Companies in the silicon age manage more assets than ever to deliver their offerings. With licensed-based software, various devices, complex cloud tech, and the like flooding the workplace, keeping a close eye on the real-time status of your IT assets is a must.
An accurate overview of IT assets positively impacts your business's bottom line and can increase revenue. Implementing comprehensive asset management gives you an advantage over businesses failing to monitor theirs efficiently. Now with easy-to-use asset management software like BlueTally, any size company can reap the benefits of a cloud-based asset inventory.
This article discusses how solid asset management benefits your business and how to create an accurate asset register for business insight and to support critical decisions.
What Is an Asset Register?
Before we delve into creating an asset register, we'll quickly go over what an asset register is and its importance.
In short, an asset register is a record to track and monitor all business assets used to generate revenue. The asset register will log useful information on each asset, including:
- physical location
- purchase date
- purchase price
- current value
Although many businesses use spreadsheets to record their IT assets, asset management software like BlueTally is an efficient long-term solution. You can find real-time asset information and keep on top of IT maintenance for smooth business operations.
Why is an Asset Register Important?
1. Asset information is easier to find
80% of employees in the U.S. waste time, by spending half an hour each day retrieving asset information. Using a centralized asset management platform will give you all the information you need on an asset quickly. This can include its physical condition, recorded updates (if it’s a software asset), who’s using the asset and where, etc..
2. Supports asset longevity and ownership accountability
It accommodates scheduled maintenance to prevent breakdowns and extend asset life. In addition, the ownership information keeps users accountable for correctly handling business assets, which can help reduce asset turnover and theft.
3. Reduces costs
Since all your assets will be tracked and accounted for, you're less likely to purchase assets you don't need. And asset management software helps you stay on top of asset maintenance. With regular maintenance you can extend their useful life to get the most out of them during their life cycle. In addition, this helps to minimize asset replacement and repair costs.
4. Business compliance and audit-readiness
Accountants need to reference information like the correct value of assets when calculating balance sheets, tax, or when you depreciate fixed assets. This will ensure that your balance sheets are accurate, which will help when you carry out audits.
5. Achieves ISO 27001 compliance
Businesses should complete an asset register for an efficient Information Security Management System (ISMS) and to attain the ISO 27001 certification standard for information security.
What Are the Different Types of Asset Registers?
Fixed Asset Register
Fixed assets are physical assets used to produce products and services. These are long-term investments since they offer an estimated duration of service (useful life) of more than one year. Fixed assets can be land, office equipment, machinery, and vehicles. Examples of assets can include:
- office building
- office furniture
- company vehicles
Non-physical assets should be documented, too. Examples include software licenses, copyrights, in-house applications and software, and other intellectual property.
IT Asset Register
IT departments use asset registers to manage and track all assets on the network. The information should confirm whether assets are up to date, configured correctly, and sufficiently protected.
The ISO 27001 standard is concerned with helping organizations to avoid security breaches, and BlueTally can protect your data from external and internal security risks. It is hosted on Amazon AWS and uses Amazon security functionality for traffic encryption and you can also set up multi-factor authentication.
Digital Asset Register
A digital asset register records anything stored digitally. Many businesses treat digital data as an essential IT asset that requires management and maintenance throughout its cycle, just like tangible assets. Examples of digital assets include:
- Audio files
- Video files
- Written documents.
Digital asset registers generally include asset description, location (i.e., Google Drive), format, and whether it's owned or copyrighted.
How to Create an Asset Register
1. Set an Asset Capitalization Policy
First, you'll need to establish the threshold that qualifies whether an asset will be included on the register, recorded as a long-term asset (capitalized), or not included and expensed. The threshold is typically based on the asset value and estimated useful life.
For example, smaller companies set the threshold at $500. Therefore, assets valued above $500, with an estimated useful life of over a year, are added to the register. Assets under $500 are immediately expensed. Corporations that use more high-priced assets will have a high capitalization policy, at $5000 or more.
2. Choose an Asset Tracking Software
Asset management can be challenging, especially when you start a register. With that in mind, choose software that simplifies and assists you in accurate and strategic asset management. The best asset management solutions are affordable, easy to implement, and offer all the features you need for company-wide asset management. The information should support IT with purchasing decisions.
BlueTally has all the features you'll need. It offers a growing list of valuable integrations like Slack and Microsoft Teams), API and more features to ensure all necessary asset information is captured. You can customize the details recorded and information retrieved through custom fields and custom reporting features.
3. Identify Assets Using the Balance Sheet and Perform a Physical Audit
You need to recognize all assets for a successful - asset register, and there are a few ways to do this. The fixed assets listed on the balance sheet are a current reflection of the company's books. Use this list to create your asset list. They’re usually found under the "noncurrent assets" section.
Another way to find assets is to execute a physical audit by visiting business locations. Cross-check the assets listed on the balance sheet to ensure all are listed. Note the assets not included on the sheet. Generally, these types are at the end of their life cycle and have a depreciation value of zero.
4. Finalize the Variables you Wish to Track
Depending on the asset, your asset register may include variables like:
- serial number
- date last checked for antivirus, antimalware, and patching
- the information type held on a device
- Registration number
- Make and model
5. Establish Asset Codes
To identify assets, each should be assigned a unique ID. The ID could be a combination of any random alpha and numeric characters. Even though asset management software will include the asset type, a naming convention identifies an asset when referenced outside the software.
6. Use Barcodes for Tagging Assets
You can easily access real-time information and asset history through barcodes, and the setup is relatively straightforward. Tools like BlueTally allow you to print unique QR codes comprising asset IDs to tag your assets.
Barcodes can also be used as a security measure, where a barcode must be scanned for authorized access to sensitive information.
7. Create an Asset Master Record
An asset master record is where all the static asset attributes reside, and a new record should be created every time a new fixed asset is purchased. Large and complex businesses typically make multiple master records based on different departments/divisions or asset attributes like fixed or IT/digital assets.
All asset master records should include an asset number, unit, and serial numbers. You'll also need a primary number, which is used for identifying assets. The ID number assigned to an asset on the master record should be unique throughout the system.
8. Monitor and Update It Regularly
Your asset register is a dynamic document and requires regular updating to remain accurate. To ensure your register is kept accurate, consider these points:
- If other people are involved in maintaining the register, ensure everyone follows the exact instructions. For example, everyone should be clear on the procedure for changing asset ownership.
- The information recorded for assets with high operating costs or depreciation rates should be monitored more frequently than inactive assets.
Use BlueTally for Accurate IT Asset Management
Taking the time to implement a robust asset management system using asset management software gives you complete control over business assets. Accurate asset information can positively support the business in numerous ways, including saving money.
Manual spreadsheet systems no longer cut it (except when there’s just a handful of assets), so businesses turn to software like BlueTally to streamline their asset management. BlueTally provides real-time asset information, helps you to retrieve asset information quickly, and features like custom fields support ISO 27001 accreditation if required.
Visit BlueTally today to get control of your assets and get started for free.