Inventory Audit refers to the physical verification of the inventory. At times, it may also include valuation of the inventory depending on the term of reference. The inventory audit process mainly involves the counting of physical inventory in the specified premises and verifying the same with computed inventory maintained by the company. Apart from providing inventory related information to the store owner it also involves capturing the bar codes of different stock units. Stock Audit is one of the most important activity of the overall exercise of audit in any organization. It is of great importance to two set of people in an organization – the financial controller and the store manager. While the financial controller is concerned about the accuracy of the stock value, the store manager is concerned about the accuracy of the stock quantity.
In order to conduct inventory audits in an effective manner a mystery shopping software should be capable enough to perform below mentioned functionalities:
- Comparing physical counts to actual records
Inventory audits are often requested by many clients and they have requirements specific to them which are quite different from mystery or visibility audits. Many clients require the mystery shopping software to be smart enough to capture the deviation in the count of stock. The design of the software should be such that at the time of questionnaire creation the client can enter a predefined value for the stock item. A predefined value of how much inventory should be available can be entered and the actual count is captured by the shopper. The difference between the two should be automatically calculated by the software and should be visible in the reports to be shared with the client. Through this feature the mystery shopping software should provide the clients with the functionality to calculate the deviation in the stock available at different stores.
- Bar Code Scanning
Inventory audits can often require the mystery shopper to scan bar codes to record the details of the SKUs present at the store. In this scenario, often a third party app is used to record this data. Bringing it in a form which is understandable as a report after it has been integrated with the mystery shopping software can be very challenging. The next generation mystery shopping software should do away with all this hassle by providing an in app bar code scanner which directly records all the scanned codes in the questionnaire saving a lot of time for every SKU entered. The software should provide its mystery shoppers with the functionality through which they can easily capture the bar codes and QR codes using the mystery shopping software.
- Highlighting areas of loss and potential gain
The reports generated by the mystery shopping software should be designed in such a way that the deviation of the inventory and other details about the SKU should be clearly visible to the clients. A mystery shopping management software should provide the findings and analysis to the client which helps them to gain complete visibility on the operational efficiencies. During the inventory audit a mystery shopper ensures himself about the quantity, quality, composition and actual value of the inventory to the client.