Variance Page - Details

How to investigate your variances by item by looking at the details on the Variance Page

Nick Neale avatar
Written by Nick Neale
Updated over a week ago

Article Contents


By default, your Variance page is sorted from the highest variance cost to the lowest (either positive or negative).

Typically, 20% of your products will account for 80% of your losses. It’s tempting to go line by line and go through each variance but focus on the largest ones to start. You’ll make more of an impact on your costs by focusing on these items.

As a reminder, Variance = Sales - Consumption.

Whenever looking at variance, it'll always come down to one of two cases:

  1. Consumption is greater than sales (a negative variance, a loss)

  2. Sales are greater than consumption (a positive variance, a surplus)

In the example above, 18.94 units of Tito’s Vodka (1000ml) were sold, but 22 units were consumed. This is showing a variance of -3.06 units. This is a loss of $76.61 at cost, which could've produced $349.56 in potential revenue.

Investigating a Variance

To investigate the variance, click the “Details” button beside the item:

The "Details" tab is highlighted for emphasis.

There are three tabs on the Details page that you can use to investigate a variance:

  • Sold / Consumed

  • POS Items

  • Item Inventory / Invoices

Sold / Consumed Tab

The Sold / Consumed tab displays by default, and gives a breakdown of how the consumption and sales amounts are calculated for the item:

The "Sold / Consumed" tab showing the breakdown


The “Consumed” section shows the starting and ending inventory counts in units and ounces, along with any invoices added during the period.

The "Consumed" section of the tab that shows the breakdown of inventory counts and invoices to calculate consumption

You can view an inventory count by clicking the information icon beside it if you need to edit or review the counts by area.

The invoices value is the sum of your invoices, returns, and depletions (wastage, promo, etc).

Note: You can view specific invoices on the "Inventories / Invoices / Depletions" tab.

These three values are used to calculate the item’s consumption.

Consumption = (Starting Inventory + Invoices) - Ending Inventory.

Note: Clicking the icon beside consumption shows you the consumption by area between the two inventories. This is a quick way to see if an area was missed during an inventory.

When an item has a variance, always ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Was this my beginning inventory count?

  2. Did I receive this amount in this period?

  3. Was this my ending inventory count?

If you answered yes to all of the questions, your consumption data should be accurate. Otherwise, you’ll need to troubleshoot your consumption.

Some reasons for consumption issues include:

  • Duplicate items (can be fixed with merging)

  • Invoice data error (not entered, missing items, misdated, duplicate invoice)

  • Miscounts (on either opening or closing inventory)

  • Over pouring/spillage or under pouring

  • Missing returns or depletions

Note: For more information, please see our Troubleshooting Variance - Consumption article.


This section shows every POS Item sold during the period that the item is an ingredient in. For each POS Item it shows:

  • the quantity sold,

  • the sales in dollars,

  • the amount of the item sold in ounces and units

The "Sold" tab that shows sales for each POS Item that item is used in.

You can use this to identify any missing sales data or see if an item isn’t included in a recipe that it should be, or the serving size in the recipe is incorrect.

At the bottom, it shows you a summary of the total amount sold in ounces and units.

The total sales for Tito's is 18.94 units, of 640.29 oz

By clicking the “Details” column for a POS Item, you can see a breakdown of when the items were sold.

Some reasons for sales issues include:

  • Missing sales data

  • Incorrect/missing recipes

  • A different item punched in the POS vs what was actually poured (Grey Goose instead of Smirnoff etc.)

  • An archived POS Item that has sales for the period

  • Open Liquor / Wine / Food Buttons

  • Inventory spans over a period where sales occurred

Note: For more information, please see our Troubleshooting Variance - Sales article.

POS Items Tab

Unlike the “Sold / Consumed" tab, this tab shows you every recipe/POS Item that the item is used in, regardless of whether there were sales during the period or not.

This is helpful for making sure your recipes are correct. A common issue is adding recipes with the wrong serving size. For example, mapping 1oz of a beer can instead of 1 full unit.

Click a POS Item if you need to edit the recipe.

The POS Items that use Tito's Vodka

Item Inventory / Invoices Tab

This tab shows you the complete history of an item. You can see every time it was counted (or not counted) in an inventory, and every time an invoice was added.

In this example we can see that we counted 10 units in inventory on Mar 3, 2022, received 12 units on Mar 5, 2022, then counted 0 in our inventory on Mar 10, 2022.

You can use this to identify any issues with consumption. If your tab is just full of inventory counts, but no invoices, you'll need to start adding your invoices into WISK.

A general rule is to always see an invoice in between two inventories (especially if the count increased between them).

If your count increases from one inventory to another without an invoice, you’ll know that you likely missed adding one (or miscounted that initial inventory).

This is also helpful for identifying any misdated invoices.

Note: By clicking Details, it opens the invoice or inventory, filtering to view the specific item

An arrow points to the details button beside an invoice.


When looking at a variance, your goal is to make sure that your information is accurate, so you can positively identify the variance is from over pouring, spillage, or theft, and not an issue with data entry.

Your first few variances may appear quite large as you get used to using WISK and get into the habit of taking regularly scheduled inventories and adding all of your invoices.

For the Tito’s example, the sales and consumption values are correct. We sold 18.94 units based on the recipes and sales and consumed 22 units for a variance of -3.06 units.

This looks like a real variance that we could take action on (speaking with staff, measuring all pours, etc.) to get the sales and consumption closer to equal.

For examples where there is an issue with the data, and how to fix, please see:

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