Compiling an annual stock inventory is a legal obligation and must take place no later than several days before the end of the financial year. The inventory involves a physical checking of merchandise that allows the actual quantities in store to be compared with those listed in the computer tool. Creating an inventory isn’t difficult in itself, but requires detailed planning in advance as well as on the day of the inventory. Numerous parameters have to be taken into account to make it as effective as possible. So what are these parameters? What does the inventory controller need to focus on to complete these inventories successfully?

Preparing a store inventory using collaborative tables

The first thing to decide on is the date of the inventory. It needs to take place during a period of low activity in the day, when the store closes or sometimes even during the night. This will enable the inventory controller to ensure that product inputs and outputs are kept to a minimum. He must set up a suitable team by providing enough people to perform a double count in each predefined zone in the store. This method of checking the merchandise will ensure optimal reliability of the results. If internal staff are absent, calling in temporary workers can be a good solution for this type of project. Each person requested for the inventory needs to be able to know exactly what his tasks are. An instruction manual could be distributed beforehand among team members. This will help the event to flow more smoothly and errors will be reduced to a minimum. A control chart will ensure verification of each step as it is completed.

Creating an inventory | Sequence of the day’s events from A to Z

By first segmenting the locations where the stock is held (in store, in the warehouse), the inventory controller facilitates the counting work that is to follow. Once the breakdown of these areas has been determined, the teams can take up their places and spread out over the designated areas with their counting sheets. These include a consolidated table with the following information:

  • Product reference;
  • Product designation;
  • Type of storage (raw materials, products in process of manufacture, finished products, merchandise);
  • Quantity to be filled on the day of inventory;
  • Theoretical quantity (data extracted from the computer tool).

Use this inventory table template.

The teams work in pairs in most cases: one person counts by marking the product with a symbol as it is accounted for and the other notes it down. This means that the counting process (carried out twice by two different teams) is faster and the margin of error greatly reduced. The physical stock inventory ends with the retrieval of data by the accounting department. This department will be responsible for assessing the discrepancies between these actual results and the theoretical stock data displayed in the company’s management tool (related to losses and thefts or errors in the quantities delivered by suppliers). It will also be able to evaluate stock (valuation or depreciation) from an accounting perspective.

A well-conducted inventory provides important information to the company for the ongoing management of its stock. Organise this event more easily with the inventory tables offered by RowShare. Ready to count?