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HMRC internal manual

Money Laundering Regulations: Compliance

Accountancy Service Providers (ASPs): tasks performed by a Stocktaker or Stock Auditor

The information relating to stocktakers and stock auditors is relevant for MLR visits that cover the period up until 1 October 2011. From that date it has been agreed that they are exempt from the Money Laundering Regulations and do not need to be registered nor are they required to carry out Customer Due Diligence, ongoing monitoring, reporting and record keeping. If however they carry out additional functions such as book-keeping or other accountancy services they must remain registered and are subject to MLR for those other functions.

Stocktakers are employed by businesses to carry out audits of stock held by the business and to analyse sales. They are mainly involved in the licensed/catering trade and in leisure industry venues where bar and catering facilities are available.

Stocktakers will be engaged on weekly/monthly/quarterly terms by the client and will count the stock on hand in the storeroom or cellars and on the shelves of the business to calculate the value of the stock in hand. When this information is analysed in conjunction with the previous stock reading, goods purchased since the last stocktake and records of sales from the tills operated in the business, detailed trading information can be produced.

Most businesses that use stocktakers have EPOS (Electronic Point of Sales) tills in place where individual drinks or food items sold are recorded and this provides detailed information on sales.

At the end of the stocktake the stocktaker provides a detailed report to the client. This is likely to be computer generated as there are bespoke software packages which produces the report from data relating to sales, purchases and stock on hand. It will give an accurate picture of how the business is performing. In particular a stock report will:

  • calculate the gross profit on stock lines
  • identify loss making lines
  • identify stock problems (thefts)
  • provide an accurate picture of stockholding.

Some stocktakers operate as franchisees of national stocktaking firms who introduce them to clients in a geographic territory.