Inventory can be one of the biggest drains on your company's budget - whether you keep a fully stocked warehouse or you order the parts as you go. Many times we speak to customers who have inaccuracies in their inventory reports, excess or understated quantities or worse yet, they are missing serialized items, which tend to be larger pieces of equipment.
This is where the Inventory Transaction Report comes into play. The Inventory Transaction Report may very well be the unsung hero among ESC's various reports. It provides you with the who, when, why and where of every transaction for every item in your inventory. There's a lot going on in this one little report, so let's break it down for a closer look.
You can find the Inventory Transaction Report in your Inventory menu, hanging out at the very bottom of the Reports list. As with most reports, the first screen to greet you will be a filter screen. This is where you can enter the criteria for the inventory parts that you are looking for. The default filters are:
- Period - the accounting period in which you would like to search
- Part Range - are you looking for a specific part or a range of items?
- Warehouse - you can search within a specific warehouse or leave this field blank to search all warehouses
- Serial number - you'll want to fill this in ONLY if you are searching for a specific serial number.
For the ability to narrow your search even further, we have included an Add Filter button on the toolbar. This allows you to search for the transactional history of an item in a wide variety of ways: vendor, quantity, price, purchase order number, transaction source, job, etc. It is certainly not necessary to fill out all fields, but rather only the ones that pertain directly to the part or parts you want to view.
Now click on the Preview button to continue. The amount of information that will appear may seem a little intimidating at first, so let's break it down. Each section is divided by the Part Number and its Description, followed by the Warehouse Number. Under each warehouse you will see the Date and Time of each transaction. Each transaction also has a Transaction Description (Sold, Purchase, Adjustment, etc.) and then the Quantity of the part that was affected. The next column will provide you with the total Cost of that transaction.
Next to the Cost column you will see two columns labeled Source and Invoice/PO. A little further to the right is the Job column. These three columns basically work together. Source tells you where the transaction happened: an S for Sales Invoice, P for Purchase Order, A for Adjustment and a T for Transfer. While the Invoice/PO column gives you the invoice number or purchase order number depending on the type of transaction. If a Job name/number is placed on one of those Purchase Orders or Invoices, it will be displayed in the Job column.
Continuing on, we have the Received By column which will tell you who received the items into inventory – if the quantity was increased through the Receive Items screen. A particularly important field for anyone tracking serial items in their warehouse is Serial #. Any serialized items that were purchased/sold/transferred will be listed here as the exact serial number chosen for the transaction. This enables you to accurately track a serialized item from the time it entered your warehouse to the moment it was sold.
Holding up the end of the report is the Reason column. Often overlooked, this field appears in the Adjust Inventory and Warehouse Transfer screens. This field gives the user the ability to explain the situation that calls for the transfer or adjustment. This may be something along the lines of "Physical Count" or "Restock Van" or maybe even "Oops". This field can be invaluable next to an inventory adjustment that is removing stock from your inventory, because you should want to know why that asset is being decreased or changed.
Now let's say you have several pieces of large equipment in stock within your warehouse. Generally, larger pieces of equipment such as HVAC systems or refrigeration units will be tracked by their serial numbers. Now suppose one day you need one of these units for a particular job you are doing, but realize there are none left in your warehouse - you should have one left in stock, shouldn't you? So let's ask ESC where those units have gone to. To do this, you may simply open the Inventory Transaction Report and enter the serial number of that item into the Filter screen and click Preview. If you don't know the serial number, you can also enter the part number and accounting period and see where all of those units have gone. Simple enough, right?
So the next time you find yourself looking at an extra sprocket you didn't know you had or searching for that set of Cogswell Cogs that seem to have gone missing, try asking the Inventory Transaction Report. I'm sure it knows more than it is letting on.
Written by Jean Gray
Featured in February 2012 Newsletter