Reconsidering Asset Tracking Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets, commonly referred to as Excel documents or Excel sheets, were developed as a simulation of the old-school paper accounting worksheet. They have been proven to be a simple solution for analyzing basic data. However, asset tracking spreadsheets are not ideal solutions for tracking assets and the use of spreadsheets can actually lead to problems as the amount of information grows over time.
Using asset tracking spreadsheets to manage fixed assets is very time consuming and not the best use of an employee’s time or a company’s financial resources. It is an incredibly long process to manually key in every single letter/number for every asset across multiple columns and hundreds or possibly thousands of lines. Users tend to spend long amounts of time sorting and searching for individual asset rows to track an item down or make a change to an existing line. Without built in data validation for key fields it is very easy, and very costly, to make a data entry error. Calculating depreciation for the current time period or across several periods is more complicated. And as the number of acquisitions grows, it becomes increasingly more difficult to track transfers, disposals and adjustments to your fixed assets.
Effective inventory management is vital for business owners and managing every day costs of doing business is important, especially when looking into asset tracking and management software. Businesses need to keep operations running smoothly by managing stock to avoid surplus and tracking inventory to see which products are performing best or need replacement. According to a 2014 article in Forbes, “various studies over the past few years report that 88 percent of all spreadsheets have “significant” errors in them.” A small spreadsheet mistake can cost companies millions of dollars or ruin a professional’s career and reputation.
Consider the following challenges presented by asset tracking spreadsheets that can impede on a business and their success:
Inconsistent data entry. Typically businesses include multiple employees who need to access fixed asset records at some point – to update data, to add data to delete an item from stock. Because only one person at a time is able to access the spreadsheet, they can actually change items that should not be changed or manipulate the layout or organization of items and cause great errors that might not be caught until it’s too late. If an error occurs, there is no system to relay who changed what and when.
Data volume. As the number of assets being entered and maintained grows, the amount of data being tracked increases. Maintaining large spreadsheets can become cumbersome and leads to an increase in errors.
Excessive formulas. Asset tracking in Excel or a similar spreadsheet program requires numerous formulas. If any of these formulas were accidentally altered or not used as intended, these functions and other operations can create a multitude of errors.
No audit trail. As multiple spreadsheets are circulated and saved over and over, a record of what items may have been misplaced or damaged can also be removed. Even if your team manages to create an accurate record of fixed assets using a spreadsheet, the purpose of the spreadsheet is often not documented. When there’s no audit trail, it makes it tough to keep your actual asset count and data in sync, especially when more than one person has access to the file.
A better approach to managing assets instead of using an asset tracking spreadsheet is to select fixed asset and depreciation software that is specifically built for this function such as Asset Panda.
Asset Panda is ideal for any organization, of any size, in any business. Whether online or through our Mobile App, our intuitive interface makes it easy to work from anywhere, on devices you’re already using. That means everyone in your organization has quick and easy on-demand access to everything they need to know about your assets.
With unlimited fields and configurability, Asset Panda can change as your needs change so that it’s always the perfect platform to meet goals or solve problems—about any number of assets. Drag and drop reporting allows you to easily generate the data you need quickly about your assets in one place.
Users can quickly integrate with legacy systems. Seamlessly import data from existing spreadsheets. Create customizable reports for relevant, contextual insights. And with world-class customer service, you can trust the Asset Panda team to quickly and efficiently answer questions or troubleshoot problems.
So if you’re looking for the best way to track and manage your assets, look no further than Asset Panda. It’s “Your Platform For Working Smarter.” See why companies around the world are leaving asset tracking spreadsheets behind and try us with a free 14 day trial. For more information, visit www.assetpanda.com.