An SME’s End of Financial Year Checklist

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As the financial year in Australia comes to a close, businesses are rapidly trying to tie loose ends together. Here are some of the key tasks you need to complete in order to start your new business year with a bang!

Finalise sales orders

Outstanding sales orders should be completed prior to a stocktake. If the item has been sold to a customer, it should be invoiced and the items should be removed from the stock take area. The outbound stock should be placed elsewhere to avoid confusion and discrepancies in your final numbers.

Schedule your stock take

Deciding when you want to conduct a stock take is crucial. Will you close the business to complete the counts or count during operating hours? Each business is unique and will have their own restrictions. If it will happen during store hours, make sure to inform your customers of any location closures or changes in store hours well in advance.

Prepare staff in advance

Sometimes a stock take might happen outside normal work hours. Appoint leaders with strong organisational skills to head up the stock taking, and task them with preparing all the necessary equipment required, such as portable barcode scanners, stock sheets, clipboards, pens and calculators. It also helps to organise staff into groups and ensure that each team is assigned a supervisor. Everyone should be clearly tasked and understand exactly which stock they will be required to count.

Organise the area where a stock take will take place

A tidy work area and warehouse speeds up the stock taking process.

Conduct a stocktake of your inventory

When it’s finally time to conduct a stock take, here are some things you should keep an eye out for.

Count every item instead of estimating

Although a stocktake can be a very laborious task for a company, it is imperative that staff count exactly what is in stock. While it may be tempting, shortcuts like estimating can lead to inaccurate values. It is important to open every box and count the items on the inside, rather than trusting the label on the box or guessing the quantities.

Take regular breaks

Counting is tiring work! Make sure you have quick breaks throughout, and ensure everyone has enough snacks and drinks to sustain them throughout.

Correct any discrepancies

There could be a variety of reasons why the count isn’t tallying up. You can recount the stock in question or check that it was in the right location. It could even be an issue with the unit of measurement.

Update your inventory records

After correcting any stock discrepancies, make sure to update the final inventory count in an inventory management software like Unleashed for accounting purposes.

Review your stock take

Stock takes can help you identify which items were performing well and which are slow to sell. Be sure to identify stock with a sluggish turnover ratio, as well as items particularly vulnerable to damage, theft and tampering.

Reviewing your stock take process will help you adjust future inventory purchases, and can even help you realise you need to reorganise your warehouse so that stock is easier to access.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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