Variance Report

How to view and understand your Variance Report

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

Article Contents


After your POS system is integrated, and your POS mapping is more than 80% complete, the next time you complete an inventory, you'll receive a PDF detailing your variances.

Variance is the difference between what you sold, and what you actually consumed.

Variance = Sales - Consumption

Note: Variance reports are only available on Professional or higher plans.

To learn more about variance, please see:

Variance Report

The variance summary report is sent to each user that has been designated as a recipient. It can also be viewed on the Web Portal.

There are two sections of the variance report:

  1. Summary by Family and Category

  2. Individual Item Variances

Summary by Family and Category

This section gives you high level information about the venue overall, and then performance by Family and Category.

There are 4 main components to the summary page:

  1. Venue name and inventory period

  2. Overall venue summary

  3. Summary by Family

  4. Summary by Category

At the top of the report, you'll see the inventory period that it covers.

In each section it displays:

  • Variance Cost ($) - The sum of the Variance Cost for each item. Variance Cost = Cost per Unit * Variance. A negative Variance Cost indicates a loss.

  • Sales ($) - The sales for the defined inventory period. This doesn't include sales of any archived POS Items, or any POS Items that contain an item that is marked as "Excluded from Variance"

  • Cost ($) - How much product was used at cost in the venue during the inventory period. Consumption = Starting Inventory + Invoices - Ending Inventory. This is also known as the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS).

  • Variance Retail ($) - The theoretical value that the Variance Cost could've sold for based on your POS Item recipes.

  • Cost (%) - The overall cost percentage for the inventory period. Cost of Sales % = Consumption / Sales

Individual Item Variances

This page provides more detailed information for each item in your venue:

  • Beginning Inventory (Units)

  • Movements (Units) - The sum of all invoices, returns, depletions during the inventory period

  • Ending Inventory (Units)

  • Consumed (Units)

  • Sold (Units)

  • Variance (Units)

  • Variance (UoM)

  • Variance Cost

  • Variance Retail

  • Beverage Cost

Interpreting the Data

When looking at the variance report, you want the Variance (units) and Variance (UoM) to be as close to zero as possible.

As a reminder, Variance = Sales - Consumption

Whenever looking at a variance:

  1. If it's a negative number, consumption is greater than sales (a loss)

  2. If it's a positive number, sales are greater than consumption (a surplus)

Your goal is to make sure that it's a genuine variance, and not because of a data error.

In the example below, we sold 2.2 units, but consumed 2.9 units. This gives us a variance of -0.7 units. The value of the variance at cost is $-18.36 (in other words, a loss). This represents $99.02 in potential lost sales.

If an item has a variance, you must check that the consumption and sales are accurate.


As a reminder, Consumption = Beginning Inventory (Units) + Movements (Units) - Ending Inventory (Units). 

If either inventory count is inaccurate, or you have missed or made an error on an invoice, that impacts consumption.

In the example below, we have a variance of 11.5 units of the Pelee Island Shiraz / Cabernet. We sold 8.5 units, but our consumption is -3 units.

Since the consumption is negative, that shows there is a stock error. Our ending inventory is higher than the beginning inventory, but we have no movements to account for it.

This looks like we received more of this product, but didn't add the invoice for it. In this case, the variance is due to a data error. By adding the invoice, and regenerating the variance report, we now only have a slight variance of -0.5 units.

For more information, please see:


When checking sales, you want to make sure the item is mapped to all POS Items it's sold in, the serving size is correct, and that there isn't any missing sales data.

For more information, please see:

Viewing Variance on Web

For more information about viewing your variance on the WISK Web Portal, please see:

Note: For more detailed information, please see the Variance Section of the Help Site.

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