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Managing & Tracking Fixed Assets, Improving Financial Statement Accuracy and Protecting Employees in a COVID-19 Era

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We’re just over 100 days into 2020, and in that short time, the world is suddenly a very different place than it was New Year’s Day. The evening before, the World Health Organization had received notice of 44 mysterious pneumonia cases of unknown origin in Wuhan, China. As of the writing of this article, those 44 cases have grown into a global pandemic infecting 2.5 million people worldwide, resulting in more than 168,000 deaths. 

People aren’t the only things affected. The world economy has ground to a halt. Authorities close non-essential businesses and force others to work remotely from home to stem the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19. 

However, even if a business is closed to customers or its employees are working from home, there are still corporate financial reports to file. Assets have to be accounted for and logged. Taxes must be paid, coronavirus or no coronavirus. 

Unfortunately, too many companies don’t pay close enough attention to their fixed-asset inventory. They don’t stop to think how much they’re paying in insurance or property taxes on technology systems, office equipment, plants and machinery the organization does or doesn’t have. These companies face numerous challenges in tracking fixed assets and controlling them, including:

  • Asset transfers 
  • Ghost assets 
  • Compliance issues 
  • No analysis on financial impact 

These challenges aren’t eased when managers perform fixed asset inventories using papers and spreadsheets. They must program and update these manually, with no connectivity to back-office systems of record, like SAP. Creating and maintaining asset-tracking spreadsheets takes a lot of time. They’re also prone to problems, such as: 

  • Errors in data entry may go unnoticed and cause data errors 
  • Lack of audit trails and history for audit reporting 
  • Limited internal control features to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley 
  • Failure to integrate seamlessly with the SAP Fixed Asset accounting system 

Simply put, the paper and spreadsheet method for fixed asset inventory and verification is too difficult, risky and time consuming to be effective. 

Paper asset-tracking forms cause another problem and additional risk in this era of COVID-19. Paper forms put workers at greater risk of infection. Recent research in the American Journal of Nursing shows that test organisms placed on paper survived for a considerable time. If someone later touches the contaminated paper, organisms can transfer to their hands, spreading the coronavirus. 

What to do? Clearly traditional paper and spreadsheet solutions will not work in the current COVID-19 economy. And they likely won’t in the world that follows either.

How can you and your company protect your workforce, top line and bottom line in an unpredictable and uncertain economy? How can your organization dynamically respond to this public health emergency and keep your employees safe?

Digitally transform asset management and eliminate error-prone, risky paper

Effective asset management is a mission-critical task for any company looking to avoid overpayment of taxes and insurance on ghost assets, reduce the total cost of ownership and comply with the latest regulatory mandates.

Innovapptive, a mobile-first Connected Workforce platform provider, offers a “digital-first” collaborative solution to convert your paper-based workflows into a highly integrated solution that allows you to perform an end-to-end fixed asset tracking. mAssetTag meets these important asset management needs, and also enables companies to get rid of paper forms that can potentially spread the coronavirus. View a video of mAssetTag in action here.

Finance, plant and engineers can collaborate on a single platform for a wide variety of activities: from submitting an incoming fixed asset capital request, to approving such a request, receiving the fixed assets against a purchase order to scheduling, tracking, reporting and resolving field physical inventory. 

Field workers, armed with mobile devices such as smartphones, scanners, tablets, wearables, drones, etc., can perform scheduled digital inventories of all of your company’s fixed assets. Easy data collection using barcode technology streamlines the entry and management of fixed assets, reducing manpower and errors by eliminating duplicate entry of assets. By replacing paper-based processes with software that works on any mobile operating system (OS), you can capture, tag, scan and update records without human-errors or redundancies to ensure the data you capture is high quality. mAssetTag shares information directly with your back-office SAP systems. This single repository simplifies data analysis and provides decision makers the visibility they need to:

  • Document that the fixed assets on hand match your financial data.
  • Decrease federal tax liabilities by writing off ghost assets.
  • Lower personal property taxes by retiring fixed assets that are no longer in use.
  • Reduce insurance premiums by properly identifying and classifying assets and their conditions.
  • Cut risk and potential losses due to theft with quick and accurate audits.  

mAssetTag also enables you to ensure employee safety and well-being in the coronavirus era. Staff performing asset tagging and inventories conduct all their work digitally, never touching any potentially contaminated paper. They also can work independently, enabling them to practice social distancing while still being productive. Decision makers can review all collected data via desktop applications at any connected location, reducing interactions and contact that could put them at risk and spread the virus. 

The result is a safe and protected workforce that can still accomplish mission-critical asset management tasks. This enables you to fulfill financial reporting, regulatory, tax and insurance payment obligations in a timely manner even in a world disrupted by COVID-19.

To learn more about mAssetTag and its capabilities to manage your assets while safeguarding employees, click here to schedule a free demo or call us at 844-464 6668. Our experts are standing by to listen to your needs and answer your questions.

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