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Bin Card vs. Stores Ledger: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 6, 2024
A Bin Card tracks inventory at the storage location, while a Stores Ledger records inventory transactions in accounting records.

Key Differences

A Bin Card is a physical record kept at the storage location, detailing the quantities of each item received, issued, and in stock. The Stores Ledger, on the other hand, is an accounting record that provides financial information about the inventory, including costs and values. Both are essential for effective inventory management but serve different purposes.
The Bin Card is updated manually by the storekeeper whenever goods are added or removed, focusing on physical stock levels. In contrast, the Stores Ledger is maintained by the accounts department, reflecting the monetary value of transactions involving inventory. Both records are crucial for tracking inventory but differ in their primary focus and handling.
The Bin Card helps in quickly assessing the physical stock available at any given time. The Stores Ledger, however, provides a comprehensive financial view of inventory, including purchase costs, sales value, and any related financial adjustments. Both play a role in inventory management but from different perspectives.
Bin Cards are more about immediate, on-the-ground stock management, aiding in reorder decisions and stock verification. Stores Ledgers contribute to broader financial planning, budgeting, and auditing processes by providing detailed financial data. Both are integral to inventory control but cater to different aspects of business operations.
The Bin Card is a simple, real-time tool for managing physical inventory, while the Stores Ledger is a more complex financial tool, essential for accounting and financial analysis. Both are complementary and necessary for a well-rounded inventory management system.

Comparison Chart

Primary Function

Tracks physical stock levels
Records financial value of stock


Used at the storage location
Used in the accounting department

Record Type

Physical record of stock movement
Financial record of inventory transactions

Updated By

Updated manually by storekeeper
Maintained by accounts personnel


Immediate stock management
Financial tracking and analysis

Bin Card and Stores Ledger Definitions

Bin Card

Aids in physical inventory management and reorder decisions.
The bin card indicated it was time to reorder more supplies.

Stores Ledger

Used for detailed financial analysis of inventory.
The stores ledger was reviewed to assess inventory costs for the quarter.

Bin Card

A document that records the quantity of inventory in stock at a specific location.
The bin card showed that there were 50 units of product X remaining in the warehouse.

Stores Ledger

Essential for financial auditing and reporting.
During the financial audit, the stores ledger was crucial for verifying inventory values.

Bin Card

Essential for verifying physical stock during audits.
During the audit, the bin card was checked for stock accuracy.

Stores Ledger

Provides information for financial planning and budgeting.
The stores ledger helped in forecasting next year's inventory budget.

Bin Card

Reflects real-time stock levels at the storage location.
The bin card showed an up-to-date count of the materials on hand.

Stores Ledger

An accounting record that tracks the financial value of inventory transactions.
The stores ledger showed the total cost of goods purchased last month.

Bin Card

Used for tracking each addition or removal of items in storage.
Every time items are issued, the storekeeper updates the bin card.

Stores Ledger

Maintained by the accounting department.
The accounts team updated the stores ledger after every stock purchase.


What information does a Stores Ledger contain?

A Stores Ledger contains financial information about inventory, including costs and values.

Where is the Stores Ledger maintained?

The Stores Ledger is maintained in the accounting department.

Can the Bin Card help in reorder decisions?

Yes, the Bin Card aids in making reorder decisions based on current stock levels.

What is a Bin Card used for?

A Bin Card is used for tracking the physical quantity of items in storage.

Who updates the Bin Card?

The storekeeper or warehouse staff typically update the Bin Card.

Does the Stores Ledger show item quantities?

The Stores Ledger focuses on the financial value, not the physical quantity of items.

Does the Stores Ledger aid in budgeting?

Yes, the Stores Ledger provides financial data useful for budgeting and planning.

Are Bin Cards unique to specific items?

Yes, each item or group of similar items typically has its own Bin Card.

Can the Stores Ledger track sales transactions?

Yes, it records all transactions involving stock, including sales.

How often is the Stores Ledger updated?

The Stores Ledger is updated after each inventory transaction.

How does the Bin Card assist in stock verification?

The Bin Card helps verify physical stock against recorded quantities during audits.

Is the Bin Card a physical or digital record?

The Bin Card can be either a physical card or a digital record.

What types of businesses use Bin Cards?

Bin Cards are used by businesses that need to manage physical inventory, like warehouses and retail stores.

Is the Stores Ledger necessary for financial reporting?

Yes, the Stores Ledger is essential for accurate financial reporting and auditing.

What happens if the Bin Card and physical stock don't match?

Discrepancies require investigation to correct errors or address theft/loss.

Who has access to the Stores Ledger?

Usually, accounting personnel and management have access to the Stores Ledger.

Can Bin Cards be used for multiple locations?

Yes, separate Bin Cards are used for different storage locations.

Does the Stores Ledger include supplier information?

Yes, it often includes details about suppliers and purchase transactions.

Is the Stores Ledger useful for price setting?

Yes, it helps determine pricing by providing cost information.

How detailed is the information on a Bin Card?

Bin Cards typically contain detailed information on stock movements but not financial data.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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