Cassiltoun Housing Association, a Glasgow community-based housing association, has signed a contract with Real Asset Management to use its Asset4000 software to streamline the management of its £42 million asset register. With such a diverse range of nearly 8,000 assets which includes houses, offices, children’s nursery and training rooms, the previous spreadsheet-based asset register used by the association did not instil the confidence that a specialist component accounting solution provides.
In the lead-up to the SORP compliance deadline in April 2012, the finance department at Cassiltoun Housing Association used a spreadsheet-based system to meet SORP requirements. Whilst this model proved suitable in the short-term, it was prone to inputting errors and did not provide the functionality the finance department required to drill down to individual asset component level.
Gamal Haddou, Finance Director at Cassiltoun Housing Association, explains, “After working closely with our external auditors to develop a detailed, spreadsheet-based asset management model, it became apparent that minor errors were creeping into the data and it was becoming increasingly difficult to manage and maintain a multitude of different worksheets. It was also very time consuming to extract information and difficult to get an overview of the components included.”
Haddou continues, “Efficient and accurate component accounting requires a level of detail that is beyond the capabilities of both traditional finance solutions and housing asset management systems. Our decision to implement RAM’s Asset4000 software provides us with a proven, best-in-class component accounting platform that allows us to control, track and accurately record changes that occur within the lifetime of each individual asset. Not only does this ensure SORP compliance at all times, but it also gives us much better management information and streamlines admin processes within the finance department.”
Asset4000 is also a much more user-friendly system which enables multiple users to access the system at the same time, speeding up the production of management reports. Haddou says, “Although we are only a small finance team, it was still frustrating that only one person could access the register at any given time, but with the flexibility of Asset4000 multiple users can now access the software simultaneously. This will provide a significant reduction in the time spent producing our monthly reports.”
Commenting on the working relationship with RAM, Haddou concludes, “To date the support and guidance we have received from RAM’s consultants has been excellent. Their technical skills and knowledge of component accounting, combined with their understanding of the housing market provide real peace of mind that we are working with an industry expert and we look forward to a long-lasting business partnership.”