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Considerations upon Accounting Process of Right of Return

서울대학교 경영대학 경영연구소
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Frequently purchasers of merchandise have the right of return the goods they purchase for a full or partial refunds. This paper discusses how the right of return affects revenue recognition from the perspective of asset valuation. When returns are substantial, recognizing returns only as they occur could cause income to be overstated in the period of the sale and understated in the return period. To avoid the distortion of income measurement and asset valuation when amounts are material, the amount of returns should be estimated and an allowance for estimated returns should be established. If, however, returns are unpredictable, the goods should not be considered sold and not be removed from its inventory. The Korean reporting standards relating to the return are quite complex. This paper suggests an alternative accounting treatment for sales returns.

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