Physical Count Questions Answered

Questions about Imports

How can I set up a shortcut to the Physical Count import folder on my desktop?

To put a shortcut to the file that the Cipher saves files to:
  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Navigate to \\[SERVERNAME]\Shared\[CPSQL]\Toplevel\[DATABASE]\Activity
    NOTE: The CPSQL folder might be named something different if you have multiple Counterpoint installs on your server.
  3. Right-click on the Import folder and choose Send to → Desktop (create shortcut)

How can I show only this year’s count files in my Import folder?

i3 POS recommends archiving previous years’ count import files BEFORE beginning your physical count. To archive old count files:
  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Navigate to \\[SERVERNAME]\Shared\[CPSQL]\Toplevel\[DATABASE]\Activity\Import
  3. Create a new folder called Archive or Archive [YEAR]
  4. Move all .TXT, .CSV, and .ERR files to the Archive folder

Help! I imported a file from my Cipher twice. What do I do?

If you import a file from the Cipher twice, you have two options:
  1. Open the file and manually go through Physical Count Enter for every line and make corrections
  2. Remove all Physical Count Transactions and start again from the beginning
But how do you decide which option is best for you? Here’s an overview of the options and the pros and cons of each.
OptionBasic OverviewProsCons
Manual Corrections
  1. Open or print the count file
  2. Open Physical Count Enter
  3. Enter the item number/barcode
  4. Edit the count numbers
  5. Save
  6. Repeat for all counts in the file
  • Better option when you are almost done with your count
  • Do not have to remember what corrections you have already made and just use the file as a checklist
  • Must manually change counts for potentially hundreds of items
Restart Physical Count
  1. Do a Physical Count Remove
  2. Do Physical Count Create
  3. Import all files again
  4. Make any corrections that you had previously made
  5. Continue with Physical Count
  • Better option if you are just starting your count
  • Do not have to change count numbers manually for file that was double-imported
  • Must reimport all files again
  • Must reenter any manual counts again

Can I edit my import file after doing a Verify to correct issues?

Yes, to adjust the counts in your import file:
  1. Note the line numbers with the issues in the Verify log by either:
    • a. Copying text to another application like Word or Notepad
    • b. Writing down the line numbers/barcodes on a piece of paper
    • c. Open the .err file from the Import Folder
  2. Open the file that you need to change
  3. Find the line number/barcode with the problem
  4. Adjust the line
  5. Repeat for all issue lines
  6. Save the file
  7. Go back to Counterpoint
  8. In the Import window, choose the same file again
  9. Run a Verify
  10. Review results of the Verify
  11. Import the counts

Questions about the Edit List Report

How can I search for variances from a certain category/subcategory/primary vendor?

The Physical Count Edit List allows you to monitor the progress of your count. It should be run frequently during the entire Physical count to help check for possible errors. You can use the Items tab of the Edit List report to filter for a lot of item record data points including Category, Subcategory, Primary vendor, Price-1, Profile fields, etc. If the Items tab does not show your desired field by default, you can customize the filter to better suit your needs.

Questions about Corrections

How can I correct a count that is incorrect?

The easiest way to correct a count that is incorrect is to use the Physical Count Enter window (Inventory → Physical Count → Physical Count Enter). Enter, scan, or look up the item number and edit the item count or add an additional count quantity.

What if an item number shows up as not on file?

Make a note of the item number/barcode and try to locate the item in the counted section. Then, determine why Counterpoint is not recognizing the barcode/item by reviewing the item setup. You may need to add another barcode to the item. You may need to enter the count manually by using the Physical Count Enter window (Inventory → Physical Count → Physical Count Enter).

Questions about Best Practices

Should my store be closed during a physical count?

It is easier to count a store when there are not purchases being made. It is recommended to be closed during a physical count.
If you elect to keep your store open during a physical count, we recommend comparing sales number and current counts to actual counts for every item sold during the count before posting your physical count.

How should I staff a physical count?

Here are some recommendations for staff roles during a physical count:
RoleNumber of StaffOther Info
Count using a Cipher1-2 people per Cipher deviceA second person can assist the person doing the Cipher scanning to help locate the barcode of an item
Import from Cipher1 person There might be overlap between counts on two import files. It is recommended to only have one person importing Cipher counts so that a count is not accidentally overwritten if two people are importing to a count record at once.
Count using Worksheet1-2 people per printed worksheetA second person can assist the person using a worksheet to help locate the barcode of an item while the person searches the worksheet.
Enter Worksheet Counts1 personThere might be overlap between counts on two people’s worksheets. It is recommended to only have one person entering counts so that a count is not accidentally overwritten if two people are working with the record at once.

How long can I keep my physical count open to make corrections? Can I still be importing data or making corrections a week or more after my freeze date?

The further you get from your freeze date, the more transactions that can affect your counts. You will probably receive more inventory, sell items that you have not counted yet, or otherwise change the quantities of items if you have a long, drawn out count. The more transactions you have affecting your inventory, the less likely you are to have an accurate physical count.
i3 POS recommends doing your physical count as quickly as you can while still being as accurate as you can.

Questions about After Your Physical Count

Why are some of my inventory reports showing negative quantities after my Physical Count?

During the posting process, you choose an option for what to do with uncounted items. Many times, the person posting the Physical Count should choose the set quantity to zero option, because if an item wasn’t counted, that usually means it was not in stock at all during the count. You may have missed some items during the count, set their quantity to zero, and then sold them because they really were in stock. i3 POS recommends running a Negative Inventory Quantity report to check for items with a negative quantity.
See this blog post for more information: https://www.i3pos.com/negative-inventory-quantities/

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