How to Use Physical Inventory Orders in Dynamics 365 Business Central

The physical inventory order is a better way to do stock counts in Dynamics 365 Business Central. It breaks down a large task into smaller, more manageable pieces.

As compared to older methods like the physical inventory journal, the order

  • Provides a more flexible method for inventory count
  • Alleviates some of the challenges or need for custom modifications around inventory counting when you use lot number or serial number tracking
  • Simplifies distributing inventory count to several warehouse staff
  • Integrates very well with scanning devices
  • Provides a solution to your warehouse count when directed pick and put-away is not enabled

How to Use a Physical Inventory Order

  1. Decide on a plan. Determine how you would like to perform the count:
    • by location,
    • by item, or
    • by bin
  2. Search for “Physical Inventory Orders” within Business Central.
  3. Create a new physical inventory order.
  4. Provide a description for your stock count and specify the location that you wish to count. You can also assign yourself or another member of the team to be in charge of the count.
  5. Use the “Calculate Lines” function to obtain the current system count.By filtering to the location only, the system will provide you with the expected inventory quantity for each item that you had transacted before.However, you might want to prepare the count sheet a couple days in advance. If so, you can always click on “Calc. Qty Expected” if there is a date difference between when you started the worksheet and when the user is actually going to perform the count.
  6. Use “Make New Recording” to create a subset of your inventory count.
    You can create your physical record by bin number, item category, or product type so you can

    • Distribute the tasks to multiple warehouse staff to count by aisle
    • Distribute the task by item category or product posting group

    In this example, let’s say we’ll create 2 recordings out of the physical inventory order. One recording is assigned to one warehouse user, Anette Hill, who would count only CHAIR Items.

    Then another user, John Richards, would count the remaining items.

  7. Go to Phys. Inventory Recording list.Open the physical inventory recording. Assign Anette (AH) to process Recording 1 and John (JR) to process Recording 2.
  8. During the recording, if your organization uses lot number or serial number tracking, you can fill out the lot number on the line level. If you have found an item that did not show up on the original list, you can also add the item ad hoc.Click on Finish when you are done with the recording.
  9. While you are on the physical inventory order page, you can monitor the number of finished recordings, the quantity expected, and quantity recorded.Note: When the Qty. Exp. Calc. box is not checked for a line, that indicates the line does not exist in the original plan. This means you may not have it on hand according to the system or you may not have ever transacted with it. If so, please select Action > Function > Calculate Expected Quantity to update the line.
  10. Click on Finish to finalize the count when you and your team are done. The system will then calculate the positive and negative adjustment for each line.
  11. Print the Invt. Order Diff. List to get a report view.


What if purchase and sales transactions happen between when I create the order and start the count?

No problem. Use the Calc. Qty. Expected function to get the latest calculated quantity.

What if I have found an item that does not exist on the list?

Just go ahead and add the item onto the recording. Select Calculate Qty. Expected on the physical inventory order when you are nearly completed.

What if I have multiple lot numbers to count for the same item?

Simply add a new line to your recording.

Happy Counting!!

To speak with our experts on how to get the most out of Dynamics 365 Business Central, please contact us.

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