Developing a comprehensive asset enumeration spreadsheet
Providing exhaustive equipment details
Photographing useful equipment
Planning for optimum inspection productivity
Working with a qualified, experienced appraiser
Let's begin with two crucial pre-appraisal measures that should be incorporated into each and every equipment appraisal - regardless of the reason for the appraisal!
Create a Property Spreadsheet
Prepare an inventory of all equipment and apparatus, including business assets such as computer and telephone systems and company vehicles. Include manufacturer, model, make, and year, as well as VIN for vehicles and any meter readings, such as the number of miles or hours the equipment has been used. Each category of data should have its own column, and data must be categorized consistently. The year of manufacture must be noted for any in-house-built equipment, and the year of acquisition must be noted for any used machinery. Your equipment appraiser should be able to supply you with a comprehensive inventory of the data that should be included in this spreadsheet.
Ensure that the equipment appraiser can readily utilize the asset inventory. An inventory created in a spreadsheet program such as Excel will be far more useful than a list written by hand on a legal pad or even one composed in a word processor. The purpose of this spreadsheet is to provide your equipment appraiser with an electronic inventory so that he does not have to retype it, thereby saving you an hourly rate for a task you could perform yourself.
Provide Equipment Information
If you have previous appraisal reports for collateral loan purposes, insurance coverage, business transfers, or family law matters such as estate tax, consolidate them. These reports can frequently provide your equipment appraiser with valuable information, thereby reducing the amount of time required for the bankruptcy appraisal's research. If the equipment appraiser with whom you are working does not request these items, offer them voluntarily and inquire whether they would be beneficial. When the final invoice arrives, you may see the benefits. If you have specialty equipment, be sure to have the """"cost"""" information your equipment appraiser will need, such as invoices, receipts, time & cost statements, and/or reports from the manufacturer or experts in the field revealing how much it would cost to produce such machinery or equipment. On the day of the inspection, be sure to have someone familiar with the equipment available so that the appraiser can obtain an accurate report of the equipment's functioning condition and required maintenance. Maintain maintenance records in case they need to be reviewed.
Submit Equipment Photographs
Providing high-quality images can also reduce the cost of your bankruptcy equipment evaluation. Create a column in the inventory spreadsheet for photo numbers if you opt to take your own photographs. It is essential for the appraiser to know which piece of equipment he is viewing when reviewing your photographs. Ensure that any photographs you submit are of sufficient quality for model numbers to be readable where applicable. Remember that these are informational photographs, not entries for a beauty contest! Clarity is more important than composition, although a spotless machine reveals more detail. As with spreadsheets, these photographs should be digital to facilitate transmission. Before the inspection, send your photos and inventory spreadsheet for maximum value.
Enhance Inspection Productivity
Timing and location are involved in equipment examinations. Due to the portability of apparatus and equipment, it is important to consider where everything will be when the equipment appraiser arrives with clipboard and camera! It may seem obvious that you'll want as much of your equipment in one location as feasible, but some individuals don't do so.
I once conducted an equipment evaluation for a large San Joaquin Valley agricultural operation. Due to the fact that much of the agricultural machinery was already in the fields, the inspection took twice as long as anticipated. When this is unavoidable, as it was in a recent inspection I conducted in Salinas, where the farmer owned multiple properties, be sure to inform your appraiser so he can include the travel time in his estimate. In another instance, a construction company scheduled our on-site inspection during a time when many of the trucks, bulldozers, graders, and excavators were on construction sites throughout the Sacramento region, not realizing that I would need to see and verify all the equipment on the asset inventory list. To complete the inspection, I made a second journey in the wee hours of the morning, before the machinery was transported to construction sites.
Believe me, I'm willing to make as many trips as you require for an appraisal, but I'd rather come out early in the morning or late at night -- even on the weekend -- than make multiple journeys to inspect your equipment that are unnecessary. Keep in mind that a qualified equipment appraiser is always willing to collaborate with you to ensure that your inspection is as effective and efficient as feasible. In this situation, time is literally money; therefore, it is essential to schedule an efficient inspection visit. If you have concerns about the specifics of your situation, speak with your equipment appraiser.
Get It Right from the Beginning
Utilize an experienced, competent equipment appraiser. Do not attempt to save money by obtaining an appraisal from a vendor or auction house. And do not make the error of endeavoring to compose an evaluation report on your own. Working with a qualified, certified, and accredited equipment appraiser ensures that your report will be accurate and admissible in court if necessary. As you are aware, a """"do-over"""" in bankruptcy proceedings can only add aggravation and expense. You will save time and money if you do the job correctly the first time.""
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