Inventory shrink is a loss of goods either due to theft, damages/spoilage or administrative errors
Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant at SafeSourcing.
“What is shrink? Inventory shrink is a loss of goods either due to theft, damages/spoilage or administrative errors on items moving from a manufacturing site to an end customer. The shrinkage can be referred to as a hit to the margin or loss in profit.”1
- How do we Record Inventory Shrink? Between the last cycle count and the current period, your business may have Inventory loss. The physical Inventory is less than what is recorded in your books. “To account for this loss of Inventory via the perpetual accounting method, you would: increase the cost of goods sold and decrease the inventory but the difference for the recording period. Your balance sheet would show a credit to the inventory line then for the value that was lost. Showing that you have incurred higher expenses (cost of goods) and a lower gross profit will lower your taxable income.” You may prefer to record shrinkage separately. This would require IRS Form 4684 if your business is in the US.
- What Causes Shrink? Shrink is inevitable. It can be controlled through inventory management best practices. Shrink can occur by employ theft and fake sales. Retail theft may occur through petty theft, shoplifting, breaking and entering, and entering fake coupons. Shrink isn’t always caused by scams. It can be attributed to poorly designed operational procedures and standards. It causes a trickle down effect to the rest of the business including the warehouse and financial operations. Shrink can be managed by implementing internal controls. When hiring, conduct background and reference checks. Educate new employees on your policies and stance on employee theft. Some preventative steps may be surveillance cameras, valuable items secured in secured areas accessed by higher authoritative levels, separation of duties, anonymous reporting, checking on how trash is disposed, and audits.
- What Can be Done to Prevent Retail Theft? Using security cameras and mirrors through the space. Suspicious behavior may be spotted more easily. Bad promotion codes and fake coupons and online discount sites have increased the amount of manufacturing coupons on the net. Personnel will have to stay current with coupon scams.
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1 Colleen Roderick’s, inFlow