Stocktake Procedure

Regular stocktaking is an essential part of every hospital’s administrative routine.

Stocktakes are done on an regular basis in order to make sure that all items of stock are accounted for.

For example, if the pharmacy receives 100 Panado units and bills 20 to patients, the computer balance should be 80. If a stocktake is done and there were only 70 Panado units counted, the pharmacy will know that something is wrong.

Other reasons for a regular stocktake include:

  1. Verifying the accuracy of the stock records.
  2. Supporting the value of stock shown in the balance sheet by physical verification.
  3. Uncovering the possibility of fraud, theft or loss.
  4. Revealing any weakness in the stock control system.

It is important to not only monitor the current value of your inventory, but any loss or shortage that may have occured.

The stocktaking process helps to compare actual stock levels with the stock levels recorded on the computer system.

Before starting a stocktake procedure, it is important to take note of the following:

Often the effectiveness of the stocktaking process can influence the accuracy of the information it produces. This may lead to a situation where it appears that there are stock losses when actually the missing stock has simply been overlooked.

In other words: the way in which a stocktake is performed is incredibly important because if a mistake if made, the information produced will be incorrect.

This may lead to a situation where it may seem as though stock is missing, when in fact the “missing” stock has simply not been counted.


Imagine a pharmacy has 500 units of Panado in stock.

Clinic Manager records every item of stock that is sold and moves off the shelf.

A doctor prescribes 20 units of Panado for a patient and it is sent off to the relevant ward.

However, the pharmacist is extremely busy and did not have time enter the sale into Clinic Manager.

The software will, therefore, still show that there are 500 units of Panado on the shelf.

When a stocktake is performed and only 480 units of Panado are counted on the shelf, there will be a variance between the quantity that are actually on the shelf and the quantity that Clinic Manager reflects should be on the shelf.

It is therefore of vital importance that, at the time of the stocktake, a proper cut-off is done.

This means that if a stocktake is done at any time other than the close of business on the last day of the month, a procedure must be in place to adjust the stocktake figures by the movement of stock between the counting and the end of the month. This includes items billed and goods received.[/warning]

If a stocktake procedure is performed before the end of the month and more stock arrives or is moved off of shelves subsequent to this, the results of the stocktake will not be accurate as there will be more or less stock on the shelf than is reflected in the stocktake.

With the procedures outlined below, your stocktaking should be fast and painless.

Q: What is the procedure when performing a stocktake?

Clinic Manager lists the order of actions to be performed during a stocktake one below the other in the Stock Take Procedure menu.

This makes life easier as each step can be performed in order.

In order to perform a stocktake in Clinic Manager, the following steps must be followed:

1. Click on the Pharmacy drop-down menu.

2. Click on Stock Take Procedure.

3. Click on Set Up Stock Take Sheets.

A window will appear prompting the user to click Continue to start the process.

Click on Continue.

This will automatically set up the sheets needed in order to perform a stocktake.

All stock movements and stock balances in the current month go into the stock sheet. This is the reason for setting up a stocktake sheet – not to print every item on the sheet, but only the items that have a balance, any movement in the current month, or if there was any movement in prior months going as far back as a (set) parameter.

For example, in the Edit System Parameters menu (located under the System drop-down menu at the top of the Clinic Manager screen) there is a Keep Movement Records option that can be changed. If it is set to “200 days”, for example, then the program will check to see if the item of stock has had any movement in the last 200 days. If it has, it will include that item in the stock sheets.

The computer automatically sets up stocktake sheets for all locations within the hospital.

The process may take a few seconds to complete.

You will be notified once the process has completed.

If any changes are made to the stock master file after this step has been performed (i.e. after stocktake sheets have been set up) then this step must be performed again.

When finished, click on OK.

4. Click on Add Codes to Stock Take Sheet.

If the automatic creation of the stocktake sheets has missed or left out an item of stock, it can be manually added into the stocktake sheets that have been created (in the previous step).

Enter the stock code into the space provided, or search for the item of stock by clicking on

Select the location (from the drop-down list provided) where the item of stock should be placed.

When finished, click on OK.

5. Click on Print Stock Take Sheets.

This option will print the stocktake sheet that you have previously created (in step 3).

Choose the desired location from the list provided and a stocktake sheet for that specific location will be printed.

When finished, click on Print.

6. Click on Freeze Stock Prices and Balances.

The stock prices and balances must now be frozen.

There are two types of stocktake procedures: a month-end stocktake and an interim, mid-month stocktake. It is important to first know what kind of stocktake you are doing before freezing the file.

When freezing, all the billing to every location must be completed up to the time of the stocktake. Any stock issued or received before the count must be entered into the computer before the freeze.

Month-end Stocktake:

It is important to note that when doing a month end stocktake this freeze is done twice: once before the stock is captured on the system and then again after the month end has been run.

The reasons for this are explained below, but the above is VERY IMPORTANT in order to get an accurate variance report.

If month-end is delayed, then any goods received in the new month should NOT BE PROCESSED until a month-end is run (because prices could be different).

Mid-month Stocktake:

Stock cannot be captured unless the file has been frozen. The file can be frozen before month-end in order to start capturing, but it must be frozen again after month-end, so that it contains the correct balances.

Why freeze the stock prices and balances before capturing stock in the system?

The freezing of the stock prices and balances before capturing the physical stock count into the system allows Clinic Manager to record the cost prices of each stock item at the time the count was done.

This is important as sometimes a stock count could take multiple days and during this time the cost prices of certain items may change. For accurate reporting the system must know the cost prices at the time the count was performed.

What does this achieve specifically?

Freezing the stock prices and balances before entering the physical count into the system allows for an accurate valuation report to be printed.

Why freeze the stock prices and balances again after month end?

The freezing of the stock prices and balances after the month end has been run allows Clinic Manager to record the balances of all stock items counted at the time the month end was run.

What does this achieve specifically?

Freezing the stock prices and balances after a month end has been run allows for an accurate variance report to be reported, which is used to compare the balances on the system at the time the month end was run with the balances as captured during the stocktake.

After clicking on this menu option a warning screen will appear.

By clicking Continue, the previous frozen file will be deleted and overwritten with a new file which will reflect the current stock prices and balances.

Another window will appear prompting the user to select whether a month-end or mid-month stocktake is being performed.

After making a selection and ticking the box, click on Continue.

7. Click on Clear Stock Audit File.

This action is performed in order to make sure that no previous stocktake listings are in the file when capturing stock.

The stocktake audit file will be emptied in order to start a new capture.

Click on Continue to start the process.

8. Click on Edit Frozen Price File Codes.

If the price file has been frozen and it is discovered that an item of stock has not been included in the frozen file, this action will allow an item of stock to be added manually into the frozen file.

This can only be done once the stock item has first been entered into the current stock file.

A window will appear displaying stock codes, descriptions, pack sizes and pack cost.

Click Insert.

A window will appear prompting the user to enter the stock code, pack size and pack cost to be added.

When finished, click on OK.

9. Click on Capture Stock Take.

A window will appear prompting the user to select the location of stock to be captured. The user will then also have to select a sheet number and indicate whether Clinic Manger should capture the stock by shelf, and whether it should display the created list automatically.

The capture is measured in packs and units, in other words either full packs or part of packs (i.e. single units) are captured in a stocktake.

For example, if there are 100 pills in a box and there are two full boxes (packs) of pills on the shelf, 2 packs will be captured, not 200.

When finished, click on OK.

10. Click on Edit Stock Take Capture.

This option will allow the user to edit the stocktake that was captured in the previous step.

A window will appear listing all of the items of stock that were captured, including details relating to each item.

These can be deleted by clicking on the Delete button at the bottom of the window.

When finished, click Close.

The next menu item, Adjust for Stock Movements, is a work in progress menu item that is not yet ready for use. As such, it should be ignored and never clicked on.

11. Click on Update Current Stock Balances.

This option allows the user to update the balance of stock that has already been counted.

This is done in an instance where a discrepancy exists between current and previously recorded balances. This option will set all previously recorded balances to the current balance.

For example, if the stocktake file was frozen on the 31st of July that reflects that a pharmacy has 10 packs of Panado on a shelf, and another stocktake is peformed on the 5th of August that reflects that there are now 8 packs of Panado on the same shelf, the Update Current Stock Balances option will automatically make an adjustment to reflect the fact that two packs have moved off the shelf.

A screen will appear warning the user to be mindful of their selection. The options that are selected are dependent on what type of stocktake is being performed.

Tick the first box (next to Is This a Month End Stocktake?) if a month-end stocktake is being performed. If the box remains unticked, Clinic Manager will assume a mid-month stock is being performed.

If a month-end stocktake is being performed, the All Locations box should be ticked.

For a mid-month stocktake, a specific location may be selected (if a stocktake for all locations is not required) and an adjustment reason code and date needs to be entered, so that a record exists indicating why the balance is being updated and when this was done.

When finished, click on Continue.

Congratulations, you have now completed the stocktake procedure.