August 20, 2020
Fixed Asset Audit Schedules Set Up Nonprofits for More Efficient Management
How many nonprofit organizations know exactly how many fixed assets they own, the condition of each of those assets, and where those assets should be located? Keeping that information up to date is vital, and audits are an invaluable tool that should be used regularly to provide insight into all of those details and more. Fixed asset audit schedules are a starting point for that exercise, helping nonprofits determine the relevant details they need to gather and how those details will be organized. The more preparation companies do on the front end, the better and more thorough the results on the back end.
In a blog post for TGG Accounting, writer Ashley Peth states that “not only is a detailed asset schedule important for reconciling your balance sheet, having one makes it that much easier and quicker for your CPA to prepare year-end taxes. As more details you have about all your fixed assets emerge, the easier accounting becomes. It also means there is less puzzle work when it comes time to sell assets or prepare taxes.”
Elements of Fixed Asset Audit Schedules
So what are the elements of fixed asset audit schedules? For starters, a unique identifier for each asset – like a barcode number, which lets users add, modify, and remove assets quickly in a fixed asset tracking system. Services like buyassettags.com enable nonprofit organizations to specify numbering on tags or labels if they wish. While nonprofits alternatively may choose to assign each of their fixed assets a numerical sequence, instead, barcodes prepare the organization to use scanners or apps with barcode scanning capability, which offer several advantages including faster and more accurate data reading.
Next, users need to organize their fixed assets into categories – and for reasons beyond just simple organization. As Peth explains, different categories of fixed assets depreciate at different rates. From there, users will want to itemize each asset, identifying such details as purchase date and price, monthly and accumulated depreciation. To ensure that the audit lines up with what’s on the nonprofit’s balance sheet, users will then need to add up the organization’s asset values and the accumulated depreciation.
The primary objectives of any fixed asset audit should be to demonstrate thorough, accurate and organized recordkeeping as a safeguard against errors and/or fraud; the ability to connect transactions to revenue sources; and perhaps above all, the ability to show how the nonprofit organization is using the funds to which it has been entrusted.
Tracking Platform Takes Accuracy, Efficiency to the Next Level
Establishing fixed asset audit schedules is a strong start toward better, more responsible recordkeeping. A fixed asset tracking platform, however, can take your nonprofit to the next level – providing not only a simple, streamlined tool for routine fixed asset audits, but also a platform that centralizes data for the complete lifecycle of every one of your fixed assets. Automation can sharply reduce or even eliminate the risk of human error, and depending on the platform you choose, you may need nothing more than your smartphone to get started.
Outsourcing your asset tracking and audit functions saves your organization significant time and reduces the frustration typically associated with hunting down fixed assets and their associated paperwork. Asset Panda’s free mobile app syncs with the cloud, includes a mobile barcode scanner, and requires no additional hardware to use. You can add as many users as you’d like and access your data in real time 24 hours a day. This intuitive system requires no special training to understand and can drastically improve the way your nonprofit keeps track of its assets.