According to Wikipedia an asset register “is essentially nothing more than a list of” physical items (property, plant and equipment” (i.e. fixed assets) that belong to an accounting entity (i.e. a company, business or organisation)
Of the thousands of businesses that we have spoken to, most use a spreadsheet (like Microsoft Excel) to hold that asset list. The question really is, if Excel is what most people use, then why are people looking to change?
Depending on your background you'll have a gut feel already.
However, a conversation today with a construction company in New Zealand, changed my own thinking: “we essentially just want to stop using a spreadsheet”.
But is that reason enough?… My opinion now … (for what itʼs worth) … not really.
The answer is held within this question: What purpose is there in ‘systematic changeʼ?
Companies like eMyth (http://emyth.com ) do a great job in both explaining and helping small and medium sized companies understand the reason, purpose, benefits and impact of any change
To oversimplify the whole point, business owners need to understand the risks of using spreadsheets AND the benefits of change. For example, yes you absolutely could create a nifty spreadsheet to do all your accounts and give that to your CPA or Tax advisor… today thats laughable with excellent solutions like Xero and Intuits QuickBooks on the market. So using Accounting as the foundation: Systems supply the proven structure to help you get the job done the right way - without paying $250,000 for SAP
So why move to a cloud based fixed asset structure (solution) for asset tracking and asset depreciation?
- Donʼt create a unique spreadsheet when you can leverage the learnings of thousands of other users? All over the world, roads are built in a similar fashion - same with solutions like Asset.Guru thereʼs good reason for the structure and methodology that we use - in fact its built on customer wisdom
- The best asset register solutions are actually asset management solutions - actually focused more on business requirements (like photo evidence,
- warranty reminders etc) than the depreciation (financial) requirements. Years ago people used to clock in to work using a machine - in fact many industries use a similar system today to keep staff safe, manage breaks and pay staff. They call that time keeping. However, time management software like Sheets (http://tsheets.com) changed that game for thousands of American businesses and provides a scalable business solution for both finance and HR teams
- Lower risk. Spreadsheets do get lost, and file structures do get corrupted. We all pity the poor finance person who finds that out (as we all have!)
- Get more people on the team: Sharing the work load of data collection, verification and interaction makes perfect sense in todays world. For Small and Medium Businesses (SMEʼs) getting your data in shape is not an option - its something that we just have to do!
Can you believe that Wall Street listed public companies spend so much money on a full time role to manage what they own. They arenʼt crazy - they are just very complex businesses - but avoid the trap of embracing complexity too soon
Thereʼs plenty of Software as a Service help out there to get you in the cloud, on to a scalable solution - and off a spreadsheet - without spending $40,000 and up on an answer.