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09 Mar 2012
Derby Hospitals, an NHS Foundation Trust, has implemented Asset4000 from Real Asset Management (RAM) to help its fixed assets worth around £400 million. The RAM solution has afforded the Trust a centralised and robust asset register which reduces the manual processes normally associated with verifying the location of mobile assets and reporting on their depreciation.
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust includes The Royal Derby Hospital and the London Road Community Hospital. The Trust serves a population of more than 600,000 in and around South Derbyshire and is one of the region’s largest employers with over 7,000 staff. The £400 million asset base includes land, buildings, transport, IT (and software), and medical equipment including large items such as X-ray machines and CT scanners, resulting in 7,400 live asset records on the register.
With such a significant and valuable asset base, it is vital for the finance team at Derby Hospitals to track and verify each individual asset regularly. Ian Dinwiddie, Capital Accountant at Derby Hospitals, comments, “Asset4000 is predominantly used as a day-to-day referencing system. We get enquiries from various departments about things such as the current asset value or over what period an asset is being written off. The system helps us access this information and therefore aids decisions about equipment usage and budgeting across the hospital.”
Asset4000, part of RAM’s Series4000 offering, is designed to assist with legislative compliance including IFRS, PAS 55, and audit best practice for organisations across the public sector, with features including generation of revaluation reserve entries, calculation of depreciation, maintenance of audit trail records on historic impairment and component valuations and accounting.
PAS 55 is the British Standards Institution's Publicly Available Specification for the management of physical assets – this details specific requirements for a whole-life management system for all types of physical assets. PAS 55 applies to any organisation, public or private, regulated or non-regulated, that has a high dependency on physical infrastructure or equipment.
In the NHS it is evident that there is an essential need for effective management of organisational assets, as well as a requirement to improve financial forecasting. Foundation Trusts like Derby Hospitals are facing significant challenges in meeting this range of regulatory requirements in terms of managing fixed assets, medical devices and financial reporting. Dinwiddie comments, “One of the key reasons for selecting Asset4000 was to ensure we meet the legislative requirements of both PAS 55 and the NHS Foundation Trust Annual Reporting. Through the RAM solution, we are assured of complying with the latest regulations.”
Dinwiddie continues, “The capital accounting system is also central to our asset verification process and is used to help match and verify serial numbers and the location of assets. We continually check that each department holds assets which agree with our register and all of this information is then pooled and uploaded into Asset4000 once or twice a month to keep the system as up-to-date as possible.”
Dinwiddie adds, “A significant amount of our assets are mobile, with equipment trolleys moving frequently and people borrowing items ad-hoc. This means that it is difficult to guarantee the whereabouts of many assets, but Asset4000 helps us meet this challenge. Vitally, it also helps us get our costings right. With Asset4000 we have an individual system generating the depreciation amounts that need to be charged to the accounts and a record to check our general ledger against.”
Dinwiddie concludes, “Our overall costings are undertaken annually and the write-off period and current value of the asset base is an important part of that, as well as our audit performance. The RAM system is a big part of helping us put our reports together – without it the process would be manual and very slow, no doubt taking up a lot of my time that should be spent elsewhere.”