What Is an Asset Register? Everything You Need To Know

Helpful Summary

Overview: At BlueTally, we recognize the significance of asset registers in business asset management. They serve as comprehensive records for tracking assets, essential for maintaining asset value and preventing loss.

Why you can trust us: Users from various industries, reviewed on Software Advice, have attested to BlueTally's user-friendliness and efficiency in managing IT assets. Our clients value BlueTally for our simple interface, responsive support, and comprehensive features, making asset management more accessible and less time-consuming​​​​​​​​.

Why this is important: An accurate asset register is vital for efficient business operations. It aids in tracking and accountability of assets, simplifies planning and budgeting, mitigates risks, and assists in cash flow management and revenue generation.

Action points: Implement BlueTally for a streamlined, cloud-based asset register, replacing complicated spreadsheets and manual systems.

Further research: Consider exploring detailed user experiences and reviews to understand how BlueTally can optimize your asset management strategy.

Want to Create the Perfect Asset Register for Your Business?

We at BlueTally have seen first-hand how an asset register revolutionizes asset management. An asset register is a comprehensive document listing your organization's assets - from IT equipment like computers and phones to digital assets like software and patents. 

Using our platform, businesses have efficiently set up both IT and digital asset registers, tailoring them with essential data points like operating systems, version numbers, and IP addresses. 

Clients have streamlined their asset management, leading to improved decision-making and better resource allocation. An asset register not only enhances accountability and planning but also mitigates risk and boosts revenue growth. By customizing asset registers to include crucial data like warranty and maintenance information, our clients have effectively managed their assets, contributing to their impressive growth.

Asset management is one of the more unpopular side effects of owning assets—as a business or an individual. It’s time-consuming and often tedious work. But it’s absolutely essential if you want to keep track of your assets, maintain their value, and protect yourself from loss.

Enter asset registers: a simple but effective way to record all the information you need about an asset.

In this article, we'll cover all the basics you need to know about asset registers, including what they are, why they’re important, and how to use them. We'll also introduce you to BlueTally — a powerful asset register tool with all the features and support you need to track and maintain your assets.

Ready? Let's dive in!

What Is an Asset Register?

Asset registers are high-level documents that list some or all of your company's assets.

In their simplest form, asset registers include the asset’s name, type, location, cost, and description. More advanced asset registers may also include who is responsible for the asset, associated maintenance log information, and fixed asset depreciation rates.

Asset registers can be used to track all of an organization’s assets centrally, including:

  • fixed assets (e.g., furniture, laptops, machinery)
  • IT assets (e.g., computers, phones)
  • digital assets (e.g., patents, software)

The goal of maintaining an asset register (and asset management in general) is to provide an accurate overview of the organization’s assets in order to simplify accounting, audits, maintenance, operations, and decision-making.

Asset Register Examples

To add some context to that definition, let’s look at two asset register examples—one IT asset register example and one digital asset register example:

IT Asset Register Example

In this first example, we'll use BlueTally's asset management platform to quickly set up an IT asset register and populate it with a few items.

We'll start by adding fields for some important asset data points—more on those later. BlueTally has most of the basic data points covered with preset fields for purchase cost, asset name, and more. We'll just add custom fields for operating system, version number, and IP address for simplicity’s sake:

  1. Click on New Asset to open the asset creation window.
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  1. Fill in preset data fields and click Save.
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  1. Click on Show Custom Fields and add custom data fields. Set field to text, number, dropdown, date, or checkbox. For this asset register example, I’ve added custom fields for operating system, version number, and IP address.
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  1. Add employees and locations. You’ll use these to check assets out and in, as well as to keep tabs on where assets are for maintenance and security purposes.
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  1. Start filling out your asset register. Enter the data for each field and click Save to update the record. You can also add more custom fields whenever you need to.
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Digital Asset Register Example

Creating a digital asset register example in BlueTally is just as easy. The main difference is that you'll almost definitely be taking advantage of the License tab to track license types and usage (like number of seats allocated).

Follow the same steps above to create your register. This time, there’s no need to create custom fields—BlueTally has you covered with preset fields for license type, license key, seats allowed, length of subscription, dates of purchase and renewal, and more: 

  1. Find the License tab and click New License.
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  1. Fill in preset data fields and click Save.
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  1. Enter product keys for each seat and click Save.
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  1. Start populating it your register with assets. Enter the data for each field and click Save to update the record.
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  1. Check digital assets out and in to registered employees with a single click. Employees will automatically get the product key emailed to them, and usage will be tracked in the License tab.
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Once your register is populated with assets, you can start taking advantage of the data for better decision-making and asset management. Generate reports on asset usage, track licenses and user seats, and more—all from your dashboard!

Why Is An Asset Register Important?

Maintaining an accurate asset register takes consistent, careful work—there's no denying it. 

But the effort is worth it: an asset register provides businesses with invaluable data about their investments. Knowing what and where your organization’s assets are, as well as their approximate value, can help inform strategic decisions that could save time and money.

Here are a few of the ways in which an asset register is especially beneficial:

Tracking & Accountability

Asset registers provide visibility into the assets owned by your organization and make it easier to track who is responsible for them. This helps keep employees accountable, which in turn reduces waste and non-essential expenses.

Assign & Checkout / Checkin Assets - BlueTally - Simple and Free Asset Management Software

With BlueTally's check-out, check-in, and ownership tracking features, you can easily keep track of who has access to what assets and at what times. This makes it easy to retrace the steps of any asset-related process, like maintenance or replacements.

Planning & Budgeting

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Having a clear overview of an organization’s assets makes it much easier to plan and budget for future purchases. This is especially useful if you have limited resources, as it allows you to prioritize investments that will yield the highest returns.

With an asset register tool like BlueTally, it's easy to create custom reports and dashboards that let you quickly spot potential issues and opportunities. This allows you to make informed decisions about how to allocate your resources most effectively.

BlueTally - Simple and Free Asset Management Software

Risk Mitigation

Asset registers help organizations identify their vulnerabilities in terms of asset loss or theft, enabling them to take preventative action. Tracking the depreciation of assets also allows organizations to budget for replacements ahead of time. This helps minimize costly repairs and replacements, especially if they’re unexpected.

Cash Flow Management & Revenue

Creating and maintaining an asset register takes time and resources—it's an investment. It’s a useful investment to make because it helps manage cash flow and encourages the efficient use of assets. This, in turn, can lead to higher revenue.

What Should You Include in an Asset Register?

The exact content of an asset register will vary depending on the type and scope of the organization or department. Plus, there are key content difference between the main types of asset registers—fixed asset registers, IT asset registers, and digital asset registers.

To help you get started, let’s go over some key data points you’ll probably want to include in the asset registers you create:

Data To Include in a Fixed Asset Register

Fixed asset registers are used to track—surprise, surprise—fixed assets. Fixed assets are assets that are not consumed or sold in the ordinary course of doing business. Fixed assets also depreciate in value, so calculate depreciation is a big part of maintaining a fixed asset register.

Your fixed asset register should include:

  • asset description
  • asset location
  • asset owner
  • asset user
  • purchase date
  • initial cost
  • depreciation method (e.g., accelerated, straight-line)
  • accumulated depreciation
  • current book value
  • barcode or asset ID
  • insurance information
  • warranty information
  • maintenance information
  • estimated remaining lifespan

Data To Include in an IT Asset Register

IT asset management is a core responsibility for IT departments—and having an IT asset register makes it a whole lot easier.  IT asset registers are mainly used to track hardware and software, but also help with managing IT consumables like printer ink cartridges.

Your IT asset register should include:

  • asset type 
  • asset location
  • asset owner
  • asset user
  • manufacturer (e.g., Microsoft)
  • model (e.g., Dell XPS 14”)
  • operating system (e.g., Windows)
  • version number (e.g., Windows 10 Enterprise)
  • system specification (e.g., 16 GB RAM)
  • network information (e.g., IP address)
  • data security information (e.g., encryption level)
  • warranty information
  • maintenance information

Having this data organized in one place not only makes it easier to manage IT assets, but also helps ensure compliance with security regulations and other industry standards.

BlueTally makes it easy to customize your IT asset register with all the information your department needs, with unlimited custom fields and statuses. Just add the data fields you need to track, and your data will be automatically stored in an easily searchable, up-to-date asset register that simplifies workflows.

Data To Include in a Digital Asset Register

Digital asset registers are used to manage digital assets like photos, videos, website content, and other types of media. Digital asset registers provide a single source of truth for digital asset management, ensuring that only the right people have access to content and that content is used according to rights agreements.

Your digital asset register should include:

  • asset type
  • asset owner
  • asset user
  • file name
  • resolution
  • date of creation
  • rights agreement details (e.g., expiration date, attribution)

BlueTally makes it easy to customize your digital asset register, too. Just add the data fields you need to track, and a centralized digital asset register will automatically store all information in one easily searchable place. This makes it easy to ensure digital asset security and compliance with rights agreements.

How To Create an Asset Register

1. Choose Your Tool

In their simplest forms, asset registers can be created using an Excel spreadsheet. But this approach comes with some major downsides, including:

  • tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone data entry
  • security risks as data is not encrypted
  • inability to scale with asset growth
  • lack of integration with other tools and systems

A purpose-built asset management tool like BlueTally solves these problems by providing an easy-to-use, cloud-based asset register that’s secure, scalable, and integrates with other tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.

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BlueTally gives IT teams the power to answer important questions about the assets they manage quickly—questions like “where is X?” and “who had Y last?”. Plus, BlueTally provides real-time insights into hardware and software usage, so IT teams can make informed decisions about their investments.

2. Create a Capitalization Policy

Your capitalization policy is the standardized rule determining which assets will be tracked in your asset register. To create a capitalization policy, you'll need to choose a capitalization threshold—the minimum value of an asset for it to be included in the register. 

Since your asset register is an internal document, you get to decide the threshold. Pick a threshold that’s low enough to facilitate easy decision-making, but not so low that it becomes cluttered. Your asset register is supposed to help you make decisions, and that means making sure it only reflects the assets that really matter.

Your policy should also define the types of assets you will include in your register. This could include hardware, software, vehicles, furniture, and more.

3. Form an Asset Management Team

An effective asset register is only as good as those who manage it. So, you should create an internal asset management team to oversee your asset register and its contents.

The team should include a leader (e.g., CIO) and other members who have an understanding of the assets that need to be tracked (e.g., IT staff). Asset management teams don't usually need to be large—start with 2–3 people and add more if your asset register grows.

4. Determine Important Asset Data Points

Your asset register will be the source of truth for all your asset data—it should include all the information that’s important for managing your assets.

We've already covered many basic data points you'll need to track. If you're struggling to think of more, it might be helpful to consider:

  • What kinds of data you and your team use day-to-day?
  • What kinds of data are you always chasing people down for?
  • What kinds of data do you need to make key decisions?

Once you have a list of data points you want to track, start adding them to your tool by taking advantage of both pre-set and custom fields.

This step is easy with BlueTally — just create an asset and start adding fields! You can add fields for any asset data point you need, with input options including dropdowns, checkboxes, numbers, and text.

5. Start Tracking Assets

Once you've got all the pieces in place, it's time to start tracking assets.

If you're updating an existing asset register, start by importing it into the new tool. With BlueTally, you can import your data from an Excel file with one click after mapping the CSV fields to those within BlueTally.

If you're creating a new asset register, break assets down into logical categories (e.g., phones and laptops) and collect data on assets in the category one at a time. Make sure to double-check all the data you enter, and include any user information like names and emails if it's available.

Once your asset register is populated, you can start using the data to make decisions and manage assets more effectively.

Asset Register Best Practices

Regular Updating and Verification

Data Accuracy: Regularly update your asset register to ensure data accuracy. This involves confirming asset details such as location, condition, and value.

Periodic Review: Conduct periodic reviews, preferably semi-annually or annually, to verify and update the asset register. This practice helps in keeping track of any changes in asset status.

Verification Process: Implement a formal process for asset verification. This could involve physical checks or using automated systems to confirm the existence and condition of assets​​​​​​.

Ensuring Data Security and Privacy

Encryption: Protect your asset register data with encryption to ensure confidentiality and prevent unauthorized access.

Access Control: Implement strict access control measures. Only authorized personnel should have access to the asset register to maintain data integrity and security.

Compliance: Ensure your asset register complies with relevant data protection regulations. Regularly review and update security protocols to meet evolving compliance standards​​​​.

Effective Integration with Other Systems

Software Integration: Integrate your asset register with other systems such as ERP or IT management software for seamless data flow and improved operational efficiency.

Data Synchronization: Ensure consistent and error-free data synchronization between the asset register and other business systems.

Workflow Efficiency: Integration can streamline workflows, reduce manual data entry, and enhance overall asset management efficiency​​​​.

Training and User Accessibility

Staff Training: Provide comprehensive training to staff on how to use the asset register software effectively.

User-Friendly Interface: Choose asset register software with a user-friendly interface to facilitate ease of use and quick adoption among users.

Accessibility: Ensure that the asset register system is accessible to authorized personnel, possibly including remote access capabilities for enhanced flexibility​​​​.

Performance Monitoring and Reporting

Analytics: Utilize analytics tools within your asset register system to gain insights into asset performance and utilization.

Reporting Tools: Leverage reporting tools to generate regular reports on asset status, usage, and maintenance schedules.

Performance Indicators: Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the efficiency of asset management and identify areas for improvement​​​​​​.

Asset Categorization and Grouping

Logical Categorization: Arrange assets in logical categories and subcategories. This helps in organizing assets based on their type, function, location, or any other relevant criteria.

Grouping for Efficiency: Group similar assets together to streamline management and reporting. For example, all IT equipment could be grouped under a single category, which can simplify processes like maintenance scheduling, budgeting, and performance analysis.

Asset Grouping Benefits: Effective grouping aids in identifying trends and patterns within asset categories, helps in efficient resource allocation, and enhances the precision of asset tracking.

Regular Asset Valuation and Depreciation Tracking

Asset Valuation: Conduct regular valuations of assets to ensure an accurate representation of their current worth in the asset register. This is particularly important for high-value assets and can impact financial reporting and insurance coverage.

Depreciation Tracking: Implement a system for tracking asset depreciation. This is vital for financial reporting, tax purposes, and understanding the true value of assets over time.

Updating Asset Values: Periodically update your asset register with the latest valuation and depreciation data. This practice is crucial for maintaining an accurate and up-to-date picture of the organization's asset base.

Simplify Asset Management With BlueTally

Asset management doesn't have to be complicated. With the right tools, processes, and people in place, you can easily manage your assets in one secure location.

BlueTally is a cloud-based asset register designed to make asset management simple and straightforward. Our platform provides organizations with an easy-to-use tool that's secure, scalable, and accessible from anywhere.

BlueTally also offers powerful features to help IT teams quickly answer important questions. With BlueTally, asset tracking and management is fast, easy, and secure—so you can focus on delivering the best service to your customers.

Sign up for a free trial and see how BlueTally can help you simplify asset management today.