Footnotes are essential to the understanding of financial line items. Students can learn about the real world context of line items by having them research a company’s line item and associated footnote. See the following example for General Motor’s inventory.
General Motors Balance Sheet December 31, 2012 10K files are at
Inventories 14,714 14,324
Go to the XML file and use control F to search on InventoryPolicy.
Market, which represents selling price less cost to sell, considers general market and economic conditions, periodic reviews of current profitability of vehicles, product warranty costs and the effect of current incentive offers at the balance sheet date. Market for off-lease and other vehicles is current auction sales proceeds less disposal and warranty costs. Productive material, work in process, supplies and service parts are reviewed to determine if inventory quantities are in excess of forecasted usage, or if they have become obsolete.