2019 Fixed Asset Software Buyer’s Guide
"Fixed asset" refers to any physical asset you purchase for long-term use in producing the goods or products that your business sells, without expecting to consume, sell or otherwise turn that asset into a cash, or liquid, asset for at least one year.
Fixed assets are generally categorized into 3 main categories: property, plant, and equipment. Your business may rely on a collection of fixed assets, including:
- Land, buildings, or other properties
Fixed assets are important aspects of your business operations, and they require special care and maintenance. Managing and tracking fixed assets to properly account for depreciation, insurance purposes, and audits can be a cumbersome and error-prone process when done manually, which is why many companies are looking to automate by switching to a more streamlined and efficient fixed asset software system.
There are many reputable fixed asset software vendors on the market, so choosing a solution that best fits your business requirements can be somewhat overwhelming. This guide will provide insight and tools for selecting the best Fixed Asset solution for your company.
What is Fixed Asset Software?
Fixed asset software provides your business with a centralized database for tracking and managing all of your companies fixed assets, throughout the lifespan of each individual asset. This software eliminates the need for managing various spreadsheets and balance sheets on your fixed assets, giving you a more streamlined way to track and report on those assets for compliance, insurance, audits, or asset depreciation purposes.
Benefits and Key Features of Fixed Asset Software
Fixed asset software can be quite beneficial to businesses who need to track and manage their fixed assets, and offer advantages such as:
- Boost productivity and efficiency in managing your fixed assets
- Improve auditing efficiency and accuracy of all fixed assets, across multiple locations
- Enhance audit accuracy
- Improve accuracy on fixed asset depreciation reports
- Minimize insurance premiums and claims
- Simplify end of the year reporting procedures
- Simplify compliance with industry and governing regulations
- Reduce equipment costs by avoiding unnecessary equipment purchases or upgrades
While there are numerous fixed asset software solutions on the market that you can choose from according to your exact business needs, this software typically includes key tools that enable you to:
- Track the location of all your fixed assets
- Monitor equipment that must be checked out to employees (and checked back in)
- Track due dates on equipment that must be returned
- Schedule maintenance
- Consolidate maintenance records into one system
- Track audit history
- Manage and track fixed asset costs
- Calculate and track fixed asset deprecation (in multiple currencies)
- Integrate with accounting software
- Accurately track fixed asset lifecycles and reduce insurance premiums
- Prepare reports for tax compliance, audits, and insurance
Fixed Asset Software Trends to Watch in 2019
Business trends and software trends have a symbiotic relationship much of the time, innovation in one area always drives change in the other. To stay current and competitive in your industry by embracing all the best tools for your business, you should regularly study trends surrounding the software solutions you use in your company.
Over the past few years, cloud-based software systems have been growing quickly with adoption surging in companies of all types and sizes, and fixed asset software is no exception. Cloud software is more affordable and provides companies with increased mobility and efficiency, so the majority of new software implementations or upgrades are trending toward the cloud. This trend is expected to continue in 2019, as more companies realize the benefits of cloud software.
More Industry-Specific Software and Tools
When it comes to managing fixed assets, different industries have unique equipment and property tracking needs. As a result, more industry-specific tools are becoming available to best tracking and regulating fixed assets by industry. This will give companies more insightful tools that are relevant to their industry and needs for tracking fixed assets.
Choosing Your Perfect Fixed Asset Solution
Conduct a Business Review
Planning and preparation are key to your successful fixed asset software implementation, and this process ultimately begins with choosing the best system for your needs. Make a list of the specific business needs that are driving your decision to implement a new fixed asset solution or upgrade your existing system.
Many companies find it helpful to include company leaders and key partners in their decision-making process of choosing fixed asset software. You can include key people in your business in your selection and planning process to make sure that all of your important needs are accounted for and your solution contains all the features and tools you must have to best manage your fixed assets.
Questions to Ask to Guide Your Review
- Are your existing processes, tools, and systems outdated and cumbersome for employees to manage fixed assets accurately?
- Are the costs of operating your existing manual processes or outdated technology outweighing the benefits you receive?
- What fixed assets so you need to track? Are they located across multiple locations?
- What tools would help simplify your year-end reporting and tax compliance?
- Are there industry level regulations you must adhere to for your fixed assets?
- What tools and features are must-haves for our company? Which features aren’t as vital?
- How tech savvy are the employees who will use the system most?
- What deployment method makes the most sense for our business and budget?
- How many people will use your fixed asset system?
Build Your Budget
After you’ve conducted a complete review of your business needs and have a strong understanding of what tools you need in your fixed asset management system, it is important to figure out the budget you can allocate toward purchasing or upgrading your solution.
Using the list you prepared while reviewing your business needs, you can determine how much value will be created by using a fixed asset software. Prepare your budget accordingly. You should give yourself spending limit as well as a range of pricing models including one-time installation costs or monthly fees. Depending on the size and needs of your company, one type of plan may make more sense financially over the other.
Need help building your budget? Get pricing from leading Fixed Asset Software vendors now!
Determine Which Type of Technology Will Best Suit Your Needs
Fixed asset software vendors typically offer an array of different technologies and deployment methods to best meet the size, budget, and needs of your company. While cloud solutions are swiftly gaining popularity, particularly among small and medium companies, larger business still often choose to go with an on-site solution, so they can create a more customized and proprietary solution. Here’s a closer look at the main technology options available on the market:
Cloud-based technology is becoming increasingly popular for all types of business software, and fixed asset software is no exception. Cloud technology functions through a third-party platform that is powered by the internet, which supports business mobility and remote system access that a flourishing company needs. Cloud systems are also more affordable, which gives more companies the opportunity to embrace fixed asset software earlier in their business.
On-premise, or on-site solutions are systems that are built on-site in an office building or other physical location. On-premise solutions require hardware and ongoing updates and maintenance, which makes implementation more expensive than cloud solutions.
Not sure what technology or deployment is for you? We can help!
Think About the People in Your Company Who will be Using Your System
For your fixed asset software to be a success in your business, your employees will need to embrace it and use it to its full potential. If your system is cumbersome or confusing, many employees may become frustrated and not use it as much as they should. This can hinder your growth, so it’s important to pick a software that suits the needs of everyone who will using it.
As you think about the users in your company, think over these questions to find the best fit for your teams:
- How many users will be using the system?
- What data sources need to be integrated with this system? Will it interrupt day to day business for my teams? For how long?
- What levels exist in your users? (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced)
- What are the needs of each group of users?
- What type of support will users need as they learn and use and maximize the potential in the software?
- What training will my employees need?
Know What to Look for in Your Perfect Fixed Asset Software Vendor
As you meet with various fixed asset software vendors that you’re interested in working with, you should do some due diligence in researching their reputation before you commit to purchasing their services.
Some of the key things you should look for in your perfect vendor are prominence, reviews, and support.
Industry prominence and popularity
While you should not choose a vendor based on popularity alone, industry standing can signal what you can expect from their services. Make sure that the vendor you select has prominence in the industry and is popular among other companies with similar needs as yours.
Reviews from current or past system users
One of the best ways you can easily research a vendor you’re considering is to look for reviews given by current or past users. Reviews from current companies using their software can give you great insight into how the vendor treats customers and how companies value their services and features. Past reviews can establish a history of service values and give you a snapshot into how the vendor handles business over time as well.
Plan Your Integration and Customizations
Choose a time when implementing new fixed asset software will not impact your core business hours or seasons, if possible. Choosing a time when your company is not as busy can help you avoid the negative impacts of the system downtime that is part of switching to a new software.
Learn What Type of Support is Offered by Fixed Asset Software Vendors
Support is a vital component that all vendors will offer. However, the types and degree of support will vary from provider to provider, so make sure you know what level of support your team will need, and then ensure your selected vendor can easily fulfil those support needs.
Understand Your Hardware Needs (On-Site Solutions)
If you choose to implement a cloud-based or hosted solution, then you will not require any hardware to get your fixed asset solution up and running quickly. But you’ll need to carefully consider all your integration points and know how your fixed asset software will tie into your other business systems to fully understand any hardware you may need.
However, if you’re going to be implementing your fixed asset system on site, you’ll need to plan on investing upfront for hardware, installation, and ongoing maintenance on your system.
Research and Compare Multiple Fixed Asset Software Vendors
Once you have a firm grasp on all the things you need and want from your fixed asset solution, and understand what you must invest, then you can begin researching and comparing vendors.
There are many excellent vendors on the market, and you’ll undoubtedly be able to find your perfect system if you take a bit of time to really look into what each vendor offers and compare your top choices against one another to determine which is best for you and your business. As you compare your options, make sure to keep your list of key business needs and required features handy so you can reference them and keep yourself on track as you absorb all of the information and create a short list of viable options.
Set up Demos and Get Pricing from Vendors on Your Short List
Once you’ve created a short list of three to five solutions that best meet your needs, it’s important to take your preparation and research one step further and get in touch with each one. Most providers will happily set up meetings to discuss your requirements and can demonstrate all the key features for you.
Before you participate in a meeting or demo with a vendor, make sure that you refresh your memory on all your business and feature needs. It is also a great idea to provide your lists to the vendor prior to meeting, so they can put together the custom options and pricing they have available that will meet your needs. This will make your time much more efficient, and also give the vendor a clear understanding of exactly what you require.