The pandemic left many districts scrambling to provide remote education. When the pandemic hit, many districts did not have a full 1:1 device initiative in place. In turn, districts were forced to react quickly, providing teachers, staff, and students with whatever devices were on-hand, and in many cases, without properly documenting who the devices were given to. As we start to swing back into in-person instruction, below are sample inventory procedures for managing and tracking your Chromebook devices.
For new shipments of devices:
- Obtain the serial numbers prior to the delivery of the devices for insurance purposes and for comparison to devices received.
- If insuring the devices, the Purchasing department can use the listing of serial numbers received from the vendor to create a purchase order and insure the Chromebooks for accidental damage and theft.
- Confirm the shipment received agrees to the purchase order and invoice(s).
- Once the device has been received, its serial number confirmed, it is properly insured (as appropriate – based on a district’s procedure), and set up with the necessary applications, the Information Technology (“IT”) department/the outsourced company responsible for inventory must input the device information (serial number, asset tag, device type, purchase date, location of device and any other information required per the district’s policy) into the district’s Chromebooks for Education Management Console (“Google Console”)/other management or inventory system to enroll, track, and later assign the device.
For all devices:
- Once the inventoried devices are ready for dissemination, the IT department/the outsourced company responsible for inventory must update Google Console with the individual to whom the device has been assigned and/or the assigned location of the device.
- If being given to a student or staff member, the parent/student/staff member should sign an agreement that acknowledges the exchange and notates the serial number and asset tag number of the device being distributed.
- If a device is assigned to a student, the district’s student management system should also be updated to indicate whether the student has a device (similar to a musical instrument).
- If a device becomes lost/stolen, the status of the device in Google Console needs to be updated to “disabled” until the device is located and returned. If a different type of management or inventory system is being used, the system should be updated to reflect that the device is lost/stolen.
- If the device becomes obsolete and is used for parts, the status of the device in Google Console/other management or inventory system needs to be updated to reflect this.
- If the device becomes obsolete, the status of the device in Google Console needs to be updated to “deprovisioned,” presented to the Board, appropriately sanitized, and disposed of in accordance with District policy and procedure. If using another management or inventory system, be sure to update the device to reflect that it has been disposed of.
- If repairs need to be done, the district’s repair management system should be updated to indicate the status of the device, the location of the device and the new device given to the student/staff member.
- The parent/student/staff member should sign an agreement for the newly assigned device, and the aforementioned steps should be followed.
- In addition, the repairs should be tracked for internal knowledge of the remaining useful life of the device.
- An inventory of all devices should be performed at least annually, ideally through physical observation if possible. Otherwise, devices should be pinged (this requires the device to be on) regularly.
- In conjunction, a review should be performed to analyze the inventory of devices against a listing of those active students and employees to ensure no terminated/inactive employees or graduated/inactive students are still in possession of a device.
- A periodic review of device additions and disposals should be performed by someone in the IT department on a sample basis.
Nicholle Mezier, CPA, MBA
Nicholle is a member of Cerini & Associates’ audit staff where she brings experience in audit, review, and consulting services to our general business, nonprofit and special education clients. Nicholle has worked with a large number of nonprofit clients, predominantly focusing on social service providers, healthcare providers, foundations, educational institutions, and arts and culture organizations. Nicholle’s technical knowledge allows her to provide specific services, including financial statement audits, internal and claims audits, and nonprofit outsourced accounting services. Nicholle has also contributed to the firm’s various newsletters.