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REVIEW: Fixed Asset Software 2013

Fixed asset management software is a great tool that can help your clients manage their business and find other effective ways to save tax dollars. As a tax expert, you can appreciate (pun intended) the benefits to having your clients fixed assets updated monthly.

Depreciation is area that our government continually looks at changing. It is one of the reasons an Excel spreadsheet really doesn't work well for the task. Every time there is a change we have to understand it and find ways to make the most of the changes for all our clients.

Having a solid fixed asset program will help with tax issues. Such a program also can help you with disaster recovery. Imagine that your client had some kind of horrible event, be a fire or a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado. How nice would be it be if you could help make that situation a little better by being able to give them a list of the assets they just lost so they can collect insurance and start to build their business back up? Now that is being a good business partner.

You would do well to use any of the products reviewed here. They all use the spreadsheet based model. They all allow you to quickly pull your spreadsheet into their programs to get you up and running quickly. All programs do have a high price to use them and they are worth every dollar.

When it comes to software, every person has his/her own preference of what they like or do not like. It can be an immediate reaction to what when it comes to software. As all of us know and appreciate, time is very precious. The only way for a firm to grow and be profitable is to maximize every process as to eliminate any extra steps and allow for the least amount of time to accomplish your engagement. Let's take now take a look at the software.

Fixed Assets CS
Thomson Reuters
Dexter, Mich.
(800) (968-8900)
Price: Starts at $1,500.

Fixed Assets CS
Fixed Assets CS, a great product in the Thomson Reuter line of products, is extremely easy to use. Highly flexible, it has everything you would need to properly calculate depreciation and amortization. It even allows you to create your calculations if you want/need it.

Another great feature enables you to split out assets. For example, suppose you initially set up 30 cows as an asset. Then, a year later you sell 10 of those cows, you can use the split feature to seamlessly separate the assets and have accurate calculations. The integration between the tax and depreciation program is seamless. In fact, the deprecation program and tax program share files so there is no need to do anything but open up the program. And further you can create custom report profiles (the ability to save frequently used reports) in depreciation program that are also available in the tax program.

Reports are truly flexible. You can use those already in the program or you can create those you want. If you desire a report with a different calculation, you can easily create it along with charts and graphs to show your clients their assets by any valuation you desire. The wizard makes adding assets very easy - you pick the type of asset and the system automates the method and life. If you want to see how prior, current or future depreciation was calculated, you can do that too.

From the start, you can create templates that allow you to create standards for adding assets quickly and easily. Even cooler is that the templates can be used to update all current assets. This can be useful in many different scenarios including the ever-changing tax laws. In most other programs you would have to manually update the assets. While many other programs on the market allow data to flow to tax programs, this product shares the same files so the data is already in the tax program.

This program is a very good as a standalone program and even better if you have other products in the Thomson Suite. It is worth your time to review this program in detail.

ProSystem fx Fixed Assets
Riverwoods, Ill.
(800) 739-9998
Price: $2,360 (first user); $207, each additional user.

ProSystem fx Fixed Assets
Like all other CCH products, this is another wonderful product in the company's software suite. For me, the integration is key. It is so much easier to add on a product if you already know how the programs work.

And being able to tie into top-notch products such ProSystem fx Engagement and ProSystem fx Tax provides many advantages. The really nice thing about the way these products integrate is that there is a drop-down that shows your client's name. This is a little thing that saves a ton of time. By having your list, you are assured that you have things set up properly so the integration is easy. This is a huge timesaver.

This, too, is a feature-rich program that makes handling of fixed assets a much simpler task than it used to be. You can customize the screen to view the assets in what way is most comfortable for you and easily group or individual add or dispose of assets. You can have an unlimited number of assets. You can calculate a negative depreciation if you need to and duplicate assets as a way to quickly add new assets. This is a fully featured easy-to-use system. You can fully customize the reports or you can just use the many standard reports in the program. There are so many features that make using this program a very good investment for any firm and all your clients.

It is well worth your time to review this program. If you own other ProSystem fx, you really want to review this to add to your suite.

Fixed Asset Web
BNA Software
Arlington, Va.
(800) 424-2938
Price: Starts at $2,800.

Fixed Assets Web
BNA Fixed Assets, an easy-to-use, cost-effective application, enables tax and accounting professionals in companies of any size to more efficiently manage the complete fixed asset lifecycle. This product provides an end-to-end fixed asset and depreciation management system from construction and acquisition through disposal.
The application can meet the needs of any size organization. As a Web-based system, it reduces the burden on IT while improving the efficiency of the fixed-asset process.

BNA touts the scalability of the product and comprehensive fixed asset reports and forms. Unlike when you use spreadsheets, you'll never have to spend hours combining, merging and manipulating data to create comprehensive reports.

BNA Fixed Assets offers the comprehensive fixed asset reporting capabilities, allowing you to quickly generate the reports that matter most to you and your stakeholders. Reconciliation-oriented reports support fixed asset accounting, tax, property tax and management needs. Fixed asset report wizards easily provide access to 30 fully customizable, predefined standard reports

System integration is a plus. The new BNA Fixed Assets G/L Integrator enables you to pull information from your general ledger system according to your business rules and import it directly into BNA Fixed Assets Web. After you apply your tax treatments, you can then export the journal entries back into the general ledger system increasing accounting controls and decreasing risk.
If you have a client that has several separate entities but you need to have them consolidated into one, this program handles that with ease. You can keep entities separate and through a consolidation feature, you can combine them all into one and do all the reporting you need.
The product offers role-based security and you can set up policies for assets. For larger clients, there are power tools to help manage data more effectively. You can set up templates for industries. The system allows for the import of your general ledger chart of accounts to map assets accordingly, cutting the time required for reconciliation against the general ledger. It handles multiple currencies and you can build assets and use Construction in Progress. This is a high-quality, easy-to-use program that can do it all.

Julie Lepper, EA

Julie S. Lepper, EA, MBA is the Principal of Julie S. Lepper, Accounting & Tax Service, LLC, a small local accounting firm in Pinckney, MI. She earned her Master's of Business from Eastern Michigan University and her Bachelor's of Accountancy from Walsh College in Michigan. Julie has over 16 years in consulting with client not only accounting and tax issues , but also on software and sales engagements. She specializes in focusing on start-up businesses and small to medium client needs.

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