Amazon’s FBA inventory reconciliation can be confusing. And inventory reconciliation is a task many sellers like to avoid. It’s extremely time-consuming, and mistakes in data entry can make reconciliation a very frustrating task.
Using SellerZen to automate your data entry makes inventory reconciliation a less stressful task. If you’ve started data import from the beginning of your business with SellerZen, then your Amazon account will be synchronized with QuickBooks Online: whatever transactions Amazon has will also be in QuickBooks Online.
This makes inventory reconciliation a much easier task since QuickBooks Online allows you to run inventory reports that you can use in conjunction with Amazon reports.
In this article, we’ll go over the FBA inventory reconciliation report and other relevant reports to reconcile inventory. We’ll also go over some of the most common reasons why the inventory amounts don’t reconcile.
Understanding Amazon’s Inventory Reconciliation Report
One of the most valuable inventory reports you can run in Amazon is the Inventory Reconciliation Report. You can find this under Reports > Fulfillment > Inventory Reconciliation. This report will let you view your sales and returns so that you can compare this to your own inventory count.
Enter the SKU and select the date range. You’ll bring up a summary of the details for your SKU.
Here, you’ll see most of the activity for your specific SKU. This report is delayed by one week.
You can look at the Inventory Event Detail or Orders report to find sales that took place after the report if you want the most current reports. However, products that have a lot of sales velocity will make tracking real-time inventory difficult.
To reconcile inventory, you’ll have to run reports for the same period in your accounting software as for the Amazon report. There may be a discrepancy due to timezone differences.
Note that for this item, the total number of units in matches the number of units out. Amazon has accounted for all inventory items. But that’s not likely to be the case for some of your SKUs.
The Inventory Reconciliation report is also missing any reimbursements or refunds. While it does include returned inventory, it doesn’t state whether that returned product was resold or removed. In our example, we have 1 Returned and 1 Removal order, so it’s easy to tell that the returned unit was unsellable and had to be inspected.
This number tells you how many items were received through inbound shipments. If this number doesn’t match what your records, then you should investigate your FBA shipments.
Open any cases to reconcile the number of units sent in versus the number of units received. If you don’t have any proof, try using the shipping weights on the label. Calculate the individual weight of each unit, add a little for dunnage and packaging, and you’ll have an idea of how many units Amazon should have received.
To quickly navigate to the related FBA inbound shipments, simply click on the Received number link.
This number tells you the number of units returned by customers. It’s not the same as the number of refunds issued. This report gives you physical inventory events, so refunds without returns are not displayed here. Click on the link to see all the returns and their dispositions.
You can track Refunds through the Reports > Payments. Filter view by Refunds and Custom dates for the period in question.
Inventory is sometimes lost at the warehouses. This number tells you how many items were found, but not what condition or disposition the unit was in. If there’s a discrepancy between the Found and Lost numbers, then you have a potential case for reimbursement once you’ve checked the Reimbursement reports.
Warehouse Found inventory that are damaged and unsellable are reimbursed and removed from your inventory to Amazon’s holding account.
Tracking Inventory Adjustments
You can find all inventory adjustments through the Inventory Adjustments report.
This is the number of units sold. This number can sometimes be more than the units received due to customer returns that were sold again.
This is the number of units you had sent back to your warehouse via a removal order.
Tracking Removal Orders
These are units lost at the warehouses. They’ll show up as Lost:Warehouse. Any difference between the Lost and Found numbers may mean that Amazon owes you money. Check the Reimbursements reports before you start a claim.
Look above at the “Found” section for where to find inventory adjustments.
These are the number of units you paid Amazon to dispose. Look above at the “Removal” section above for where to find removal orders.
Understanding Amazon’s Reimbursements Report
But you can click on the link to see the disposition. In the example above, the product was returned and removed because it damaged by the customer. You can run a Reimbursements report by SKU and date range under Reports > Fulfillment.
Below is an example of a Warehouse Lost reimbursement in cash. You’ll see other types of reimbursements here, including reversals.
Other common reimbursements include:
- Customer Return (reimbursements for customers who were refunded but never returned items)
- Warehouse Damage (reimbursements for damaged products at the warehouse)
- Reversed Reimbursement (a reimbursement where Amazon takes back the cash and returns inventory)
- Lost Inbound (reimbursement for products lost during inbound processing)
- Restocking fees (Amazon charged the customer a restocking fee on your behalf)
Common inventory discrepancies
We’ll go over some of the most common reasons for inventory discrepancies you may see in your Inventory Reconciliation report and your own inventory tracking. We’ll assume that your own inventory tracking is correct, though many mistakes can be made if you’re not diligent about tracking your own inventory.
Inbound received is different from items shipped
If you’re using FBA, the most common reason for a discrepancy of 1 or 2 is that Amazon received fewer items than you sent in. You can view all your FBA shipments to see if there are any discrepancies.
Workers who prepare FBA shipments can make mistakes. They can put the wrong quantity or incorrectly count items when preparing the FBA shipment.
Whatever the discrepancy is, your inventory quantity on hand will be different from your Amazon quantity. If you’re certain you’ve sent Amazon the stated amount, then open up a case so that they can investigate.
View your FBA shipments and look at the weight of the box you sent and the weight of each individual item. This should give you an idea of how many units were in that shipment.
For example, if the box you sent in weighed 10 pounds, and each item was 1 pound, then you’d expect to have roughly 9-10 items in that shipment depending on the weight of the shipping material.
This FBA shipment was 43 pounds, with the empty shipping box weighing 1.1 pounds. Each of the GARDEN_ROCKS weighed 1.1 pounds. Together with the box, the total weight should have been 42.9 pounds. Since Amazon received only 37 items, they were short by 1.2 pounds, roughly the weight of the missing product. The ensuing investigation resulted in a reimbursement for the item.
Lost or damaged inventory at Amazon’s warehouse
Another reason for a discrepancy is that Amazon inventory is lost during processing. Lost inventory can sometimes take days to show up as found, but if they’re missing for 30 days, Amazon should automatically reimburse you.
In some cases, Amazon will lose inventory and not reimburse you. When this happens, you need to open up a case with Amazon for lost or warehouse damaged reimbursement. Here’s an example of the most common types of adjustments.
Damaged inventory will show up with a Disposition of Warehouse Damaged. You should check your Reimbursements to make sure that you were compensated for the damaged item in either cash or inventory.
If Amazon hasn’t reimbursed you for Lost or Damaged inventory, then you should open a case for reimbursement.
Don’t forget to create the proper documents in your accounting software to account for the loss of inventory and reimbursement.
Customers were refunded but haven’t returned the items
Another common reason your inventory count may be different is that Amazon sometimes refunds customers before the return of the product. This means that Amazon’s inventory count will be one less than what your inventory management software shows.
Until the customer returns the item, you won’t be able to track it. After 45 days, Amazon should reimburse you for the missing return. At that point, you’ll be able to create a document to account for the reimbursed item.
Inaccurate shipment from supplier or manufacturer
If you’re shipping inventory straight from the supplier or manufacturer to a fulfillment center, then it’s possible that there was a mistake made by the worker who prepared your inventory.
Shipping products from China directly to a fulfillment center? You’ll want to make sure to have a third party inspect those products. The last thing you want is to have FBA ship a bunch of defective or counterfeit products to customers.
Data entry mistakes
On some occasions, data entry mistakes happen. Amazon may reimburse you for 2 lost items when it should have been 1. If you’re tracking this, then you’d end up with a discrepancy of 1 between your inventory tracking and your actual inventory count.
Or you may have miscounted or typed something incorrectly. Check your purchase orders and reconcile those with the shipment received.
Make sure you adjust your inventory accordingly. So many inventory discrepancies occur because someone forgets to enter an adjustment due to any number of issues like the ones mentioned in this article.
Whatever inventory discrepancy occurs, you’ll have to account for it properly in your accounting software. Simply changing the quantity on hand to reflect an Amazon reimbursement for warehouse lost items is not the proper accounting practice because you’ve received money from those missing items.
Check out our series on accounting linked below to see how to properly account for reimbursement cases to properly handle inventory tracking so that you’ll always be up-to-date on inventory movements. Properly tracking inventory also reduces potential mistakes like selling products you don’t have.
Manually reconciling all of your inventory can be a frustrating and tedious task. But if you use SellerZen, you’ll automate the import of refunds, returns, and reimbursements so that inventory is reconciled in QuickBooks Online.
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