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Level 2

Fixed Assets

I am trying to figure out a way to track expenses that we incur on our fixed assets over time. For example say I have a Vehicle - Asset# 123 that is going in for oil changes, and then also has general service work, and the like (that are repairs and maintence costs) . I would like to be able to look at a report at some point in the future that would show me not only the original costs and depreciation on this vehicle, but all that I have spent on it over time, and what for (at least a descritption I put in at time of the expense). Is there a way to use the fixed asset system to do this? Or can it be done just in general without the FA system itself?

 

I was thinking that maybe I could set up a separate fixed asset asset item/list that points to say repairs and maintenace for each and every asset. So say for the vehicle listed above I would always add a 9 in front of hte expense "fixed asset" (it would be set up as Fixed Asset # 9123) so I could use that number to post vehicle expenses to. But it doesn't appear to aggregate or track all the individual expenses, only the "original cost". '

 

Thoughts?

 

 

Solved
Best answer 08-14-2017

Accepted Solutions
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Fixed Assets

Hi TomW, 

 

A bit of a disclaimer, I am not an accountant, so my advice is only to point out how another QuickBooks user chose to record additional expenses for fixed assets.

 

I used to work in the support side of customer care and ran into a person who solved a similar issue. that they did was create a separate account for each fixed asset, then the expenses would be tracked individually.  A custom summary report would then be filtered to show just the accounts that you want to see for the time period.  

 

The Fixed Asset Manager in QuickBooks desktop is built to track depreciation expenses only, but I like the idea of the results you want. There is a good chance that another community member will respond with good advice as well. 

 

-John

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7 Comments
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Fixed Assets

Hi TomW, 

 

A bit of a disclaimer, I am not an accountant, so my advice is only to point out how another QuickBooks user chose to record additional expenses for fixed assets.

 

I used to work in the support side of customer care and ran into a person who solved a similar issue. that they did was create a separate account for each fixed asset, then the expenses would be tracked individually.  A custom summary report would then be filtered to show just the accounts that you want to see for the time period.  

 

The Fixed Asset Manager in QuickBooks desktop is built to track depreciation expenses only, but I like the idea of the results you want. There is a good chance that another community member will respond with good advice as well. 

 

-John

View solution in original post

Level 3

Re: Fixed Assets

You could always create an expense account for Vehicle Expenses, and then create subaccounts for the various types of vehicle expenses incurred. Your Vehicle asset account and its corresponding depreciation account wouldn't be impacted by these expenses (and shouldn't be). You could then create a custom report for the vehicle to show only the asset account, accumulated depreciation, vehicle expenses, and vehicle depreciation.  If you know how to calculate and record depreciation without using the FA system, it's not necessary to use it. You can do this all directly in QB Pro, Essentials, or Plus.

Level 2

Re: Fixed Assets

I went down this path at one point but realized how unweildy this would become. I currently have about 100 vehicles/tractors that I wish to track this way. And of course there would be more in the future. So not a real clean way of handling it. Really shouldn't ask the GL to track something that is better suited to a sub-system of some sort. Just like I wouldn't do this for AR or AP, FA should not be any different...

 

I also looked at using a Class code to do this. But I already use Class to track all my expenses/sales/assets/etc. by "department". So could not figure out an easy way to pull that in either.

 

Really would be handy to have QB just add a field to any/all expenses allowing you to put an asset number or even just some user defined peice of info on the expense record that can then be reported on.

 

 

Level 3

Re: Fixed Assets


@TomW wrote:

I went down this path at one point but realized how unweildy this would become. I currently have about 100 vehicles/tractors that I wish to track this way. And of course there would be more in the future. So not a real clean way of handling it. Really shouldn't ask the GL to track something that is better suited to a sub-system of some sort. Just like I wouldn't do this for AR or AP, FA should not be any different...

 

I also looked at using a Class code to do this. But I already use Class to track all my expenses/sales/assets/etc. by "department". So could not figure out an easy way to pull that in either.

 

Really would be handy to have QB just add a field to any/all expenses allowing you to put an asset number or even just some user defined peice of info on the expense record that can then be reported on.

 

 


Great point on how this can become overly burdensome when you start taking on more and more assets. This would be nearly impossible to maintain in a large company with multiple locations or several hundred employees.

 

I personally have never had a company (on QB) attempt to identify expenses with specific assets in their reporting. Since assets typically provide value that cannot be quantified in financial statements, it didn't seem to be useful to try to align expenses with specific assets, especially when there is a fleet of vehicles, or large number of assets.  Overall, knowing how much was spent in general for all assets in a particular category was usually sufficient and then an allocation could be done across all assets if a per asset amount is needed.

 

Is there a specific reason why this level of reporting would be needed? I don't know that the reasoning would change what is possible to do in QB, or any other system for that matter, but I'm just curious.

Level 2

Re: Fixed Assets

Yes there is a strong reason for us, and probably others, to maintain this information. Like most people I, and my managment team, want to know the total cost of operating an asset. Just knowing the initial costs and the depreciation associated it with it is only small part of that picture. You need to see the operating costs associated with it as well. Do you have underperforming equipment or is it performing as expected. This report would also help you cull lemons in your fleet and the like. Personally I would track all costs, gas, licenses, repairs and maint, etc as separate categories, but could be as simple as just repairs and maint to see how much extra we are having to put into this asset.

 

Seeing at a glance in a report is the best way of doing that. We currently maintain individual paper files for each asset and put the various expenses in there. We have also tried, but not very well, to maintain this info in an excel file, but the human factor gets in the way with this.

 

The best place to capture this info really is at the point of entry, and would involve the least effort. To me this is a no brainer, I have been at a number of companies now, and responsible for Fixed Assets as a part of my job at each of them. And in every company, at some point, management asks what these costs have been over X period of time for at least individual assets. Everyone sort of remembers problems with this that or the other asset, but memory is a poor way to run a business...

 

 

 

Level 3

Re: Fixed Assets

Thanks for the feedback on your reasoning. I suppose in my experience, it hasn't been as big of an issue. Even when I've managed FA within companies, we never felt the need to track the costs associated with each and every asset on our books, so I appreciate you sharing a different POV. 

 

How do you measure the value that the asset provides throughout its use, compared to the costs of having the asset? I would think that would also be a factor, would it not? Or are you only comparing assets with similar functions and purposes to determine which are duds among many? If I were looking at the cost of maintaining a piece of equipment versus the cost of maintaining a building or a vehicle, I wouldn't really consider these things to be comparable since each has a different purpose and provides different value in a company. If you are looking at the cost of maintaining a particular computer compared to other computers used for the same purpose, then I could see how the maintenance costs of one computer in the bunch might indicate a problem with that computer. 

 

If this is something you really want to track in QB, I'm sure there is a way to get it done, but it could be quite cumbersome to maintain, especially if you have a lot of assets to track. If you had just one vehicle and you wanted to track those expenses, it would be very easy, but once you get to tracking a fleet of vehicles, you are probably creating more work for yourself than it is worth.

 

As I've said in other threads, companies should select the system that fits their needs, rather than trying to fit their company into a system because of its perceived ease of use or low cost. If you find that you are spending more time trying to maintain special processes in QB to get the type of reporting you want, having to add modules to get the functionality you need, or having to create manual processes outside of the system because it doesn't do what you need it to do, it might be time to consider a more robust and sophisticated system that fits the size and complexity of your company. 

 

Some of my larger clients who have thousands of assets to track, use HP or IBM products to track assets, software, service tickets, costs to apply to various departments, etc. Each asset has an asset tag with a bar code, so when the user of the asset needs service on that asset, they enter in the tag number and the system can track all service tickets related to each employee in the company, as well as each asset, its department, and location. None of those clients are using QB for their accounting though.

Level 1

Re: Fixed Assets

Here is an app that will work   www.iEquiply.com

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