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Tracking assets has never been more important.
As of 2019, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) requires organizations of all types to report their asset holdings with strict transparency. According to the mandate, facilities must represent both leased assets and related liabilities on quarterly balance statements.
“The guidance responds to requests from investors and other financial statement users for a more faithful representation of an organization’s leasing activities,” FASB Chair Russell G. Golden said in a press release.
Shockingly, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has said inaccurate asset reporting is one of the largest forms of off-balance-sheet accounting committed. Translation: Inaccuracies really mess with the books, which consequently paint inaccurate pictures of financial health. What’s a business owner or investor’s biggest asset-related fear? It’s that collateralized debt obligations (CDO) become illiquid before they can turn the ship around. Obviously, most facility managers aren’t trying to be deceptive with off-balance-sheet items.
However, that doesn’t mean costly mistakes can’t happen in lieu of proper asset management systems and planning. If you’re a facility manager (FM) who is struggling to stay on top of hundreds or thousands of assets, this article is for you. Below is a summary of the most common assets that facility managers should be tracking, and an explanation of how to streamline the process.
Asset Tracking for Facility Management Teams
Here’s a quick review of what ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) necessitates:
- Distinguishing between service contracts and operating leases and keep track of the terms of the leases, as they are required to recognize leases with terms of more than 12 months.
- Holding CEOs accountable for reporting lease information on quarterly financial statements.
- Developing a digital tracking system that automatically combines input asset data for streamlined reporting (i.e. ditching the paper stacks, binders, and spreadsheets).
- Maintaining updated information within the following categories: lease agreement and type, start and end date, type of lease, owner and lessee names, monthly payment, fair market value, and useful life.
Obviously, the larger the facilities under your supervision, the more important foolproof asset tracking and accountability systems become. Depending on your industry, you will probably have additional pieces of equipment, machinery, and valuables deserving their own data entries. However, most organizations can divide their assets into two overarching categories: facility-related assets and employee personal equipment.
Let’s look at which assets fall under these umbrellas:
This first category of assets that facility management should be tracking are what one might immediately consider when developing preventive maintenance programs, searching for cost-savings opportunities, and tracking liabilities. Not only do facility-related assets make buildings functional, but they are also necessary for the consistent occupant productivity, efficiency, and capital gains. It’s important to maintain physical assets that keep both employees and clients satisfied. The basic facility-related assets worth tracking are:
- HVAC equipment
- Common room appliances
- Copiers / MFD Fleet
- IT equipment
- Software licenses
It’s worth emphasizing: don’t forget to include IT equipment and software licenses within your asset databases. Always set reminders for license renewal dates to ensure there are no interruptions in digital communication and organization.
Employee Personal Equipment
The second category of asset tracking for facility management is the most often overlooked, and that is employees’ personal equipment. Depending on your unique industry, this may or may not require significant consideration on your part. However, the cost of these mostly smaller items can quickly add up if your organization employs dozens, or even hundreds, of employees. Here are seven more assets worth tracking:
14. Safety equipment
15. Mobile devices
Considering the many different assets facility management teams are responsible for maintaining is it any wonder an increasing number of FMs are turning to software? As of 2018, about 53 percent of facilities use some type of Computerized Maintenance Management System CMMS).
Spreadsheets are great for many tasks, but tracking hundreds of assets, corresponding maintenance recommendations, and worker progress just isn’t one of them. Even if your facility maintains a shared folder in Google Drive, you still run the risk of duplication, deletion, and mishandling.
How to streamline asset tracking
If you’re responsible for managing thousands of assets, the last thing you want to be doing is coordinating dozens of binders, clipboards, and spreadsheets! However, even the smallest of facilities can benefit from a facilities management system (FMS) that includes asset management, advanced reporting, standard operating procedures, and preventive maintenance scheduling capabilities.
Unfortunately, the most common challenge facilities face appears to be lack of human, technical, and strategic resources. According to a 2018 Plant Engineering Survey, 49 percent of respondents considered the lack of resources to be a significant challenge. The good news is that FMS software has never been more convenient, scalable, and affordable. MaintainX is a freemium FMS provider with a mobile-first platform designed to take the stress out of asset management.
Need help convincing a decision-maker to go digital? Here’s an article we wrote on: Facility Preventive Maintenance: How to Gain Executive Support.
Simplify operations with MaintainX
Are you ready to take the next step in digital asset management? We invite you to try MaintainX for free. Anyone with a smartphone can download the app and begin cataloging assets within minutes. MaintainX also includes everything you need to begin creating work orders, communicating with staff, tracking assets, assigning standard operating procedure checklists, and analyzing cost-savings metrics.
Humblebrag: MaintainX is the only FMS in the marketplace that includes instant messaging and group thread chat functionality alongside typical maintenance, supplier, and asset management features. We also provide a complimentary import service for facility managers wanting to convert long spreadsheets into the digital database. Based on our experience, most facilities recoup their investment within the first year.