Around this time of year, central and local government and NHS hospitals and Trusts are busy getting their accounts in order for year-end on the 31st March. At RAM, we’ve been helping organisations to manage their fixed assets for over 30 years and understand the amount of work that goes into preparing for year-end, with calculating asset depreciation and producing reports for audit purposes.
For those using manual systems to manage their assets, it can be a time-consuming process to get the required information together. However, there are solutions available that allow these manual tasks to be done automatically.
In addition to preparing their accounts, budgets are of course a key priority. With (in most cases) not being able to carry over unspent funds to the next year, many managers might now be reviewing their existing processes and looking at how they can best spend their remaining funds to assist with improving these.
To help organisations, we’ve looked at some of the challenges being faced in the run up to year-end and highlight below solutions that can be put in place now to ease the process next year.
Challenge – importing and exporting data
Organisations regularly have to add, dispose of or transfer a large number of assets. These assets along with the data that is associated with each one, needs to be input into their asset management system. When this volume of assets have to manually be entered one by one it takes up vital time for an employee and leaves the organisation open to the risk of incorrect data entry.
Solution – Export4000
RAM’s Export4000 expands on the Toolkit for Excel functionality and automatically imports information from a spreadsheet into the system, on a regular defined basis, freeing up time and improving accuracy.
Furthermore, it automatically generates a set of reports at chosen time (e.g. every hour or every day) and saves reports into a designated folder. This guarantees employees always have access to the latest reports.
Challenge - calculating depreciation
The depreciation calculation process involves users executing a set routine for the numbers to then refresh within the system. This may involve a PC being out of action for up to an hour or more, which is not an ideal situation, especially for those with slow running PCs.
With all figures within reports based on the last depreciation calculation run, it can also put pressure on employees to have to remember to re-run the depreciation process each time they pull off a report to ensure they don’t risk using old figures.
Solution - Depreciate4000
RAM’s Depreciate4000 product automates the depreciation calculation process by running this routine automatically on the server (e.g. every hour or every day). This removes the need for an organisation’s PC to be used. The process also ensures the latest figures are always used for every report.
Challenge – creation of the statement of accounts
It takes public sector finance teams a huge amount of time at year end to compile the stack of reports needed to create the statement of accounts. This is a complex and time consuming task that requires a certain level of report knowledge and time to translate data from various sources into the required report format. Building these reports manually often takes much longer than it should, especially where newer members of staff are involved.
Solution – Asset4000 Year-End Note
Asset4000 comes equipped with the ability to create reports needed for the statement of accounts, with just a few mouse clicks. RAM’s reports are specially formatted for each UK public sector and are designed to conform to sector specific reporting standards. Using Asset4000 to generate these reports removes the need to spend time formatting internally generated documents. Furthermore, Asset4000 will automatically populate the standard reports with all relevant posting values arising from in-year transactions. RAM’s reports can be produced within minutes (potentially saving days worth of work) and do not require any reformatting to be included in the customer’s statement of accounts.
For those organisations who would like further information on RAM’s public sector solutions, or support with their year-end processing on Asset4000, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or give one of our friendly team a call on +44 (0)1689 892 137.