Self-Assessments Give Property Managers a Heads Up Going into Audits

In the midst of an audit, organizations fear phrases like invalid transactions, non-compliant valuations or incorrect classifications. They’re terms that highlight bad habits originating in the property management department. For companies leveraging effective self-assessments, there shouldn’t be too many off-putting surprises come audit time.

Examining a property management system with the purpose of identifying potential areas of risk is an effective way to define self-assessment. Unlike an audit which relies on an outside entity to conduct the review, a self-assessment is usually executed internally using an employee outside of the spotlighted department.

If you’re considering a self-assessment, keep these key points in mind:

Objectivity counts: Using an employee who works outside of the property management division is necessary to completing an objective self-assessment. An internal review from a worker whose job functions are being assessed can lead to a biased report. An independent employee or contractor who’s familiar with the standards and policies adhered to by your organization can provide objective insight.

Establish support for the plan: Gathering data, defining roles, performing evaluations and determining targets are all chapters of a self-assessment. What’s the point of your self-assessment? Has your department performed one in the past? These are questions you should discuss with the CFO or high-ranking business official prior to a self-assessment.  Gaining their support as well as the support of the team conducting the assessment can help make sure everyone shares similar expectations of the process.

Know what to identify: Self-assessments put a microscope on the inner workings of the property management department and those across the organization responsible for property. The assessment should focus on administrative controls, data flow, risk rating and all key metrics associated with the movement of fixed assets. Any issues identified in prior audits should be included as well.

Consider the challenges: Communication is key. A suppression of data or an unwillingness to cooperate can kill the process. Other challenges that stifle a self-assessment are high employee turnover or frequent changes in organizational policies and procedures. It’s difficult to conduct an effective self-assessment when pieces often change.

With strict standards in place and multiple moving assets, property management is not an easy responsibility. A self-assessment can help managers make better decisions and more importantly, it can eliminate any surprises that may emerge in an audit.

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2018-02-08T15:00:23-05:00Tags: , |

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