6. Site storage accounting

Inventory accounting standards and procedures (such as tracking receipts, issues and physical balance) at site storage locations are similar to those required for warehouses (see Chapter 15 Logistics, or Annex 19.11 Warehouse Management chapter, CARE SCM manual). The major difference between distribution site storage and warehouse storage is storage facilities at distribution sites are generally operated as transit sheds, where goods and commodities are delivered and accumulated only prior to distribution. There should be little inventory remaining after distribution has been completed. For this reason, the following modifications to warehouse accounting procedures apply to distribution site stores.

Note: If the storage facility at a distribution site operates as a true warehouse, all warehouse inventory accounting procedures apply.

  • Prior to a distribution, copies of the distribution plan (see Annex 19.4) and the dispatch authorisation (see Annex 19.12) completed by the Programme Manager are sent to the Distribution Manager at the distribution site.
    • The distribution plan details the total quantity of goods or commodity to be distributed, the expected number of recipients to be served, and the per person ration size.
    • The dispatch authorisation informs the Distribution Manager or storekeeper when, how much, and via which means of transport goods or commodity should arrive at the distribution site.
  • If the items stated on the dispatch authorisation are not received at the distribution site in a reasonable amount of time, the Distribution Manager at the site notifies the warehouse manager at the dispatching warehouse and the Programme Manager.
  • Upon arrival, inventory is received in accordance with the warehouse reception procedures detailed in Chapter 15 Logistics. Special attention is paid to the following:
    • The person authorised to receive inventory must inspect and physically count all offloaded items. The count must be recorded on a tally sheet.
    • A sample of all commodities received must also be weighed to detect possible misappropriation during transport.
    • The ‘receipt information’ section of the waybill must be completed, and any shortages or damaged goods or commodities must be noted.
    • The waybill must be signed by both the person authorised to receive inventory for distribution and the transporter. Distribution site staff must fully understand that they are only to sign waybills for the amount actually received, that they will be responsible for all items signed for, and that they may be held liable for any losses discovered by distribution monitors, auditors or other CARE personnel.
  • Copy no. 3 of the waybill is filed at the distribution site.
  • If major irregularities in quality or quantity of inventory received are discovered, the distribution site manager immediately notifies the Programme Manager.
  • Inventory received is recorded on warehouse or stock ledgers.
    • A separate ledger is required for each item or commodity type but it is not necessary to have separate ledgers for each shipment number as with other warehouses.
    • The ledgers at the distribution site remain open and carry a running balance through the life of the programme. They are only closed when the programme is completed.
  • Inventory issued from the store for each distribution is recorded on the appropriate ledgers. The quantity for each distribution must correspond to the number of people to be served and the ration scale to be used, as stated on the distribution plan.
  • A waybill is not prepared for the issue of inventory for immediate distribution at an open distribution site. If inventory is returned from the store to the dispatching warehouse, or inventory is transferred to another warehouse, a dispatch waybill is required.
  • Following distributions, receipt sheets are totalled and reconciled with corresponding quantity issued on the inventory ledgers. If less was distributed, ledgers must show the amount returned to the store or a possible loss must be recorded.
  • Inventory ledgers are kept up to date so that balances in the ledgers always match any actual quantity of inventory in the store. They must be accessible for CARE monitors and other CARE personnel during visits.
  • The following documents are kept on file at distribution site stores: