What is an inventory count and how do I complete one?

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Inventory counts (also known as stocktakes in some countries) help you to keep track of your inventory.

During an inventory count, each item in your store is counted and recorded. When the inventory count is submitted, your store's inventory records are updated. A report is generated for any unexpected variances in your inventory levels, including cost figures.

Inventory counts help you to keep on top of your inventory movements and identify any discrepancies faster to ensure stock levels are accurate.

When to complete an inventory count

Completing inventory counts periodically ensures that you are consistently recording your stock levels to ensure stock data in Retail POS is accurate. We recommend completing an inventory count:

  • At the end of your financial year (your accountant may also recommend a mid-financial-year inventory count)
  • After a really busy period, such as holiday shopping sales
  • Before selling your business

You can also do counts at other times. Depending on the type of count, these can be done during operating hours or may require you to close the store for a period of time in order to complete the count.

See the below types of inventory counts drop-down to determine which is best for your business.

Types of inventory counts

There are two types of inventory counts you can do in Retail POS.

Full count

This is usually completed at the end of the financial year in order to provide your accountant with the exact value of your inventory. It includes every item in your store, including your storeroom.

During a full count, you should close your store to ensure you get an accurate representation of your inventory levels. This generally means counts are done outside of usual trading hours.

You can also do one at other times, however, full counts are a lot of work. 

  Important

A full inventory count should always be completed when your store is closed. This ensures that no items are counted twice, or sold after they have been counted.

For information on how to complete a full inventory count, click here.

Partial counts

These are normally a small section of your inventory, usually a particular brand, type, or supplier's items. Many retailers complete these during regular open hours in order to help keep your store's inventory accurate during the year. You can even run multiple partial counts at the same time (just make sure you don't have the same product in more than one count).

Completing regular partial inventory counts helps you to keep on top of your inventory and ensures that your end-of-year inventory count runs more smoothly.

For information on how to complete a partial inventory count, click here.

  Important

It is possible to perform the same inventory count from multiple devices, however, we do not recommend this. If you do choose to perform an inventory count on multiple devices, it is very important that you save the count on each device before completing and that you only complete the count on one device.

How to complete an inventory count

For specific instructions on how to start and complete an inventory count, please choose your preferred type of count below:

Full count or Partial count


Completing an inventory count with your store open

If you were trading while counting, you will need to make any final adjustments based on sales or returns made during your count period.

If you sell or return an item after you've counted it, that item will need to be adjusted. For a sale, you'll need to decrease the count quantity by one in your inventory count. For a return, you'll need to increase the quantity by one.

If you sell or return an item before you've counted it, these items will have the correct inventory value but a discrepancy may appear on the review page (as the expected count would not have changed.)

  Note

Any sales made when conducting an inventory count will still be correctly recorded in your sales history.


Quick-scan mode

Quick-scan mode enables to you rapidly scan each item's barcode in your store to add it to your inventory count. Your scanned item will automatically be counted as soon as you scan the barcode.

If you'd prefer to use the barcode to look up the item SKU and then enter the final count number before submitting it, un-tick the Quick-scan mode box.

"Unexpected" symbol next to products

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When you are performing a partial count you can sometimes get a red "unexpected" symbol next to your products. When this symbol appears, it means that a product has been added to the partial count that doesn't match any of the filters you specified when creating the count.

If you would like this symbol to disappear you may need to create a new partial count and broaden your filters. If you have already started counting or are happy to continue with your current count you can simply ignore the symbol and continue, as it will still accept the adjustment for this "unexpected" product regardless. If you are certain that this product should fall under the filters you've applied, head to the product screen and edit the product in question to ensure that it's been set up correctly.

Abandon an inventory count

Sometimes, you may need to stop doing an inventory count that you have already started. This may be because, for example, you've run out of time to complete it, as an inventory count should always be completed in a short time period.

This is called abandoning a count.

To abandon an in-progress count, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Inventory > Inventory counts.
  2. Open the count by clicking on it.
  3. Edit the count by clicking the Review button.
  4. Click the Abandon button.

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Abandoned counts will appear on the Cancelled tab of the inventory count home page.

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Review previous inventory counts

You can view historical inventory counts and export the results at any time.

To view your historical inventory counts, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Completed tab on the inventory count home page.
  2. Click the count you wish to open.
  3. Select Generate PDF report or Generate CSV report if you wish to export your results.
Reporting on inventory counts

An inventory count will only change the inventory quantity of a product; this will in turn change your inventory cost amount in reporting (calculated by inventory quantity x average cost).

However, it is important to note that an inventory count will not affect a product's average cost or cost of goods sold figure.

  Using an iPad?

To conduct an inventory count on an iPad, you must log in to your Retail POS store using Safari. To learn more about processing inventory counts with an iPad, check out this article.

We strongly recommend signing in to Retail POS using a computer and conducting your inventory count there.

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