As a business owner, it is vitally important that you stay organised, know what assets you own, where they are located, and who is responsible for their maintenance and upkeep. This is particularly important as your business grows and you start to expand into larger premises and multiple locations.
To effectively manage your assets, you will need to create a fixed assets register. Doing so will save you a lot of time and money.
This article will explore what a fixed assets register is and how it can benefit you and your business.
What are your fixed assets?
Fixed assets can be anything that belongs to your business or organisation such as office equipment and furniture, land and premises, machinery and plant. Assets can even apply to items such as fire doors and emergency lighting. These are all conducive to the running of your organisation and so are defined as assets of the business.
What is a Fixed Assets Register?
A Fixed Assets Register is another term for an inventory and is a way to accurately recording all of your assets, be it machinery, equipment, land, properties, and furniture, all in one place.
What are the benefits of creating and maintaining a Fixed Assets Register?
Without an Assets Register, how do you know what you have and where it resides? As your business grows, it’s harder to keep track of the equipment you have, whether purchased or hired, who is responsible for it and the upkeep of it, and that the item of equipment resides in its rightful place.
An Asset Register can also help with keeping a financial record of your fixtures and fittings and help you with depreciation costs at year-end. It also allows you to schedule maintenance and remedial works in line with your budget.
Assets Registers are not only a powerful auditing tool, but more often than not when a company prospers and grows, and with staff changeovers, it provides the only constant and reliable tool by which you can maintain a check of your assets.
How to list your fixed assets
You should choose to create a register in whatever way works for you. It might be a simple paper-based record or an excel spreadsheet, or if you have multiple sites or premises, you might prefer a more sophisticated system such as a software package. When creating a register, you should consider who must access it, who is responsible for maintaining it, whether you’ll need to create reports, schedules or budgeting information from it?
What information do you need to collect for a fixed assets register?
In creating a register, you can record, track and trace ALL your assets in one place, but the information you collate is entirely down to you. Ideally, you would want to identify the following:
- list all your assets
- their location within your premises
- their status and condition
- whether they require annual assessments/checks, for instance, fire extinguishers
- expiry dates
- when replacements or re-inspections are required
- documentation and certificates, where relevant
- user guides and ‘how to’ video guides, where relevant
In creating a register, you may want to assign:
- a unique identifier code or numbering system
- name of the asset and description
- purchase cost and date and capitalisation dates
- departmental cost or cost centre
- asset life and depreciation value
Choosing the best method of recording your fixed assets
As mentioned, the choice probably depends on the complexity of the asset register. If you’re looking to record all your assets from one building or a single office or single floor, you may well opt for a simple spreadsheet. However, the more complex the premises such as university campuses, multiple sites or retail outlets, with a need to share the information across numerous locations, then a more comprehensive recording method, tracking, and tracing will be needed, such as can be delivered using software.
Assets Management Software Solutions
There are numerous software packages on the market and it’s important you get the right one for your needs.
The Assets Module within ACMS UK’s Vision software is one such software solution. The Vision software is a modular system, which means the Assets Module is just one of nine. Vision’s unique selling point is that you can run just one module or select as many as you feel would be useful to you and your business. This means you can have all your assets AND risk compliance elements such as fire, legionella, asbestos, etc., in one place and easily visible by whomever you wish to give access and responsibility to from within your organisation.
But let’s stick to the case in point… Assets.
Vision is a secure, cloud-based software system. This means it doesn’t take up any memory or space on your current system.
It also offers a Document Storage facility allowing you to upload your historical data, meaning you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch. We can simply upload the latest information into the module and your data is live and ready to go.
The Assets Management Module gives you the ability to list within each building, every asset, where it’s located, a description of each item and its current state. Each location has a set of customisable questions that allows you to detail whatever information you need.
Its flexibility lies in the opportunity for you to customise the module to meet your exact requirements. If the questions need adapting or changing, that’s not a problem.
The Assets Management Module also allows you to upload images and CAD drawings which then take the information stored within Vision to identify the areas where the assets are located, giving you a visual ‘map’ of your operation. You can upload and store documentation, certificates, guides and even video footage for each or ALL of the assets listed.
You can assign expiry dates for those assets that require frequent maintenance checks, maintenance dates, significant findings and actions.
With the corresponding Vision Mobile App and the Vision-tag (RFiD or Near Field Communication) technology, we can tag an asset or location giving those on the ground (at site level) immediate access to the live data, the documentation and/or the maintenance records for that item or location, or even, individual, via their mobile phone (ISO or Android).
By tagging a location or room, you can list the assets in that location.
Head of Asset Management at Anglia Ruskin University, Christopher Willis, comments, “Utilising the Vision software system, Anglia Ruskin University is continuing to improve and evolve its asset management procedures and is now working with ACMS UK to install Vision-tags. These tags will be applied to all room/areas, allowing authorised auditors to scan a tag and all information relating to emergency lighting, or any other assets, in that area be returned and updated via an authorised mobile device.
The software also allows us to upload any documentation, certificates, video guides, and servicing schedules to individual assets. When reading the tag, we – and our contractors – will have every bit of information we need immediately to hand. Ultimately, in utilising the tags in this way, we will have comprehensive knowledge of all our assets, where they are, their current maintenance status, etc., which means nothing will get overlooked or missed and all the information needed will be in on place and easily accessible.”
If you think ACMS UK can help you, give us a call on 0115 922 0600. We’re happy to arrange a no-obligation online demo to give you a look at what Vision can do for you.