Best practices for keeping your Asset Register Up to Date

Best practices for keeping your Asset Register Up to Date

It can be an arduous task to keep tracks of different assets that reside within an organization’s inventory. There can be tremendous implications if assets are not managed in a proper and systematic way. Records can easily get misplaced and can get lost in transition when assets are moved from one location to another. Many companies have trouble in tracking the location of assets, recalling previous asset orders or identifying which physical assets have been properly decommissioned. Thus, an inaccurate asset management can lead to loss of money due to broken equipment or purchasing redundant equipment that is not required. One of the best practices to curb these risks is to create an asset register to track the location, condition and life cycle of asset from procurement to destruction.

An asset register is a resource which details a company’s different assets that it owns and manages and basically shows the assets the business owns. It is used to track things such as corporate facilities, buildings, hardware, software, digital files etc. Regardless of whether it is acquisition, usage, distribution, inspection, maintenance or disposal of assets etc., asset register is very useful for businesses in the management of all these processes. The asset register is an asset data archive and the system for tracking asset records. It details the value of assets, date of acquisition & disposal and other relevant details and helps to keep records of different assets information owned by the organization for a better asset planning, accounting and performance measurement. The first step in creating an accurate asset register is to identify and create an inventory of all IT assets. The inventory record of each information asset should include:

  • Owner
  • Designated custodian
  • Specific identification of the asset
  • Relative value to the organization
  • Loss implications and recovery priority
  • Location
  • Security/risk classification
  • Asset group (where the asset forms part of a larger information system)

Common best practices to build the initial inventory include consulting the purchasing system, reviewing contracts, reviewing the software currently installed, and using different tools. Creating and maintaining an accurate and flawless risk register is also essential for managing software licenses and classifying and protecting information assets. Organizations should create an IT Asset Management Policy and Procedure which should cover the best practices of maintaining an asset register and keeping it up to date. Keeping records current and up to date to reflect ongoing changes in asset statuses is crucial and will help make the maintenance of assets easier and more manageable over time. Asset register must be regularly updated to reap the greatest benefits and it also helps in improving the overall maintenance efficiency. It should be maintained as a living document and should be continuously updated. Some of the best practices to keep it up to date are described below:

  • Companies should maintain formal processes and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to maintain an accurate Asset Register
  • Software updates should be incorporated into the asset register and all the asset register logs should be automatically and accurately updated to reflect those updates
  • A formal hierarchy of assets can help in maintaining an accurate asset register as it provides ease to use for operational and maintenance personnel
  • An annual asset verification exercise can be conducted to ensure all new assets acquired are logged and old assets are decommissioned and removed from the Asset register and confirm all the recorded asset data is accurate
  • An automated asset management software can also be utilized by companies that can update the asset records automatically in the register, hence minimizing the probability of human error in logging things inaccurately