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What is Stock Taking? Definition, Methods and Benefits

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    Stock taking is closely related to businesses operating, especially in the retail sector. The business must ensure that stock taking is recorded neatly and accurately. 

    For those of you who have a retail business, make sure to carry out stock taking regularly and record it neatly. That way, you can ensure that the warehouse stock is appropriate and also in a salable condition.

    Why does it have to be like that? Because recording brings many benefits. To answer your curiosity regarding the meaning and benefits of stock taking, see the following discussion!

    What is Stock Taking?

    What is Stock Taking? Definition, Methods and Benefits

    In simple terms, this term is a form of series of activities to calculate the inventory of goods that are still stored in the warehouse which will later be marketed. Reporting from the Entrepreneur Journal, this activity involves calculating the number of items available, carrying out direct inspections, and carrying out arrangements.

    Stock taking makes business operations easier when a particular product is needed. Simply, Stock taking can be interpreted as the activity of counting the stock of goods in the warehouse before they are marketed or sold.

    This activity must be carried out carefully and carefully. So that there are no errors in recording and counting due to missed items. This activity is quite time-consuming and energy-consuming if done manually. Especially if the product inventory in the warehouse is large and varied.

    Through this stock taking, business actors can ensure that all business processes can be carried out well. Especially all matters relating to the supply of products offered.

    To ensure everything runs smoothly, determining the position of products in the warehouse by estimating what products come in and out most often is also important. This can help business people so that when the product needs to be removed from the warehouse, employees can do it much more easily.

    What is the importance of carrying out stock taking?

    This activity is important to carry out, to ensure the suitability of the stock amount in the warehouse software used for bookkeeping with the stock of goods in the warehouse. If excess stock is found in the warehouse, a recheck will usually be carried out.

    This could happen due to an error in the inventory recording method in the warehouse or there are transactions that have not been recorded and have been missed.

    Meanwhile, when a shortage of goods is found in the warehouse stock, an adjustment journal is usually made for the shortage of goods. However, there are also companies that enforce policies by imposing the shortage on the party carrying out stock taking.

    Goals and Benefits of Stock Taking

    There are several purposes and benefits of stock taking that make it important for business people to do. Here are some of the goals:

    1. Knowing the suitability of the quantity of goods

    The first objective is to determine the correspondence between the amounts recorded in the bookkeeping or business financial administration and the real situation that actually occurs. For this reason, it is not uncommon for stock taking activities to be carried out twice a day. 

    For example, at the beginning of operational hours and also at the end of operational hours. Business actors need to ensure that everything recorded in the books is in accordance with the quantity available in the warehouse.

    If this amount is not appropriate, business processes could be disrupted. For example, an employee brings out a product requested by a customer, but is unable to do so.

    This is because it has been recorded in the books that there is still inventory, but it turns out there is no longer anything left in the warehouse.

    2. Estimate the Time to Update Inventory Stock

    The previous case example is also a scenario that can be avoided by stock taking. When the real number is known, business actors can estimate when is the right time to update the inventory of a product.

    3. Shows the Most Searched Products

    Another goal is to help business actors analyze products. Calculations will help business actors find out which products are most sought after by customers and which products are less sought after by customers.

    Based on this, business actors can consider whether it is necessary to re-stock a product.

    4. Auditing

    Another objective that is no less important is auditing. Business actors must pay serious attention to the difference between the number of products in the warehouse and those recorded in the business books for audit purposes.

    Proper record keeping needs to be done so that when audits are carried out, especially those carried out by external auditors, they do not receive a bad assessment just because of differences in the amount of inventory in the warehouse and different bookkeeping.

    In fact, this error can actually be avoided by carrying out stock taking activities in an organized and thorough manner.

    How to Do Stock Taking in Business

    How to Do Stock Taking in Business

    The series of calculation processes needs to be carried out carefully and accurately, especially with its many purposes in streamlining your business operations. The stock taking stages are divided into three stages. Here are the steps:

    1. Initial Preparation Stage

    The preparation stage is often carried out before the stock taking process itself is carried out. This is done to provide enough time if an obstacle occurs. In this initial preparation stage, business actors inform employees to prepare signs to make it easier to separate products according to predetermined categories.

    Next, employees organize their positions according to the type of goods, so that the next series of activities will be easier to carry out.

    After all items are arranged by category or type of item, employees can also attach barcodes or other markers that will make counting easier. Separating items that will not be counted can also be done in stock taking activities.

    2. Final Preparation Stage

    This stage is also carried out before the calculation itself. The final preparation stage is generally carried out as the designated counting day approaches.

    Business actors can explain the process of stock taking activities that will be carried out to each employee involved. This is done to ensure everyone understands their respective duties when calculating. Also avoid overlapping assignments between one employee and another.

    Furthermore, business actors can notify the warehouse to complete the initial information input, especially those included in the goods mutation process.

    This is useful when stock taking is carried out. The results of the calculations carried out also include data on goods that have just entered the warehouse or left the warehouse the day before the calculation was carried out.

    Next, make sure the warehouse no longer receives requests to enter or remove goods into or from the warehouse so that the data does not change or become confused.

    3. Stock Taking Calculation

    In this stage, the business actor re-ensures that all transactions regarding inventory of goods in the warehouse have been entered into the system.

    After that, create guidelines for printing data from the system. This guideline should not be handled by employees who handle inventory in the warehouse so that there is no fraud.

    Carefully calculate the number of items in the warehouse based on the previously printed guidelines. You need to note real conditions which may be different from the notes in the guidelines. This activity is the essence of all stages, so make sure this calculation is done with precision without any errors.

    If there is a difference in the amount during this process, please allow it because this is the difference that is being sought. After that, submit the recording results to the finance department for adjustments if there are differences. If there is a discrepancy, there is an indication that there has been fraud or a recording error.

    Thus, further action needs to be taken to find existing error points and correct them. In the audit process, this step is significant because it will determine the value of the audit carried out by your place of business.

    Stock Taking Implementation Period

    Stock Taking Implementation Period

    Generally, the time for stock taking is at the end of the year, every three months, every six months, or even the end of the month depending on each company's policy. Adjustments to the implementation period can be based on needs or objectives and also the company's own ability to implement it.

    There are several companies that routinely carry out this activity at the beginning of the month. This is done so that the risk of discrepancies can be avoided.

    Even if there is a discrepancy, with stock taking the discrepancy can be immediately found and what caused it. There are even those who do it on a daily basis. Usually done in shops that sell fast moving goods with a short life cycle.

    Generally, the products in question are food and drinks. It is not uncommon for companies to carry out inventory checking due to certain events or unexpected events. Like when sales traffic increases sharply due to Eid promos, New Year promos or HARBOLNAS.

    It could also be that force majeure occurs, so stock verification must be carried out in this case. Even though it has to go through a fairly long and complicated process, it is important for business actors to do this.

    So that businesses have neat, detailed and valid financial records and reports. Because this affects future business development.

    Steps for Implementing Stock Take

    In the process, there are several stages that you must carry out so that the inventory checking or stock recording process runs as it should.

    What are the steps or stages? The following is a complete explanation.

    1. Initial Stage/Steps

    You must do this stage at least one week before implementation. Communication with the warehouse inventory team must also be improved.

    Several important things that need to be prepared at this stage include:

    • Provide labels or marks on items that have been counted and carried out by the warehouse team
    • Arrangement of stock of goods according to the code or barcode listed.
    • Ensure that all stock is equipped with codes, signs or barcodes to make counting easier.
    • Providing non-counting labels on items that do not need to be counted and carried out by the warehouse.

    2. Preparatory Stages/Steps

    This stage is generally carried out when the stock taking process takes less than one day. The preparations that must be made include:

    • Hold a briefing attended by all parties involved in this stock record process. Make sure they understand what their duties and responsibilities are.
    • Complete goods mutation data input until operational closing hours by the warehouse team.
    • Ensure that there is no further item mutation input process after the H-1 closing time before inventory checking.

    3. Implementation Stages/Steps

    In its implementation, here are the important things you must do.

    • Ensure that all transactions have been input into each program
    • Make a print out of the input results, then give it to accounting and audit parties as a reference for stock records. The warehouse party or team may not receive a print out of this program
    • The stock recording process can be carried out, don't forget to mark items that have gone through the checking and counting process.
    • All print out sheets that have been completely filled in with stock record results are immediately entered into to determine the differences with the program version.
    • Carrying out double checks to identify any calculation errors or discrepancies
    • After all processes have been carried out, the stock record results are given to the accounting team so that inventory adjustments can then be made into the program.


    That is a detailed explanation regarding stock taking that you need to understand, especially if you are a business actor. Make sure not to skip this process in your business, so that financial flows and inventory can be managed well and in order.

    That way, it will be easier to advance and develop your business. That is a complete discussion regarding stock taking and its benefits. Hopefully this information is useful for you!

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