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- All of the display cases, storage and infrastructure required to hold the museum’s collection of armour and weaponry securely are tracked using 21st Century software from Real Asset Management -

19th October: Britain’s oldest museum, the Royal Armouries, purchased Asset4000 from Real Asset Management (RAM) to improve the asset tracking and management of its £55 million fixed asset base across three historic locations.

The three sites hold one of the largest collections of arms and armour in the world, comprising the UK’s National Collection of Arms and Armour, National Artillery Collection and National Firearms Collection.

The museum invested in Asset4000 from RAM to improve the efficient tracking of all its assets, to eliminate the time-consuming and potentially inaccurate process of spreadsheet accounting and to readily comply with the Modified Historic Cost Accounting legislation (MHCA). The software embeds pictures of the actual assets into the asset database which proves enormously valuable for all those engaged in re-valuations and indexation.

Operating for over 500 years, The Royal Armouries is one of the oldest museums in the world and has three sites; the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, the world-famous Tower of London and Fort Nelson near Portsmouth. As the keeper of part of the UK’s national heritage, it has a duty of care for these objects, to keep them, study them and increase public knowledge of them, so that this can be passed on to future generations along with the objects themselves.

MHCA, an accounting convention led by the Treasury framework, dictates that public sector bodies should have their assets reflected at current values by using appropriate price indices. Brian Ball, Finance and Administration Director at the Royal Armouries, explains, “We were solely dependent on manual asset tracking prior to investing in Asset4000 from RAM. With an asset base of over £55 million, this time-consuming process carried a huge admin overhead.”

Ball continues, “After a thorough investigation of the marketplace, we were convinced that the software from RAM was able to comply with the government’s MHCA legislation. The key to this was its ability to provide annual re-valuation of assets – both directly and via indexation.”

Asset4000, part of RAM’s Series4000 offering, is designed to assist with legislative compliance including IFRS, MHCA, and audit best practice for organisations across the public and private sectors, with features including the calculation of depreciation, the maintenance of audit trail records and component valuations and accounting.

The Royal Armouries identified a need for versatile and user-friendly software that would enable it to complete an MHCA compliant audit. Ball adds, “Since implementation, accounting procedures have become much simpler. Not only do we have compliant data, but we also have a system in place that is reliable and accurate, unlike our previous spreadsheet-based systems which were potentially prone to errors, particularly within the embedded formulae.”

Usability of the software is also a key element, Ball explains, “With such an expansive asset register and only four of us using the system, it was vital that it was simple and user-friendly. We run our finances on Sage Line 500 and we can easily make uploads via journal entries. But also having the ability to embed pictures into the system makes our asset register so easy to understand on both a day-to-day business level and for our auditors who may not be familiar with the museum’s assets at all.” 

Commenting on the implementation process Ball concludes, “The implementation ran very smoothly and the staff at RAM are very hands-on with the ability to help almost 24x7. We mostly log support calls via the website and these are usually solved within the hour. Service that you certainly cannot fault.”

To learn more about Real Asset Management's asset tracking software, please click here.

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