Course Outline
Join PRO

What is FIFO?

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of FIFO

In accounting, FIFO is the acronym for First-In, First-Out. It is a cost flow assumption usually associated with the valuation of inventory and the cost of goods sold. Under FIFO, the oldest costs will be the first costs to be removed from the balance sheet account Inventory and will be the first costs to be included in the cost of goods sold on the income statement. Therefore, under the FIFO cost flow assumption the most recent costs will remain in Inventory to be reported on the company’s balance sheet.

Example of FIFO

Let’s assume that a company sold only one product and had 10 units on hand at the beginning of the accounting year with a cost of $19 each. During the year the company purchased an additional 145 units in this order: 40 units at $20, 50 units at $21, and 55 units at $22. Let’s also assume that the company uses the periodic inventory system, the FIFO cost flow assumption and that 130 units were sold. Therefore, there will be 25 units remaining in inventory. With the FIFO cost flow assumption, the first costs to come out of inventory and become the cost of goods sold are: 10@$19 + 40@$20 + 50@$21 + 30@$22. The costs that remain in inventory will be 25@$22.

Join PRO to Track Progress
Must-Watch Video

Advance Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Career

  • Perform better at your job
  • Get hired for a new position
  • Understand your small business
  • Pass your accounting class
Watch the Video

Join PRO or PRO Plus and Get Lifetime Access to Our Premium Materials

Read all 2,645 reviews



PRO Plus

Lifetime Access (One-Time Fee)
Word Scrambles
Bookkeeping Video Training
Financial Statements Video Training
Visual Tutorials
Quick Tests
Quick Tests with Coaching
Cheat Sheets
Business Forms
All PDF Files
Progress Tracking
Earn Badges and Points
Certificate - Debits and Credits
Certificate - Adjusting Entries
Certificate - Financial Statements
Certificate - Balance Sheet
Certificate - Income Statement
Certificate - Cash Flow Statement
Certificate - Working Capital
Certificate - Financial Ratios
Certificate - Bank Reconciliation
Certificate - Payroll Accounting

About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on

Learn More About Harold

Certificates of

Certificates of Achievement

We now offer 10 Certificates of Achievement for Introductory Accounting and Bookkeeping:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Adjusting Entries
  • Financial Statements
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital and Liquidity
  • Financial Ratios
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll Accounting
Badges and Points
  • Work towards and earn 30 badges
  • Earn points as you work towards completing our course
View PRO Plus Features
Course Outline
Take the Tour Join Pro Upgrade to Pro Plus