The stock variance report is one of the most frequently enquired about reports on the Aura system. This is because the report exists as an overall look at a shop’s stock movement. What that means is that everything that happens in Aura that affects stock, such as Sales, Stock Takes, Stock Purchases, Stock Transfers and Stock Wastages, are displayed here.

The stock variance report works by comparing the actual stock usage between two dates -as recorded by the user- against theoretical stock usage as calculated from recipes of items sold in that time.

In order to understand how to troubleshoot the report, we first need to know how to read and understand the report itself.

The Report

The report is arranged in spreadsheet-style layout. The rows list each individual stock item on the system, and these items are grouped into their stock categories. Each column then gives information on that item. Unless the column says Value, all figures refer to the Quantity of stock in it’s unit of measure (e.g. In the above report, the '20' for Opening Stock means 20 rolls EACH. The '24' under Purchases for Feta Cheese is 24 KGs of Cheese.)


The first 4 columns show information inputted by the user. They are:


    • Opening Stock - This is the closing Stock Take figure from the previous day (if running the report from the 1st-31st, the opening stock figure will be the stocktake of the 30/31st of the previous month)

    • Purchases - All purchases (GRV’s) made during that time for the item add to the column here. Stock Returns subtract from this column.

    • Net Stock Movement - This is all Stock WastageTransfers and Manufactures combined.

    • Closing Stock - This the closing stock take figure for the given until date.

Next is Actual Stock. Actual Stock is the result of the first 4 columns, and shows the actual amount of stock used in that time. The Actual Stock figure is worked out like this:

The Opening Stock PLUS  Purchases PLUS/MINUS Net Stock Movement MINUS Closing Stock columns EQUALS the Actual Stock usage figure.

Because of this, it’s important to remember that the Actual Stock figure is a direct result of USER input!

The next column is Theoretical Stock usage column. Every time a menu item with a recipe is sold, that quantity of item is added to this column. This means that this figure is an ideal example of how much stock should have been used when making sales during this period.


Next is Variance. This column shows the difference between the Actual and Theoretical figures. This is the most important column in the report! Ideally, the store wants the variance to be as low a figure as possible. Any stock that is in variance is considered unaccounted for.


The remaining columns provide useful, but not critical information. They are:

    • Variance Percent - what percent of your closing stock is in variance

    • Closing Unit Stock Cost - The unit cost of this stock item (in Rands)

    • Closing Unit value - The total value of your closing stock for this item (in Rands)


 Below each category is a summary, which display the following information:


    • Total Over-Use Value for CATEGORY - This is the value of stock (in Rands) that was over-used. It adds the value of stock overused, and subtracts the value of stock underused. 

    • Total Stock Value for CATEGORY - This is the value of the closing stock (in Rands) for this period.

    • COS for CATEGORY - The Cost of Sales is the value of the Actual Stock Used - i.e how much it cost you to use these items in this period.


At the end of the report is another figure called Absolute Variance. This figure displays the total value of stock that is in variance, whether positive or negative. For example, if you had a -1 unit variance (short) of a stock item with a stock value of R50, and a +1 unit variance (excess) of another stock item valued R50, your Absolute Variance figure would be R100, as that is the total value of stock that is in variance. 

Troubleshooting The Report


Now that we have an idea of what the report is meant to display, how do we determine where problems are coming in. There are only three reasons a variance may occur:

Errors in recording Stock Movement

If the user has made a mistake when recording in Backoffice, these mistakes will reflect in one or more of the first four columns, and as a result, show an incorrect Actual Stock usage figure. 

In Backoffice, Click Activities > Stock, and check the following:

    • Count Stock

    • Purchase/Return Stock

    • Manufacture Stock

    • Discard/Transfer Stock

Check these by confirming with the user that the correct quantities have been captured each time over the time period you’re looking at, and that no entries have been missed. 

Remember that it’s up to the user to make sure the information that they capture is correct - the Helpdesk has no way of knowing what the actual quantities are at the store.

Incorrect Recipe

If a menu item’s recipe is incorrect, it will not deduct the correct amount of stock when a sale is made. It’s rare for this problem to happen, but it sometimes does.

Check the following:

    • The Store’s menu is up to date

    • Go to Lists > Menu > Item and check the recipes for all items containing the problem stock item.

    • Confirm the quantity of stock in the recipe is the same as the quantity the store is actually using.


 If there is a problem with the menu’s recipe, please report it to the Menu Department.

A physical problem with Stock Control

The primary purpose of the variance report is to identify and correct any misuse of stock in the store. As a result it’s often the case that a variance is caused by stock actually going missing, due to errors or theft.

If you have checked that all stock capturing on the system is correct, and that all recipes are correct, then the user may need to check their physical stock controls on site at the store.

For more information on stock control and possible causes, see the Top 10 Reasons for Stock Variances solution.