Centralized, Decentralized, and Outsourced Fixed Asset Inventory – How to Tell Which is Right for Your Organization

August 25, 2021

Capital Asset Management
fixed asset inventory

[av_textblock size=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” font_color=” color=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-ku469y0v’ admin_preview_bg=”]
The periodic fixed asset inventory process can be one of the hardest requirements to complete for an organization. As resources become increasingly more limited, it is critical to understand the inherent benefits and challenges of each so you can determine which option is right for you. In this post, we’ll explore 3 different methods for inventorying fixed assets and what differentiates one from another.  

The differences between centralized, decentralized, and outsourced inventory processes: 

Utilizing a Centralized Inventory Process

Utilizing a central inventory staff allows your institution to have complete control over the process.  

With this approach, staff in Property Control, Accounting, Purchasing, or Research Administration are responsible for verifying assets for your institution.  

Things to consider:

Utilizing a Decentralized Inventory Process

Utilizing a decentralized inventory process allows your institution to perform an inventory leveraging resources of your department, cost center, or location managers in finding their own equipment. The idea here is that a project lead helps navigate the process for key stakeholders, and your staff collaborates to help you locate your assets. 

Things to consider:

Utilizing an Outsourced Inventory Process

Utilizing an independent third party for your inventory verification can be the best method–but only if you choose the right partner. 

The third party provides an independent review that will meet audit standards and significantly reduce audit risk. 

Things to consider:

Our goal is to help clarify which of these options is right for your organization. If we can help with determining which is right for you, please reach out to us any time.