Fixed Asset Audits & Verification

Background

All private and public entities are required to conduct an annual physical count of all fixed assets to verify actual assets in hand and value and ensure the accuracy of related financial records. One of the topics covered in the Final Asset Management Guide issued by National Treasury is that a comprehensive Fixed Assets Register must be prepared. Once the Fixed Assets Register has been prepared, there is need to continuously update with additions and disposals (maintaining a separate Disposal listing), the assets must be depreciated on an annual basis. More importantly there is need to estimate the remaining useful lives and residual values of the assets on an annual basis at the bare minimal.

The fixed asset register shall be maintained in the format determined by the entity, which format shall comply with the requirements of any accounting requirements, which may be prescribed.

Keeping track of assets can be a challenge to organizations large and small.  Assets can move locations, get reassigned to other people, get replaced, etc.  Management wants reports about asset allocation, usage and service history.  Accounting needs accurate data for tracking inventory and calculating depreciation.

The first core component of asset management is the asset inventory. This component is probably the most straightforward of all. It is also, arguably, the most important as it underlies all other aspects of asset management.

Knowing what assets you have, where they are located, when they were purchased, if they are still in use, etc. is critical to any organization.

Some of our recent Clients

         
         


   
         

 

 

Managing Asset Information to Make Better Decisions

Are your systems and processes configured to provide you with the information you need to manage your assets? 

Or are they viewed as a burden with little value?

There are many processes and tools to support the management of the information on assets and the maintenance of the assets.  Depending upon the size and requirements of the organization, tools from manual paper based systems, to spreadsheets, to EAMS (enterprise asset management systems), and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems have been effectively used. 

The critical issues are to select the processes and tools most appropriate for your organization, and to use them effectively. There are many situations where the appropriate tools were not effectively used due to ineffective processes, ineffective training, or poor implementation and configuration.  The selection of inappropriate tools may cause even more issues. These situations can cause poor quality or inaccurate data, as users see no value to the systems, inefficient processes with considerable manual intervention where the processes are not optimized for the system used, and duplicate data entry or use of manual entry when the systems could better manage the data.  The final result is often a considerable investment in systems with little of the promised benefit achieved.

How good is the information in your systems?

Should you be getting more value from your systems?

The use of Spreadsheets

While companies for a wide range of tasks use spreadsheets, a majority of companies continue to use spreadsheets for financial tracking and reporting. It is however more important that companies keep tighter track of their financial data, including their fixed assets.

Some negative aspects of spreadsheets when it comes to tracking and depreciating fixed assets are

  • manual creation of formulas
  • lack of audit trails
  • security concern
  • potential for fraud

It is important that companies understand the deficiencies with spreadsheets and implement solutions that are designed specifically for the intended purpose. 

Asset Management Personnel

Asset management needs to focus on the organizational requirements of the assets, rather than solely upon asset-related technical issues. 

In many cases, asset management is the responsibility of individuals with no formal training in business and organizational issues.  They often have promoted based upon their understanding of technical processes and systems, and naturally focus on the areas in which they are comfortable and competent in working.  Many are very capable long-term employees with limited exposure to other asset management practices, depending upon company policies and practices on attending conferences, training, and opportunities to visit other operations.

Managing Your Assets to Manage Your Risk

What risks are the most critical to you?

Do you look at production risks?

What about health and safety, and environmental risks?

There are many risks related to asset management facing organizations today, with different probabilities and severity of outcomes.  Often the implications of the risks are not fully understood. 

If you are not able to operate your physical assets when needed, is it just lost revenue for the duration of the downtime?  Or additional costs due to expedited deliveries?  Or is the matter more severe, resulting in a permanently lost customer because of missed deliveries in a JIT (Just in Time) manufacturing environment? Customer issues related to quality or customer service can have similar outcomes.

The negative outcomes related to health and safety, and environmental violations have gotten much more severe.  As well as the amount of the fines increasing for violations, more jurisdictions are imposing jail sentences for the violations.

What is the risk impact to your organization? What is the risk impact to you, given the responsibility of your position?

Business Cloud Computing

As FM, your responsibility is to guide your organization through business transformation to minimize risk and recognize opportunity. The latest transformation facing organizations of all sizes is the change from internally supported business management applications, including ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and LOB (Line of Business), to cloud based infrastructure and applications.

Cloud computing is an opportunity to completely transform how your business and its people work. Saving the organization from capital expenditures that last longer on the balance sheet than in the server room may be the most often cited benefit.

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Asset verification

Using photographic equipment, scanners and verification software, OpenAsset inventory specialists go on-site, seek out each FAR asset, and verify its existence, asset type, location and description with reference to the updated records from OpenAsset.

Asset information for those assets that are not currently listed on the ledger, but are of obvious material value and consequently should be accounted for, are seeked and collected and the asset's value appraised for inclusion into the ledger.

Photographs are taken of assets to assist in their identification for description, classification, insurance purposes and replacement.

All vague descriptions of assets are investigated, clarified and corrected.

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Supply and implement bar-codes

OE supplies and implement bar-code labels. OE has subject matter expertise in supplying and assisting with decisions regarding the choice of appropriate labels for various applications, and recommending labels appropriate to different classes of assets such as motor vehicles, furniture or IT assets. 

Labels are securely attached to the asset in a manner facilitating easy identification. Colors and lettering fonts used for labels on operational devices provide for easy reading from a reasonable distance.

In order to make asset labels unique operational asset number labels commences at the numeral 000001.

Labels are affixed to the front door/entrance of locations to link assets to that location and commences from R0001.

OpenAsset Fixed Asset system

OpenAsset is a web-based fixed asset management system developed by Open Edge Technologies and is ideal for any organization that requires remote access to its asset register. Assets can be added, deleted or edited from most devices with Internet or Intranet browser access.

The system is built upon over 25 years of experience of providing financial solutions to a wide spectrum of customers, including municipalities, among others, and complies with all GAMAP/GRAP standards.

The emphasis was to develop an easy to use, low maintenance, scalable, web or Server based system on the Microsoft platform that will ensure easy integration into other systems.

OpenAsset is a multi-user system and runs on a Microsoft SQL Database server using ASP.net coding, meaning that - for users to access the system they only need a standard web browser at the client PC. This enables all employees with a user account and menu access to OpenAsset to print own allocated assets.

OpenAsset help eliminate redundant data entry, increase accuracy, and reduce costs while guarding against regulatory noncompliance. By combining numerous tax and accounting rules, as well as depreciation methods and an intuitive interface, OpenAsset Fixed Assets delivers the most complete fixed asset management solution available. With comprehensive depreciation calculations for financial and tax reporting, asset inventory tracking and reconciliation, construction-in-progress management, and customized reporting, companies can effectively manage every step of the fixed asset lifecycle—from acquisition to disposal.

Features & Benefits

With OpenAsset Fixed Assets you get:

  • Visibility across the organization with real-time access to all fixed asset data across all operating divisions
  • Centralized control with enterprise-wide depreciation policies, which are automatically enforced across all operating entities
  • Out-of-the box compliance - Tax , IFRS and GRAP regulations with built-in tax code and validations
  • Built-in audit trail which provides a thorough and secure historical record of all changes
  • Comprehensive consolidation reporting with automatic consolidation across all parts of the corporation
  • Integration with financial systems so you can automatically exchange data with your accounting and tax compliance systems
  • Multiple users can quickly and securely login from any web-browser across the globe
  • Zero footprint installed on the client PC
  • View, add and edit fixed asset records from any remote location
  • Easily access a complete audit trail with history/actions performed by all users
  • Adapt quickly to the familiar Windows™ inspired interface
  • Establish individual or group access rights for security purposes.

The OpenAsset system reflects the following information

  • a brief but identifiable description of each asset
  • the date on which the asset was acquired or commissioned
  • the location of the asset
  • the departments or cost center within which the assets will be utilized the responsible person for this asset
  • the title deed number, in the case of fixed property
  • the stand number, in the case of fixed property
  • where applicable, the identification number
  • the original cost or fair value if no costs are available
  • the (last) revaluation date of the fixed assets subject to revaluation the revalued value of such fixed assets
  • accumulated depreciation to date
  • the carrying value of the asset
  • whether this is a cash or non-cash generating asset
  • the method and rate of depreciation
  • impairment losses
  • impairment recovery
  • the source of financing
  • the current insurance arrangements
  • the date on which the asset is disposed of
  • the disposal price
  • the date on which the asset is retired from use, if not disposed of.

Asset Mapping

Creating or obtaining a map of your assets is an important step in preparing an asset inventory. An asset inventory map can help operators and managers conceptualize their assets as a whole. OpenAsset utilizes GIS and integrated mapping to show the location of your off-site assets.

Asset Tracking and Verification

Whilst OpenAsset offers all the standard functionality of financial fixed asset management, what really sets OpenAsset apart is the strong integrated approach to asset and inventory management and verification. OpenAsset allows the cataloguing of all assets in a business providing bar coding, photographic documentation and GIS integration. Information about the location, responsible person, condition and latest verification details are available throughout the organisation through a well designed on-line interface. OpenAsset excels at bringing the relevant asset tracking and verification data to the desktop of asset managers, asset auditors and financial managers in a seamless integrated environment.

Time and Cost Saving

Our Asset Management solution minimizes the efforts spent on the time consuming tasks associated with asset management, and offers investment payback through improved productivity and efficiency gains.

Open Asset Software and Services are provided at an all inclusive subscription fee allowing for effective planning and roll-out of our enterprise solutions. We have found that this reduces our client’s exposure to large upfront costs and perpetual license fees. A key driver of our subscription fee allows our clients to focus on the acquisition, movement and disposals of all assets within the organization for the entire life cycle of the asset while we concentrate on providing a world-class software environment and predictable verification services.

Services are typically offered at a minimum three year inclusive contract and are calculated at the total number of assets verified and maintained. 

Ease of use

OpenAsset software is easy to install and use. The learning curve is short due to the intuitive layout of the products. Clearly designed screens make the software a pleasure to use.

Reports

Know your assets inside and out.

Accurate and relevant reports are critical to managing your fixed assets well; it's the best way to see what you have and determine how to best manage them. That's why OpenAsset Fixed Assets - Reporting gives you so many options to customize the format, appearance and context of all your fixed asset management reports.

Quickly transform a report summary into a detailed, professional analysis. Reports can be viewed on screen, sent to a printer, emailed or exported to PDF, XLS, HTML, XML, and other popular formats.

A common GAMAP and GRAP compliant reporting function is used across all types of reports, ensuring a single, intuitive method of analyzing and extracting fixed asset information.  OpenAsset significantly accelerates the year-end reporting process, where users can select data according to a number of specifications including asset type, purchase value, depreciation method and capitalization date.

Reports can be produced for each accounting book set up within the system to show the status of assets during any accounting period (current, past or forecast). Three levels of sequencing are available for each report; for example, reports can be ordered according to asset type, cost center then department. Information can also be gathered on a single field.

Customizable reports include:

  • User-Defined Parameter Inputs with Specified Fields
  • Color-Coded Easy to Evaluate Graphical Reports
  • Asset summaries - both details & values
  • Asset additions - purchase, and lease & hire
  • Depreciation schedules - both tax and Book
  • Period depreciation - both tax and Book
  • Depreciation projections - both tax and Book
  • Accounting entries - additions, disposals and depreciation
  • Insurance values - by policy
  • Ad-Hoc report generation
  • Manual Tracking provides the facility for conducting manual asset audits.
  • Asset movement
  • Transfers
  • Insurance and replacement values

Software/hardware requirements

  • Completely Web Based – only a Web Browser is needed to manage assets
  • Easily Accessible on your network
  • Industry Standard Architecture (MS SQL Server, ASP/ASP.Net)
  • No Additional Hardware Required  – our IT and fixed asset management solution can typically be installed on existing servers
  • Utilizes Existing IT skills with minimal need for re-training

Depreciation

OpenAsset simplifies the process of calculating depreciation for all assets, with a single click of a button. Now you can forget about spending nights doing reconciliation of several spread sheets, during the annual return filing.