Valuable business assets aren’t just patented design schematics, company vehicles, and factory machinery. They can also be intangibles as well, and a myriad of smaller items that are difficult to track reliably too.
Fortunately, technology can take the place of other less dependable ways to track the valuable assets a business owns. Not all solutions work well though or are fit for the task.
In this article, we examine how technology may help to keep tabs on valuable assets, so a business knows what it has and where it’s located.
The Need to List and Track Business Assets
Business assets might be large machinery on a production line, replacement spare parts, computer equipment, and right down to the paper clips. Knowing exactly what the company owns is important because it must be recorded, valued, and counted in the financial reports as an asset.
Valuable items are indicated in various asset categories on the Balance Sheet. They’re also written down over a period to reflect realistic business use. Therefore, a laptop may be expected to have a 3-year useful life and be written off by end of the period.
Nevertheless, even when the value on the balance sheet is gone, the company still needs to know if it owns the item. Otherwise, it won’t dispose of it for its maximum residual value and possibly generate some additional monies from doing so.
Are Spreadsheets Good Enough for Asset Tracking?
The trouble with spreadsheets, when used for asset tracking, is that it’s all too easy to forget something, keep items on individual rows and accidentally delete one without noticing, and have other upsets occur.
When an asset tracking spreadsheet grows substantially, it’s a manual-type system used in a computerized fashion that quickly shows its limitations. Not only can mistakes happen surprisingly often – like formulas not updating, being incorrectly created, or accidental deletion of data – but reporting isn’t easy either. And custom reports for upper management are usually beyond the scope of the modest spreadsheet app.
Total Asset Management Software
The idea of total asset management is that it can provide a structured way to manage company assets. Information isn’t easily lost, transposed, or deleted in error. Changes can be tracked to see what was altered and when. Access can be restricted to only people who need to use the software. And custom reporting is available at your fingertips.
Software like the TruQC total asset management (TAM) system helps to track company assets without hassle. Not only is that a time-saver, but using RFID chips and other tracking systems, along with sensible tagging, it’s possible to locate assets. And should any asset happen to grow legs and walk itself out of the building, that can be picked up on quickly too. Certainly in time to look through on-site video recordings to spot who the culprit was and take remedial action to recover the asset.
There may be many more valuable assets than were first realized. This includes “ghost” assets that are no longer used but are still in the company’s possession. Managing an asset list allows for better recognition of all holdings within the business and the proper disposal of ones that are no longer needed too.