We recently discussed the findings of a 2017 study, which examined how small businesses track inventory. Here, we are going to examine how small businesses track assets, which was detailed in the same report from Wasp Barcode Technologies.

The report reveals that the most popular tool for tracking assets among small businesses is spreadsheet programs, like Excel. This matches up with the way companies are tracking inventory, as spreadsheets also topped that list.

In both cases, it’s easy to understand why small businesses maintain this preference – spreadsheets are easy and familiar. They are, however, more prone to data duplication and human error than software designed specifically for the task.

A small, but significant component of small businesses do, in fact, you specialized software, with over one-third relying on either asset software or accounting software. Another small contingent goes old school with pen and paper, which comes with some obvious deficiencies.

Here’s the breakdown of the findings:

  • 32 percent use spreadsheets
  • 22 percent use tracking in accounting software
  • 16 percent use asset software or system
  • 12 percent use manual processes (pen and paper)
  • 11 percent do not track assets
  • 6 percent were not sure
  • 2 percent used other methods

The findings point to another case of small businesses failing to utilize software that is designed to meet their needs. While some have adopted this type of software, others are relying on rudimentary tools, or simply shirking the tracking process altogether.

Systems designed to track assets can appear intimidating to many upstart companies, both for their unfamiliarity and the financial commitment they require. But a proper system can boost efficiency and lead to long term savings and this is clearly something that is being overlooked.

Especially because 69 percent of small businesses expect to grow in 2017, it is somewhat surprising that more are not investing in tools that foster growth. However, the continued reliance on spreadsheets over specialized tools may simply be the result of a collective unawareness regarding alternative specialized options.