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Stock Control Methods

Last updated 22/01/2021

Overview and differences of the four different types of Stock Control Methods.

FIFO (First in First Out)

FIFO is the default method of stock control in the system. It means that those items that are receipted in first are sold first.

Why does this make a difference? The order in which you account for the cost of your goods makes a significant difference in the way your gross profit is calculated which has inevitable tax implications. For this reason, FIFO is the preferred accounting method for International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Cin7 does not support Last in First Out (LIFO). For more information on this topic, see the Why Last In First Out (LIFO) Is Banned Under IFRS Help article.


When stock has the Batch stock control method assigned to it, when you receive in products, you must assign a batch number at the time of receipt. Similarly, when dispatching batch products, you must pick from a list the batches you'd like to dispatch.

This is particularly useful when you want to track batch numbers in the system, for instance with dye lots for tiles or expiry dates for food.

Expiry Dates

Although Cin7 does not have any specific expiry date functionality, batch numbers are frequently used to store expiry dates for food products. When producing or receiving in food products, expiry dates are added to the batch number field for those products.

Please note that batch numbers are stored as text, so there is no way in Cin7 to filter by expiry date, for instance for finding out what goods have expired.

Fashion products are stored as the batch stock control method, as technically the sizes are stored as batch numbers. However, the goods are still accounted for using the FIFO method and operate much like FIFO products.


Tracking stock using the Serial stock control method requires every inventory item to have a serial number.

When you receive in serial products, you must assign a serial number to each product at the time of receipt. If you are receiving more than 10 items, you can paste in the serial numbers from a spreadsheet.

Similarly, when dispatching serial products, you must select the exact serial number you'd like to dispatch from a list.

This is particularly useful for electronics goods and components, that require each serial number to be recorded.

Non Stock

When the stock control method is set to "Non Stock", no stock is recorded for a product. This is the equivalent of what may be called a "non-diminishing product" in other systems.

This is particularly useful for storing services as products, such as "Delivery Fee" or "Labor", so they can be quickly added to an order.

While the cost of non-stock products may be added to Sales Orders and Production jobs (which makes Gross Profit more accurate), this cost will not be included in the COGS sent to your accounting software. In other words, the cost of non-stock products is retained in Cin7 for reporting purposes only.

To create a Non Stock product:

  1. Select the Product in the Products Module.
  2. Change the Stock Control drop-down to Non Stock.