New Engagements vs Re-Inventories
One of the more prevalent questions we get asked by our first-year clients is what will happen after we complete fixed asset reports for them. More specifically, they want to know if the service provided is a one-time endeavor, and if it’s not, will it require the same type of time, effort, and resources to accomplish the task in future years.
While the end result is essentially the same – to perform an inventory and provide accurate and timely fixed asset reports – the differences are significant between our first year with a client, and subsequent years of service.
The first year with a client is a great opportunity for them to get to know us and our team firsthand. We’ll have open communication, from sales and contract discussions, all the way through the reporting process. Not only that but our service continues beyond that, as we are available year-round and strive to meet the fixed assets needs of all our clients.
At the same time, we get to know the client and learn what those specific needs are. Those needs may be related to specific reporting deadlines, specific thresholds, unique useful lives, etc.
Because we treat every new engagement as a “new start” for each client, we want to make sure we have the best starting point possible. This requires gathering as much information as possible during the first year. We will ask for significant information at the beginning of the process, including documentation detailing historical costs for capital assets such as land, buildings, and site improvements. We may also ask for specific lists, such as information for licensed vehicles, musical instruments, telephone systems, and security systems, among others.
In addition to the client-provided information described above, we will perform an on-site inventory to capture relevant information for all assets that meet the requirements requested by the client. We’ll tag assets that meet certain tagging criteria, using barcoded tags with a unique number sequence. Additionally, on an as-needed basis, we will also complete valuations on all buildings and site improvements, taking photos and videos along the way.
With all that information on hand, we complete fixed asset reports, making sure all necessary criteria are met. Reports are presented to the client, and if changes are needed, we are available to make and provide revised reports.
Re-inventories are a much simpler process. By now, we know the client and what their needs are, and they know us and the level of service we provide. But just as important, because we have such a great starting point with the first-year information, all re-inventories will be so much easier to complete! Essentially, all we are looking for at this point are changes from previous reports. We are looking for any fixed asset additions and disposals that have occurred since our previous year of service. If we are performing an on-site visit, we will re-scan the tagged assets and update the information as necessary, such as location, room number, etc. Additionally, we may come across fixed assets that were not available during our previous visit. Maybe they were being repaired, being used (like mowers), or at home with staff or students (like laptops/tablets). More on-site visits ensure a more accurate inventory.