Generally speaking, a fixed asset register is intended to be used for depreciation reporting – not for tracking physical assets. Consequently, the vast majority of registers either don’t accommodate the detail needed to track assets or the personnel who maintain a register typically do not have enough reliable information in order to include tracking details. This is where a centralized asset tracking system brings value.
The concept is fairly simple. Create a single (centralized) asset database, whereby gatekeepers throughout the asset lifecycle have access and update asset information. Linkage is established between the register and the asset database using a unique number that is physically represented on each capitalized asset.
Because the asset database is designed for tracking asset records they include the appropriate level of detail and help to de-clutter the register. This approach also creates separation of financial from operation record-keeping.
The asset database should be tightly integrated into the asset lifecycle so that information is captured and reported on a real-time basis.
It is advisable to utilize an experienced third party for reconciliation as they bring both efficiency as well as expert advice. From an audit perspective, a third party also provides an unbiased result.