First In, Still Here (FISH) is an accounting buzzword that describes when companies still have inventory on hand that is not being sold due to inattention or obsolescence. While not an official type of accounting treatment, the term is a play on the Last In, First Out (LIFO) and First In, First Out (FIFO) accounting methods.
Companies in a state of First In, Still Here (FISH) accounting tend to have turnover rates that are lower than the industry average. Investors tend to avoid investing in companies that are in a “FISH-like” state because having inventory lying about consumes expensive capital and storage space.
Companies struggling to sell inventory can arise for a variety of reasons. Some issues are seasonal; others are based on changes in buyer preferences. First In, Still Here doesn’t point to any particular reason for the inability to move merchandise.