregularities such as inventory overvaluation or undervaluation, or using inappropriate accounting methods such as LIFO or FIFO. Such manipulation by the company's management can be detected through careful analysis of inventory-related financial statements.
  • Comparing companies: Comparing company's inventory levels and turnover ratios can help investors understand how efficiently different companies manage their inventory in relation to their competitors. By evaluating how much inventory companies are holding, how long it takes for them to sell their inventory, and their inventory turnover ratios, investors can compare companies within the same industry and identify potential outliers. These comparisons can also help investors understand broader industry trends and identify companies that may have a competitive advantage in managing their inventory.
Why is analyzing inventories on balance sheet important?

Analyze inventories can provide businesses with valuable insights

Viindoo accounting software can support your business to analyze inventories

Using Viindoo accounting software inventory to analyze inventories can provide several benefits, including:

  • Efficiency: Using Viindoo software automates many tasks related to inventory analysis, such as calculating inventory ratios, generating reports, and identifying discrepancies or irregularities in inventory data. This can save time and reduce the risk of errors compared to manual methods.
  • Accuracy: Our comprehensive software provides more accurate and reliable inventory data by integrating with other systems such as point of sale and supply chain management systems. This can help ensure that inventory levels are up-to-date and accurate, which is critical for making informed business decisions.
  • Scalability: As a business grows, so do its inventory management needs. Viindoo intelligent accounting software provides scalable solutions that can adapt to changing inventory needs, such as managing multiple warehouses or handling seasonal fluctuations in demand.
  • Collaboration: Accounting software system facilitates collaboration among different departments and teams, such as inventory management, finance, and sales. This can improve communication and coordination, leading to better inventory management and financial performance.

Also, Viindoo accounting software can help analyze inventories on the balance sheet by providing various inventory management features. for example, the software can track inventory levels, monitor inventory turnover ratios, and manage purchase orders and stock levels. It can also generate inventory reports, including inventory valuation and aging reports, to help assess the overall health of a company's inventory. 

Additionally, the software can integrate with other business systems, such as point of sale (POS) systems and supply chain management software, to provide a more comprehensive view of inventory across the business. All of these features and reports can help users better understand their inventory and make more informed business decisions.

Why is analyzing inventories on balance sheet important?

Viindoo accounting software has many useful features for businesses to analyze inventories on balance sheet


Inventories are classified as current assets because they are expected to be converted into cash or sold within a short period, typically one year or the operating cycle.

Inventory turnover is calculated by dividing the cost of goods sold (COGS) by the average inventory value. It measures how quickly a company is selling and replacing its inventory, with a higher turnover ratio generally indicating more efficient inventory management.

Overall, using accounting software from Viindoo to analyze inventories on balance sheet can provide businesses with valuable insights into their financial health and operational efficiency, and help your business make informed decisions to improve the bottom line. Quickly contact us for more professional consults about Viindoo accounting software via the hotline at +84 225 730 9838

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Why is analyzing inventories on balance sheet important?
Viindoo Technology Joint Stock Company, Danny Ha March 22, 2023