The best warehouse accounting system uses a minimum number of documents to account for food while providing useful information for management and staff. CARE uses a perpetual inventory system in which a continuous record is kept of the amount of food in units or fractions of units.

The weight of each unit is known and can be used to calculate the total weight. For example, if there are ten and one half bags of wheat in a warehouse and each bag weighs 50 kgs., there is a total of 525 kgs. Of wheat.

Because there are differences in equipment available to accurately weigh food inventory, this manual emphasizes counting bags and containers of food by whole units. It is assumed that the weight per unit stated on the original Bill of Lading is accurate to within two percent. For example, a 50 kg. bag may be 49, 50 or 51 kgs., and still be considered one whole unit.

However, anytime bags or containers are suspected of being below or above the two percent weight tolerance, CARE port or warehouse staff, clearing and forwarding agents or counterpart staff must weigh bags and containers.

While ledgers usually show total units, there will be cases where a few bags and containers of food are only partially filled. In these cases, record the weight of the partially filled bag or container. For example, if the B/L weight is 50 kgs/bag, but there are 1½ bags after repackaging, record 1 bag and 25 kilos in the ledger.

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