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Inventory Counting with Square for Retail

Overview

Sales, theft, loss and incorrect or missed inventory adjustments can cause discrepancies between the inventory associated with your Square account and the physical inventory you have on hand.

To reconcile or combat these discrepancies, most retailers perform cycle or full physical inventory counts. With Square for Retail Plus, you can perform these counts from your iPad or iPhone’s built-in camera or manually input your inventory using a compatible barcode scanner scanner. Additionally, multiple team members can count in tandem, so you can reopen your business to take sales sooner.

You can conduct inventory counts on the following supported mobile devices:

  • iPhone 6s or 6s Plus or later on iOS 14+

  • iPad Mini 4 or later on iOS 14+

  • iPad Air 2 or later, iPad Pro, or iPad (5th generation) or later on iOS 14+

Set Inventory Permissions

To conduct inventory counts with Square for Retail, you will need to assign permissions to your team members. View the video below to learn how to add inventory counting permissions.

Stock counting permissions include:

  • View unit cost while counting (Point of Sale and Dashboard): Allows the role to see unit costs and total value amounts for items in a count. This permission will only impact unit cost visibility in a counting session and not other places where unit cost appears within the Square for Retail experience.

  • Initiate, contribute to and commit cycle counts (Point of sale only): Allows the role to start and complete a cycle count, independent of any reviews.

  • Initiate and contribute to full inventory counts (Point of sale only): Allows a role to start a full count but not review or update the system.

  • Review, commit and delete full inventory counts (Point of sale and Dashboard): Allows the role to review, edit and submit a completed count to the system.

To assign inventory permissions:

  1. From your online Square Dashboard, go to Team > Permissions and select the role type you want to allow stock counting permission.

  2. Select Items.

  3. Under Stock Counting, select the permissions you want to assign.

  4. If the permission is for a new team member, select Save team member.

  5. If the permission is for an existing team member, click Save.

Learn more about

Cycle Counts

It is recommended to conduct a cycle count for each item variation at least once every 90 days.

Manual cycle counts

  1. From the navigation bar in your Square for Retail app, tap Inventory > Stock counts.

  2. Tap Count stock > Cycle count. 

  3. Tap the search bar at the top of the screen and select the appropriate variation. Then tap Continue.

  4. Tap the item variation to input a quantity using the number pad. Then tap the tick.

  5. Repeat this process across all applicable variations.

  6. Tap Next > Confirm.

Cycle count with a scanner or camera

  1. From the navigation bar in your Square for Retail app, tap Inventory > Stock counts.

  2. Tap Count stock > Cycle count. 

  3. Use a compatible barcode scanner or the built-in camera on your iPad or iPhone to scan the item.

  4. Either continue to scan item duplicates individually, or tap the item list on the screen to input a quantity using the number pad. Then tap the tick.

  5. Repeat this process across all applicable variations.

  6. Tap Next > Confirm.

You can save or cancel a cycle count at any time by tapping the X icon next to Stock count in the corner of your screen. You’ll see a pop-up that says Save Changes, and you can either save and close or discard without saving.

Note: Progress will only be saved on the device used to count inventory, meaning you can’t access a saved count from another device, even if the device is logged in to the same Square account.

Full Counts

Manual full count

  1. From the navigation bar in your Square for Retail app, tap Inventory > Stock counts.

  2. Tap Count stock > Full count. 

  3. Tap the search bar at the top of the screen, select the appropriate variation and tap Continue.

  4. Tap the item variation to input a quantity using the number pad. Then tap the tick.

  5. Repeat this process across all applicable variations.

  6. Tap Submit progress > Confirm.

Full count with a scanner or camera

  1. From the navigation bar in your Square for Retail app, tap Inventory > Stock counts.

  2. Tap Count stock > Full count.

  3. Use a compatible barcode scanner or the built-in camera on your iPad or iPhone to scan the item. 

  4. Either continue to scan item duplicates individually, or tap the item list on the screen to input a quantity using the number pad. Then tap the tick.  

  5. Repeat this process across all applicable variations.

  6. Tap Submit progress > Confirm.

You can save or cancel a full count at any time by tapping the X icon next to Stock count in the corner of your screen. You’ll see a pop-up that says Save Changes, and you can either save and close or discard without saving.

Note: Progress will only be saved on the device used to count inventory, meaning you can’t access a saved count from another device, even if the device is logged in to the same Square account.

Review and Approve a Full Inventory Count

After contributing to a full inventory count, you will need to review and approve the count. Make sure you have counted every item on hand before submitting a count for review.

To get started:

  1. From the navigation bar in your Square for Retail app, tap Inventory > Stock counts.

  2. From this list, tap a Full count listed as In Progress. Then tap Start review. Note: Uncounted variations will have their stock set to zero once the reviewed count is approved. To view a summary without submitting for review, tap Cancel > View count summary to view this count. 

  3. From the Review results screen, verify that all counts are correct:

    • To sort the list, tap Sort and select an option from the list. You can sort the list by Variance (Count), Variance (Cost) or alphabetically using the Alphabetical function.

    • To override a line item count, tap the line item and tap Override count. Then, enter the correct count, tap the tick and tap Done. 

    • To add missing items to the count, return to the Stock counts view and tap the count that has the In review status. Tap Retract from review > Confirm and the count will go back to In progress. To add missing variations to the count, tap Resume count. When you are finished with the count, you will need to resubmit the count for review.  

  4. Once all line items have been reviewed, tap Confirm

Note: Be sure that all line items have been reviewed before tapping Confirm as this action cannot be undone. Once your full inventory count has been approved, the  Stock counts status will be displayed as Completed

Inventory Variance Report

To view an Inventory Variance report to review historically completed counts:

  1. From the navigation bar in your Square for Retail app, tap Inventory > Stock counts.

  2. Tap a full count that has a Completed status. 

  3. To sort the list, tap Sort and select an option from the list. You can sort the list by Variance (Count), Variance (Cost) or alphabetically using the Alphabetical function.

  4. Tap Details to view the total count and cost variance for the counting session. Tap individual variations to view their count and cost variance. 

    • Be sure to resolve missing unit costs in your online Square Dashboard for all variations in the count. Inventory value on hand and total variance may be inaccurate due to missing unit costs. 

Note: Only employees with the View unit costs while counting permission will be able to see the cost variance for an inventory count. Once a count has been submitted for review, there is no way to update the unit costs associated with an item or variation. 

View Completed Counts in Inventory History

You can also view completed inventory counts online. To do so:

  1. From your online Square Dashboard, click Items & Orders > Items.

  2. Click Inventory Management > History.

  3. From here, you’ll see any counted or re-counted individual variations.