List of Units of Measurement for Accounting of Inventory

>> January 16, 2010


If you are doing accounting work of different companies, then it is must to know all the units of measurements. I have searched on Google and I did not found the complete list of units of measurement relating to every company’s product. So, I am trying to make complete list of units of measurement of companies' products. Before, writing the list of units of measure, I am interested to introduce you about unit of measurement.

A unit of measurement is standard amount of quantity which is fixed after scientific rules and regulations.

Importance of Units of Measurement is universal

Calculation of unit of measurement is very important for every field. Without correct measurement, we can waste our large amount of money and time. Even past accident like failure of NASA Mars Climate Orbiter in Sept. 1999 due telling wrong value of measurement of forces.


Small errors being introduced in the trajectory estimate over the course of the 9-month Journey. At the time of Mars insertion, the spacecraft trajectory was approximately 170 Kilometers lower than planned. As a result, MCO either was destroyed in the atmosphere Or re-entered heliocentric space after leaving Mars’ atmosphere. Read NASA PDF report at here .


Importance of Units of Measurement for business

Measurement of stock items  is needed for calculation value of inventory of every company. When a company purchases the goods, all quantity of purchased goods is in specific units. Without unit of measurement, we can not calculate the total purchase value or sale value, if there are large numbers of stock items.

Suppose, your company is doing retail business and it purchases the stock lower at cost and sells higher price. Then, it generally calculates the price of sale and price of purchase on the basis quantity which is measured in kilograms, pieces and some time liters. Kilograms, pieces and liters are the general units of measurement. But, there are large other company which are using different units of measurement, so providing professional accounting services at international level, you need to know all the units of measurement. After this,  you can calculate the price of purchase and sale correctly.

1. Units of Measurement for Calculation of Weight or Mass of products

Some products like agricultural or consumable are purchased and sold on the basis of products’ exact weight. So, we are starting our list from these units.

a) Kilogram

The kilogram (symbol: kg) is the base unit of mass or weight. When we go to market and say vendor to pack 5 kg sugar. Then, he will measure weight of sugar on the basis of kilogram and shows us  the prices.

Name of Unit = Kilogram

Symbol = Kg

b) Gram or also gramme in British English

If one kilogram is divided by 1000, then we can find the value of gram. It is also unit of measuring weight. When, a customer wants to buy less then one kilogram, then it is necessary to measure in grams. In small trade, this unit of measurement is very usable. In other words one thousand times of gram will be equal to the kilogram

Symbol = g or gr.

c) Milligram

Milligram is used for calculating the weights of gold and its products. If we want to convert milligrams into one gram, then One thousand milligrams always equal one gram.


d) Quintal

a unit of weight equal to 100 kilograms. Its symbol is qt.

e) Tonne

Tonne is a measurement of mass equal to 1,000 kg.
A metric unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. Symbol: t
Metric: 1 tonne = 1,000Kg (kilogram)

2. Units of Measurement of Volume of Products

Some products are bought or sold on the basis of volume of product. These products are in liquid shape and we can use following units for its measurement.


( a ) Liter - l

Liter is a unit of volume . Its symbol

( b ) Milliliter

A milliliter (abbreviated mL) is a measure of volume. 1000 milliliters equal 1 liter. 1 milliliter is also equal to one cubic centimeter.

1000 mL = 1 L


  •  One litre is slightly more than one U.S. liquid quart and slightly less than one Imperial quart or the less common U.S. dry quart.
  • One measured cup =250 mL.
  •  One teaspoon =5 mL (In some countries, this is an exact equivalency by definition of the teaspoon.)
  • One tablespoon =15 mL (In some countries, this is an exact equivalency by definition of the tablespoon.)
  • A litre is the volume of a cube with sides of 10 cm, which is slightly less than a cube of sides 4 inches (or one-third of a foot). Twenty-seven cubes "one-third of a foot on each side" would fit in one cubic foot, which is within 5% of the actual value of exactly 28.316846592 litres.
  • A nice aide-mémoire is: "A litre of water is a pint and three quarters" (Imperial pints, that is). Or, simpler: "A litre is a kilo of water" (the litre was once defined in a way that made this exactly true under certain conditions).
( c ) Barrel ( for measuring petroleum products )

Barrel is unit of measuring the crude oil and other petroleum products. It is also unit of volume and 100 to 200 liters oil drum becomes one barrel . Its symbol is bbl.


( d ) Gallon

A gallon is a measure of volume of approximately four litres. In usa, gas is sold on the basis of gallon in small drums.

under google calculator

1 gallon = 3.78 lt . It symbol is gl.

( e ) Cup

The cup is a unit of measurement for volume, used in cooking to measure liquids (fluid measurement) and bulk foods such as granulated sugar (dry measurement) in many countries, although different countries use different sizes.

1 metric cup = 250 millilitres



( f ) Teaspoon

In some countries, a teaspoonful — as much as one teaspoon can hold — is used as a unit of volume, especially in cooking recipes and pharmaceutic prescriptions. It is abbreviated in English as t., ts., tsp. or tspn.For nutritional labeling purposes on food packages in the U.S., the teaspoon is, by Federal regulations, rounded to precisely 5 mL.

( g ) Drop

The drop is a unit of measure of volume, the amount dispensed as one drop from a dropper. It is often used in giving quantities of liquid drugs to patients, and occasionally in cooking.



3. Units of Measurement for Calculation of Area of Product

You would certainly go to marble shop where you would have purchased marble slabs or tiles. The entire product’s price is fixed on the basis of size of marble in square foot which is calculated by multiply length with width.

Like this product all other products like timber wood sheet or iron sheet’s Physical quantity is calculated on the basis of area. Following are the main units of  area measurement:

( a ) Square foot

It is defined as the area of a square with sides of 1 foot (0.333... yards, 12 inches, or 0.3048 metres) in length

( b ) Square inch

Square inch is a unit of measuring area. Its symbol is sq in or sqi.

( c ) Square kilometer

Square kilometre, symbol km2, is a decimal multiple of the SI unit of surface area, the square metre, one of the SI derived units.

( d ) Square mile

The square mile (abbreviated as sq mi and sometimes as mi²) is an imperial and US unit of measure for an area equal to the area of a square of one statute mile.[1] It should not be confused with miles square, which refers to the number of miles on each side squared. For instance, 20 miles square (20×20 miles) is equal to 400 square miles.




 ( e ) Square meter

 ( f ) Square centimeter

 ( g  ) Square millimeter

 ( h ) hectare

 ( i ) Square yard

  ( j ) acre

4. Units of measurement for calculation of length of product

Clothes and other garments are measured in meter. So sale price of clothes is fixed on the basis of total nos. of meter of clothes.

( a ) meter

( b ) centimeter

( c ) kilometer

( d )  foot

( e ) inch

5. Simplest measurement

Some of simplest measurement is piece. A piece means single unit of any product . Suppose, you went to market and buy three copies. It means that you purchased three peice of copy. Its symbol is pc.







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