From the December 2009 Review of Fixed Asset Management Systems
Intuit’s been busy over the past few years, introducing a new web-based professional tax compliance system (ProLine Tax Online), tax research and website development services, plus strengthening many of the available add-ons to the ProLine ProSeries Professional Edition tax system, including its document management, eSort, workflow management and client organizers. The company also offers the ProSeries Fixed Asset Manager, a depreciation and asset tracking system that can be used as a fully integrated add-on to ProSeries or run independently. Fixed Asset Manager can be used to manage an unlimited number of assets for clients, with support for common depreciation methods and up to six books per asset, while providing multiple asset disposal options. The program costs $229 for a single-user license, with support provided through the ProSeries tax support center.
Fixed Asset Manager uses an interface very similar to that of the ProSeries Tax system, opening into the Client Base, a company selection list that offers various sort and filter options, along with tools for transferring client data and setting program options. The system also offers pull-down menus and icons for general functions. Client information can be transferred into the asset program from the tax system or data can be entered using the new client wizard, which walks users through the processes of setting up client years, determining AMT liability, choosing basis schedules, and setting default depreciation methods, categories and accounts. When entering new assets, the program offers a copy feature for cloning data and speeding entry of assets similar to existing items.
When working within a client’s data, the interface opens into a tabbed screen centered around a master asset list spreadsheet that provides columnar data and sorting options, as well as the ability to customize the columns displayed. Users can also quickly change to category listings and lead schedules. The primary asset information tab gives detailed views of asset information, including a single-screen view of all schedules, with the ability to make live changes in the tables and see their effects. Other tabs offer access to disposal information, notes, calendaring and depreciation projections out to six years, with displays of current and accumulated depreciation, and unrecovered basis.
Data-entry screens are similar to the interview sheets in the ProSeries tax system, with selection lists for account information, groups and other fields, with the program automatically making calculations as data is entered. Users can customize asset data fields, hide fields, or display additional miscellaneous fields, if desired.
Fixed Asset Manager allows assets to be directly linked to a client’s tax form, and offers tools for changing asset information en masse, including the tax form link, depreciation methods and other factors. Asset acquisition and disposal functions can also be performed individually or by group, with options including splits, combinations, partial dispositions, sales, like-kind ex-changes and transfers. Up to six books can be applied, including standard Federal tax, AMT, ACE, state, book and one custom, and assets can be grouped by company subsidiary units, such as cost center, division or location.
For depreciation, ProSeries Fixed Asset Manager automatically performs calculations based on the available methods applied, which include ACRS, MACRS, ADS, straight- and modified straight-line, declining balance and sum-of-the-years’ digits. Other tools include the ability to run Sec. 179 expense tests and mid-quarter determinations, interim depreciation calculations, and asset depreciation for six years.
Fixed Asset Manager can directly integrate with the ProSeries tax system, allowing users to transfer asset data to a client’s return or pull client and asset data from returns into the asset system. The system also offers the ability to export to Excel, Word and text formats, which can be imported by other tax and GL systems.
The Report List Organizer in Fixed Asset Manager makes it easy for users to set up group/batch reports from the 50-plus prebuilt report options that include depreciation reports, asset information schedules, reconciliation reports, lead schedules, disposals and acquisitions, category-based output and many more, along with facsimiles of tax forms 4562, 4626 and 4797, and property tax worksheets. A report wiz-ard also offers guidance for customizing reports, which can be output to Excel and Word formats.
The Fixed Asset Manager system provides several useful assistance features, including the Help index, a step-by-step tutorial, a user guide, and wizards for setup and reporting tasks. Intuit’s website offers additional tools, such as a knowledgebase, support forums, live chat functions and the ProSeries Community, where users of the program can interact and share tips and best practices. Free U.S.-based technical support is included for those also using the ProSeries tax compliance system.
2009 OVERALL RATING: