Government agencies and departments are responsible for an enormous volume of fixed assets. Cloud based asset tracking software can significantly improve their efforts to maximize the lifespan of their assets, curb theft and loss, and save significant time and money.
What are Fixed Assets?
How do you define a fixed asset? BusinessDictionary.com describes a fixed asset as any item that “is not consumed or sold during the normal course of business, such as land, buildings, equipment, machinery, vehicles, leasehold improvements, and other such items.” Fixed assets allow businesses and other entities, such as government agencies, to maintain normal operations and are expected to have a useful life – in other words, be in use — for more than one year. Asset tracking procedures may be used not only to track the fixed assets mentioned above; they also may help track human resources, software licenses, and much more. Some government agencies continue to rely on outdated standards of asset management – for example, an Excel spreadsheet, which requires manual data entry and invites typos and errors of oversight.
How Asset Tracking Helps
Government entities are charged with the responsible use of taxpayer dollars. Whether the federal, state or local level, many agencies don’t have the best track record when it comes to fiscal responsibility. However, one very effective way to move government entities closer to that objective is through fixed asset tracking. Cloud based asset tracking software enables government agencies to know at all times the fixed assets they have, where those items are located, the condition they’re in, and other pertinent details.
Government Regulations Hold Agencies Accountable
Access to this data isn’t just a nice to have. There are regulations in place that require state and local governments to adhere to certain accounting standards. GASB 34, for example, which was implemented by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in 1999, “is thought to be the most significant advent in government accounting practice since generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for governmental agency were established in 1934 (when the accounting standards were first created,” according to Thomas Maze and Omar Smadi of the Center for Transportation Research and Education at Iowa State University. In a paper entitled “GASB Statement 340 the On-Ramp to Transportation Asset Management or a Detour Leading to Business as Usual?,” Maze and Smadi explain that GASB 34 established accounting standards that were intended to produce consistency and make it easier for creditors and the public to judge agencies’ relative transparency. “Although what GASB 34 encourages are systems to manage individual categories of infrastructure,” they add, “it helps promote the science of asset management.” In other words, such regulations encourage and even enforce the responsible management of fixed assets.
Cloud based asset tracking software may be powered through mobile apps, which provide the convenience of anytime access to government asset data. Administrators may create reports, add asset stakeholders and establish custom security settings, initiate work orders, set up notifications and alerts, and more from the smartphones or tablets they already use. Additionally, they may organize and display data any way they want, look up the maintenance history and value of any item, and track its exact location. With cloud based tracking software, there are no more spending hours tracking down lost items, no more forgotten service or updates, or fees and penalties for noncompliance.
Asset Panda’s software is simple to use, easy to implement and configures to the specific needs of your government organization. To learn more, or to sign up for a demo, visit assetpanda.com.
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