Stock taking

Stock taking is the process of physically counting all the units of inventory you have in possession for each of your products. It is normally a process carried out regularly, though how often will depend on your business.

In Brightpearl, running a basic stock take involves:

  1. Getting a list of all of your products located at a specific warehouse
  2. Counting the products in that warehouse
  3. Importing updated stock levels against those products using a CSV file

Note: Brightpearl WMS provides a streamlined, effective way to run stock takes. Using WMS is preferable to using CSV imports. Learn more about stock taking with WMS here.

Getting a stock take list

To perform a stock take, the following information will need to be extracted from Brightpearl for each SKU:

  • The quantity in stock at the relevant warehouse and warehouse location
  • Products not currently in stock at that warehouse, but which are handled at that warehouse

The product list can be used to get a list of products and the current in stock value at a particular warehouse. Once the report is filtered by the warehouse, the default location of each item will also be displayed and exported.


If you are using multiple concurrent location management, inventory for the same SKU may be stored in multiple locations. If you wish to include this level of detail the inventory detail report can be used instead. Since the inventory detail report only shows currently in-stock products, any out of stock items will need to be taken from the product list.


Warehouse-specific items

Where some products are only handled at specific warehouses, items which appear out of stock since they have a zero inventory level may need to be ignored on the stock take.

It may be possible to filter these products out from the stock taking list if default locations are configured for everything else - items with no default location will display as If desired, a location reference can be created specifically for the purpose of flagging a product as not stocked at a warehouse.

Alternatively, custom fields can be used to flag items in a way which allows them to be filtered effectively.

Learn more about creating locations, and about product custom fields.

Importing stock levels

Once you have worked through your stock take list, you can create a CSV following the instructions at Products > Update inventory by CSV.

Read about updating inventory levels by CSV.

Do I have to stop work during a stock take?

Performing a stock take updates the in stock figure, so once the product list of current in stock inventory has been exported, you should not perform any actions which would affect that figure, such as:

  • Receiving items on purchase orders
  • Shipping goods-out notes

Anything which does not directly affect the "in stock" figure can still be worked on, such as:

  • Allocating inventory to orders
  • Fulfilling orders to goods-out notes
  • Printing goods-out notes
  • Picking items ready for packing - but remember that picking inventory will remove it from its usual location which may make counting them more difficult.

However, note that a stock take can only update unallocated stock. To avoid issues when updating stock levels, it is recommended to minimise the amount of stock allocated to orders.

Allocation and stock takes

If a customer places a sale on a channel and there is inventory available, then that inventory is allocated to the sales order. You still have the item on the shelf at this point, so it is shown in stock. The on-hand quantity is reduced, which in turn reduces inventory levels automatically on sales channels connected to Brightpearl.

For example, if you had 10 products in stock, with 2 allocated to sales orders, the on hand level would display as 8:

On hand (8) = In stock (10) - Allocated (2)

The 2 items will remain allocated to the sale all the way through the pick-pack process, and will only be removed from stock when a Goods Out Note is shipped. If you go to the shelf and count 8, 9 or 10, all numbers could be correct depending on the picking state of the order.

For this reason it’s recommended to complete all in-progress GONs before you do a count.

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