Among the fixed asset management best practices organizations of all kinds should follow, maintaining accurate records of lost or stolen items is extremely important. Such information can significantly impact balance sheets, and if it's not correct, entities run the risk of making poorly based decisions and facing legal repercussions.
A recent audit of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency revealed several serious issues, notably a failure on the part of the organization to report lost or stolen fixed assets.
NBC News' Knoxville, Tenn., affiliate WBIR, reported that two previous audits urged the TWRA to address its lack of effective fixed asset tracking. The situation appears to have not been remedied, leading some equipment to go missing for as many as four years without being reported.
The agency, which oversees Tennessee's fishing, hunting and boating legislation, is reportedly responsible for managing $35.5 million in fixed assets, including computers, vehicles and firearms. According to the station, the audit found that on average, missing or stolen equipment wasn't reported for more than one year after its disappearance. Additionally, the agency failed to tag assets.
Implementing barcode scanning technology into inventory accounting software can help public agencies better track property in real time. WBIR stated employees responsible for tagging equipment at the TWRA claimed they didn't label equipment because the tags wore off. This situation demonstrates the importance of working with a reliable fixed asset management solutions provider that carries the highest quality equipment tags.
The TWRA audit also revealed issues related to credit card purchases. Of the 154 transactions the audit reviewed, 36 were carried out incorrectly. Additionally, the agency used cards for expenses, like utility bills and computers, that should have been handled with a different payment method.
The TWRA's current standings has led many to criticize its governance.
"It looks like the agency is out of control," said Sen. Frank Niceley.
To avoid jeopardizing the accuracy of budget reports and the organization's reputation, public agencies across the country should use fixed asset management software that meets their unique needs.