When you are about to embark on a stocktake, it is important to ensure that you prepare your team and your system to ensure that you get the best stocktake result. This article outlines the best practices for preparing for a stocktake.

Before the Stocktake

Purchase Orders

Ensure Purchase Orders are received in your system are actually received in the warehouse/store.

When doing a stock count it is important to make sure you know what you are counting. In order to ensure this, inbound shipments must be closed off. This means that there is a clear distinction between what is physically inside of the warehouse and what is outside of the warehouse.


  • Review all open Purchase Orders and make sure that only stock that hasn’t been received yet is showing in this list.

Branch Transfers

Ensure all branch transfers that have been received into or sent out of the warehouse are up to date in your system.

Just like with purchase orders, if the stock has been received into the warehouse or sent out – the system must know this.


  • Review all open Branch Transfers and make sure that all transfers that have been sent/received are completed.

Finalizing sale orders

Finalizing sales orders should be completed prior to a stocktake. If you have made a sale to a customer, it needs to be properly invoiced and the stock should be removed from the area that is being counted for the stocktake. This outbound stock should be placed elsewhere, otherwise, it could cause discrepancies in your final numbers.


  • Review all open Sales Orders and make sure all sales orders that have been dispatched – or even partially dispatched – have been correctly dispatched in the system.

Maintain an organized work area

A tidy work area and warehouse will make the process run smoothly. If items can be properly identified and accessed, the count will be efficient.


  • Ensure all stock that has been received into the warehouse/store recently has been opened and put on the shelf or is clearly marked to be included in the stock count
  • Ensure that the storeroom or any areas where stock is found, that it is either marked clearly for counting or put back where it lives ready for stocktake

Organise the necessary tools for a stocktake

Although it may seem simple, tools like calculators, pens, hand-held scanners, clipboards, and stock sheets need to be readily available during the stocktake. These tools will help decrease errors. It will make it easy for those participating in the stocktake to get accurate numbers the first time. As a result, this will make the reconciliation at the end much easier.

Decrease distractions in the warehouse

By minimizing staff distractions, a stocktake can run well. Whether it be the radio, mobile phones, side conversations, or talking to an employee about something off topic, these distractions should be minimized to maintain staff focus. Distractions cause errors and reduce the effectiveness of a stocktake.

During the Stocktake

Count all inventory items – do not estimate

Although a stocktake can be a very laborious task, it is imperative that an exact count is taken of all inventory. It is important to open every box and count the items on the inside, rather than just trusting the count on the outside of the box.

Note: Additional details will be added here in relation to the stocktake by scanner process which has been causing difficulties in the stores.

After the Stocktake

Ensure you complete the stocktake

Every stocktake upload, once in your system, automatically creates the stock adjustment required to update the product quantities in the system to the counted amount. As a final step, review the stock adjustment created in the system.