Stock taking is the counting of on-hand inventory. This means identifying every item on hand, counting it and summarizing these quantities by item. There may also be a verification step, where the count results are compared to the inventory unit counts in a company's computer system. Stock taking is a common requirement of a periodic inventory system, and may also be required as part of a company's annual audit. In short, stock taking results in a summary-level document that contains a list of the quantities on hand for every inventory item as of a specific point in time. The procedural steps required to do so are noted below. This is a highly labor-intensive process and may require a significant amount of down-time within the warehouse, so companies generally try to avoid stock taking to the greatest extent possible.