From completing your inventory in less time to updating asset data efficiently, the benefits of an automated inventory system during audit season are clear. But if you’re making any software investment, it’s wise to look for a system that will help your department thrive year-round.
If that system is a mobile inventory solution, don’t let it gather dust on the shelf until audit season rolls around. Put it to good use during your daily asset management routine! Using your automated system year-round can improve data accuracy, help you work more efficiently, and relieve stress during audit time.
Quick tip: It’s easier to gain funding for a software solution when it helps your department every day, rather than just once a year. If you’re putting together a funding proposal for a mobile inventory solution, be sure to emphasize benefits and features that can increase efficiency day to day.
So keep your scanners close! Here are three ways you can use your mobile inventory solution outside of audit season to have more control over your fixed assets.
1. Keep track of asset transfers as they occur to improve data visibility
You should aim to process asset purchases and dispositions as they occur, as soon as possible. Then, throughout their lifecycle you can use your inventory system to keep track of any significant changes.
At the very least, try to establish data points when:
- assets are first purchased
- asset custody changes
- asset location changes
- assets are disposed
Consistently using your fixed asset inventory system in this way helps keep your data current, making it easier to conduct a complete inventory when the time comes.
Continuously tracking fixed asset changes also makes data more visible for other departments and stakeholders. Data visibility improves communication, leading to better working relationships within your organization. It also increases accountability for valuable and often-used assets like computers and other technology.
To fully gain the benefits of asset tracking software, look for a solution that allows you to track custody and location. Your system should let you pull up chain-of-custody reports. If you’re using the solution year-round, this feature makes it even easier to find out who’s responsible for which assets. This comes in handy when you’re tracking down missing assets during your annual audit.
2. Conduct regular internal reports to find gaps in your asset tracking process
If you have a problem with your asset management system, it’s better to know as soon as possible rather than during the pressure of audit preparation. Self-assessments are a great way to find any gaps in your asset tracking process, and internal reports are less time-consuming than conducting a complete wall-to-wall physical inventory.
If you conduct internal audits and notice a pattern in missing assets, like year of purchase or a certain location, then you can get to work solving those issues in time for your auditor.
Checking for data gaps and revising your asset management process on a regular basis keeps your operation running to its fullest, which can reduce the chance of audit findings and the amount of work needed to update records while preparing for an audit.
Quick tip: If you’re using a mobile inventory solution like GreenBar or Scan & Validate, you can access informal reports right from the mobile and web apps. Use the search engine to target a specific data field, and then use filters to sort out additional fields of what you need to know. This is perfect for when you need a quick update on a specific section of your asset data, but not a formal report.
3. Make inventory a perpetual process
Audit season may come and go, but your calendar should always say inventory season. Completing your inventory by sections at a time throughout the year eliminates the last-minute wall-to-wall inventory rush during audit season, leading to happier staff and more accurate data.
So when you’re establishing an inventory plan, strongly consider a year-round inventory routine rather than completing the process all at once. You can set milestones and benchmarks to make sure you stay on track leading up to audit season.
For instance, one of our customers divides their tracked assets into three sections, with a four-quarter annual timeframe. Their department completes inventory for one section during each of the first three quarters. During the fourth quarter, they are able to clean up their data and find missing assets, giving them time to get everything in order for their auditor.
Every asset management operation is different, with different auditing requirements, different diverse responsibilities, and different staff resources. You may think year-round inventory is too much to take on, but in our experience working with customers it really pays off in the long run. Spacing out tasks and responsibilities through the year leads to cleaner data and a more relaxed audit season. Because no two operations are the same, look into different inventory schedules to find out what works best for your department!
Maximize efficiency and maintain accurate, up-to-date fixed asset records
with AssetWorks Mobile Inventory Software
Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear how you put your mobile inventory solution to use before and after audit season! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions or questions.
Most organizations conduct a full physical inventory of fixed assets every 3 to 5 years. However, many organizations conduct an inventory of high risk/high price assets on an annual basis. Learn more about different types of inventory here.