CMI Software, Inc. — CMI Fixed Assets


CMI Software, Inc. — CMI Fixed Assets

From the December 2010 Review of Fixed Asset Management Systems

 The CMI Fixed Assets system offers professional asset management and depreciation, with several versions providing support for businesses of varying asset bases and with multiple locations, departments or other subunits, as well as the ability to manage the asset books of multiple entities. The program includes all standard depreciation and averaging conventions and the ability to create custom books and treatments, plus tools for managing asset life events and preparing supporting tax forms. CMI Fixed Assets integrates with the accounting suites from Cougar Mountain Software.

CMI’s initial setup functions are streamlined, with a single-screen data-entry sheet for client company setup that simplifies creation of depreciation schedules, averaging conventions, asset sorting, locations, property codes, GL account groups, user-defined fields, special settings and other custom data tracking. Users can also set user-level security from this screen, restricting access to clients or program features and data. The general interface opens into a screen with a vertical menu on the left for accessing year-end functions, company information, reports and assets for the active company, with each of these opening into additional task-specific functions. Pull-down and icon-based menus across the top of the screen also give quick access to primary features, such as asset tasks, viewing depreciation schedules and projections, making journal entries, and specific reports.

The system’s company selection screen provides a basic, numerically sorted list of clients and the ability to copy the settings from an existing company when creating a new one. Asset selection functions allow filtering by more than 20 information categories, such as asset description, location, category, disposal date, basis, Sec. 179, or bonus depreciation. New assets can be created using the Asset Template Wizard, which guides users through data entry and includes company-specific templates and the ability to duplicate an existing asset, or users can create assets with only particular fields copied over into the new item.

For asset data-entry tracking, the program uses information screens that offer selection lists for items that include department, account number, group and other data, while tabs at the bottom of the subwindow let users move between general, tax and disposal information. Tax data-entry screens use simple check boxes to select depreciation methods, conventions, asset types, ITC code, amortization preferences, state rules and other asset attributes that affect depreciation treatments. All versions of the program support multiple companies, but the number of assets and concurrent users depends on the network version being used, with the most comprehensive system allowing up to 250,000 assets per business and any number of users.

Up to 25 books can be maintained per asset, with preconfigured schedules available for federal, AMT, ACE, book and state, and custom books allowing selection of all factors, including full year, mid-month, mid-quarter and half-year conventions and depreciation bonus. Based on current and previous code, the program offers nearly 20 standard depreciation methods, including MACRS, ACRS, straight-line, 125/150/200% declining balance, sum-of-years’ digits, E&P, and user-defined custom treatments. It fully supports recently enacted Sec. 179 and bonus depreciation rules.

The system can project asset depreciation for up to 10 years, and has historical depreciation functions for recalculating prior years. Mass disposal options include the ability to apply transactions across groups of items, with options for sales, trade-ins, like-kind exchanges, transfers and abandonments. Assets can also be split and unsplit, or managed as singular assets with multiple parts or as assets under construction. Depreciation can also be paused while individual assets are removed from service for prolonged maintenance, non-use or other issues. Consolidation options enable the merging of assets between companies. The CMI system includes location, departmental, group and other business unit assignments, and up to 10 user-defined fields can be created for tracking assets by additional factors, such as responsible party. The program does not provide integration with electronic asset inventory tools such as barcode scanning and RFID.

The reporting functions in CMI Fixed Assets are easily accessible from the left-hand navigation menu, with options grouped into categories for depreciation schedules, projections, month/quarter depreciation, additions, transfers and dispositions with gain/loss. A full asset detail report is also available for the entire life of each asset. Moderate customization of reports, including data and field selection, can be performed using a built-in report writer. For compliance reporting, CMI can produce forms 3468, 4255, 4562 and 4797, along with personal property tax and tax preference worksheets. Reports can be saved to PDF and Excel formats.

CMI Fixed Assets can import and export data from/to Excel, CSV and text-formatted files, allowing two-step data sharing with many business accounting systems and the ability to transfer data into professional tax and trial balance systems. As previously noted, it directly integrates with the GL in the accounting suites from Cougar Mountain Software.

The program supports modern Microsoft operating systems through Windows 7. The built-in Help features include task-specific Help that uses an indexed guide with a troubleshooting utility and glossary, in addition to a user manual, tutorial and wizards for new asset setup. This gives users the ability to easily duplicate companies and assets when creating new ones. Support features on the CMI website are generally limited to FAQs and downloadable program updates, with contact information for technical assistance. Live support is available through annual maintenance agreements.

CMI Fixed Assets provides good value for companies managing almost any number of assets across multiple departments, with up to 25 books and the ability to quickly perform mass asset disposals and global edits, along with projections for up to 10 years. A free version of the program is available with a limitation of 50 assets per company. Pricing for a single-user full version is $795 for the initial license, with annual maintenance thereafter costing only $195, which provides for system updates and unlimited support. A site license supporting up to 10 users is $1,195, with annual maintenance at $295 per year. Licenses for larger numbers of users are also offered.

2010 Overall Rating: