COGS Manipulation: Why?

Cost Of Goods Sold - Complete Controller

One of the most important reasons a company may understate its cost of goods sold is to increase its chances of short-term success in a given market. Short-term success can be attained by financing or impressing outsiders to finance the company. However, understating the cost of goods sold can be dangerous for a company’s long-term survival if authorities find the fraud. Moreover, understating the cost of goods sold directly opposes bookkeeping standards and rules. 

Cubicle to Cloud virtual businessThe different reasons a company would understate its cost of goods sold are discussed below.

Increase in Income

The cost of goods sold is subtracted from revenues to determine a company’s gross profit. The lower the cost of goods sold, the higher the gross profit. Consequently, the lower cost of goods sold makes an organization look more effective and efficient. A company stating the lower cost of goods sold can create a more sustainable business model in a competitive market.

A company looking to increase the cost of goods sold may under-represent the cost of goods sold to impress potential investors. However, this needs to present an entity’s balance sheet accurately and can bring legal trouble. Sure, a firm can increase its income by attracting more investors, but the investors and other authorities can sue the company if they find out that the cost of goods sold is understated.Complete Controller. America’s Bookkeeping Experts

Get Financing

Small businesses often need outside financing to survive and grow in the market. A lower cost of goods sold (COGS) and a more appealing balance sheet may be required to impress a bank loan officer. Businesses may be tempted to understate their COGS to make their business model look more attractive and profit more sustainable, making them better loan candidates. A lower COGS makes the financial statements more attractive until it comes time to pay taxes on the earnings.

It may impress potential investors and analysts who look only at the documents and do not delve deeper into the data. The analysis based on provided
data – the understated cost of goods sold – can provide positive remarks regarding an organization’s performance and sustainability. Therefore, investors can be convinced to invest their money in the company. Hence, some companies falsely understate the cost of goods sold to present their efficiency in managing costs and achieving higher profits.

Considerable Risk

Knowingly filing false financial statements puts a company, the signatory to the documents, and perhaps the business owner in legal jeopardy. State and federal agencies watch for irregularities in balance sheets and are increasingly focusing on the raw data used to compile those numbers. Fraudulently lowering the COGS or altering anything on financial documents carries a considerable risk of fines, prison terms, or both. Although the underlying cost of goods sold is illegal and risky, some companies attract different stakeholders.

CorpNet. Start A New Business NowLegally Minimizing COGS

Companies can value their inventory in a way that legally minimizes the cost of goods sold, depending on the nature of their business. Using the first-in and first-out (FIFO) method determines the COGS using your oldest inventory costs. It may or may not be the optimum strategy, depending on the business type. For example, a business that sells rare coins may have won a particular item for $100 at auction and later spent $1,000 to acquire another.

If the business sells that coin for $900 as part of a promotion, the FIFO method will show an $800 profit, taking the coin that costs $100 to acquire out of 
inventory. The last-in, first-out inventory value method would record the same transaction as a $100 loss by removing the $1,000 coin from inventory.

Download A Free Financial ToolkitAbout Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. ADP. Payroll – HR – Benefits