Creating an inventory list of the items in an office can be important in the event of theft, fire or natural disaster. Without a list, you would have to rely on your memory to account for an office’s contents. A copy of the list should be stored off-site and updated as office furniture and equipment is purchased or removed. Optionally, you can supplement an inventory list with drawings or photographs showing the location of key objects in each room.
Furniture and Accessories
A list of office furniture and room accessories includes desks, chairs, lamps, trash cans, file cabinets and even window treatments. Decorative items should not be overlooked, such as pictures or paintings, wall hanging pieces, plants, ornamental figurines and mirrors. Check shelves that make up an office library. Some reference books can be relatively expensive and their value should be noted.
The heart of most offices today is one or more computer systems. Systems are composed of the main computer case (CPU), monitors, printers, scanners, speakers, keyboards, mice and all associated connecting cables. Record any laptop computers. Additional items include uninterruptable battery backup supplies and video-projection systems. An office inventory that also lists the purchase price and purchase date of each item, whether furniture or computers, enables the list to be used in determining the amount of coverage needed to insure the office’s contents. Recording the purchase price and date is also useful when filling out income tax returns, as computers and other office equipment can be depreciated over several years, and their purchase price and date is needed in this computation. Include computer software on the list, too.
Offices commonly use electronic equipment for communications, in addition to email via a computer. The office inventory list should include copy and fax machines, telephones, dictation machines and intercoms. Broadband modems and routers are used to connect computers and VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) to communication services. Having a list that includes serial numbers of all electronic and computing devices will be valuable in the event of theft.
Office “supplies” are considered to be items that are used up in the course of business and must be periodically replenished. In this category are paper for copy machines and printers, notebooks and notebook paper, lined pads, date books and calendars, ink and toner for printers and fax machines, pens and pencils, markers, paper clips, trash bags, envelopes and the like. A walk through an office supply store or a quick look at your supply closet will remind you of any additional supply-type items. Software programs are available to assist in managing and tracking office inventory and can give alerts when supplies are running low and need to be reordered.
Dan Keen is the publisher and editor of a county newspaper in New Jersey. For over 30 years he has written books and magazine articles for such publishers as McGraw-Hill. Keen holds a degree in electronics, was chief engineer for two radio stations and taught computer science at Stockton State College.