BNA Software - Fixed Assets Desktop Pro

From the Dec. 2008 Review of Fixed Asset Systems

BNA offers asset depreciation management systems to meet the needs of large entities as well as smaller and mid-sized organizations. Versions for the large organizations provide the ability to manage greater numbers of assets with more location/subsidiary support. The company also offers BNA Asset Inventory for tracking and regulatory compliance functions, including barcoding and en-hanced reporting options. BNA Fixed Assets Desktop Pro, which is generally employed by the small to mid-sized business, provides a wealth of powerful management functions and re-porting features, with a built-in audit trail, a validation engine that enforces compliance, construction-in-progress management, and an Open Timeline feature that gives full access to prior periods. BNA Desktop starts at $1,595, and BNA DesktopPro starts at $2,495. While this review highlights the capabilities of the desktop version, BNA also offers server, network and web-based options.

BNA Fixed Assets provides great assistive features when initially setting up clients and assets, including wizards and the ability to create asset templates or copy asset information. Wizards and other guides also aid in setting asset types, depreciation methods, life spans, bonus depreciation and disposition functions. The program opens within a well-designed interface that is centered on an intuitive, spreadsheet-view Master Asset selection list, from which users can sort, search or filter the list, and dive deeper into specific asset detail screens. The interface also offers pull-down menus and large icons for acces-sing features such as adding assets, reporting functions, disposals, splits, exporting data, queries and customizing fields.

The detailed asset screens offer tabs for moving between summary information, balance, depreciation expense and docu-ment categories, and provide a quick view of all books for the asset. These screens also let users add custom data fields and attach photos or supporting documentation. Calculations are processed across all books as data is entered or changed, with the system displaying property type, life span and other information. BNA Fixed Assets also provides an automatic validation feature that helps ensure accuracy of data. The system includes 20 user-customizable fields.

BNA Fixed Assets Desktop Pro can manage any number of companies and subsidiary units with up to 10,000 assets each, and offers support for all traditional methods, including ACRS, MACRS, straight-line, listed auto, amortization, sum-of-the-year’s digits, units of production and declining balance. Up to 200 short tax years are supported. During setup tasks, the system aids the user in selecting appropriate property type and classification.

Books include Federal, GAAP, AMT, ACE and E&P, and users can create up to 94 additional custom books. An additional first-year depreciation update enables bonus depreciation as allowed under the new tax laws. BNA Fixed Assets offers gain and loss calculations for 1231, 1245 and 1250 property types, and manages ordinary and capital gains calculations for asset sales. It also includes the ability to handle the investment tax credit, Indian land, farms and government entities. The construction-in-progress feature added last year provides enhanced depreciation and valuation management for assets with activity prior to their depreciable, in-service life.

Mass changes to assets can be made using a global change function or across asset groups, and asset splits, unsplits, combinations, like-kind exchanges, and partial and mass dispositions can be managed quite easily. In addition to a full-time audit trail and the data validation feature, users can set security preferences at the file or database level. Assets can also be transferred between companies, and the program supports company consolidations with any number of entities. BNA Fixed Assets supports barcode scanning for asset tracking.

Although BNA Fixed Assets Desktop Pro is a stand-alone system, it offers good import and export options, including the ability to acquire asset data from Thomson Reuters’ CS and GoSystem lines, Sage’s FAS system, and other third-party programs as well as from spreadsheets. It can share GL data with most major accounting packages, includ-ing QuickBooks, Timberline, Accpac, Microsoft Dynamics GP and PeopleSoft. No direct integration with tax packages is offered. Data and many reports can also be saved to PDF, HTML and plain text formats.

BNA Fixed Assets provides a full library of standard reports, as well as the ability to create or customize user-defined output. Options include a net book value report, asset comments, balance reconciliation, acquisition, disposition, exchanges and journal entries, as well as comprehensive depreciation, depreciation expenses, revisions, gain/loss, comparisons, FASB 109 projections, and IRS forms 3468, 4255, 4562, 4626, 4797, 8824, and the schedule M-1/ M-3 report. Additional capabilities are available through a built-in Report Maker feature that allows additional customization as well as an optional report writer module that uses Crystal Reports.

The BNA system is very easy to learn and use, with multiple wizards and other aids that speed setup and infrequent tasks. The system comes with a Quick Start Guide and has good built-in Help, while the company’s support website also offers a large collection of documentation and access to CPE-eligible training options. Technical support is included at no additional cost.

2008 OVERALL RATING: overall rating