Our national tax and accounting laws regulate what has to be detailed in the inventory directory. These laws also regulate how and at what time intervals a physical inventory (stocktaking) must be performed. The verification that the individual assets listed in the inventory directory are present can be provided by a physical inventory, meaning that the assets should be viewed and counted individually. This means that it is a very timeconsuming measure.
Accountants are often accused of being bean counters. Quite apart from the fact that this statement is no compliment, it is also incorrect. The administrative effort involved in checking and reporting the value of fixed assets can and must be kept within reasonable limits. The principle of proportionality also applies to fixed assets. Indeed, you can manage identical capital goods in the inventory as one single item, with specification of the quantity. In the sense of valuation, identical means the following:
- Identical date of acquisition
- Identical acquisition and production costs
- Identical depreciation method
For example, 50 personal computers could be managed under one asset number. However, this variant for the master asset (unfortunately frequently used) will certainly lead to considerably more effort later in the maintenance of asset balances: for example, these 50 personal computers will not leave the company all at the same time, meaning that time-consuming partial retirements are necessary; they will also not be used permanently in one cost center, thus requiring extensive partial repostings instead of simple cost center changes.
This type of inventory management causes the greatest problems for a physical asset inventory. How can you determine whether all 50 computers of this asset are still present? The individual PCs cannot be identified via asset accounting. However, annual evidence by means of a physical inventory is still required. This evidence would require additional individual inventory management outside or in addition to asset accounting. Thus the company still has the administrative effort and there is therefore no benefit.
We therefore strongly advise against this type of inventory management. SAP Asset Accounting offers very convenient functions for creating and posting this type of mass acquisition with the initial purchase.