Asset Tracking for Covid-19
An expert view on what asset tracking looks like in a new world of remote working and changing requirements
Vicky Stanley is a Fixed Asset Management Specialist with over 20 years experience implementing FMIS Fixed Assets solutions for some of the best known brands in the UK and internationally.
To speak to Vicky or one of our consultants please contact us here.
Many organisations have been hit by panic buying in response to lockdowns caused by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Unlike most households however, the need is for equipment and systems to allow staff to work remotely rather than pasta and toilet rolls. The need for urgency combined with enforced changes to established processes creates the perfect conditions for asset tracking chaos.
In a matter of weeks, the number of assets held may have doubled or more for many organisations significantly expanding the fixed asset register. Not all of these purchases will meet the capitalisation threshold, but even those that don’t will still need to be tracked.
The task of recording all of these capital purchases, with some being bought by the organisations and some by individuals then claimed back, will fall on an already stressed out finance team. In addition to juggling month-end, or worse, year-end, alongside homeschooling, teams now need to record and control a raft of new purchasing at a time when established processes are already changing.
It is critical during this time to ensure that all asset purchases are recorded on the register. This includes where they are located, which employee has use of them and whether they are safely stored and used. Looking beyond new assets, existing equipment is likely to have been moved from its usual office or factory location to home or other environments. Every asset move should be recorded to ensure that when things return to normal, assets can all be accounted for and returned to their original location.
Not only are low-value assets at risk during this time, but also many of our larger assets as well. Offices and buildings are being left empty for long periods posing increased risks. Security and other systems should hopefully have been regularly maintained and their maintenance details held as part of your enterprise-wide asset management system.
The crisis is expected to have a big impact on insurers and in turn the payouts for any claims made. Insurance claims relating to buildings being left empty, children spilling their breakfast over your laptop, or any other Coronavirus environment-related incident, are far more likely to be successful if you have a well maintained, up to date fixed asset register, where the location and full details, including supporting documentation of all assets, is fully recorded and easily identifiable.
Cloud solutions also often come into their own in these situations, with less reliance on individual IT departments and easy access to critical systems from any location.
The moral of this story is that a good fixed asset management system is not just for year-end accounting. It proves just how valuable your organisation’s assets are while giving you the accurate and up to date information needed in a crisis. This information is not just from a finance perspective, but also from a logistical and operational perspective.
For more information on how to implement or update your fixed assset managment system please contact us online or call the offices on +44 (0) 1227 773003.
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