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Case Study : Education

Prince George’s Community College faced a crossroads with fixed asset accounting data. Though they had used a mainframe-based system for years to record asset data, they recognized that they had outgrown its capabilities. The capitalization threshold had increased so that fewer assets were recorded and they needed a system that could reliably tag assets and be cost-effectively audited.

The college’s initial effort was to identify a vendor that could not only provide the needed software but provide guidance on implementation and the resources for the all-important initial inventory. Though many systems were considered, our software was found to offer the most complete solution and the needed expertise in implementation. Their initial scope focused on technology assets and, since many had been recorded in the mainframe system with the manufacturer’s serial numbers, it was assumed it could provide the crucial link between the accounting records and the physical asset. This decision was driven by a desire to minimize costs.

After the mainframe data was converted, the field inventory was conducted and it quickly became apparent that the serial number data was often missing or unusable. These issues were to be analyzed and corrected following the field inventory. About two years following the initial inventory, two principal weaknesses continued to cause problems. First, the narrow scope of the original efforts left the vast majority of the assets un-tagged and difficult to control. Moreover, the data clean-up proved far more difficult than expected and was still incomplete.

PGCC again turned to ASI but with a far broader mandate: inventory all locations throughout the College and help design a procedure to keep records up to date. Over a period of several weeks, our project management group tagged 45,000 assets, installed our software and trained College personnel in its operation. The system began to pay dividends immediately by reducing the cost to deploy and reuse assets. Data from our software was available to the accounting system and records could be easily audited. Most importantly, PGCC could fully comply with state requirements for asset management at any time.

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