If you haven’t done an inventory of your computer assets, there are some great reasons to put one together. Here are some reasons why you should, and a few tips on how to easily create your own.
Reasons to inventory your IT equipment:
- To keep track of your valuable assets. You’ll know if anything is missing or stolen and all of the pertinent information that goes with each component.
- For insurance purposes. If you suffer a loss you will have the important information you need to make a claim right at your fingertips.
- To list basic accounting and financial information. Your accountant will need this information especially during tax preparation. The list below suggests only basic accounting information. Speak with your accountant before you create your spreadsheet. He or she may suggest adding more points.
4 Tips for creating an inventory of your computer assets
1. Physically label each component. The best practice is to use a tamper-proof asset id tag for each of the components. If you have the barcode printer and scanner, you can use a barcoded tag which can be easily scanned into your IT Inventory Database. You can also list the component's IP address on the label.
2. Identify asset. At a minimum you will need to identify the component with some sort of name. If you are a small company, you can use colorful or easy to remember names, like your favorite relatives or sports players. But be careful, if you are planning on growing, you will want to develop an effective and efficient naming convention that will serve you over the long haul.
3. Create database. If you don’t want to purchase software to create this inventory, or if you aren’t sure what free downloads to use, you can create a simple spreadsheet. Here some basic fields to add to your spreadsheet so you can match it to your assets and create your inventory. You can add fields as you see fit to match your individual needs.
- Physical information
- Asset (make, model and name you assign the asset)
- Serial number
- Financial or Accounting information
- Date of purchase/lease
- Is it a purchase or a lease?
- If Purchase
- Purchase price
- Date of purchase
- If leased
- Loan amount
- Down payment
- Loan term
- Loan rate
- If Purchase
Add as you go. As you acquire more inventory keep adding it to your database. Make sure you consistently add data to each of the fields to keep a logical and systematic inventory.
If you need help creating an inventory and you don't have an IT department, consider contacting a firm that offers outsourced IT support. Inventory management is one of the many services they offer.
Have you created your own computer asset inventory? How did it work out for you? Let us know in the comments below.