Whisking Through Your Warehouse Audits: 5 Simple Steps for Smooth HMRC Inspections

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Team Workiro

False information. Missing documents. Looming penalties.  

Sounds like a rather rugged dram, right?

Follow these easy steps to steer clear of these issues during HMRC warehouse audits.

#1 Turn paper to pixels

They say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And yes, paper serves its purpose of holding key information. But that's where its usefulness ends.  

The data it contains is usually scattered across multiple filing cabinets, and in multiple locations, causing long, manual searches with no assurance of success.  

Tedious shuffling, piling, and discarding, hoping you finally discover what HMRC requested to see.  

Almost 75% of time spent dealing with paper-based information is lost in searching (Coopers & Lybrand).

Or perhaps your paper is stored in a loose-leaf record? Lose this, lose everything. There are no backups.

Instead, digitalise your documents so they can be stored, retrieved, and duplicated unlimited times within a centralised digital vault.  

#2 Distillery data discipline

Make it a monthly habit for your production, inventory, sales and finance teams to check they have an accurate and up-to-date record of everything your distillery needs to present to HMRC.

This ensures you can proactively gather any missing data, preventing future difficulties in finding items as your document loads expand.

You must also address human errors promptly. Team members might be updating documents without noticing changes in laws and regulations.

Or they might miss varying tax rates for different countries as your distribution grows wider. Regular checks help you catch these slip-ups faster.

#3 Let’s raise a toast to simple tech

Technology can soon become a hurdle, especially if HMRC struggles to understand how it works.  

So, consider software that streamlines information storage and control, such as an ERP system like NetSuite.  

It encompasses modules for finance, supply chains, warehouse management, and sales, offering a consolidated overview of each team’s activity at your distillery in one system.  

This uniform interface and functionality will assist HMRC in navigating your records efficiently.

#4 Unified brews, unified views

If there are departments operating outside your ERP system, ensure that all additional software they use plays well with this.

An integrated approach allows other departments to keep using their preferred systems, more suited to their roles, knowing all their activity seamlessly syncs with your core back-office system.

Now, you can confidently present information to HMRC while still using multiple systems, without worrying about conflicting data.

#5 Keep pouring that transparency

Use software that creates a clear audit trail including all stakeholder names, timestamps, and surrounding communication for all document sharing, access and changes.


You can then backtrack activity and see who is responsible for a discrepancy brought to your attention by HMRC.

Moreover, this also saves time and resources by giving a clear picture in one place, removing a chaotic scramble across multiple systems only holding a small piece of the puzzle.


Navigating your warehouse audits without stress requires a finely crafted blend of...

  • Digital transformation
  • Disciplined document management
  • Intuitive software  
  • Connected tech
  • Transparent processes

You’re Invited to the 2024 Whisky Leader Event Hosted by Catalyst ERP

Implementing a distillery-specific ERP system is crucial for maintaining efficiency and compliance during audits, especially with the Whisky market growing at a CAGR of 4.3% in 2024.


Our friends, Catalyst ERP are inviting like-minded experts for two days of exclusive ERP insights, networking opportunities, and a celebration of the rich culture of whisky.

Register your interest

Dates: 19th-20th June 2024 

Registration Options

Day 1: Golf at Dalmahoy

Tee off the event with a round of golf at the renowned Dalmahoy Golf Course. Perfect for unwinding and making new connections. 

Day 2: Whisky Leaders Networking Event

Hosted at the Scottish Whisky Experience, day 2 is filled with insightful talks and demos, and the exclusive Ardgowan Case Study. 

Both Days: Don't miss a moment of the action

Register for both days and enjoy a complete Whisky Leaders experience. 

Team Workiro
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