Building the Necessary Foundation for an Effective Property Management Plan — Part Three
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Put reporting and auditing in action in a property plan – 3 things you must have
This is a four-part series on the property plan to manage Government Furnished Property (GFP). In Part One, we talked about what a Property Plan is. In Part Two, we discussed the key elements in ensuring data security in the Property Management Plan. In Part Three, we will discuss how to prepare for reporting and auditing.
While most businesses are capable of meeting the basics of developing a property plan and may even address data security a critical area of failure happens when additional steps are not taken to put the property plan in action. The purpose of a property plan is more than just looking good on paper; it is about getting out from behind the cubicle walls and taking physical inventory of your assets, recording the information about those assets, and then double-checking your efforts through audit.
Unfortunately, Poor Reporting and Never Audit are on the loose in most businesses, and because inventorying your assets can be a long and arduous process, most teams are tempted to simply let Never Audit have her way – and that is where the property plan becomes worth no more than the paper on which it is written.
There are three things you need to have in place to support reporting and auditing in the most efficient way:
- Leverage the record in the enterprise asset management system to reduce the amount of asset to be audited. Do you know that you don’t need to physically audit the piece of equipment if there is a record showing it is used in the past six month? Your period audit only needs to focus on the property that hasn’t been used for a while. If you have an enterprise asset management system in place, the software should be able to automatically generate a report for inventory items that haven’t been touched in the past six months. That way, you focus on these items identified by the report for the physical audit, which will save you a lot of time and effort.
- Make sure you have a system that will link assets with purchase orders, contracts, sites, projects, and task orders. Government property management plans require contractors to report the use of equipment by contracts, by task orders. Your company’s internal operation would also need to track equipment by purchase orders, by projects, and by other groupings. Government furnished property often get carried through from one project to another. So the system needs to be designed in a way that the information can be organized in different groups, easily exported to excel reports. While property moves from one project to another, the historical use information of the property should continue to exist in the system.
- Make sure your enterprise asset management system has pre-built templates for standard reports required by government contracts, such as DD1662, or DD1149. It should also be flexible enough to handle additional reporting templates without having to pay outside consultants for customization.
Finally, remember that when it comes to reporting, it’s better to create an automated data fields to generate reports, instead of having to make ad hoc reports all the time. It is easy to let Poor Reporting convince you that you will have time to update an asset later. The key to a successful property plan, however, is to establish protocols that require reporting as tasks occur. Properly recorded data is critical to government property management, and the only way to ensure your data is accurate and up to date is to record changes as they happen. Furthermore, to ensure that any change recorded is done properly, you have to establish restrictions about who can enter the changes. Unique logins for each team member, along with limited access based on the user’s role are necessary security measures.