Bin Card

What is Bin Card?

Bin Card can be understood as a form of quantitative record maintained in a perpetual inventory system, by the company’s stores department. It indicates the particulars of materials kept in the bin. For each item, separate bin cards are maintained and placed in a specific place i.e. bins. Basically, a bin card is a card attached to each bin or drawer which contains materials to show the stack position of the bin.

The main objective of the bin card is to give a continuous record of the movement of material and the balance in hand. Entries in bin card are made on the basis of the following source document:

  1. Material Received Notes
  2. Material Requisition Slips
  3. Material Returned Notes

With every receipt of stock, the card is debited, whereas it is credited with every issue and the balance is noted down after each receipt or issue. And so the balance quantity of any item can be ascertained easily at any point in time.

It works on the principle of ‘prior to touching the item, bin card should be touched‘. It is a part of internal control system that verifies the misappropriation of materials if any. The result of physical verification of the stock is entered on the bin card using red ink, right below the balance and the date of verification is mentioned with the same.

It indicates the quantities of material received, issued, and remained in stock, after the receipt and issue in chronological order, and up to the minute, balance is displayed after each movement. It is also termed as stock card and bin tag.

The information related to general stock items is presented in tabular form under the heads item name, brand name, bin number, ordering quantity, minimum quantity, maximum quantity, stores ledger folio, identification code, etc. This facilitates the storekeeper to timely send purchase requisition of material.

Format of Bin Card


It must be noted that the physical count and stock quantity reported as per the bin card must match, else the company’s internal audit department might investigate the reason for any discrepancy.

What is Bin?

When the materials reach stores after getting approved by the inspection department, they are stored in separate bins. Bin refers to the place designed for physical storing or keeping of materials, which can be a rack, shelf, cupboard, containers, receptacles, or any space, where stores are kept. These bins are usually numbered.


Generally, the stores are fitted with bins that are serially numbered and indexed for easy identification. Also, each bin is meant for a specific type of material only. A card is attached outside the bin and every time inflow or outflow of stock takes place, then notation is made on that card, which is nothing but bin card.

Salient Features of Bin Card

  • Records the status of goods held in stock.
  • Prepared by the storekeeper, i.e. the storekeeper enters every in and out of stock from the stores.
  • Kept in the stores department.
  • Captures only material quantity and not value
  • Updated as and when the receipts and issues are made.

How entries are made in the bin cards?

The main columns of a bin card are related to Date, References, Receipt, Issue, and Balance. In the reference column, the number and nature of the document are entered, i.e. store received note for receipt and material requisition for issues. It is obvious that if the quantity is entered in the Received column, it will be reflected in the balance column, as it will increase. Oppositely, the balance column will reflect a reduction when entry is made in the issued column.

Now, columns under order indicate how much quantity of a certain material is still on order. On receiving the copy of the order placed on a supplier, the storekeeper records the number and date of the order in the first column and the quantity in the second. However, the third column is left blank until the goods are received in reality. Hence, it shows that the goods are still receivable.

In addition, the columns under reserved display the quantity which is reserved for a specific job. Here one must note that reservations of material are made for vital jobs only, under the authority of a pre-designated officer who is generally the Superintendent of the department.

For instance, if 150 units are reserved for the job no. 266 while the real balance is 210 units. The record of the reserved column facilitates the storekeeper to ascertain that only 60 units are issued for other jobs.

Moreover, on drawing the material for the job for which it was reserved, the date is entered in the third column indicating that the reservation not any more operates.

Double Bin System

There are a number of organizations that divide the bin into two parts i.e. a smaller one and a larger one. The first part, which is the smaller one store’s quantity equal to minimum quantity or ordering level, whereas the larger one contains the remaining quantity, which is the main or regular bin. The store staff is directed not to use quantity in the smaller section until the stock in the main section exists.two-bin-system

As and when the quantity present in the main section is finished and it is pertinent to use the quantity of the smaller section, fresh order needs to be placed. And on receiving the fresh order, the minimum quantity is again segregated with due care. It is also called a two-bin system.

The key idea behind the maintenance of two bin-system is to supply accurate and genuine information as to when the minimum quantity has been reached.

Advantages of Bin Card

  • Provides the latest record of material received, issued, returned, and remained.
  • Location code helps in efficient storekeeping
  • Quick and easy physical identification of each item.
  • Decreases chances of mistakes, as entries are made at the same time when there is any movement, by the person handling the materials.
  • Helps in detecting frauds and misappropriation.
  • Stock-out situations can be prevented to a great extent.
  • Prevents the situation of under/overstocking
  • Ascertains the right time to place the fresh order, when the balance falls to reorder level
  • An on-the-spot comparison can be made.

Disadvantages of Bin Card

  • Records of bins are dispersed over a large area.
  • The card may get smeared due to dirt or oil while handling the materials

Wrap Up

Bin Card is a record-keeping document that acts as a summary of the movement of stock to or from the stores. It provides a ready reference of stock. It also assists the storekeeper in controlling the stock as they provide a proper record of stock on each bin. Also, the various levels updated in the bin card facilitate the task of preparation of purchase requisition, whenever needed. Further, quantity on order and quantity reserved are indicated separately.

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