Lower of Cost or Market Method

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Definition of 'Lower of Cost or Market Method'

The lower of cost or market (LCM) method is an inventory valuation method used to determine the value of inventory at the end of an accounting period. Under the LCM method, the inventory is valued at the lower of its cost or its market value.

The cost of inventory is the original cost of purchasing the inventory, including any costs incurred to get the inventory into its current condition and location. The market value of inventory is the current replacement cost of the inventory, or the estimated selling price of the inventory less any costs to sell.

The LCM method is used to ensure that inventory is not overstated on the balance sheet. If the market value of inventory falls below its cost, the inventory is written down to the lower market value. This prevents the company from reporting an artificially high profit on its income statement.

The LCM method is also used to manage inventory levels. By valuing inventory at the lower of cost or market, the company can identify inventory items that are not selling and take steps to reduce or eliminate those items from the inventory.

The LCM method is a conservative inventory valuation method. It is conservative because it values inventory at the lower of its cost or its market value. This means that the company's profits are not overstated and the company's assets are not overstated.

The LCM method is required by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). However, companies may use other inventory valuation methods, such as the first-in, first-out (FIFO) method or the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method.

The LCM method is a simple and effective way to value inventory. It is also a conservative method that helps to ensure that the company's financial statements are accurate and reliable.

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