Categorized | Business

Keeping track of things

By JENNIFER CASEY Town of Collierville

A recent poll showed that only 21 percent people faithfully balance their checkbooks. Imagine taking on the task for over 46,000 people.

Collierville’s Finance Department has a group of employees dedicated to obtaining, recording and tracking every piece of inventory, from a laptop to a garbage truck, throughout the duration of its life with the town.

In general business vernacular, the tracking of capital assets is about inventory control and accountability.

Examples of capital assets include land, buildings, vehicles, machinery, equipment, software, etc.

The Town of Collierville has developed a rigorous and detailed process for tracking and accounting for these items. This job of tracking every asset throughout its lifespan is important because town assets are really the property of the citizens of Collierville.

“Excellent stewardship is highly important to the Town of Collierville, and we want our citizens to know that we value every single asset,” said Director of Finance Jane Bevill, director of Finance.

Once a capital asset is obtained, which requires multiple levels of approvals within the department as well as the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, it is given an “asset tag.”

The tag is part of a number system that keeps track of every single capital asset within Collierville.

Kim Clark, an accounting technician with the town, is responsible for applying these tags and knows where every item is located.

“It’s our obligation to the citizens,” she said, “to properly buy, account for and dispose of assets.”

She explained that the disposal process is just as rigorous as obtaining new assets.

“Proper records of the disposal of assets are important because we need to have documentation of each item’s entire lifespan,” she said. “The disposal process also needs various levels of approval.”

The town requires a long paper trail for every capital asset.

Clark and supervisor Kate Watkins recently updated the Capital Asset and Procedure Manual.

In the new year, they will be leading training sessions for all departments as a refresher for proper procedures. Every department within the Town is responsible for their assets and annually report on their condition; assets are also inventoried annually.

“The departments are really great about keeping track of their assets,” Clark said. “If something is ever stolen or destroyed we are immediately notified.”

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