Cardiff-based Housing Association implements user-friendly Asset4000 to manage and track 60,000 strong asset register

Cardiff Community Housing Association (CCHA), a charitable provider of social housing, has selected Asset4000 (fixed asset management software) from Real Asset Management (RAM) to help with the implementation of component accounting. The latest purchase is set to streamline the company's processes, bringing its accounts in line with the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP).

CCHA provides a range of housing options and services to those in need of good quality, secure and affordable housing. Registered and supervised by the Welsh Government, the non-profit organisation has been pivotal in the supply of housing in the region for the past 30 years.

Under new SORP regulations, Housing Associations will be obliged to divide their asset register into components, a requirement that pushes CCHA's base to 60,000 records. The current Excel software, upon which the organisation is reliant, can't support this volume of data. As Peter Williams, ICT Project Manager at CCHA explains, "It was imperative that we identified a product that could efficiently streamline the work involved to comply with the new guidelines.

We needed something that was more robust, had higher security measures and also improved user accessibility; the software from RAM will supply us with all of this."

Paul Westwood, Fixed Asset Accountant at the Association, explains that user accessibility was a key priority when searching for a solution. "It was vital that we invested in a system that adhered to our needs," says Paul Westwood. "A major benefit of RAM's software is the audit trail it provides and we will now be able to track who has updated our records and why. This feature means that our offsite engineers can add notes onto the system remotely, rather than relaying information once back at base - a facility that isn't available to us a present."

CCHA will be using the new software to keep track of the implementation, life cycle and disposal of the soon to be 60,000 assets. A task of this scale brings with it security risks. As Paul Westwood explains, "High security measures are crucial when dealing with an asset base of this scale and value. Undoubtedly, as the asset register expands, so will the need for secure data management.

We therefore consider it vital to carefully control what different users are authorised to do. For example, those who are solely inputting information won't have the authority to change other data."

Peter Williams concludes, "We selected Asset4000 from RAM as it was the best product on the market for our needs. From what we have experienced to date, features such as automatic uploads, security levels and the user accessibility controls all combine to provide us with an efficient and time-saving system."