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Moving average - Valuation of Inventories: An empirical study of four manufacturing companies
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


The thesis is addressing the inventory valuation method called moving average and how this inventory method handles exchange rate differences. Intentions of the study is also to highlight differences and similarities between the two methods standard cost and moving average. This study fills an existing gap in science regarding pros and cons with the moving average method which made the topic very interesting.  It also has strong practical contribution regarding possible benefits and problems of relevance to companies that have intentions of implementing moving average on their inventory.

The relationships between foreign exchange rate risks and inventory leads to the formulated research question for this thesis: What are the effects of currency movements in the cost of goods sold from an inventory valued at moving average method?

Based on the technical problem statement was a constructive approach and interpretive standpoint considered best suited for the study. The gathering of data was conducted by using a qualitative research strategy. Three different topics are used in the theoretical frame; inventory valuation, exchange rates and hedging. The theoretical frame describes the accounting standards behind inventory valuation and exchange rates, as well as the theories addressed. Third and final topic hedging is about how to manage exchange rate exposures using different hedging techniques. The in-depth investigation was made for four business units with inventories valued according to the moving average method. Sampling was divided into two parts one for the companies and another choosing respondents. Selection of companies was a convenient sample within the non-probability samples used and the respondents were selected using a snowball sample. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine respondents.

Both the empirical- and analysis chapter follows the same three topics as the theory structure and the empirical answers are divided into companies to facilitate the comparison. A short summary of the analysis is that moving average is most suitable for inventories with; high inventory turnovers, sales from shelf and stable costs. There is a need to identify input costs to manage exchange rate differences correctly. The final part about hedging showed that different exposures need different hedging techniques. Forward contracts were the most common financial instrument used for hedging transaction exposures. Input risks also identified as an economic risk is one of the hardest to manage.

This study has showed that effects from exchange rate fluctuations affect the moving average inventory value different than other inventory models. The input currencies need to be identified and separated from the sales currencies otherwise there is a potential risk to make wrong decisions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Moving average, standard cost, SAP, hedging, exchange rates.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-56666OAI: diva2:536769
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-06-25 Created: 2012-06-24 Last updated: 2012-06-25Bibliographically approved

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