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Net Realizable Value (NRV)


Net Realizable Value (NRV) is a financial term that represents the estimated selling price of an item minus any cost associated with closing the sale or disposing of it. It is commonly used in inventory accounting to determine the value of a company’s inventory. This value is used to determine the lowest possible value of the inventory, which is reported on the company’s balance sheet.


Net Realizable Value (NRV) is phonetically pronounced as “Net Re-uh-lize-uh-bull Value”.

Key Takeaways

  1. Net Realizable Value (NRV) is a method used in inventory valuation that represents the estimated selling price of an item in the ordinary course of business, less any costs directly related to the disposal of that item (like selling or packaging costs).
  2. NRV is a conservative method of inventory valuation, ensuring that the recorded cost of inventory is not higher than the revenue the business can gain from selling the items. This is in accordance with the conservatism principle of accounting which requires anticipating potential losses, but not profits.
  3. NRV is valuable for accounting and financial analysis since it provides a realistic assessment of the value of a company’s inventory. It’s particularly useful in cases where the market value of inventory items may have dropped below their original cost.


Net Realizable Value (NRV) is a crucial term in business/finance as it provides a realistic assessment of the worth of an entity’s assets, taking into account associated costs such as potential selling, completion or disposal costs. It helps in avoiding overestimation of the value of assets, ensuring accurate financial reporting and assisting in making informed decisions. More specifically in inventory accounting, businesses use NRV (lower-of-cost-or-market rule) for recording the value of goods, so as to avoid potential losses from overvaluing inventory that may not be able to sell for its original cost. Therefore, understanding NRV plays a vital part in prudent asset management and financial planning.


The primary purpose of Net Realizable Value (NRV) in finance and business is to gauge the estimated cash inflow from the disposal of assets or the amount that can be recovered from the sale of inventory. NRV is an essential valuation method under the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which helps in stating the value of an entity’s inventories accurately on a balance sheet. Moreover, it prevents companies from overstating their earnings and provides a clearer picture of financial health, thereby aiding stakeholders in making informed decisions.NRV is particularly useful for businesses dealing with significant obsolescence rates or depreciation of products, as it determines the recoverable amount after all necessary selling costs are considered. It is also used in the computation of the lower of cost or market (LCM) where inventories are reported at the lower of their cost or their market value (NRV). By applying the NRV, businesses can avoid overvaluing their inventory and potentially overstating their profitability and financial strength. Hence, it is a crucial evaluation tool for financial reporting, management decision making, and inventory management.


1. Inventory Valuation: A clothing retailer has a stock of winter jackets that were initially purchased for $50 each. At the end of the season they couldn’t sell all of them, so they have to mark prices down to $30 per jacket. Furthermore, they estimate the cost to sell each jacket at around $5. In this case, the NRV of the winter jackets inventory is potrayed by the calculation: predicted selling price ($30) minus selling expenses ($5) equals $25.2. Real Estate: A Property developer projects to sell condos in a new development area averaging $500,000. The costs associated in selling one condo, including legal fees, taxes, and commission is estimated at $50,000. In this case, the Net Realizable Value of each condo would be: Expected Selling Price ($500,000) minus cost to sell ($50,000) = $450,000.3. Mining Industry: A mining company excavates raw material that is estimated to sell on the market for $5,000 per ton and it costs around $500 per ton for the cleaning and transportation. So if they mine 10 tons, the NRV of the mined material would be calculated like this: [Selling Price ($5,000) – Cost to sell ($500)] x Quantity (10 tons) = $45,000.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Net Realizable Value (NRV)?

Net Realizable Value (NRV) is the estimated selling price of an asset minus the costs related to its eventual sale or disposal. These costs may include selling, completion or disposal costs. NRV is often used in inventory accounting to determine the value of an inventory sold or disposed during a particular period.

How is NRV calculated?

NRV is typically calculated by subtracting any potential costs or expenses associated with the completion, sale, or disposal of an item from its selling price. The calculation is as follows: NRV = Estimated selling price – Estimated costs of completion – Estimated costs to sell or dispose.

Where is NRV used?

NRV is frequently used in preparing financial reports, specifically when assessing the value of a company’s inventory. It’s important in businesses that have inventory which may not be sellable at the normal price or have costs associated with completing, selling, or disposing of it.

Why is NRV important in business?

NRV is important because it helps businesses understand the potential money that they will receive from selling their current inventory. It also helps businesses to not overstate their assets and provides a more realistic picture of their financial health.

Does the NRV apply to all types of inventory?

NRV applies to all types of inventory, from raw materials to work in process inventories and finished goods. The relevance and application of NRV will, however, depend on the specifics of the business and the industry in which it operates.

Can NRV be negative?

Ideally, the NRV should never be negative because it would mean that the costs of disposing the inventory are more than its selling price. However, in reality, if a company is desperate to get rid of old inventory, it could potentially sell items at a loss, resulting in negative NRV.

How does NRV relate to the lower of cost and net realizable value (LCNRV) rule?

The Lower of Cost and Net Realizable Value (LCNRV) rule is a conservative accounting principle where inventory items are written down to their NRV in the balance sheet if the original cost of the inventory items exceeds the NRV.

Related Finance Terms

  • Accounts Receivable
  • Inventory Valuation
  • Asset Liquidation
  • Impairment Loss
  • Estimated Selling Cost

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