Here you can find out everything about inventories.

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Fixed assets

According to §266 HGB, fixed assets consist of the following items:

  • Intangible assets
  • Tangible assets
  • Financial assets

Low-value assets with an acquisition value of less than €150 or €410 do not have to be included in fixed assets. Only items that are intended to serve the business operations on a permanent basis are to be reported as fixed assets (§247 HGB).

Inventory retail trade

In the retail trade, stocktaking is usually carried out as an annual inventory. Preparations for the inventory are often made in the days before, so that the inventory can be carried out as quickly and smoothly as possible. The inventory in the retail trade comprises the stocktaking of physical articles and serves on the one hand for the necessary closing of the business year and on the other hand for the reconciliation and correction of the stock of goods for the bookkeeping and the correct preparation of the balance sheet.

The inventory in the change of the time by technology

Inventory, like many things in retail, has changed significantly in recent years. For example, it used to be common practice to take inventory of merchandise on December 31 at the end of the calendar year. Quantities were written down on small cards and then checked by another team. In the course of time, helpers for the inventory were added, who already pre-counted or helped to evaluate the inventory. As a result, many small items had to be grouped into tens or cables had to be unrolled from the meter and measured. The inventory check often dragged on until late into New Year’s Eve. After the introduction of scanner codes, the retail trade has many advantages, both in the recording of sales and in the receipt of goods. But also the inventory is naturally easier and faster this way, because the employees are provided with readers and go through the shelf piece by piece. A classic inventory, such as in an electronics store, takes place once a year, when all items are counted and checked for completeness. If an item is missing an important component, the team leader must remove it from the inventory – after all, only the actual and saleable stock is important.

How are inventories organized in retail?

In order to be able to work even better with the results of the inventory, inventories are now also carried out at shorter intervals on a monthly basis. To further reduce the workload on retail staff, the counts take place during business hours and the data is immediately forwarded to the respective head office. The new inventories are worked with immediately and the quantities are entered. This means that fewer inventory discrepancies arise and can be booked out in an updated form. There are also external service providers such as OMS Inventuren who, in consultation with the store, count everything completely within a few hours and transfer the inventory totals. The specialist differentiates between asset and article inventories.

How do stock shortages actually occur and why do they show up during an inventory?

On the one hand, this can happen due to accidentally mislabeled goods and cash register problems, but on the other hand, it can also be due to theft or breakage. For example, a package of salmon falls in a grocery store and is accidentally pushed under the goods carrier with the shopping cart. Already the article is physically no longer present and untraceable. However, the quantity is thus incorrect in the computer and is corrected during inventory. The more accurate and reliable the work, the more accurate the final result. So it is definitely in the retailer’s interest to work with real figures and also to reduce possible overstocks.

Inventory in retail trade with OMS

The inventory company OMS is the right partner for carrying out an inventory in retail. Experienced inventory personnel carry out the inventory of all physical items with our own inventory technology within a few hours. This includes – depending on the customer’s requirements – pre-sorting and pre-counting work as well as the recording of the inventory and the subsequent control. If you wish, OMS can prepare and carry out the entire inventory on the closing date, so that once the inventory has been successfully completed, all you need to do is import the list of items into your system, prepared in accordance with your wishes.

Experience with retail inventories

Take advantage of OMS’s many years of experience in carrying out retail inventories, including the planning and preparation of the inventory, which by law must be carried out once a year in your company. The inventory will be prepared and managed by an experienced project manager who will provide you with advice, assistance and support.

Physical inventory

Physical inventory is a method of determining the inventory of business assets that can be recorded by counting, measuring or weighing. If you are a retail grocery store, then physical inventory would mean recording all food items.

Physical inventory accuracy

Physical inventory provides very accurate results of existing inventory. Therefore, it should be used as comprehensively as possible, even though it involves a lot of operational effort. In cases where physical inventory is impossible or unreasonable, operational assets can also be determined by an estimate with subsequent valuation.

Physical inventory with OMS

The inventory company OMS is the right partner for carrying out a physical inventory, whether in retail, industry or mail order companies. Experienced inventory personnel carry out the inventory of all physical items with our own inventory technology within a few hours. This includes – depending on the customer’s requirements – pre-sorting and pre-counting work as well as the recording of the inventory and the subsequent control. If you wish, OMS can prepare and carry out the entire inventory on the reporting date, so that once the inventory has been successfully completed, all you need to do is import the list of items into your system, prepared in accordance with your wishes.

Product group inventory

In product group inventory, goods are recorded at the product group level.

Inventory sampling

In inventory sampling, the inventory of assets is determined on the basis of samples using mathematical-statistical methods (Section 241 HGB).

Fiscal year

The inventory must be carried out after each annual financial statement of the fiscal year on the balance sheet date (last day of the fiscal year) or 10 days before or after. If this is not possible due to certain reasons (e.g. very large stocks of goods), it can also be carried out on a day scheduled within three months before or 2 months after the balance sheet date.

Stocktaking

Every merchant is required to carry out a physical inventory of all assets at the beginning of his business, at the end of a business year and upon sale or liquidation of the business. This inventory takes place by measuring, counting and weighing (§240 HGB).

Care must be taken to ensure that the inventory is carried out thoroughly, because only then is the accurate determination of profit guaranteed. The inventory results form the basis for accounting and the annual financial statements.

MDE technology

A MDE scanner (Mobile Data Entry) or a so-called barcode scanner is a mobile electronic device that is used for digital data entry. A barcode can be used to retrieve information about the product or item that has previously been stored in the system.

Revision security

The inventory must be such that the result can be evaluated by an expert third party (e.g. auditor) within a reasonable period of time. In the case of many inventories, the auditing department is directly on site to verify that the work has been carried out professionally and to a high standard of quality.

Current assets

Assets whose inventory changes frequently are called current assets. Current assets are not permanently located in the company and serve the purpose of being implemented.

Statutory provisions

According to § 240 of the German Commercial Code (HGB), every merchant is obliged to carry out a stocktaking of his inventory at the end of his business year. This must be carried out in accordance with the principles of proper accounting.

Inventory company

An inventory company is a service company specialized in carrying out the inventory of the operating resources and/or fixed assets of a company. According to § 240 HGB (German Commercial Code) and §§ 140/141 AO (German Fiscal Code), this activity, called inventory, must be carried out by every merchant as a rule once a year as part of proper accounting. Through the inventory, the assets and liabilities of a company are determined and recorded.

The inventory company as a service provider

A guarantor for a professional and audit-proof inventory is the engagement of an experienced inventory company. An experienced inventory service provider has the necessary know-how for the preparation and execution of the inventory. The advantage of an inventory company over the company’s own employees lies clearly in the experience and routine of the service provider.

OMS – experienced inventory company

The inventory company OMS is the right partner for carrying out inventories in retail, industry and for mail order companies. Experienced inventory staff carries out inventory of all physical items and fixed assets with its own inventory technology within a few hours. Depending on the customer’s requirements, this includes pre-sorting and pre-counting work as well as the recording of the inventory and subsequent control. If desired, the inventory can be completely prepared and carried out by the inventory company OMS, so that after successful completion of the inventory, you only need to import the item list prepared according to your wishes into your system.

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Non-listed items

Unlisted items are items that were recorded during the inventory but are not stored in the system. They are therefore considered unknown in the system and require rework.

RFID

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. RFID technology enables the contactless identification of items.

An RFID system consists of a transponder and a mobile reader that records the data sent by the transponder.

Misplaced inventory

The postponed inventory is a procedure to simplify the inventory. The inventory may be taken within a period of up to three months before and up to two months after the balance sheet date.

The advantage of this procedure, also known as deferred inventory, is that the date of the inventory can be aligned with the circumstances of operational processes. Different warehouses or goods can even be taken on different days. In this way, the inventory can be timed to cause the least disruption to productive processes. On the other hand, the additional work that the rescheduled inventory undoubtedly entails is done in the administration of the company.

In contrast to the perpetual inventory, the relocated inventory is also permissible for companies that do not keep a stock ledger. This is because once the physical quantity of assets has been recorded by the physical inventory, adjustments necessary to show the assets as of the balance sheet date are only made in terms of value. The required figures are provided by the accounting department. The valuation of disposals between the physical inventory and the balance sheet date is not problematic because the average purchase prices are used for this purpose. The inventory is then updated in the case of the early inventory by deducting the retirements, while these must be added in the case of the subsequent inventory. The opposite procedure must be followed in each case with the additions.

The basis for these provisions is Section 241 of the HGB and the EStR (Income Tax Guideline) 2008 R 5.3, according to which goods that by their nature may be prone to shrinkage, fragility or perishability, valuable goods and those for which tax concessions have been claimed are excluded from the deferred inventory. This principle is also valid for the perpetual inventory.

The updating in terms of value or the recalculation of the inventory assets to the balance sheet date must be carried out in accordance with the principles of proper accounting. In particular, it must be ensured that the relocated inventory provides a result that corresponds to the inventory on the balance sheet date. The aforementioned income tax guidelines also state that if the physical inventory is missing or if the inventory has significant deficiencies, the accounting shall be deemed not to have been properly performed. In case of doubt, the procedure should be coordinated with the responsible tax office.