By Anna Maxin
Fixed asset system. Building level asset management system. What’s the difference? Why would a school district ever need both?
A fixed asset system is primarily a financial tool designed to manage capital assets above a set monetary threshold to fulfill district accounting needs. A building level asset management system, on the other hand, is the campus counterpart to your fixed asset system, focused on perpetual inventory tracking and increased accountability, driven by the need to reconcile the fixed asset system’s data as well as non-capitalized assets critical to instructional initiatives.
Fixed asset systems are commonplace among school districts, however school principals don’t benefit from these systems because they are not designed to track the real-time assignment and movement of assets across the district. Building level asset systems provide data integration options with the district’s student management system and human resources software to manage the assignment of devices to students and staff. Additionally, building level asset complements the needs of financial asset managers with real-time mobile inventory audit functionality and asset usage reports broken down by site to perpetually keep your asset information up to date.
Here are a few examples of how your building level asset management system and your fixed asset system can work together for your district.
Communicate Asset Information Across the District
Asset identification is a common practice within school districts; however it more often takes place for capital assets above a specific monetary threshold and those assets critical to instructional practices – typically technology related. With the influx of lower cost, mobile devices, it is crucial to have a system in place to correctly validate the location and status of any asset necessary for operations to ensure they are accounted for accurately. Building level asset management systems provide a tool for the entire district to identify and update asset information as it is needed for any department or school building in the district, eliminating guesswork and reducing the time spent hunting for information.
Keep Asset Data Accurate
Most district business administrators cringe at the idea of adding thousands of low-cost, non-capital assets to their already large fixed asset system database. A building-level software provides you with a separate database for principals to easily manage assets under their control and ensure that your district is able to easily report and update the fixed asset system. Inventory automation will minimize the need for paper forms by providing electronic documentation of the movement of assets from building to building.
Automate Inventory Taking
Using a building level asset management system in addition to your fixed asset system, you can easily perform and monitor the progress of inventory audits in real-time – giving the district instantaneous information on which assets are verified, missing, or misplaced. There’s no longer a need to send paper printouts or spreadsheets from the fixed asset system for each school principal to account for site assets when they can quickly validate the location of assets electronically. Use room inventory reports as a starting place to find the asset in the school building, where schools can quickly identify the actual location of assets. This automation is the same functionality that expensive physical inventory companies would use to systematically audit each site, saving both time and money.
Ensure the Accuracy of the District’s Property Listing
District business administrators reconcile the actual physical inventory of purchased assets to the district’s property listing. Without a building level asset management system, processing paperwork to update assets lost, damaged, disposed, stolen, or transferred is an extremely time consuming, manual task. Producing an accurate property listing of all assets located within each campus is incredibly difficult without automating these processes. Building level asset management systems give school staff the tools necessary to verify their physical inventory, while providing district administrators access to asset records and reports for each building, thereby increasing transparency and lowering asset verification times.
These are just a few of the ways your inventory control processes benefit by having both building level, and fixed asset management systems.