Editor’s note: This is the third in a five-part series on inventory management for your horse farm or stable. Keeping track of consumables and equipment is important for a variety of reasons, from taxes to insurance. To read the other articles look under Articles>Stable Management in the top toolbar.
Keeping track of all the items in your barn or on your farm property can be a chore. But in the event of a fire, natural disaster or robbery, it’s a chore you’ll be glad you did. From an accountant’s point of view, an inventory is technically a listing of items that are expended or consumed within one year. For a stable, that’s likely grain, hay and medications.
While not financially considered an inventory, it’s important to maintain an accurate and up-to-date listing of all the items in your barn(s), trailer(s) and around the farm. Record all of the business assets in one listing and include everything from hand tools to tack and equipment. Don’t forget to include items stored in horse trailers, cars/campers or “out-of-sight” storage areas.
A listing of assets is helpful when seeking insurance coverage after a theft or natural disaster. Good records also help determine the net value of the business. But there can be other benefits to regularly updating an inventory of barn and farm supplies.
Since the listing should be reviewed and updated regularly (at least once a year), you can inspect pieces of tack and/or equipment at the same time and determine if repairs or replacement is necessary.
Regularly reviewing an inventory listing can also be beneficial for insurance renewal. You can compare the list you have to the record your insurance company maintains. Make sure the equipment that needs to be covered is indeed on the policy. It’s also good to confirm that you’re not paying for coverage on equipment your equine business no longer owns.
Whether you have your own facility, take in one boarder or have a barn full of boarders, encourage each client to create an inventory checklist for the items they own and store at your barn. They might not think they own enough “stuff” to make it worth the effort, but in an emergency, they’ be glad they had one.
Also remember to keep a copy of all inventory lists at a location outside of your main equine business for security purposes.