Fixed Asset Management Process: Involve Everyone
Involve All Departments
Although fixed asset management projects are typically initiated either by Finance, Tax or IT, they should involve all departments.
It is not uncalled for that each department may have their own set of lists and ideas about what qualifies for a capital asset versus expensed. In addition, everyone should be aware of the rules and processes for disposing, the differences between transferring or moving assets and more.
Departments that should always get involved and brought into the discussion:
- Accounting – AP/PO, Fixed Assets, GL, Finance, TAX, Outside CPA Firm
- Information Technology / IT – receiving, disposals, deployment/placed in service, location
- Human Resources – employee assets and documenting/tracking
- Facility Management – updates, repairs, receiving, disposing
- Maintenance Department – repairs, disposals, maintenance scheduling
Data Share And Workflow
This is where your ‘policy’ comes into play. Data… how and where does it get entered? Who owns the receiving and data entry process going forward?
Assets can get purchased and received throughout many different internal locations, departments, facilities, etc. It is extremely important to identify not only where, but who is responsible for receiving, tagging, entering and deploying your assets. When multiple departments are included, its more important (than ever) to find and implement a full life cycle fixed asset management solution, that also allows for integration (either seamless or at the very least, import/export).
Things to consider for data share and control of your fixed assets:
- Consolidate (where necessary) all departmental worksheets, sub-ledgers, asset listings
- Automate and integrate across multi departments: AP/PO, CIP/WIP, Fixed Assets, Inventory Tracking, GL
- Users – power users, entry for new assets, flagging for disposals, transfers, or repairs
- Workflow – approval and disapproval process with alerts and routing
Don’t sabotage all your hard work… Make sure you document your new process! Once you have determined your system(s) of choice, workflow and process, make sure you take the time to document each step along the way. This should include which department is responsible for receiving the assets, tagging the asset and the location of the tag, required fields for data entry, screen shots with step by step examples, all the way through the accounting process.
Finally, train your staff on your new process and procedures. Systems are just online forms attached to a database. Use your new ‘process and policy manual’. All of your hard work will be lost if your staff isn’t trained on the new process that is in place. Take the time to train everyone involved.