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What Does an Inventory Auditor Do?

An inventory auditor may be tasked with monitoring stock in-store or in a warehouse.
Portable devices can be used to track inventory.
An inventory auditor may be required to physically count inventory and update numbers.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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An inventory auditor monitors stock at a warehouse, store, or similar facility. This includes checking for losses, developing strategies for organizing, and working with personnel at a company to ensure that goods are handled appropriately. Employers may assign an inventory auditor to cover multiple facilities, like a chain of convenience stores across a given region. A bachelor’s degree in business or relevant experience in inventory control and development may be required. Industry-specific training can be very helpful.

One part of the job requires physically counting inventory and updating numbers. The inventory auditor checks daily sales and delivery reports along with statements on the movement of products, and reconciles them with the actual contents of the facility. If there are disparities, it may be necessary to investigate to find out why. A handheld computer or tablet may be used for this purpose, to allow for quick data entry and updates.

Loss control can be another aspect of the work. This includes better organization to make it easier to find items as well as proactive measures to prevent theft. Small items can be easy targets, requiring monitoring and careful placement to keep theft levels low. For example, a retailer might place easily pocketed products at the register to make it harder for customers to take them unnoticed. In a large warehouse only visited by company personnel, other measures may be implemented to limit the opportunities for theft.

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Incoming items may be entered by an inventory auditor, who can also conduct random spot checks at shipping and receiving. These checks determine whether all products are being checked in, logged appropriately, and routed to the right location. They also confirm that shipments contain the right products, are appropriately packed, and include documentation to record the movement of the inventory. An inventory auditor may review statements for signs of abnormalities that might indicate fraud or other questionable activities.

This job requires familiarity with a company’s inventory, knowledge of the management system, and good ethics. The inventory auditor is one of the people in the chain tasked with protecting a company’s financial interests. If this person has a conflict of interest, this may be a concern, potentially resulting in a situation like covering up or actively enabling theft. Employers screen their auditors carefully and may periodically rotate them or check in to make sure they are still behaving with integrity on the job. Partnering with other auditors and double checking work independently may also help preserve the integrity of audit reports.

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