April 1, 2019 Last updated March 26th, 2019 1,250 Reads share

Apps or Spreadsheets for Your Fixed Asset Register?

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Your business will have a fixed asset register.

A fixed asset register is the best and most effective way of ensuring that your business critical assets perform at their best for the most time possible.

What this means is that everything you use to make money will be logged. As well as this, financial information will also be logged: warranties, receipts, etc.

With information such as this, it’s possible to see how well an asset will perform for, and for how long.

Now, spreadsheets are great. They can help you manage, organize, and market your business. What they can’t do, however, is help you maintain a fixed asset register. They will become unwieldy and information will become confusing.

What limitations do spreadsheets have?

So, what are the limitations of spreadsheets when it comes to creating a fixed asset register?

First of all, there is a big obvious limitation. Or should I say small?

In order to best use a spreadsheet, you have to be on a laptop or computer.

What if, then, you’re in the field and one of your assets breaks? You yourself can’t necessarily update the asset register with the relevant information.

Imagine getting out your smartphone and opening up your sheets and trying to type “broken” as a comment on one of the tiny boxes.

As well as this, spreadsheets don’t create an effective way to update and change asset information.

It’s difficult to say when an asset is reaching the end of its useful life without some complicated color coding system.

There’s a chance in this case that there’ll be far too much information. You don’t want a rainbow spreadsheet that is virtually unreadable.

And then, what’s the best way to add comments?

Yes, you can literally add comments but then where do you put them?

As well as this the communication between you and a spreadsheet is one way. If there’s a reminder you have to manually search for it.

Before long your asset register will start looking messy, complicated and unreadable. It won’t give you the information you need, you have to remember to find that yourself

You cannot have all of this. Why? You’ll lose money.

Assets will miss inspection and maintenance dates. They’ll be pushed down because nobody will be able to update or know that they’re broken. Your business can grind to a halt if your fixed asset register isn’t properly maintained.

What kind of app?

Luckily, there’s a type of app specifically made for this kind of problem.

Asset tracking and management apps can create simple to use fixed asset registers and do a lot more for your business.

With these apps, you can tag assets with QR code tags, RFID tags, BLE tags, GPS tags, or even without anything at all.

If your assets are tagged, however, it’s a lot faster and easier to change the status of an asset on your fixed asset register.

Usually with most of the apps, scanning an asset will automatically update its location and open its asset profile.

With this speed and simplicity, all it takes is a scan and an update to see when a fixed asset is faulty or needs repair.

Everyone that shares the app then sees that something is in disrepair.

Either engineer instantly sees what needs fixing, or an asset can be instantly replaced.

So, you can see the status of an asset and it’s a location in an instant. Fixed assets can be transferred between sites faster and fixed more efficiently. What about the fixed asset register itself?

Most asset management apps create an asset register as you add your assets and their respective profiles.

The profiles here are the most important aspect of the assets.

Within these asset profiles, you can add financial information such as warranties and receipts. You can add reminders of maintenance information to never miss a date again.

This way you can simply open the app and have all the information you need in a way that’s designed for the specific purpose of asset management and maintenance.

Why should you choose apps over spreadsheets?

Yes, spreadsheets are free. Asset management apps usually aren’t. However, due to a spreadsheet’s limitations, they can actually make your business lose money.

Asset management apps, therefore, have an incredible return rate because not only do you save time (which means more time that assets are in use), you save money on pointless replacements or unnecessary breakdowns.

Spreadsheets simply aren’t designed for asset management and maintenance.

You can use spreadsheets for your employees’ financial information, for dates of meetings, to do lists.

This is the pattern, though. Something has to happen for these to change, and when they do it’s quick and easy to go into the spreadsheet and update it.

Assets are different because there’s so much information that needs to be constantly known and updated that spreadsheets simply can’t show all of this at once.

You need to know when an asset is getting updated, maintained, when it’s getting decommissioned, when it’s going out in the field when it was bought, the list goes on and on.

How are you going to keep track of all this information with a spreadsheet?

If you have a good, cloud-based asset tracking app, however, you can see all of this information in the field with ease.

It’s all on your phone too! So it’s simple and quick to update the status of an asset.

Fixed asset acting up while it’s in use? The user simply needs to get out their smartphone, open the app, go to the asset profile and update its status.

It could take days to update, change, and see that an asset is broken if a spreadsheet is being used. With an app it takes seconds.

Also, there’s no middle-man.

App it

With an asset management app instead of the use of spreadsheets, there’s less time, energy, and mental space wasted on trying to work out where an asset is and what it’s doing.

It’s an instant solution.

Simply open the app, scan it in, change it.

There you have it. No more phoning up the office and bureaucracy when it comes to sharing information.

Apps are the solution to all the headaches that spreadsheets create. They’re made for asset tracking, start looking!

businessman using a smartphone stock image

Ben Walker

Ben Walker

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