To continue the discussion on Keeping your 3PL in check, Amazon FBA is a 3PL that warrants special treatment.
Operationally, the real-time inventory figures are available via the “GET_FBA_MYI_UNSUPPRESSED_INVENTORY_DATA” report, accessible via the Reporting API.
We have not found any inventory report accessible via Seller Central that offers the same level of real-time detailed data, breaking down Fulfillable, Unsellable, and Inbound inventory levels.
Thus, it is important for operationally critical fulfillment decisions rely on this specific report. This is usually important for sellers who do Multi-Channel fuifillment (Using Amazon FBA warehouses to fulfill non-Amazon sales).
Accounting-wise, Amazon does offer an audit trail through a series of reports. The formula for Amazon inventory reconciliation is:
Ending inventory balance = starting Inventory balance + received inventory – customer orders + customer returns +/- adjustments – removals
Starting and Ending Inventory Balance
Reporting API Name: _GET_FBA_RECONCILIATION_REPORT_DATA_
Seller Central Name: Inventory Reconciliation
- Available on the 6th of each month for the previous month
- Beginning Quantity
- Ending Quantity
- Discrepant Quantity
Reporting API Name: _GET_FBA_FULFILLMENT_INVENTORY_RECEIPTS_DATA_
Seller Central Name: Received Inventory
Reporting API Name: _GET_AMAZON_FULFILLED_SHIPMENTS_DATA_
Seller Central Name: Amazon Fulfilled Shipments
Reporting API Name: _GET_FBA_FULFILLMENT_CUSTOMER_RETURNS_DATA_
Seller Central Name: FBA customer returns
Reporting API Name: _GET_FBA_FULFILLMENT_INVENTORY_ADJUSTMENTS_DATA_
Seller Central Name: Inventory Adjustments
One check that can be performed is to make sure that the Ending inventory balance = starting Inventory balance + received inventory – customer orders + customer returns +/- adjustments – removals formula balances. If it does not, it could be justification for Amazon reimbursement.
Careful analysis should be done with all “Adjustments”. These are inventory events not initiated by the seller. There could be adjustment situations that warrant an Amazon reimbursement.
Should you keep your own set of books for every inventory event at Amazon FBA?
This is not entirely practical. You would only be able to reliably keep track of Sales, and the source of that information comes from Amazon anyway. If you really wanted to go the extra mile, you could match each Sale with an Amazon Financial Event to make sure you get paid for each order.
Better practice would be to trust Amazon’s inventory reports and simply analyze the reasons for any adjustments.
For Inventory Receipts, this should correspond to an Amazon FBA Inbound Order and reconciling discrepancies on inventory receipts is a whole other topic (and an area where Amazon makes mistakes quite often).