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Stocktake season is coming

September 19, 2017 Ascend, Inventory, Physical Inventory Harriet Owen


The summer is over (boo!) and many of you are starting to think about getting stuck into your annual stocktake. This can be a good time of year to do a stocktake, with the summer rush behind us and a busy Christmas ahead.

The purpose of a stocktake is straightforward; to compare your actual stock levels to your records in Ascend and identify any discrepancies. The process produces all sorts of profitable and essential data for your business, so performing an accurate and reliable stocktake is critical.

This post aims to highlight some best practice in stocktaking and address some of the problems that can arise during the process. There are several things you should do in the days and weeks before a stocktake, including charging and preparing your scanners. The full process is discussed in detail in the Ascend complete stocktake guide.

Do you have to close your shop?

We always recommend that stocktakes are done when the store is closed. Items that are sold during a count can cause inaccuracy and staff are more likely to make mistakes with customer distractions.

It’s also worth noting that your stocktake will be much easier if everything is as tidy and organised at it can be. Even those bits and bobs under the counter!

Split the shop into sections

Before you perform the stocktake you’ll need to produce a shop map that identifies the specific sections to be counted. The map needs to be detailed and show any storage areas, racks and POS stands on the shop floor.

The sections are physical locations, not product categories, and should be small, easy to manage sections as pictured below. Keeping the sections small will improve accuracy and make any miscounts easier to put right.

Each section will need to be labelled with an identifying number or code, and best practice dictates that each section should be taped off to clearly define its boundaries. It is so easy to miss items or duplicate counts and this process reduces the chance of either of these errors.

How do I organise staff?

Once the store has been split into sections it’s time to assign them to specific staff members. It might sound obvious, but instructing everyone to count in a prescribed way will help minimise duplications (for example, from top to bottom or left to right).

Although we wouldn’t want to kill the fun (we love fun!), it’s also worth minimising distractions; loud music and chitchat can both cause attention lapses leading to errors.

What do I do with the items that are currently in limbo?

Before you start your count, any deliveries or transfers will need to be resolved in Ascend. Doing this ahead of time will reduce the likelihood of any confusion later. The only items in your store that should not be counted are layaways or items that are paid for but not collected. Of course, any items delivered during the stocktake should be received into Ascend after reconciling.

Improve your cycle counts!

Most cycle shops perform full stocktakes once per year – although smaller cycle counts should be done much more frequently. Consequently, you and your staff might not be as confident as you’d like in the process. It’s worth noting any difficulties that you have, or any improvements to the process that you think you could make, so that next time things run even better.

Additional resources

If you need to brush up on the stocktake process, we’ve produced several handy resources so you can be as prepared as possible.


Ascend complete stocktake guide

Ascend University videos

  1. Creating a schedule
  2. Stocktake preparation
  3. Scanning items
  4. Bad scans
  5. Importing results
  6. Reconciling




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