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Fixed assets software reviews.

What's important in a fixed asset package? After reading the reviews, the answer boils down to two things (once you get past the accuracy of the calculations and he reliability of the software). The packages must be flexible and the data must be accessible.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Flexibility comes in different flavors. One flavor is the number of depreciation methods each package supports. Another is the number of books supported. "More" means "better" in most of the offerings. However, at least one vendor bucked the trend of trying to be all things to all people by offering a targeted solution with a specific set of functions and features needed to serve the intended niche.

Another area to look at is the friendliness of the programs when users need to change assumptions and data that changes annually Are the screens well designed and do they flow nicely? While flexibility is a nice attribute, too much flexibility leads to software that is difficult to use and software that is not user friendly.

What does accessibility mean when it comes to fixed assets? It means the ability to enter, store, retrieve, use and export data. Fixed assets do not exist in a vacuum. Consequently, it is important that data can be shared and integrated with (or exported to) accounting applications. The packages offer different options and solutions for importing and exporting data

Accessibility also means that historical data must be saved, but not locked away. It is used for the life of the fixed assets, which in some cases, is a long time. Its integrity must remain unquestioned, giving a high importance to audit trails and associated reports.

We are beginning to see features that will be incorporated into the next generation of fixed asset software. Document imaging and retrieval will have a tremendous impact in the near future in the management of fixed assets, and some of the vendors are taking steps to attach scanners and integrate images into applications.

Fixed assets software plays an important, although not sexy role in monitoring and calculating the impact of fixed assets on a business. With changing technology and depreciation rules, it's hard to imagine tracking fixed assets without a software solution.

All Methods of Tax and Financial Depreciation are Supported

Micro Vision has written tax and accounting software since 1983. Its first tax program, Tax Relief, was written for an expansion board that fit into a motherboard slot in the Apple II microcomputer. In the 1990s, Micro Vision changed its name (to AccountantsWorld). Today, AccountantsWorld is an online service offering many services, including AccountantsOffice, a suite of programs designed for on-site and remote use.

Fixed Assets Relief is a totally offline program that accesses the online data stored in the Accountant's Relief online write-up product, and also works with the Accountant's Relief stand-alone product data. Fixed Assets Relief requires Internet access only to integrate with the online program, or to download program updates and support. Fixed Assets Relief also exports data in a CSV format for use with Microsoft Excel, Lotus or other software. In addition, a third option that exports data is the General Ledger Adjustment Report. While data can be manually entered from the report, it also can be saved to RTF and TXT files.

The program allows for seven depreciation books with five pre-defined and two user-defined books. The IRS book is used to compute depreciation for regular federal tax. The Internal book is for financial accounting and defaults to the IRS method, since most accountants use OCBOA Tax. A state book exists for taxes on the primary state, while user-defined books can be used for other states with assets. AMT and ACE books support those special tax methods. While the Web site mentions eight books in the overview section describing the package, I found only support for seven during the review. Most fixed asset manager programs only support seven books and it is hard to understand why more aren't supported, considering the number of businesses with multi-state operations. An unlimited number of user-defined books would be a plus. Fixed Assets Relief supports all methods of tax and financial depreciation, as well as an unlimited number of customized methods. The program automatically selects the appropriate tax method based on the date placed in service and the type of asset, including Section 179, Section 168(k) (1) special 30 percent bonus depreciation under the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002, and Section 168(k) (4) special 50 percent bonus depreciation under the Jobs and Growth Tax Reconciliation Act of 2003. AMT and ACE calculations, as well as short-year calculations, are also supported. The depreciation templates created based on previously entered assets are modifiable and available for use with new assets. Luxury automobile limitations and calculations are supported when the luxury auto option is selected in the depreciation schedule.

Fixed Assets Relief supports 15 standard reports and an unlimited number of customized reports. Commonly used text is saved to make report writing easier. Once the custom text is created, it easily can be inserted into future reports. Reports provide reconciliation under FASB 109 projections, including future reversal of timing differences. The report writer also generates labels and prints the federal form 4562 with supporting schedules for all assets or for a subset of assets identified by a business code. Printing federal forms requires Adobe Acrobat or the Adobe Reader. While the 5.1 version of the program is included on the CD, the installation process was not smart enough to recognize that version 6.0 was already installed on our test computer.

Summary

You can be assured that any product produced by AccountantsWorld is backed up by a company whose history has spanned the entire life of the microcomputer. With its easy-to-use interface and online capabilities. Fixed Assets Relief offers a wealth of features to today's mobile accountant.

AccountantsWorld

www.AccountantsOffice.com

888-999-1366

Alfred Giovetti, CPA, ABA, ATA

Each Asset has 26 Customizable, User-defined Data Fields

From basic depreciation to custom reporting, Best Software's FAS solutions have features unsurpassed by other fixed asset programs.

New features for 2004 include, among others, scanner support that allows paperless storage and easy retrieval on demand of fixed asset files for invoices, sales documents, warranty, and even photographs. A new Audit Advisor sends notification of assets and treatments that may be potential audit issues when run on any of the depreciation books.

Best Software's FAS products are designed to meet the needs of any size business. FAS Asset Accounting is designed for mid- to large-size companies, and handles basic depreciation, transfers and partial disposals, as well as more than 30 standard reports. Add the FAS Report Writer, based on the popular Crystal Reports engine, and reports can be customized in virtually any way imaginable. FAS Asset Accounting links to several major general ledger and other accounting packages through Best Software's Links. Unlimited companies are supported, and seven depreciation "books" can be kept for each fixed asset, including tax, internal, state, AMT, ACE and two user-defined books.

The new 2004.2 version, released July 19, 2004, added features allowing the export of standard reports to PDF, XML or XLS formats. In addition, customization of the standard reports within the extra-cost FAS Report Writer is also easy.

A detailed user's guide contains all of the information needed to get started with the program, including how to set up your company and replicate data. A sample company with 50 assets is also included in the program to help get started.

FAS Asset Accounting includes 26 customizable, user-defined data fields for each asset. Businesses with fixed assets used less than 100 percent for business can indicate the percentage of business use, and the program also allows you to indicate and keep track of changes in the percentage from one year to the next--especially useful for vehicles.

The well designed Windows interface looks good and simplifies program use. The Asset Detail View allows all seven books, and related data, to be seen on the screen at the same time. The Asset Group View allows viewing of multiple assets simultaneously. A complete audit trail of an asset's life can be seen by clicking on the Asset History Tab. With a compatible scanner, pictures of each asset can be stored and viewed on-screen.

A unique add-on to FAS Asset Accounting is FAS Asset Inventory. Included in this package is an enhanced inventory helper wizard that creates and tracks physical assets, with bar code scannable labels (another extra-cost added feature), providing more control over fixed assets. FAS Asset Accounting is also available for Microsoft SQL Server.

The learning curve is average for this type of product. However, Best Software offers many options and training programs to assist its customers. FAS has several training options, including web-based, on-site and classroom training at Best Software's training centers located nationwide. FAS Report Writer has an extensive 358-page, indexed manual with a detailed table of contents to help identify and solve challenges. Customer product support is available, via a toll-free number, 12 hours a day, five days a week, or via the Internet at any time.

Summary

Best Software's experience and knowledge in the Fixed Assets area shows. While the FAS solutions come with moderate price tags, you get your money's worth with FAS Asset Accounting.

Best Software, FAS Asset Accounting

www.bestsoftware.com

800-368-2405

Alfred Giovetti, CPA, ABA, ATA
"We have 70 locations throughout the United States and FAS Asset
Accounting allows us to track our assets in our multiple locations."
--Ryan Schipper
Senior Accountant
Endries International, Inc.
Brillion, Wisconsin


Each Asset has 10 Customizable User-defined Fields

Introduced in March 2004, FAS Nonprofit Fixed Asset Accounting is a new product offering from Best Software. It is "targeted specifically to the fixed asset management needs of non-profit organizations." When I read this, I wondered--what are the special "fixed asset management needs of non-profits" that are different from those needs of for-profit organizations? What justified developing a special package beyond the capabilities of its full featured bigger brother (FAS Asset Accounting) that performs 300,000 different depreciation computations? I was initially baffled.

The program, on booting, looks almost identical. All the commands and drop-down menus contained within the identical interface are the same. However, there are some differences. The for-profit product has seven depreciation books, while FAS Nonprofit has only three depreciation books: financial, budgetary 1 and budgetary 2. These three depreciation books are not seen in the for-profit product. Another difference is that the program uses the account numbering system recommended for non-profits by accountants. In addition, fixed asset depreciation can be allocated to multiple funds using the expanded non-profit features.

Best Software's series of FAS products are designed to meet the needs of any type of business. FAS Non-Profit Fixed Asset Accounting handles basic depreciation and transfers and partial disposals, as well as 20 standard reports. The non-profit, like the for-profit version, integrates with FAS Report Writer, and based on the popular Crystal Reports engine, reports can be customized in virtually any way imaginable.

The FAS Nonprofit Fixed Asset Accounting package has many of the same visual attributes and functionality of its larger FAS Fixed Asset Accounting relative also reviewed in this issue. The slick Windows interface makes these programs easy to use and easy on the eye. FAS Nonprofit Fixed Asset Accounting includes 19 pre-defined and 10 customizable, user-defined data fields for each fixed asset. The Asset Detail View allows all three financial books with depreciation methods, and related data, to be seen on the screen at the same time. As with the for-profit version, audit trails of assets exist and the program stores scanned images. The inventory helper wizard also was enabled, providing more control over fixed assets.

The learning curve, identical to the for-profit package, is average for this type of product. However, should you need some help, or want to make better use of the extensive features, Best Software has many training options, including an extensive user guide, to help identify and solve challenges on your own. And if the user's guide is lost or misplaced in the rush to install and play around with the program, it can be accessed online. Customer product support is available via a toll-free number 12 hours a day, five days a week, or via the Internet at any time.

Summary

So, in response to our initial concern--that is, do non-profit organizations have fixed asset needs different from for-profit companies, and is it really necessary to create two programs that do virtually the same thing--it seems that there are, indeed, enough differences in accounting for fixed assets to justify two packages. It's safe to say that you get what you need with FAS Nonprofit Fixed Asset Accounting, and the Best Software family of fixed asset management products.

Best Software, FAS Nonprofit Asset Accounting

www.bestsoftware.com

800-368-2405

By Alfred Giovetti, CPA, ABA, ATA

Scaled Down Version of its Fixed Assets-Desktop Pro Application

BNA Fixed Assets-Desktop SBE (Small Business Edition) was developed by BNA Software Tax Management Inc., of Washington, D.C. The company was founded in 1983 and offers a range of applications for accounting and tax preparation professionals. The Desktop SBE version of its Fixed Assets application runs on PCs and servers with Microsoft (MS) Windows 98 or newer versions of the Windows operating system.

Features

With the Desktop SBE version, BNA Software seeks to offer smaller businesses the same operating characteristics and general functions found in its Fixed Assets-Desktop Pro application, but at a lower price. To meet that objective, BNA Software did not include the full range of capabilities found in Fixed Assets-Desktop Pro.

Rather than offering the ability to enter or import up to 10,000 assets per company file, Desktop SBE only allows the recording of 500 assets per company file. Choices are more limited for exporting data to widely used general ledger applications. Another difference is that the program does not support transfers.

Such omissions, however, could be irrelevant to a company whose asset management needs are nowhere near as complex or as extensive as those of a much larger corporation. Within that context, Fixed Asset-Desktop SBE provides the same ease of use and necessary capabilities found in the Desktop Pro version.

As with Desktop Pro, Desktop SBE allows imported data from AICPA Depreciation, Best Software's FAS First Step, 1000 and 2000 programs, CLR Depreciation (Prentice Hall), CLR/RIA GoSystems, and CSI Depreciation Solutions. Spreadsheet data also can be imported from Lotus and MS Excel.

Users compile internal and tax books based on GAAP, AMT, ACE and earnings and profits (E & P). Depreciation and Section 179 policies may be established for each book. Calculations are performed automatically. Additional first-year depreciation updates are available, and complete audit trails can be reviewed with Desktop SBE's Asset Viewer.

Desktop SBE also maintains the general appearance of Desktop Pro and its emphasis on point and click computing. Navigating among the application's various functions is easily accomplished by clicking on menu selections or toolbar icons. Pop-up windows feature explanations or pull-down menu listings that direct users toward making correct choices and entering necessary information. Default values are assigned to asset database fields, and asset queries are conducted based upon those fields.

Standard reporting templates are offered for asset, asset activity, projection, status, tax form and property tax reports. Batch reporting capabilities are included, and reports can be printed in PDF or HTML formats for easy transmission via e-mail.

Support

Desktop SBE's Help menu addresses specific topics, provides a glossary and a table for MACRS Assets: IRS ADR class life. Those features enable the quick resolution of many concerns. Additional support is available from the BNA Software Web site. Toll-free phone support is available, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday. Fax and e-mail support is also available, and users are notified of product enhancements and upgrades.

Summary

With Desktop SBE, BNA Software offers a cost-effective alternative for smaller companies that want the primary benefits of utilizing Fixed Assets-Desktop Pro, but whose asset management needs are not as diverse or complex as those of a larger organization.

Desktop SBE provides the tools a smaller company needs, and allows users to establish settings and properties to fit operations. The application is easy to learn and use, and includes an excellent Help menu for quick consultation. It is a very attractive fixed asset management tool for companies with lesser needs.

BNA Software Tax Management Inc.

www.bnasoftware.com

800-424-2938

By Richard Buse
"With our previous software, you had to be an tax expert to get any
work done--now you don't. BNA Fixed Assets has allowed us to
centralize our data; we can run all of our reports from one location.
It has also saved us time and money administratively."
--Dean Rohrbaugh
Director of Tax Information Systems
Washington Post Company
Washington, DC


Review and Search Assets Based on a Variety of Criteria

BNA Fixed Assets is offered by BNA Software Tax Management Inc., of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1983, the company offers a variety of applications for accounting and tax preparation professionals. Its Fixed Assets application is designed for workstations and servers running Microsoft (MS) Windows 98 or newer versions of the Windows operating system.

Features

BNA Fixed Assets provides users with considerable latitude for transferring data, as well as configuring the application to fit an individual company's asset recording and reporting needs. Data can be imported from Lotus, MS Excel and other applications. Complete asset records can be exported to widely used general ledger programs. Users are able to define asset database fields and establish default values for those fields. Color-coding alerts users to protected or partially-protected reporting periods. A query function allows users to easily categorize assets for reports.

BNA Fixed Assets is designed to guide or direct users through the entire asset recording and reporting process. After launching the application, users must click on one of two highlighted tool bar icons: Open or New. The Open icon is launched to review or resume work on an existing company file, while the New icon is used to initiate work for a different company.

For a new file, BNA Fixed Assets requests entity information, including company name, description, federal EID# and the date that the company first acquired assets. Security settings restrict access to that file.

Options are then presented to establish tax and internal books. Reporting periods are selected, as well as policies for Section 179 and depreciation items. Information for individual assets is then entered, including the date when that asset was acquired, a description of the asset and its cost. Users are asked if Section 179/179A amounts should be entered. A user-defined database record appears for that asset. General ledger account numbers, depreciation expense and accumulated depreciation expense account numbers may be entered, as well as the asset's location, cost center, department and custodian. A 255-character comment is available as part of the entry.

It should be noted, that for adding assets, the wizard panes are somewhat user customizable by company file. For example, if an individual company does not want to take 179, users do not need to answer the 179 question each time an asset is added. Default values can be specified for asset fields based on the asset type of the added asset.

Once assets are entered, BNA Fixed Assets offers a variety of tools to update information, monitor assets and generate reports. Use the Fields tool bar to add or delete fields, along with descriptions for those entries. The Types and Query tool bar functions enables asset records to be reviewed and searched based on a variety of criteria.

Standard reporting templates, including asset, asset activity, projection, status, tax form and property tax reports, are available. First year depreciation updates are available as well. An add-on Report Writer module enables the use of Crystal Reports to generate customized reports.

Support

BNA Fixed Assets Help menu addresses an extensive selection of topics. The application's Web site is also accessed from that menu, providing information on updates and data conversion services. Product and training program registrations also are performed online.

BNA Software offers toll-free support, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday. Fax and e-mail support are available, and users are notified of product enhancements and upgrades.

Summary

BNA Fixed Assets offers intuitive computing functions. Ease of operation is effectively integrated with a comprehensive range of capabilities and functions. It is not only easy to learn, but easy to apply to vastly different scenarios. BNA Fixed Assets is a valuable application, particularly for users wishing to integrate Fixed Assets with other BNA tax preparation applications.

BNA Software Tax Management Inc.

www.bnasoftware.com

800-424-2938

By Richard Buse

THE SYSTEM Looks and Acts Like a Web site

THE SYSTEM-Comprehensive Fixed Assets Accounting application was developed by Comprehensive Microsystems, Inc. (CMI), in Safford, Ariz. CMI was founded in 1982. THE SYSTEM was first launched as the Comprehensive Fixed Assets Accounting System and was given its current name in the late 1980s.

Features

THE SYSTEM installs on PCs and servers using Microsoft (MS) Windows 95 or newer editions of the Windows operating system. Data transfers from Best Software's FAS 1000 and 2000 programs, AICPA Depreciation, Prentice Hall Depreciation, BNA Software, and other applications. Depreciation and amortization are calculated up to 250,000 assets per company. Journal entries also export as ASCII files to general ledger applications.

THE SYSTEM has the general appearance and navigational characteristics of a Web site. Its opening screen displays 20 buttons that initiate a variety of functions, including entering new companies or assets, selecting depreciation schedules or projecting depreciation, generating various reports, comparison schedules, tax forms and worksheets.

Click on the New Company button to start a new file. A pop-up window is presented for entering information, including company name, EIN or Social Security number, last closed date and current year end. Custom accounting years are allowed. Information regarding depreciation schedules is requested, and users are asked to specify the entity's type. The order for sorting location, category, account, property code and date in the service asset database fields also is defined. Five user-defined database fields are available.

Once that information is entered, the user starts compiling a list of company assets. THE SYSTEM provides an extensive choice of asset types, including livestock and other agricultural assets, computer and construction equipment, industrial machinery, research, pollution control facilities, and office furniture and fixtures.

Once the asset type is established and related data--including purchase and service dates--another window is presented for selecting the depreciation method, convention, ITC Code, and whether the asset expense will be amortized. A table on that screen determines its useful life, IRC 179 expense, state depreciation rate, current deduction and other information.

THE SYSTEM provides a variety of tools. Assets can be sorted by 999 asset categories and 999 locations. Month/quarter depreciation can be reviewed, as well as year-end close.

Worksheets can be generated for Forms 3468, 4255, 4562 and 4797, and tax return copies of Form 4562 can be printed. Historical reports, as well as reports pertaining to asset additions, dispositions, transfers, depreciation schedules, journal entries, projections and property taxes are provided. AMT or ACE based schedules, or any other two schedules can be compared. That package also includes a custom report builder.

Support

Telephone, fax and e-mail support are provided, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., MST, Monday through Friday. A full year of system support and updates is included with each new installation. Tutorials and a full support manual--in PDF file format--are loaded with THE SYSTEM. Updates are issued two or three times a year, and CMI offers data conversion services for file transfers that cannot be performed automatically by THE SYSTEM.

Summary

THE SYSTEM is a robust application for recording, calculating and reporting fixed assets in a variety of large businesses. While offering power and a comprehensive range of features, THE SYSTEM is easy to use. Various buttons make it easy to locate desired functions, and pop-up windows direct users to enter required information. Help buttons are included in each pop-up window, enabling users to easily find relevant and timely guidance. That blend of power and convenience, in conjunction with excellent support from CMI, makes THE SYSTEM a great tool.

Comprehensive Microsystems, Inc.

www.thesystem.com

800-678-3658

By Richard Buse
"I like THE SYSTEM Fixed Assets Accounting immensely. It's a fine
piece of highly reliable software that gets tax codes right. I use it
as a tool in my database to locate fixed assets. It's a highly
functional, specialized piece of software with technical support
second to none in the industry."
--Jim Rinella, Owner
Kipa Enterprises
Portland, Oregon


Sort reports by Asset Groups, Federal Tax or AMT

TaxWise Fixed Asset Manager is a new application developed by Universal Tax Systems, Inc., Rome, Ga. The company has developed software for more than 18 years, and offers a variety of applications for accounting and tax professionals within its TaxWise brand, and most recently, within its PCSA, Inc. association.

Features

TaxWise Fixed Asset Manager is designed for workstations or servers using Microsoft (MS) Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000 Professional operating systems with Service Pack 2. Data can be transferred to, and from, other TaxWise applications.

TaxWise Fixed Asset Manager is a menu-driven application that allows various functions to be launched from menu bar selections or tool bar icons. The application's opening screen features pull-down menu selections for File, Setup, Reports, Utilities and Windows. Users see a table of all existing files that can be opened for review or to add further information. To initiate a new company file, users either click on the binder icon in the toolbar, or launch the new client selection from the File pull-down menu.

After entering a file number, the Company selection from the Setup menu is used to specify the type of tax return needed by that company. TaxWise Fixed Asset Manager also requests the company name and federal EIN. Security settings limit access to that file. The Business Asset Worksheet selection is opened from the Setup menu to enter each asset's information.

The worksheet requests an asset identification number, description of the asset, and the state in which that asset is declared, as well as the date the asset was placed in service. The asset's cost, depreciation class and depreciation method are likewise requested. Federal and state tax information, as well as book entries, may be entered. Debit or credit information, for integrating asset data with other TaxWise applications, also can be entered. Additional selections from the Setup menu are available to select depreciation periods and asset groupings.

TaxWise Fixed Assets automatically performs depreciation calculations that are then automatically transferred to a Form 4562 worksheet for use in filing corporate tax returns through the TaxWise tax preparation program.

The Reports menu provides a variety of reports based on Form 4562 information. Asset groups, or federal and alternative minimum (AMT) tax are used for sorting report data. Book reports based on state or entity exist. In addition, reports are based on asset types or reporting periods.

TaxWise Fixed Asset Manager allows PDF files to be opened without leaving the application and for data to be saved in that format, enabling data to be stored in an easily-read format that does not require immense electronic storage capacity. PDF files are also easily attached to e-mail messages for distribution to clients or reporting agencies.

Support

Each TaxWise Fixed Asset screen features a separate Help menu that provides help on relevant topics. Considerable information is available on the TaxWise Customer Support Web site, and fax and e-mail support are also offered.

Phone support is available, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday. Extended weekday hours and weekend support are provided during tax season.

Summary

TaxWise Fixed Asset Manager's emphasis on menu-driven computing enables users to easily navigate among its various tools and functions. Help and individual pop-up windows supply relevant and necessary information. Full asset management capabilities are enhanced by its ease of use. Automatic transfer of data, along with PDF capabilities, are two functions that further enhance productivity through reduced time requirements to do the mundane.

TaxWise Fixed Asset Manager is a very capable application that is particularly useful when integrated with other TaxWise accounting and tax preparation offerings.

Universal Tax Systems, Inc.

www.taxwise.com

800-755-9473

By Richard Buse

Zip Code Triggers State Reporting Requirements

TaxWorks is a full tax preparation application offered by Laser Systems of Kaysville, Utah. Included in the package is a comprehensive Asset Manager that records, calculates and reports fixed assets. Data is transferred to the appropriate tax schedules and forms from the Asset Manager.

Features

TaxWorks runs on workstations and servers equipped with Microsoft (MS) Windows 98 or newer versions of the Windows OS. The application uses a MS Data SQL Engine for entering and retrieving information from SQL databases. Point-and-click computing is emphasized, with each screen featuring a menu bar and a tool bar with icons for various functions.

Recording assets requires clicking on the Clients icon and selecting the type of return on which those assets will be reported. The new client button that appears in the left-hand pane of the client selection window is then opened. TaxWorks requests the corporation's name, federal employer identification number, street address and zip code. The zip code designation alerts TaxWorks to any particular state reporting requirements.

Once that information is entered, the Asset Manager is able to record and report assets. By clicking on various icons, users can enter new assets, elect out of special depreciation allowances and enter Section 179 information. In addition, settings and criteria for sorting assets, generating reports and accessing help topics are established.

The Asset Manager requests a description for each new asset, as well as its acquisition date and cost. Users can select the category or asset type, the depreciation method, the function category and location. Current Section 179 information as well as an asset ID number and time period are also requested.

A Special Allowance icon enables users to elect out of Section 168(k) special depreciation allowances for property held for three to 20-year time periods, water utility property, computer software, qualified leaseholds and improvement property. Other windows are used to enter data related to vehicle usage, sales and like-kind exchanges.

After each asset is entered, each one is listed beneath the tax form on which it was declared. That list appears in the left-hand pane of the Asset Manager window. The package also allows the information to display in a table format that includes descriptions, ID#s, purchase dates, and costs, as well as Section 179 and special allowance figures, basis, and depreciation for each asset.

Further information on an asset is displayed by clicking on the listed asset resulting in a detailed table that includes its alternative minimum tax (AMT) basis, amortization code and period, convention and accumulated depreciation.

The Asset Manager lists and calculates nonconforming state depreciation, as well as special requirements for Florida and Michigan state tax returns. All data is automatically transferred to Form 4562 and other appropriate tax forms and schedules.

A variety of reports, including Federal depreciation, AMT or adjusted current earnings (ACE) depreciation, nonconforming state depreciation, book value deprecation and book tax difference are generated through the Asset Manager.

Support

Laser Systems provides phone support Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., MST, from April 16 to January 16. During tax season, Saturday support and extended hours are offered. Help is also available via Fax and e-mail.

Laser Systems posts TaxWorks software updates to the web approximately every two weeks. As an alternative to downloading, the company will ship CDs on request.

Summary

The Asset Manager offers a full range of tools for recording and reporting assets. Navigating among features and functions is easy, making this a robust application with a minimal learning curve. TaxWorks is especially valuable for companies and tax professionals who want asset management and tax filing capabilities integrated within one application.

Laser Systems

www.taxworks.com

800-843-1139

By Richard Buse
"I've been with TaxWorks since 1987. When we first started using
TaxWorks, I knew nothing about computers and software. However, two
days after their sales person demonstrated the software I bought in
and have used it ever since."
--Benton Ford, President
Ford & Son, Inc.
Grand Prairie, Texas


--By Robert B. Yudkin, CMA
Fixed Assets Software Overview

 Import Export Reports

Accountants World DOS FAR .csv, Tax Relief, pre-defined
Fixed Asset Relief Accountants
(FAR) Relief
Best Software Excel, Lotus, customizable pre-defined,
(FAS) ASCII, dBase, .csv, ASCI Crystal
 .dif Reports
BNA FAS, CSI, AICPA ACE Write-up, pre-defined,
Fixed Assets Depr, CLR, .csvl Crystal
Desktop (DOS, FAMAS), Reports
 .csv
Creative Solutions UltraTax, GoSystem Tax, pre-defined,
Depreciation ASCII file ASCII, dif, custompre-
Solution automatic JE to defined,
 Write-up custom
TaxWorks TaxWorks pre-defined
Asset Manager
CMI Best, BNA, ASCII file pre-defined,
The System ASCII customizable

 Tax Forms Books Templates

Accountants World 4562 Tax, Internal, customizable
Fixed Asset Relief State, AMT,
(FAR) ACE, 2 user-
 defined
Best Software 3468, 4255, Tax, Internal, customizable,
(FAS) 4562, 4626, State, AMT, asset
 4797 ACE, 2 user- replication
 defined
BNA 3468, 4255, GAAP, Tax, AMT, customizable
Fixed Assets 4562, 4626, ACE, E & P, 99
Desktop 4797, 8824 user-defined
Creative Solutions 4562, 4797, Tax, State, AMT, customizable
Depreciation 4255 ACE, E & P, 5
Solution user-defined
TaxWorks 4797, 6252, Tax, AMT, State, pre-defined
Asset Manager 8824, 8283 ACE, Book, 1
 user-defined
CMI 4562, 4797 Tax, Book, AMT, customizable
The System ACE, State, 1
 user-defined

 Other Standouts

Accountants World Integration with Accountant's
Fixed Asset Relief World Products, query
(FAR) capabilities
Best Software Projections, real time diagnostics,
(FAS) history/event logging, extensive
 reporting options
BNA Process wizards, multiple
Fixed Assets modifiable pre-defined
Desktop lists, reports, templates
Creative Solutions Integration with UltraTax
Depreciation and GoSystem Tax, calulated column
Solution in customized report
TaxWorks Data entry diagnostics, group sales
Asset Manager
CMI Global or individual acct.
The System setup, tax detail reports
COPYRIGHT 2004 National Society of Public Accountants
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:tax preparation and accounting software
Author:Yudkin, Robert B.
Publication:The National Public Accountant
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Words:5665
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