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What Does an Inventory Accountant Do?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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An inventory accountant plays a vital role in calculating the value of a company's inventory. Basically, his function is to monitor the net worth of goods and maintain accurate records at all times. In addition, these individuals help a company to determine its profitability and ensure accurate financial statements. To become an inventory accountant, it typically requires a bachelor's degree in either accounting or finance. Some common job duties of a person in this position include supervising inventory counts, inputting inventory data, evaluating reports, checking discrepancies and presenting findings.

One of the most important responsibilities of an inventory accountant is supervising inventory counts. This is the process where every item of a company's inventory is counted to determine both quantity and value. In general, a company is required to perform at least one inventory count a year, but some may perform multiple counts.

For companies with minimal inventory, an inventory accountant may do this alone. On the other hand, larger companies with significant inventory may use a team of individuals for this process. Regardless of inventory quantity, he must ensure that all numbers are accurate.

Once the accountant has acquired inventory numbers, he must input them onto a database. This typically involves entering data into a computer. In some cases, this process can be tedious, so an individual should be very detail-oriented. Being successful at this usually also requires a person to be proficient at math.

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After all inventory numbers have been placed into a database, an inventory accountant will usually print reports to analyze. These reports help him recognize patterns which are helpful for future inventory orders. For example, if he is working for a retail store, he might determine which products are selling well and which ones aren't. Along with this, the accountant will be able to identify discrepancies.

When there are discrepancies in inventory numbers, he will usually be responsible for checking into those variances. In the case of a retail store, discrepancies might arise because of shoplifting or fraud. Once an inventory accountant has created his reports, he can often pinpoint which specific items are missing. This is important because it prevents dishonesty and potential profit loss.

In addition, an inventory accountant will usually present his findings to a company manager or executives. This may be done face-to-face for small companies, and in a formal meeting for larger ones. Being aware of inventory patterns ultimately helps a company with future orders and optimizes its overall efficiency.

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