You can take a physical inventory of your items by using physical inventory order and physical inventory recording documents.



Limitation and alternative

You can also perform the task by using Phys. Inventory Journals and Whse. Phys. Inventory Journals through the "count" function, see Planned Inventory Counting

Note that if you use the Bins or Zones functionality, then you cannot use Physical Inventory Orders. Instead, use Whse. Phys. Inventory Journal page to count your warehouse entries before synchronizing them with item ledger entries.

Physical Inventory Recordings

  • The Physical Inventory Order -page is used to organize the complete inventory counting project, for example, one per location.
  • The Physical Inventory Recording -page is used to communicate and capture the actual counting of items.

You can create multiple recordings for one order, for example, to distribute groups of items to different employees.

The high-level steps are:

Counting inventory by using documents consists of the following overall steps:

  1. Create a physical inventory order with expected item quantities prefilled
  2. Generate one or more physical inventory recordings from the order
  3. Use Mobile WMS to capture item quantities and set recordings to Finished
  4. Complete and post the physical inventory order

How To: Create a physical inventory order

A physical inventory order is a complete document that consists of a physical inventory order header and some physical inventory order lines. The information on a physical inventory header describes how to take the physical inventory. The physical inventory order lines contain the information about the items and their locations.
To create the physical inventory order lines, you typically use the Calculate Lines function to reflect the current inventory as lines on the order.

  1. Go to Physical Inventory Orders
  2. Choose New 
  3. Fill in the required fields on the General FastTab. Hover over a field to read a short description
  4. Choose the Calculate Lines action
  5. Select options as necessary
  6. Set filters, for example, to only include a subset of items to be counted with the first recording

Tip: To plan for multiple employees to count the inventory, it is advisable to set different filters each time you use the Calculate Lines action to only fill the order with the subset of inventory items that one user will be recording. Then as you generate multiple physical inventory recordings for multiple employees, you minimize the risk of counting items twice. For more information, see the "To create a physical inventory recording" section.

  • Choose the OK button.

A line for each item that exists on the chosen location and per the set filters and options is inserted on order.

For items that are set up for item tracking, the Use Item Tracking check is marked, and information about the expected quantity of serial and lot numbers is available by choosing the Lines action and then Item Tracking Lines.

You can now proceed to create one or more recordings, which are instructions to the employees who perform the actual counting.

How To: Create a physical inventory recording

For each physical inventory order, you can create one or more physical inventory recording documents on which employees enter the counted quantities through Mobile WMS.
By default, a recording is created for all the lines on the related physical inventory order. To avoid two employees counting the same items in case of distributed counting, it is advisable to gradually fill the physical inventory order by setting filters on the Calculate Lines batch job (see the "How To create a physical inventory order" section) and then create the physical inventory recording while selecting the Only Lines Not in Recordings check box.

This setting makes sure that each new recording that you create only contains different items than the ones on other recordings.

  1. On a Physical Inventory Order page that contains lines for the items to be counted in one recording, choose the Make New Recording action.
  2. Select options and set filters as necessary.
  3. Choose the OK button.

A physical inventory recording document is created.

  1. For every set of items to be counted, load them on the related physical inventory order and repeat steps 1 through 3 with the Only Lines Not in Recordings check box selected.
  2. Choose the Recordings action to open the Phys. Inventory Recording List page.
  3. Open the relevant recording.
  4. On the General FastTab, fill in the fields as necessary. For Instance, fill in Person Responsible to assign Recording to a specific person.

Person Responsible uses the Employee table, not Warehouse Employee. To link an Employee to a Mobile User, you assign an Employee No. to Mobile Users.

Mobile: Physical inventory recording filters

The purpose of the filter is to limit the number of orders sent out to the mobile device. In the standard configuration the user can filter on:

  • Location
    The user can select a specific location or select All to see all locations

    The locations available to the user, correspond to the locations the user has been set up to use on the warehouse employee page in Business Central.
    The default location is the first entry in the list.

  • Assigned User ID
    Here the user can choose
    • All - to see everything
    • Only my orders - to see only orders assigned to them
    • Mine & Unassigned - default

      Note: It is possible for Partners to add/remove filters on this screen by using the Extension API.
      The filter can be opened at any time, on the order list screen, by clicking the filter icon in the top right corner.

Mobile: Making phys. inventory recordings

  • The planned Physical Inventory Recordings are now available from the "Phys. Inventory Recording" menu.

The available Physical Inventory Recordings are shown in the order list

  • Recordings must meet the following criteria:

    • The status is "Open"
    • The Recording contains lines that are not marked as "Recorded"

The order is selected by double touching the order. This downloads the order lines to the mobile device.

  • The screenshot shows the recording lines for the Physical Inventory Order "PHIO00001" Recording No.: 1.
  • Each line typically corresponds to an item in a bin, and is registered through the following work process:


  • When an order is selected on the mobile device it is locked. Other users will see the order as locked and will receive a warning if they try to access it.
  • A locked order can be released by activating the "Release (order no.)" function from the menu.
  • It is possible for multiple people to work on the same order. As long as they don't work on the same lines. If they do the person posting last will overwrite registrations made by other users. This should only be done by experienced users.

Scan the item you want to count (or select the line manually).

This selects the line and asks you to validate the bin you are counting.

Scan the bin code If the expected bin is scanned you are allowed to enter the counted quantity.

  • A bin code can also be entered manually by clicking the barcode image

You are typically not allowed to see the expected quantity

  • Enter the counted quantity and register it

Repeat for all lines, then post the order

  • Posting is done from the menu

Mobile: Adding a new item

Should the mobile user encounter an unexpected item, the user can add the item from the recording lines

  • Select the "Add Line" action from the menu

  • Scan the Item
  • Scan the Bin
  • Choose the Unit of Measure and finish the registration.

The Line will now have been added to the Recording and you can register the counted quantity on the line.

Inspecting an individual Physical Inventory Recording in Business Central

After posting the order the order list is displayed again if there are no outstanding lines left to count.

The Phys. Inventory Recording is now marked as Finished and lines as recorded.

If the warehouse manager for some reason wants a line to be recounted the Recorded flag can be removed and the line will reappear on the mobile device the next time the order is selected.

Finishing the Physical Inventory Order in Business Central

When you have finished a physical inventory recording, the Qty. Recorder (Base) field on the related physical inventory order is updated with the counted (recorded) values, and the On Recording check box is selected.

If a counted value is different from the expected, then that difference is shown in the Pos Qty. (Base) and Neg Qty. (Base) field respectively.

To see expected quantities and any recorded differences for items with item tracking, choose the Lines action, and then choose the Item Tracking Lines action to select various views for serial and lot numbers involved in the physical inventory count.
You can also choose the Phys. Inventory Order Diff. action to view any differences between the expected quantity and the counted quantity.
To find duplicate physical inventory order lines

  1. Choose the   icon, enter Physical Inventory Orders, and then choose the related link.
  2. Open the physical inventory order that you want to view duplicate lines for.
  3. Choose the Show Duplicate Lines action.

Any duplicate physical inventory order lines are displayed so that you can delete them and keep only one line with a unique set of values in the Item No.Variant CodeLocation Code, and Bin Code fields.
To post a physical inventory order After completing a physical inventory order and changing its status to Finished, you can post it. You can only set the status of a physical inventory order to Finished if the following are true:

  • All related physical inventory recordings have a status of Finished.
  • Each physical inventory order line has been counted by at least one inventory recording line.
  • The In Recording Lines and the Qty. Exp. Calculated check boxes have been selected for all of the physical inventory order lines.
  1. Choose the   icon, enter Physical Inventory Orders, and then choose the related link.
  2. Select the physical inventory order that you want to complete, and then choose the Edit action.

On the Physical Inventory Order page, you view the quantity recorded in the Qty. Recorded (Base) field.

  1. Choose the Finish action.

The value in the Status field is changed to Finished, and you can now only change the order by first choosing the Reopen action.

  1. To post the order, choose the Post action, and then choose the OK button.

The involved item ledger entries are updated along with any related item tracking entries.
To view posted physical inventory orders After posting, the physical inventory order will be deleted and you can view and evaluate the document as a posted physical inventory order including its physical inventory recordings and any comments made.

  1. Choose the   icon, enter Posted Phys. Invt. Orders, and then choose the related link.
  2. On the Posted Phys. Invt. Orders page, select the posted inventory order that you want to view, and then choose the View action.
  3. To view a list of related physical inventory recordings, choose the Recordings action.


Planned Inventory Counting