Inventories and Cost of Goods Sold

After reading Greenberg and Wilner’s article, “Teaching Inventory Accounting: A Simple Learning Strategy to Achieve Student Understanding” (2011), found at: Greenberg, R. K. & Wilner, N.A. (2011). Teaching inventory accounting: A simple learning strategy to achieve student understanding . Issues in Accounting Education, 26(4): 835-844

Discuss why you think the authors’ statement below causes confusion among students in regard to understanding the differences among FIFO, LIFO, and average cost:

Students have a difficult time understanding the difference between the physical flow of inventory and the cost flow assumption. Specifically, they do not understand that the actual physical flow of goods relates to a process undertaken by a manufacturer or merchandiser, while the cost flow assumption relates to accounting reporting conventions. The physical flow does not have to be the same as the cost flow assumption (p.836).