A company's fixed assets are any "permanent" physical object that is used within the business. It can be anything from computers, tools, software to office equipment and furniture. As a business grows it can become a significant challenge to accurately track the status of each of these assets. Information about an asset's location, condition, age and how many of them you have on hand are critical for several reasons. It saves the firm time and money, reduces theft, facilitates budgetary planning, as well as even enabling a faster recovery in the event of a disaster.
Since these assets are normally used on a day to day basis by employees they still belong to the company and must remain under its' control. As such, if the company does not have an established asset tracking policy, and an accurate method of tracking those assets, it is very easy to lose that control.
There are many ways to accomplish this, from developing a "simple" spreadsheet to manually keep track of equipment types and serial numbers, to sophisticated GPS labeled equipment that is automatically tracked by a sophisticated asset management system. While the spreadsheet method is attractive in terms of implementation costs, it is dependent upon manually entered data, which can negatively affect the overall accuracy of the asset inventory. There are many mid-range systems that utilize serial numbered (and often bar coded) tags that are affixed to each asset enabling easier and more accurate tracking.
Accurate tracking of physical assets are a critical component of maintaining the financial health of any organization. It is incumbent on business owners to ensure that this is consistently managed and accounted for.
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