Carrying out a Stocktake

Updated: Mar 17

Carrying on from our previous blog posts, today we are going to look about how you carry out a stocktake. You have completed all the preparation that will enable you to carry out a stocktake, now it is time to physically count your stock. It is important that you carry out your stock count correctly, if you do not you can suffer a whole host of problems including misrepresented financial statements and inaccurate financial estimates.

We know that taking a physical count of your stock is a task that is often met with dread by most businesses, paper inventory, endless counting, recounting, and correcting it can be a total nightmare, so here are our top tips to help you survive a stocktake:



1. Remove distractions

Make sure the environment is quiet this will allow people to concentrate. Discourage radios, mobile phones, earphones, and idle chit chat. While this might seem extreme, distractions can lead to errors which can undermine the whole stocktaking effort.


2. Have the same person carry out the stocktakes

It might seem a strange one, but what I think is half a bottle may not be the same as what you think half a bottle is, if the same people or group of people carries out the stocktake every time, it will minimise the risk of variances in your count. I know this is not always possible, but it is a good practice to maintain.


3. Do not estimate, count everything

This is not the time for estimations, you must count everything, open all boxes and ensure the correct number of bottles are present. Be sure to check stockrooms and other storage areas, including the tops of shelves, underneath shelves, or anywhere else items may have been forgotten or misplaced.


4. Take breaks – It can be draining

Anyone who has carried out a stocktake will tell you how draining it can be, make sure you take regular breaks. I know it can be tempting to try and power through to get it finished quickly however this can lead to damaging counting errors.


5. Make sure the stocktake is completed on the same day

Unless you have closed your building for more than one day to carry out the stocktake there is no point carrying out a stocktake over multiple days, as stock can be sold or moved during that time. Do not make things more complicated for yourself.


6. Check the condition of your stock as you go

Write off any broken or unsellable stock as you go this will save you time and ensure your stock count is accurate.


7. Make sure everyone is aware that a count is in progress

Yes, you probably did this in the planning stages, however it can never hurt to remind everyone that a count is in progress and that no stock is to be moved until the count is complete. I can guarantee there will always be someone who forgets.


I know carrying out a stocktake is a laborious and boring task but making sure you have the correct stock on hand is needed for both customer experience reasons and for end of year tax purposes. So, take your time, you cannot rush a stocktake, ensuring accuracy is important if you want your analysis to be meaningful.


Check out our website for out stock control options https://www.hb-solutions.co.uk/stock-control

As always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to get in touch.

Look out for our next post on how to analysis a stocktake.


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