The Fixed Asset Accountant
A fixed asset is property with a useful life greater than one year that is used in the operations of a business to generate income. Examples include buildings, equipment, furniture and vehicles. In smaller organizations, fixed asset accounting may be one of many accounting tasks performed by the same individual. Larger businesses may have one individual that is solely responsible for fixed asset accounting and related staff.
A fixed asset accountant has six primary responsibilities:
- Record costs of newly acquired fixed assets
- Track/inventory existing fixed assets
- Calculate and record depreciation of fixed assets
- Record disposition of fixed assets, and track loss or gain on sale
- Develop plans and budgets for future capital expenditures
- Generate reports as needed for management and for tax and/or financial accounting
Helpful Skill-Sets for Fixed Asset Accountants:
- Highly organized with strong attention to detail: Assigning and tracking tag numbers, recording acquisitions and dispositions, and calculating depreciation is just the tip of the iceberg. These tasks along with others, including preparing property tax returns and tracking company expenditures, require extreme organization and a sharp attention to detail. It’s possible to have one without the other, but a truly successful Fixed Asset Accountant will make a point to enhance both of these characteristics.
- Skill working with data from multiple sources: Data related to fixed assets comes in many forms and from a number of different sources such as spreadsheets, invoices and outside accountants. It is the duty of the Fixed Asset Accountant to organize, systematize and get control of this data as it comes in on a regular basis. The successful Fixed Asset Accountant frequently utilizes software, such as MoneySoft Fixed Asset Pro, that helps them efficiently harness fixed asset data. Using Excel spreadsheets for fixed asset accounting doesn’t cut it anymore. Just ask your auditors.
- Understanding of accounting and tax fixed asset and depreciation rules: Financial Accounting and Tax rules for fixed assets and depreciation are complex and constantly changing. A successful Fixed Asset Accountant is familiar with these rules, stays informed about new and pending changes, and advises management on the potential impacts.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills: Fixed Asset Accountants are expected to communicate with management, external auditors and other authorities regularly. They’ll need to reconcile their ledger against the general accounting ledger of the business and effectively communicate any discrepancies. These tasks require explanation, verbal communication and, if necessary, face-to-face interaction. While many Accountants are heads down on the numbers, successful Fixed Asset Accountants understand the value of jumping on the phone, meeting in person, and creating well-written emails and correspondence.
MoneySoft’s Fixed Asset Pro software gives fixed asset accountants control over their asset data, streamlines fixed asset workflow and eliminates the hassles of Excel and legacy software. Find out if you can enjoy these same benefits. You can call MoneySoft at 800-966-7797 or visit them online at https://moneysoft.com/fixed-asset-depreciation-software/.