Physical Inventory Orders in Business Central

Physical Inventory Orders in Business Central

Interesting feature, little documented up to now, relating to the management of inventory orders, I believe deriving from the German localization (as indicated in the link below) and also existing in other ERP systems.

Very interesting topic (my humble opinion) because it allows to subdivide the count of inventories by warehouse and to create more than one registration of the inventories by single order of inventory (segmentation of the inventories); in practice, everyone counts their own items in their own warehouse to then gather all the counts.

In the case of serial batch use it is possible to divide the lines to be able to count additional batches and serial numbers; in practice, it is a fairly open and comfortable system to use.

It is always possible to use the old procedures (always existing) but this is certainly an interesting function.

You can also perform the task by using journals, the Phys. Inventory Journals and Whse. Phys. Inventory Journals pages.

About this feature on German localization

“Physical Inventory Orders”: scope of this feature.

“You can take a physical inventory of your items by using physical inventory order and physical inventory recording documents. 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 by 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 Physical Inventory Recording report can be printed from each recording and contains empty quantity fields for entering the counted inventory. When a user is done counting, and the quantities are entered on the Physical Inventory Recoding page, you choose the Finish action. This transfers the quantities to the related lines on the Physical Inventory Order page. Functionality ensures that no item count can be recorded twice.”

Counting inventory by using documents consist 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. Enter the counted item quantities on the recordings, as captured on printouts, for example, and set it to Finished.
  4. Complete and post the physical inventory order.


Open the Physical Inventory Order Page: Search for “Phys*

#1 – Create a New “Physical Inventory Order”

Create a new Inventory Order to manage a new inventory counting; you can create many Inventory Orders, for example one different order for each different location.

#2 – Calculate Lines

To calculate lines, many Filter options are available, you can calculate inventory like in the Inventory Journal, filtering by Items, not in inventory etc. etc.

#3 – After calculation

Items will be extracted and inserted as inventory orders lines.

System shows: Expected Quantity and Quantity tracked in lots\serials.

#4 – Make a New Inventory Recording Document

With this function, system create a New Inventory Recording Document, user will compile this document during inventory; you can create one or more recording document, all related to single one Inventory Order.

New Inventory Recording Document

You can open the new inventory recording document directly from the Inventory order document.

“ALL available Calculations Options” from Inventory Order page

…and also you can add new lines.. check “Allow Recording Without Order”

#5 – Check and Post with “Finish”

Click Finish and return to Recording Lines, now you can see the Quantity recorded

System create a series of Entries Type (in this case Positive Adjustment)

#6 – Post Ledger Entries and Open Posted Document

With the “Post” function, systems create item ledger entries like in Item Journal; after post you can open the Physical Order posted document.

#7 – Posted Item Ledger Entries

#8 – Other Nice Features

Import\Export inventory files: Is possible to import\export inventory data from Flat Files (for example to import data from Inventory Counting from remote sites, subcontracting, etc.)



Main reports are: “Physical Inventory Order Difference” and “Posted Physical Inventory Order Difference”


Links & References

“Count Inventory Using Documents”

Main Link

You can also perform the task by using journals, the Phys. Inventory Journals and Whse. Phys. Inventory Journals pages.

The “Physical Inventory Journal” Feature

Useful Links

Good Feature!

6 thoughts on “Physical Inventory Orders in Business Central

  • 30 November 2020 at 3:17 PM

    Hi, I noticed a difference in results generated between Phys. Inventory Journal and Phys.Inventory Order i.e.
    Phys. Inventory Journal – shows Qty.Calcualted -> as a “current” quantity on the stock
    Phys.Inventory Order – shows Qty.Expected (base) ->as a quantity affected by Posting Date (on document header).

    In some situation both results might be different. Have you noticed something similar?

    NAV DE 2017

    • 30 November 2020 at 4:24 PM

      Yes, you are right. Many issues also with Lots\Serials. Will be fixed i hope.

  • 2 December 2020 at 11:15 AM

    Thanks for your answer!

  • 5 January 2021 at 2:35 PM

    Found this blog post while googling Roberto and I have a question. Why do Physical Inventory Orders not allow you to use them in Directed Pick & Put-away locations?

    There is a Testfield that checks for this in Physical Inventory Order Line table and the posting routine.

    I cannot figure out why it is significant, you can’t customise it away, just prevents this being used by lots of the customers who would like to use it.

    • 5 January 2021 at 2:41 PM

      hi, no, you can’t use it.
      it is a useful feature with a simple warehouse, it is a good idea (also present in other ERPs) but not complete second, I already reported it to Microsoft some time ago!!

  • 19 January 2021 at 9:11 AM

    Very good post, however I am unable to see any quantity of my inventory, all zero.

    Wht could be wrong?




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