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Inventory auditors work for large retail companies and independent inventory audit firms. Their duties include physically counting items and matching the physical count to the computer inventory. Auditors also maintain the accuracy of the computer data for the planning and forecasting groups. The auditor position reports to the audit supervisor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not survey inventory auditors separately. As of 2013, the average annual salaries of stock clerks and shipping and receiving clerks, who perform similar duties, were $24,940 and $31,060 respectively.
Main Role of the Position
An inventory auditor's No. 1 priority is to make sure data in the company's computer system are accurate. The auditor accomplishes this by various means, including counting, data entry and reconciling. The inventory data are kept accurate by adjusting the computer inventory to whatever the physical count is. This is done on a daily basis so the data in the system reflect what is physically sitting on the shelf. The purchasing, planning and forecasting departments rely heavily on the accuracy of the inventory data in the computer system.
Main Duties and Responsibilities
The auditor position is responsible for counting all physical inventory, generating department audit reports, reconciling computer data with the physical counts taken and reporting on errors found. The position works with each department to suggest ways to reduce errors in inventory accuracy. The inventory auditor also performs inventory audits of paperwork and data entry at the receiving dock, each department transfer area and any of the outbound areas, such as shipping or layaway.
Other Duties and Responsibilities
The inventory auditor assists with general tasks in the stock-room and in departments within the store. She reviews daily sales reports and negative inventory reports to locate discrepancies in data. She spends time interacting with personnel in each of the departments to learn of any problems that may have occurred or issues that are unresolved. The auditor also communicates on a regular basis with off-site warehousing and corporate accounting.
The position typically requires excellent communication skills, both oral and written, and experience in inventory counting. The person must have previous experience with Microsoft software, including Excel, Word and Outlook, as well as experience with retail management software. Employers usually require a high school diploma or the equivalent, but a college degree is not necessary.
Skills and Abilities
The person must be a team player, work well unsupervised and be self-motivated. The auditor must have the ability to remain standing for four hours at a time, be able to bend and stoop and use safety ladders. This position requires the person to be flexible with work schedules and to travel when necessary.
Andrew Campanella has been writing policies and procedures, requests for proposals and purchasing contracts since 1995. He has been published on eHow and Answerbag, where he specializes in business management and process improvement topics. Campanella attended Utah State University.