The exurb of Chisago County, located less than an hour north of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is home to around 53,000 people. Chisago County government’s responsibilities to citizens include the effective management of infrastructure, transportation, public health, parks & recreation, zoning & planning systems and environmental stewardship programs.
The county’s finance department’s fixed asset team is responsible for tracking both capital and fixed assets. When the new Senior Auditor, Paula Fox, took over the fixed asset management responsibilities at Chisago County, it was determined that the existing fixed asset system could be improved. According to Ms. Fox, “The existing system was not user friendly and we just could not get the reports we needed. It was hard to decipher what we could and could not do, and the poor instruction manual didn’t help. It was so inflexible that if we made an error, it was impossible to undo.” In the interest of gaining efficiencies, the case to move to a modern, specialist fixed asset software system was made.
Ms. Fox and her team made a list of requirements the new system would have to satisfy: be more intuitive than their existing system; accommodate parent/child relationships; capable of managing inventory with tags; produce detailed reports, and include customizable, drop-down options. After evaluating other fixed asset software, Chisago County selected MRI Software’s Series4000. According to Ms. Fox, “Asset4000 had the most value when compared with other systems; it met all our requirements and our team found it more user-friendly. In addition to meeting the accountants’ needs, IT thought it was the most reliable. Additionally, MRI Software was also so pleasant to work with during the whole process.”
At present, Chisago County is using Asset4000 and Document4000 to manage depreciable and non-depreciable assets over $1,000. These include vehicles & infrastructure such as buildings, land, highways, and equipment.