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=====Fixed Asset Module Development Specification=====


The fixed asset module (asset manager) was entierly re-written on the basis described below in Nov/Dec 2010

A fixed asset module has been committed in the webERP svn repository for some time 1st released in Version 4 RC1. However, I recently tried to use it (Oct 2010) and found:

~- I could not add assets (there was a small issue with not having a code input control)
~- The accumulated depreciation journal posted to cost of the asset
~- Assets are included in the stockmaster and in many places are visible as stock??
~- The asset register does not show assets added
~- The depreciation rate and method are implemented as stock category properties
~- A fixed asset (stock item) purchased in a foreign currency does not come through at the correct local cost.

On investigation of some of the scripts it seems that this fixed asset register is implemented as a hack on the stock scripts. The scripts have not even been modified to use sensible variable names and the assets are treated as normal stock items belonging to a stock category that is of a Fixed Asset type. I have started reworking the scripts to use sensible variable names that more logically fit what is happening.

In some respects I can see the logic of doing this, but the accountant in me cannot accept the mixing of fixed assets and stock in this way. I would prefer to have separate tables for assets rather than further complicate every stock script. The KISS principle has been ignored in this implementation of fixed assets.

Other reasons for separating the fixed assets from stock include:
~- The stockmaster has a whole lot of redundant fields that are not used by the fixed assets module - e.g. decimalplaces, controlled, serialised, mbflag, NextSerialNo, kgs, volume, etc etc....
~- The fixed assets data requires a depreciation method and depreciation rate for every asset it makes sense for this to be in the same table without abstraction to a property.
~- Stock locations are created for each fixed asset - unecessarily as fixed assets have their own locations which should not be restricted to just warehouses.
I could think of many more but I think it clear that there are many many reasons why the logic of stock over complicates things from a simple fixed asset register.


====Fixed Asset Integration Points====

- Invoice entry for new assets or additions to existing assets
- Purchase order entry for new assets or additions to existing assets
- Depreciation charges to be journalled to GL
- Disposal of fixed assets through sales order entry. Disposal GL entries to go to profit and loss on disposal.

One way to separate the fixed assets currently in the stock tables is to allow transfers between fixed assets and stocks and do the necessary accounting. Disposal at current NBV and inclusion in stock at NBV cost value.

(This has not been implemented as of Dec 2010)

Similarly, manufactured items can be capitalised by transferring to either an existing asset or creating a new asset.

When assets are sold they can be transferred from fixed assets to stock items and when manufactured items are capitalised as fixed assets, stock items can be transferred to fixed assets.
(Not implemented as at Dec '10)

Are there any other drivers for having fixed assets included inside the stockmaster that I am not seeing??

When fixed assets are purchased they will be posted through supplier invoice entry and I propose that another option similar to GRN, shipment and contracts be created that allow fixed assets to be created at the time of purchase invoice entry.
(Implemented Dec 2010)

If we do this then how to deal with assets purchased via a purchase order - purchase as a stock item for transfer to fixed assets?

Purchase orders currently allow for nominal purchase order items that specify the GL account. If the GL account is to a fixed asset cost account then bring up the new fixed asset or addition to existing fixed asset form.... (this is implemented as of Dec 2010)

A fixed asset transaction log is required recording, additions, disposals, transfers between categories (that would cause GL transactions) and locations - no journals (or do we need to allow for different GL postings based on location and fixed asset category??)
I can't see where fixed asset transactions such a depreciation, additions and disposal might be logged in one place currently - I think this would be a useful and necessary facility if we are interested in any retrospective reporting i.e. what the NBV was at the end of last year. What additions were for the 3 months, 6 months etc.

(Implemented Dec 2010 - as a new table fixedassettrans - the fixed asset register must be run over a range and disposals are recorded and depreciation over the specified period)

As at Dec 2010 - Disposals can also be entered through a normal sales order to a selected customer - instead of selecting a stock item to sell there is an option to select a fixed asset.
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