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Fixed Asset Management Software: No More Spreadsheets! Part 1

Fixed Asset Management Software: No More Spreadsheets! Part 1

Fixed_asset_management_softwareFixed Asset Management Software: Why Ditch the Spreadsheets? 

In addition to our latest Sage Fixed Assets client webinar, we’re distributing a succession of blogs regarding fixed assets and the benefits of automation when using something like Sage Fixed Assets. This initial editorial accentuates the reason clients should abolish from continuing to utilize and track fixed assets in a standard spreadsheet software, from human mistakes to repetition, and no audit trail to bad decision-making.

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Subsequently, the series will review how significant your inventory system is to your fixed assets system, by always being aware of what’s there. The third is organizing your team for user adoption of the fixed assets management software platform, contributing tips on an efficient alignment to an innovative software solution. Lastly, we will finalize this topic with an editorial that prompts contemplation of your company’s requisite of a fixed asset manager, for managing equipment use with your organization’s development. Please let us know if you’d like more information or have any questions or need more information regarding fixed assets or if you are ready to learn more about fixed asset mangement software.

There are a multitude of methods to govern fixed assets and inventory. However, many of these procedures are unsuccessful. The old-fashioned use of paper and pencil can cause a myriad of problems, not the least of which have to do with coordination, human error, duplication and manually keeping records. When computers came into play, many companies thought this would resolve all their issues with inventory. Conversely while the curriculums increased correctness the end result was still damaged with too many human errors, some of which went unnoticed until after a catastrophe hit. This is particularly the case with what many software programs deliberate the primary asset tracking method, the spreadsheet. Many businesses that are still profoundly financed in these programs should earnestly ponder moving to an automated asset accounting platform. Such programs will demonstrate to be far more efficient than any spreadsheet currently utilized.

Bad decision-making

The problem with spreadsheets is that the data can be riddled with mistakes. The way data entry and duplication is executed leaves many occasions for errors. For example, a formulation that is crucial to achieving an accurate calculation on depreciation may not be seen, while somebody may neglect to add a significant reparation made to a machine. The end result is that definite inaccuracies will surface that  will be an individual’s oversight because there was an end-result, not an obvious mistake.

While this may not be earth shattering, it can be deceptive, for the one reason that such calculations help define consistent and imperative resolutions on how to manage your company. Financial analyst James Kwak points to an example of such impropriety in the financial market. In this situation, a major bank had created a new value-at-risk model over a series of spreadsheets which helped them conclude what to invest in for a certain financial portfolio. A critical error surfaced in all the copy and pasting: A key formula, which converted the old VaR to the new model, had divided the rate by the sum rather than the average. This simple mistake muted certain red flags by a factor of two and lowered the VaR. This caused the bank, J.P. Morgan, to make numerous dramatically poor bets in the financial market, prompting the "London Whale" scandal that cost the company more than $2 billion. The consequent inquiry exposed that automation was recommended to the people designing the new VaR model, but was ignored.

Vanishing Data

Of course, spreadsheet formula errors aren't the only objects to circumvent for inventory asset management. A major problem that Blue Chip Inventory Service noted is that any fluctuations to an asset are exceedingly challenging to document on a spreadsheet. For example, a business won't be able to manage who made modifications to the fixed asset inventory in most cases. While this may not be a problem for a very small operation who has one person auditing and counting, larger organization will likely need to know the person behind the variations in case there are key inquiries that need to be asked. They may be wondering why there is a new entry on a machine's repair history or why the condition has changed. More importantly, since anyone can access the sheet with or without a password, it's hard to manage the people making fixes to the same document.

At the same time, there is often no editing history in the spreadsheet file. If a change is made and saved, there's no way to revert or examine previous revisions. Examining prior history on a given asset can help determine its actual useful life, especially if there's a chance that there were some repairs or damages that extended or shortened its life. Asset accounting software addresses this problem by not only keeping track of prior adjustments, but also by providing analysis from these alterations.

You can read more about Fixed Assets here, or you can contact us for a demo or pricing.

If you have any questions or need help with the above recommendations, please call tech support at 502-429-6902 x227.

Oasis Solutions Group provides consulting, implementation, support and project management services for Sage ERP 100 & 500 (F/K/A MAS 90 & 200), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and HRMS software. Oasis provides and supports on-premise and cloud-based software products.

Located in Louisville, KY, Lexington, KY and Nashville, TN, we cover the Mid-West and New England areas as well as other locations.

We provide telephone, remote and on-premise support. In addition, we work with companies who purchased the system and need a higher level of expertise and support than they are receiving.

Blog contribution by Oasis Solutions Group – Another version of this blog was posted on Mar 5, 2015 Why You Should Avoid Using Spreadsheets for Fixed Asset Management

Additional reading:  Preparing Staff for the Adoption of Fixed Asset Management software by

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