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If you are in the Estates Management area then you will have come across the term “acquision/disposal registers”, but not everybody knows what that actually means.

An Acquisition/Disposal register is where you record asset acquisition and disposal; for example, you would record if you had purchased land and/or buildings in the register, along with the date, price paid and any other pertinent points. Later down the line, this asset may be “disposed”; this can through a number of reasons including sale, demolition or given away.

Once an asset has been derecognised, it is at the point of disposal and as such must be recorded on the register, along with the final disposal date, transaction and any gains or losses.

Why Keep an Acquisition Register?

Keeping an acquisition register is essential in business, especially one with numerous assets to keep track of.

An acquisition register is used by many different areas of the business, including:

  • Accountants to keep track of gains and losses
  • At board level to view and manage assets
  • Marketing team to plan further acquisitions and future capital investment

Information contained in the register also aids different departments such as the maintenance dept, to estimate repairs and maintenance costs.

What Does an Acquisition/Disposal Register Look Like?

An Acquisition Register can take a few different forms, but they are all normally based on the same criteria. They do not have to be complex, as long as they record the following info:

  • Registration Number
  • Object Name
  • Description
  • Acquired How
  • Acquired From
  • Date Acquired
  • Disposal sold
  • Manner disposed of
  • Gains/Losses

Other fields that may be included:

  • Budget Year
  • Price
  • Department
  • Item Specifics
  • Notes
  • Related Documents
  • Related Surveys
  • Related Equipment

Acquisition Registers have traditionally been kept in physical “ink and paper” form but dedicated software to track assets has become more popular in recent years, although many do still keep printed copies.

Disposal of Assets

Assets are disposed of for many reasons, including:

  • Surplus to requirements and as such should be sold
  • Untenable to repair or maintain (which may lead to a loss-sale or demolition)
  • If the asset is part of a larger asset and would be beneficial to manage as a single asset
  • Gifted to a relative or other person (most likely assets held by an individual and not a business, although this is not unheard of in business)

Once an asset has been earmarked for disposal then it is prudent to undertake this process in good time, to ensure the best possible price on the open market. It may also be that disposing of the asset at less than market value will deliver wider public benefit, the process of which again should take place as soon as possible once the disposal decision has been made. This will include any maintenance or repair work that will make the asset more attractive to purchasers.

Listing an Asset for Sale

It is important to ensure professional advice is given before listing an asset for sale, including valuation and negotiation. The asset should be valued by a professional member of a body such as RICS and be suitably qualified in the appropriate market for sale.

Once an asset is ready to be listed for sale, it should be marketed by a professional marketing agent. Again, this agent must have specialist knowledge in the area(s) that the asset will be sold in.

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