Evaluate your Current Fixed Asset Inventory Processes

The following questions pertaining to your organization’s current asset inventory procedures are necessary to gain an understanding of your organization’s current fixed asset, personal property, and capital equipment inventory process.

These questions may help you identify where your asset management solution can be improved by having a professional inventory performed. Review these questions and use them as a self evaluation of your current fixed asset inventory procedures.

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Do you currently perform a fixed asset inventory or personal property count?

If you do not currently perform a regular equipment inventory, how does your administration or finance department prepare annual reports, accounting for fixed assets and capital equipment, and abide by accounting regulations?

Is the “paper & pen” method being used? This is a method where a listing of all assets for a particular building or room is printed and distributed. Then, an individual is responsible for “checking off” each asset identified on the list. If the "paper & pen" method is being used, is the inventory taker independent from the entity responsible for the asset? (Tasking the entity responsible for the asset with the inventory is the equivalent of allowing the fox to guard the henhouse.)

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Are your fixed assets barcoded with property tags?

If so, are you using barcode scanners to perform the asset inventory?

Are untagged fixed assets added to the inventory? If an asset is found that does not have a tag or is not on the inventory list, is it added or ignored?

How are assets uniquely identified?

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If you do perform an annual personal property inventory, who is performing the inventory?

Are you using employees to inventory their respective departments? Or are you using professionals with extensive experience in identifying fixed assets?

Who is inventorying the common areas of your organization? If you are using employees, what is the true cost of having them perform inventory functions? Salary cost and intangibles such as reduced customer service.

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What is being inventoried?

Are you only inventorying capitalized equipment, or are controlled, sensitive, pilferable assets included?

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If your organization does perform an annual property inventory, how long does it take to complete?

Is the inventory completed in a reasonable time frame to prevent excessive movement of equipment within the facility resulting in inaccurate inventory results?