Q&A: Asset Registry

Q&A: Asset Registry

What, Why, When, Who and How? We answer all your questions about creating an Asset Registry.

Technology is becoming more and more integral to school life, and in most cases, this means an increase in valuable assets that an institution is responsible for. Schools are employing more business management principles in order to run a tight ship and an asset register is an indispensable tool, helping managers track and maintain equipment and keep information up to date and readily available.

What is an asset register?

An asset register is essentially a list of all assets belonging to a school, from equipment, furniture and vehicles, to software licences, consumables and even rooms. An asset register will ideally include descriptive details about the specific item, as well as its value, date and cost of purchase, any warranty and insurance information, and for most equipment, its location.

Why do schools need an asset register?

First and foremost, there are legal requirements that mean schools and academies must have a complete and well-maintained list of all assets. This allows them to be properly insured and formulate appropriate disaster recovery plans, addressing risk management issues. The requirements don’t specify how the asset register should be put together or maintained, but the data must be easily accessible and able to generate reports when required by auditors.

In addition to the legal obligation, a well-managed asset register can save time and money for the school, and makes good business sense. By collecting all information in one place and allowing easy reporting, tasks such as budgeting, purchasing and maintenance can all be performed quickly and easily, freeing up resources for more valuable educational purposes.

When should an asset register be created and how often does it need updating?

If your school doesn’t already have an asset register, the sooner you put one together the better! Schools or academies can be audited at any time, so it is important to have asset information readily available. Also, if any significant procurement is planned then getting existing assets logged into the register will lighten the load ahead of processing the new additions.

New assets should be added to the register as soon as they are in the schools’ possession, and an annual review of assets can be completed to ensure that the records are still accurate – this is particularly important for movable IT assets which are more likely to be lost or stolen.

Who usually takes responsibility for a school asset register?

Often, the responsibility for creating and managing a school asset register will fall to the IT Department, as the majority of trackable assets will be pieces of IT equipment. However, assets take many forms so Site Managers, Finance Managers and even HR teams could have input. The ultimate responsibility will fall to a Business Manager or Headteacher, as those responsible for the overall management of the school or academy.

How do you create and maintain a school asset register?

Creating an asset register basically involves locating and logging all assets that exceed the minimum value set by the school or academy (this figure is usually between £500 and £1000, and means that the register isn’t filled with smaller, less valuable items). The initial log usually involves a walk around the school, identifying and tagging assets, and inputting them into the system. This could take the form of a basic spreadsheet, or might involve a more advanced, purpose-built piece of software. Specialist software (like CSE Asset Manager) can also simplify the process by automatically detecting IT equipment on the network, including software licences and peripherals, cutting the initial logging time significantly. Imports from existing databases can also be completed easily.

Once assets have been logged additional information can be added to help monitor their value (and calculate depreciation), maintenance requirements, warranties and insurances – anything that the school or academy might need to track or report on.

CSE OneStep Asset Management is a complete service, tailored to your school, which simplifies the identification and ongoing management of all school assets. CSE can take charge of the entire asset registry process, including the initial identification, registration, and ongoing management using their cutting edge software. The resulting register is fully customizable and allows users to access and manipulate data to create custom reports, keep on top of expiring licences and insurances, and meet those all-important compliance obligations. CSE OneStep is the hassle free way to find the best asset registry solution for your school.

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