Wandering Church Assets
How best to track church laptops, power adapters, and other moving items

Asset tracking is part of church stewardship. Planning ministry events and activities is easier when there's a clear list of the availability and location of church equipment. Insurance companies ask for an asset list when there's an emergency. Audit and financial statement preparation requires this list, too.

But some assets are hard to track due to constantly being in the pockets, cars, and houses of church staff. Laptops and power adapters are often moving like this, pointed out Nick Dusenbury while participating in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability webinar "5 Hot Topics for Church Business Administrators." Dusenbury is currently the director of finance for Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, N.C.

After using them extensively for a long time, church staff may inadvertently think small, movable pieces of church property are their own. If a power adapter is $100, and this happens ten times, that's $1,000 of cost to the church, Dusenbury said in the webinar.

A good way to keep track of assets like this is to centralize church purchasing, receiving, and deployment. Then one consistent list can be made, instead of many lists from multiple people to be put together later. The list can be in a spreadsheet, database, web-based tool, or on paper.

Tracking assets can also help when an item breaks. The list can include information on how long the warranty lasts.

In addition to this, assets can be tagged by stickers bought at a store or by a barcode and scanner system, depending on church needs and church budget.

Keep a copy of the inventory list off-site in case the on-site inventory list is damaged in an emergency.

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