One stop shop for fixed asset registers for community buildings

19 January 2022
finance blog

Written by Joanne Abbott, development officer at Community First Yorkshire.

Why compile a fixed asset register for a community building?

You may have looked around your community building or village hall on a number of occasions and thought “I wonder how long that boiler will last”, “How many years will it be before the windows need painting?” or “Can we afford to replace those old chairs next year?”!

An up to date asset register could help you answer all these questions and more.

A comprehensive list of all assets and fixtures and fittings will provide you with information, all in one place, to help you make well-informed decisions relating to maintenance and replacement.

One of the 6 main duties of a charity trustee, as defined by the Charity Commission, is to manage the charity’s resources responsibly.

Having a register of the charity’s assets will help trustees fulfil this duty.

An asset register will help trustees:
  •  Know what assets the charity owns
  •  Know where those assets are located
  •  Plan for when renewals may be needed and how much they may cost
  • Compile a reserves policy
    • Designating funds to cover the future cost of replacing items
    • Explaining the reason for holding funds in reserve
  • Value assets for insurance purposes
What does an asset register look like?

This will depend on the assets of the charity and the number of details trustees wish to include.
A simple table or spreadsheet with a list of assets down one side and details of those assets across the top is a useful format to adopt.

For example: number of items, date purchased, cost price, date replacement needed and estimated cost of replacement across the top and boiler, tables, chairs and projector down the side.

Other useful information you may want to include in your table are:

  • Name of supplier and contact details
  • Technical specification of item
  • Location
  • Maintenance intervals
The information captured in the table should help with:
  • Setting reserves levels to ensure enough is set aside to maintain, repair and replace the building and its fixtures and fittings
  • Setting hire charges at a level to ensure sufficient income to maintain reserves levels
  • Planning fundraising activities to fill any shortfall in reserves including staging fundraising events and making applications to grant funders

It is good practice to review and adjust the asset register on a regular basis.
You will need to update the register as assets are purchased and disposed of and carrying out an annual review will help to ensure the register is kept up to date.

Hopefully, you can now see the benefits of compiling and maintaining an asset register for your community building and now have an idea about how you can make a start.