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Inventories and cost of sales (cost of goods sold) are significant items in the financial statements of many companies. Comparing the performance of these companies is challenging because of the allowable choices for valuing inventories: Differences in the choice of inventory valuation method can result in significantly different amounts being assigned to inventory and cost of sales. Financial statement analysis would be much easier if all companies used the same inventory valuation method or if inventory price levels remained constant over time. If there was no inflation or deflation with respect to inventory costs and thus unit costs were unchanged, the choice of inventory valuation method would be irrelevant. However, inventory price levels typically do change over time.