From the December 2010 Review of Fixed Asset Management Systems
Offered by CCH Small Firm Services, the ATX and TaxWise brands of professional tax and accounting programs both offer a fixed asset management system that can be used as a stand-alone program that provides integration into the tax system. While the programs are separate applications, they offer the same general features and workflow processes, so this review looks at them both. The systems are primarily geared toward tax-focused practices that also extend to general accounting services for their business clients. Other systems from ATX and TaxWise include tax compliance, trial balance, payroll, Client Accounting Suite, W-2/1099 and Payroll Compliance preparation and document management.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
The program opens into a separate interface from other ATX or TaxWise programs, providing a clean and simple screen with an icon menu and pull-down lists across the top for general functions, such as data import and export, batch reporting, system security and creating or opening clients. The client selection screen offers a basic spreadsheet view with search functions and the ability to sort by client ID, entity type, state and other data. When initially setting up entities, data-entry screens allow users to set general default information for mid-quarter conventions, number of weeks, depreciation selection and tax year data.
After client selection, the program displays the master asset list, a spreadsheet view that displays several summary information points such as placed in service date, cost and current year depreciation, with tabbed access to detailed information and entry screens that show all books on a single screen based on tabbed views for depreciation and Sec. 179, Vehicle/Listed, Standard/Actual, Disposition, Asset History and additional information. The program automatically performs calculations as data is entered or treatments are changed, allowing users to quickly see the effect of these changes on projected depreciation.
Assets can be assigned to groups, which can represent office locations, departments or other business units. When used in conjunction with the TaxWise or ATX tax compliance package, data can be transferred over from corporate, partnership, fiduciary and individual returns. When manually entering asset data, the program offers pull-down selection lists for depreciation method, code section, averaging conventions and custom depreciation. The program can be networked and accessed by multiple users in the same practice, and can support any number of entities and assets.
CORE ASSET MANAGEMENT FEATURES:
The ATX and TaxWise Fixed Asset Manager allow up to five depreciation books per asset, with the system providing preconfigured books for federal tax, AMT, ACE and state, plus one fully custom book, with depreciation automatically calculated for the current and following year. The program provides the latest tax law and code, including recent changes to bonus depreciation and Sec. 179 expenses, and includes a tab function for quickly seeing the difference between standard mileage and actual expenses on the same screen for vehicle assets associated with 1040 and 1041 entities.
Fixed Asset Manager defaults to the most commonly used methods, recovery periods and conventions for assets based on type, with more than 50 classifications, but allows users to override any treatments or calculations. It supports ACRS, MACRS, sum of years’ digits, amortization, listed auto, straight-line, units of production, Sec. 179 and declining balance.