- The challenge
Financial control and management of all assets in Dublin call centre, hub of UPS’s 20 country European operation
- The solution
Asset accounting system set up to reflect company structure, asset categorisations and depreciation policy. Statutory and management reporting for each country, department and asset category.
UPS is the world’s largest express carrier and package delivery company. It operates in more than 200 countries and territories, and delivers more than 13 million packages every day. UPS’s revenue for 2001 exceeded $30 billion, on a total annual volume of 3.4 billion packages and documents.
UPS’s European call centre, situated in Dublin, Ireland, handles calls for 20 European countries. The Dublin office is also responsible for UPS’s inter-company billing activity, and is equipped with a range of IT, telecommunications and other office equipment. AssetWare Technology’s asset management solution is used for financial control and management of all assets in the Dublin centre.
The Dublin centre is organised into twenty sections, one for each of the European countries for which it handles calls. Each country section may be further subdivided into one or more departments according to the types of call handled. Each country, and each department within each country, is a separate cost centre, to which assets are assigned and against which depreciation must be allocated.
AssetWare’s system has been set up to reflect this hierarchical structure. Within each country/department, assets are further classified as technology, furniture and miscellaneous. Varying depreciation rates are applied to the different categories of assets.
UPS’s German centre is responsible for asset acquisitions. The Finance department in Dublin receives notification of a new purchase by means of a charge memo, containing details of the serial number, location and purchase cost of the new asset. This information is keyed in to AssetWare’s system and automatically assigned to the correct country, department and asset categorisation. Depreciation calculation begins from the date the asset is entered into the system.
UPS has a Technology Support Group (TSG), with responsibility for maintaining and upgrading the PC’s, servers, printers and other IT equipment in the Dublin centre. TSG notifies the Finance department of disposals, upgrades, movements and other changes to the technology asset base. The information is keyed in to AssetWare’s system as it is received, thus ensuring that depreciation calculations are accurate and that the system is always up-to-date.
UPS works to a monthly accounting and reporting cycle. AssetWare’s standard reports have been customised to provide a comprehensive cost and depreciation report. This shows asset purchase costs and depreciation totals, for the current period and cumulatively, for each country, department and asset category. The system has also been set up to automatically produce a monthly balance sheet, used for management accounting and control purposes.
“One of the major benefits of AssetWare’s system is that it is so easy to use,” says Accounts Clerk Pauline Nannery. “It has been set up to mirror our company structure, asset categorisations and depreciation policy, so we get detailed and summary information, in exactly the format we need, at the touch of a button. On the rare occasions that we have any issues or queries we simply ring AssetWare’s support team, and we have found them unfailingly knowledgeable and helpful. Recently we conducted a physical audit for the first time. We talked through the options with one of AssetWare’s consultants and decided to audit on a departmental basis. It all went very smoothly, thanks both to the flexibility of the system and to the support team who talked us through the whole process step by step. For future audits, we are considering the use of AssetWare’s Auditing system, which means we will use handheld technology and a laser scanner to scan barcoded assets.”
Currently UPS is using a SUN based financial accounting system, which has no facilities for automatic uploading of data. This is being replaced by Oracle, which will be rolled out Europe wide. Once the European roll-out has been completed, the export facilities of AssetWare’s system will be used to automatically upload period depreciation figures to the nominal ledger.
AssetWare Technology’s products and services will continue to provide a key supporting role, as UPS develops its services to maintain its position as the world’s leading Logistics Company