May 17, 2017 Fixed Assets
Consider How Well a Fixed Assets Software Solution Supports Internal Controls
When considering fixed assets software, understanding how the solution supports internal controls is critical. In general, a software package should track every user, job, and process.
To begin, the package should contain a strong audit trail of changes to asset data. In the world of fixed assets there are many changes that should be tracked. For example, changes to the critical elements of rate, method, life, and convention should be logged, including date/time stamp and user. Even better is an audit trail that tracks changes on every value in the asset record no matter how small. The audit trail should show before-and-after values clearly.
The solution should allow for a view-only user. In this way, auditors can be given access to the system to make their tests and allow them to view as needed. Auditors should be able to view every change along with user comments as to why the change was made.
Next, a strong user administration is important. Controlling “who can do what” is important for maintaining internal controls. Ideally the tool should provide an easy-to-use interface for establishing user rights. Typically a role-based approach is best.
Finally, keeping close tabs on the use of the solution is important. A good package should record a task for every process initiated or report run.
Putting it all together, when deciding on fixed assets software, the solution should provide adequate internal controls including a robust audit trail, view-only access for auditors, a strong user administration capability, and the ability to track tasks including processes run and reports executed.