How To Track and Count Inventory + Free Templates

Cody Cromwell
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Free Inventory Templates

If you are dealing with inventory, tracking and counting inventory is quite a headache. Actualy, you can use inventory count to to try to control stock and control demand. Templates are always a time saver.

In this post, I provide the templates you can use to track down your stock.

Inventory Management Workbook

For many retail stores, managing inventory effectively is the key to success. This is especially true for businesses that use a lot of products that are sold by weight. The last thing you want is for you to end up selling an item that has already been counted. This can be a real problem because without an accurate count, your business may end up overpaying for an item and be forced to discard that money. That money ends up nowhere, and your business ends up none the wiser.

One of the ways to ensure that your business receives accurate information about the sale of inventory is to use an inventory management workbook. These workbooks contain information about each of the items that your salespeople sell, then they allow you to record information about the quantity and price of each item during the time that it is sold. It also tracks how many items are sold, and when they are sold. These workbooks can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be.

Here is what an inventory workbook looks like:

The inventory management workbook is clearly divided into 3 categories:

  • Categories
  • Product, and


The Categories section is where the actual work is done. Here you can add product codes, item codes, store codes, and others. These categories are used by the page numbers that are also available in this section.

A. Inventory List Template

B. Secure Cloud Based Inventory Management Software.

Businesses of all sizes use Clients and Vendors to manage and track inventory. But keeping track of each product’s inventory and taking many trips to the warehouse to check on stock can be tedious and unreliable. Here at Unmetrics Inventory Management Software we've streamlined the inventory process using a PC and a simple inventory database. With our added security and convenience, you can manage your inventory from any device, anywhere.

The setup is simple. Just set up an inventory list and keep track of your product’s availability. When your inventory is low, or you need to generate a sales forecast, just plug in the simple spreadsheet to fill in the blanks. It's that intuitive.

B. Supplier Contact List

If you’re a retailer, a wholesaler, or a sales rep, you’ll need to build a list of people you’ll be contacting regularly, as you won’t be able to exactly keep track of everyone you come into contact with.

If you are going to start out small, you may decide that it’s fine to just list the people you’d like to stay in touch with, and skip the more complicated process of actually scheduling, or adding them to a spreadsheet. If you think about it, it would be pretty much impossible to schedule all your existing customers, and you could easily miss out on important business opportunities if they come up.

If you build a list based on your regular customers, just make sure that none of your contacts are left off. This will make your list more likely to be accurate, and it will also make it easier to work with. You may also want to ask customers which details they’d like to see in your "About Us" description section on the home page of your website. You’ll be able to give your contact list a more personalized touch by offering this information to them.

C. Purchasing Records

There are several important questions you need to answer when setting up a system for purchasing. First, what items do you need to track? Second, how will you keep track of these items history as they move through your supply chain? Finally, what should you do if you want to notify a customer that they have an item in their delivery but it doesn’t show up in your inventory tracking system (or the item disappears at the end of the day)?

We’ll examine each of these questions and some tips you can use to help answer them.

What Items to Track

There are a couple of constraints you’ll want to consider when deciding which items to track. First, make sure to track only items that move through your supply chain. That makes it easier to keep up with items you’re sending to customers. Also, think about the items that should decide what to track. For example, don’t track things along with the item that doesn’t need to be reordered, as you don’t want the tracking information to take up space, but instead let the key information appear on the inventory reports.

How to Track Items

There are several ways to track items. Examples include the following:

D. Sales Records

E. Low Stock Reporting

Have you been searching for a way to accurately record your inventory? Maybe you’re a business owner trying to manage your inventory and company finances with an Excel spreadsheet, and that method just isn’t cutting it anymore. Or perhaps you’re an owner of a large retail location constantly trying to figure out where product is in your store and where it’s supposed to be sent.

You’ve probably spent hours promoting your inventory… but how do you really know how many of each product you have?

The problem is, every time you take something off the shelf, pr otect the product, put it in a case, then send it to a different department, you’re moving product. Which means that the active amount of inventory in your inventory system changes every time you make a sale.

This creates a very inaccurate, often deceptive, snapshot of how much product you actually have in your warehouse.

F. Purchase Order Template

This printable purchase order template has room for the following:

  • Purchase Order number
  • Goods received

{1}. Rec. or the bill of lading number
{2}. Goods ordered and quantities
{3}. Shipment date
{4}. Party receiving the order
{5}. The name of the Forwarder/wholesaler
{6}. Goods Forwarded
{7}. Shipping terms
{8}. Billing address
{9}. Addresses of party forwarding order
{10}. Shipping instructions
{11}. Signature or initials, plus date
{12}. Name of authorized party to sign
{13}. Signature of shipping company

In an ideal world, this would be the order in which to record your sales order. We know that this isn’t always possible in the real world, so feel free to customize this template according to the time and methods available to you. E.g.: fill in the signature of the company at the end of the document and add a date as a record of when the order was created. Or, if you’re not allowed to sign the document, simply cross out the signature and fill in the blank with your initials, or whatever is the appropriate figure for your business.

G. Inventory Performance Calculator

Most of us have worked in a warehouse at some point in our careers … some of us for many years. One area of warehouse management that is lacking widespread attention and data is the inventory tracking systems and the effectiveness of those systems. This is a big topic and has many layers. It can be thought of as an intersection between economics, mathematics, data science, psychology and accounting. I would love to discuss your thoughts on this.

~ Adam Newhouse

How do you perform your inventory? Do you just order what is needed and then count it, hoping that you have enough? Or do you use some sort of inventory feedback loop, so that you know what is lost in transit?

Having a well-calibrated inventory tracking and management system can help you optimize your warehouse operations, reduce inventory losses, improve customer service and increase productivity.

There are dozens of inventory management software programs out there, from low-end to high-end, but like any software, there is no single best choice for your needs. You will need to consider the type of inventory you are tracking, your requirements, features and price point, among other things.

I prefer to use this Google Sheets template after which I can read the inventory information and recognize inventory trends. This sheet also includes a lot of data such as inventory keying, shipping, picking, total counts, etc. that I can analyze for future planning.

Basic Inventory List Templates

Tracking your inventory and keeping track of your inventory can be a bit of a challenge. So having a fully comprehensive inventory database, as well as a set of inventory tracker templates can help you track your inventory throughout the different stages of production. This, in turn, can help you save big money and generate more profit. Below you will find several inventory template documents that you can download, modify and use to track your inventory throughout its process. These templates are very easy to modify and customize.

All of these templates are free to download and use. However, I have provided the pre-built template code that you can integrate into your accounting software as well.

A. Simple Quantity-On Hand

This simple and free inventory form will allow you to track your inventory easily.

B. Total Quantity-On-Hand

Inventory tracking is essential for all businesses. It is the best way to make sure that you know exactly where you stand. Money managers rely heavily on the ability to track inventory numbers for their jobs.

If you run a small business and the location of your product storage is an issue, you can use this template to keep track of your inventory. With this template, you will be able to easily track each of your products.

It also has a space for notes that you can use to record any gathered information about your inventory that you can’t find anywhere else.

This template will help you manage your inventory and you will be able to keep track of what you have, what you need, and what you have on hand.

PS: Use this template to keep track of inventory in a warehouse, as well.

C. Case Count Inventory List

A simple and efficient way to track inventory using a spreadsheet application.

When printing this template: be sure to select a printer that can handle heavy paper. If when you print it out you see a lot of toner smudging (i.e. the paper is getting wet), then you will need to make adjustments. Check out our printer calibration guide.

Mark and Number the items that have been counted and placed in the bin, making sure to get the count number for each item in the bin.

Depending on the individual company, you may want to double check with the person responsible for the count to make sure that you have the right counts in the template.

Feel free to print this template as many times as you need. Simply copy, paste and save the list to your computer.

Once the inventory count list is finished, you can transfer it to a ledger count form or a spreadsheet application for tracking.

Another great option is to use a service like Google Sheets that can track inventory, sales and more without having to worry about the underlying data. You can simply change the header and Footer text, and add more columns if needed.

D. Single Variant Option

No computer? No problem! Just download one of the must-have inventory tracking and count templates.

The templates provided on this site have been created using the popular MS Excel program, and can be edited in MS Office. Additionally, there are free printer-friendly versions for Excel … or just save your own for Excel … available here.

You can get the templates you need here or click on the image diagrams below to view the templates.

E. Multiple Variant Options

(Feb. 10, 2016) Last updated TODAY.

In addition to option a and b, this article presents options c and d for inventory and numbers tracking, as one contemporary approach found in different websites. May differ.

They are also included in the feed / distribution tracking template, that you can find in the inventory template.


Options A and B are for inventory management. As in option b below:

Liquor-Bar Inventory Template

When you own or manage a liquor store, bar or restaurant, you are responsible for keeping and managing inventories to ensure you don’t run out of the products you’re selling.

How To Customize or Prefill these Inventory Templates

Our Inventory Template includes a number of sections, such as, General Inventory Items, Cost of Goods Sold, Gross Profit, and Expenses. The Cost of Goods Sold, Gross Profit and Expenses sections are usually the most important for your accounting. You will use one of those sections to calculate and report your Net Profit.

These sections include built-in formulas which you can customize or prefill based on your inventory list.

Simply open the sheet or use the built-in formulas to get your data entered automatically. Then you can tweak the formulas, based on your business needs.

To customize or pre-fill the formulas, select the cell of the section you wish to edit and use one of these methods:

Use the Quick Calculation Function:

1 Click the Quick Calculation button on the toolbar, which is located at the top-left corner.

2 Select the list of functions you want to use and the formula you want to use.


Click the small funnel icon for whichever field you wish to customize or pre-fill.

Use the Fill Down Function:

Click the Fill Down button on the toolbar, which is located at the top-left corner.

2 Select the list of functions you want to use and the formula you want to use.

Enter data directly into the template

Data entry into the cells is a four step process which are highlighted in red.

Copy and paste data from an existing inventory list spreadsheet

Into the software.

You can use any spreadsheet software you prefer to input your inventory data (not all spreadsheet programs support inventory data). I like to use Microsoft Excel for my inventory data entry.

If you’re planning on sticking with the free version of the software, you should just need to read the instructions, and the only thing you’ll need to set up is your inventory number.

While that will vary depending on the company you’re selling your wares to, it is basically a unique identifier for a specific item. In the free recording software, this is simply called a number, or a special code set by the individual company you are working with.

After making sure you have your inventory number, you need to list the item description and quantities (you can use the free template in this post to create the inventory list).

Should you decide to upgrade to the full recording software, the free version offers all the features to manage your inventory list. If you’re interested in naming your inventory and setting up easy reordering and re-stocking features, you should purchase the full version of the recording software.

Download data from an inventory management system

You’ve probably wondered why inventory lines in retail shops never seem to tally with your last count. There is a logical explanation: Perhaps it takes some time for the barcodes to scan and to be detected. Perhaps the scanner isn’t working properly. Perhaps you scanned the wrong item in the first place. Perhaps the barcodes got covered by a sticker, by a price tag or by a product.

When it comes to inventory, things don’t always add up, and this means that you can’t automatically trust and rely on your inventory management system. You have to be aware of what’s happening behind the scenes. This means that you’ll need to look closely at your inventory management system and observe its current state and its limitations. At the same time, you’ll need to start looking closely at how your production and distribution lines work, rather than relying on the system’s default settings.

You must also consider an inventory management system’s ability to update its information quickly. Some inventory management systems update their information every day, while others update it once a week or once a month.

Inventory Count Processes & Best Practices

While it is true that inventory management is used by most retailers and wholesalers with some form of inventory count processes in place (commonly it is the POS), it is often not the case that specifics on how to count inventory and what is considered as best practices can be attained.

In this post, we shall look at the inventory count processes and list out best practices.

When is the right time for the inventory count?

There are a few reasons why the inventory count should be undertaken. Aside from making sure that all the products are accounted for, the count will serve as an estimation of the overall stock dilemma as well as for planning replenishments.

However, the most vital reason why the inventory count should come around at least once every 3 months is to ensure that invoices have been completed for the inventory as well as for the sales.

But how long should it take to finish the inventory count?

It is advisable to have at least inventories and sales packets ready before the count. This will help the cashiers as well as the accountant to complete the counts. However, in cases where there are multiple store locations, it can take some time to get the sales packets together, so the best thing to do is to do the sales count first and then the inventory count.

What tools and processes are used for counting inventory?

Annual Counts & Cycle Counts

One of the biggest mistakes that any business can make when it comes to inventory control and management is not knowing how many stock there is at any given time. For example, let’s say you own a small ice cream shop that sells 10,000 scoops per week. If you don’t keep track of or count your inventory, it can be pretty difficult to know if or when you need to order more scoops.

You may likely run out of ice cream before you know it and have to shut down your business. By accurately counting the amount of inventory you have at any given time, you enjoy peace of mind and can more easily make decisions about purchases or scheduling new shipments.

Before you can effectively count your inventory, you must first ensure that it’s organized and tagged properly. For starters, label each box clearly and use inventory labels to ensure there are no mix-ups or confusion.

Once your inventory is properly organized, it’s time to perform a full inventory count. Here are three ways to count inventory that will help you determine the amount of inventory you have at any given time:

Preparing for Inventory Counts

Inventory counts are a vital part of any business or organization’s health, but they can often be a daunting task.

Inventory counts are an integral part of making sure your company is paying attention to customer orders and as a way to measure supply (which is especially critical for non-perishable items). Having to go and count every single part of inventory can be a very time consuming undertaking.

However, there are different methods of tracking inventory, and one of the most popular (and probably the most useful) is counting with an inventory management software.

With an inventory software, you can track inventory in bulk, with multiple different items at the same time and obtain an accurate count with very little effort. If you’re not sure how to get started with an inventory management software, then check out our step by step guide.

Regardless of whether you track inventory with an inventory management software or with a pen and paper, the most essential and basic item to track is the product itself.

But what if you have hundreds of different units of inventory and hundreds (or thousands) of more separate inventory items? How do you keep track of all this?

Having a strong inventory management system is only useful if it is easy for your employees to count inventory. But a cluttered inventory management system will serve as a barrier to your workers easily counting inventory, wasting time and damaging efficiency.

Inventory Counting & Adjusting Procedures

When counting inventory, a more accurate way to stay on track is to count with money using physical money counters. You can get them from any piece of machinery for a small additional price.

The process is simple:

Before counting, take a break for a few minutes to make sure that you’re properly refueled.

When counting is finished, write down the tally marks for the count as well as the current month and year.

If you don’t have a computer handy, download the templates from our site and write down the tally marks on paper. Don’t worry … you can easily work from Microsoft Word.

When you post your daily reports with the tally marks entered on paper, it’s best to write them in clear handwriting to ensure accuracy.

If you have an accurate way for tracking inventory, it’s important to post the daily reports and adjust the inventory as necessary. With a computer, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Taking tools into stock is easier if you ensure it’s measured accurately.

Assign counters specific areas or product lines, and start counting


If you are familiar with accounting or have extensive data entry experience, you can create your own software or templates for real-time stock management. If you are not, do not fear. There are two tools that can give you the same information as you would get from software but with low cost of entry.

Every restaurant should track inventory They are expensive to lose items.

Cannot find the needed item and you need to know its current location in the restaurant business.

These two issues are what the restaurant industry calls inventory management. There are many ways to track inventory, but those that offer accurate data are time consuming and cost a good amount of money.

However, you do not need to purchase software or design your own templates. There is an online platform that can give you accurate count of an item or an entire stock line.

Navigating Inventory through the Ages

In the 14th century, when Michel de Cusa invented the adding machine, the inventory function in weighing scales was already in practice. The inventory function in the old scales had a simpler meaning though at that time, it had not yet been installed on machines. However, the meaning of its function was the same as that of the previous weighing scales. A balance was used to weigh two objects partially, and the weight of each was measured. The difference between their weight was used to compute the weight of the larger of the two.

Spot check for accuracy

Of inventory, and also track what you’ve sold + what’s in your shop.

HALT has just released the website tool we’ve been waiting for! It’s called Sharable Inventory and it’s a product of a joint effort between HALT, the Shopkeepers Association and several other retailers/retailers. Here’s how the tool works:

  • As inventory changes hands with interested buyers, send out an email to all related parties to let them know the full details of what they’re purchasing and to coordinate pick up
  • As a retailer, you can mark items as sold on the website, track items as new that haven’t yet been sold, and also track other items if you’re a retailer
  • For buyers, they can track shopping cart items and use a checklist to keep track of what merchandise they’ve received that they’re expecting to pick up from you
  • Click on the inventory sheet to view all of the related items
  • Print the inventory sheet to track sale price and sales tax with CRA

Make adjustments and resolve any count issues

Withingventory management businesses, each item is added to a new row, update the count, and then delete the inventory item record. As long as needs are satisfied and the count remains, sales are reported accurately.

To learn how to track inventory, introduction how we are going to add inventory items, we need to.

How To Computerize Your Inventory To Fit Your Needs and Budget

When you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, the last thing you might think about is how you will keep track of inventory. After all, it’s not as if you will sell a bunch of products at once, is it? But it can’t hurt to have a well organized inventory, especially if you’re going to be selling on the Internet.

And depending on the types of products you’re selling, the importance of an organized inventory goes way beyond simply the benefits it will bring to your business as a whole. Even though there is a risk of losing money if you sell a defective product, inventory loss is also a very real possibility nowadays.

So what should you do to prevent inventory loss? Simple: keep detailed records of every single product on your site and remember to monitor shipments, returns, and inventory levels on a regular basis.

Bottom Line

The best thing that can be said for your inventory is that it’s what’s in stock. That’s it. All the rest is for your customers, that they can track and count when they go to place an order. Aside from showing them where what’s in stock, you’ll want it to be easy to keep them up to date with the incoming orders. Here’s how we’ve done just that.

Why is Inventory Management Important?

The article above talks about just the stock. But it’s easy to forget about the it’s usage part of the equation, which has to do with the every day management of your inventory. The stock is what’s in it. The usage of the stock is when you order it and it’s in stock for shipping. We’ve already established that it’s what’s in stock, but the usage of inventory is different.

Order Management