MoneySoft — Fixed Asset Pro 2008

From the Dec. 2008 Review of Fixed Asset Systems

Fixed Asset Pro 2008 is a mid-range asset management system designed for either in-house use by businesses or by financial professionals managing multiple clients. The system can support an unlimited number of assets for any number of companies, which can be divided into groups, geographic locations or other categories. It offers single-screen viewing of up to six books, and handles all accepted depreciation rules and conventions as well as asset life events from acquisition through disposal. Fixed Asset Pro costs $449 for a single-user license, which includes tech support. Annual renewals start at $129. MoneySoft also offers programs designed for financial statement analysis, business valuation, and merger and acquisition planning.

Fixed Asset Pro setup is simple, with minimal information entry required during initial creation of companies using standard data-entry forms. Likewise, asset entry screens offer good selection functions and smart lists, along with various navigation options. No copy or template functions are available during asset entry.

The master interface opens to a mostly empty screen that offers a few icons across the top for setting up or opening a company’s files, asset entry functions, calculations and selecting list setups. Most are unavailable until a client is opened, at which point the program displays a tabbed window that includes an asset list, along with access to specific asset information, multi-book views and notes pages. This screen is the same as the new asset entry window, but with the tab for asset information selected. The primary asset selection screen displays a great summary of data for all assets in a sortable view that includes columns for description, tax cost, method, basis, convention, Sec. 179 and others. The list also offers search and filter options. While it’s a great list, unfortunately the window that houses it is too small to display all of the columns without scrolling sideways. I hope the developers make this screen resizable in the future.

Data is automatically transferred to the various books, which can be quickly viewed using the Multi-Book Asset Entry tab, where users can also make entries directly to the books. Calculations are processed auto-matically, with changes transferred across books as necessary. Pull-down lists for selecting method and convention also speed entry of these treatments. The Display Totals function provides a one-click quick summary of yearly asset information. Overall, the program is quite simple to use, with intuitive entry screens and multi-book views, and the ability to customize some data fields.

Fixed Asset Pro provides asset grouping by company sub-units or other groups. It automatically applies tax and depreciation rules and performs calculations across up to six books, including federal tax, financial, AMT, ACE, state tax and one user-defined book. The system supports mid-month, mid-quarter and half-year MACRS, and includes 38 depreciation methods, including eight various MACRS, 22 ACRS, six pre-1981 methods, and amortization and manual depreciation. Conventions are automatically set, but users can override these settings if desired.

Fixed Asset Pro also provides a projection schedule that offers a detail view of future depreciation charges over an asset’s life. It offers location tracking options and allows detailed notes to be attached to assets, such as maintenance records, model/serial numbers and vendor contact data. For asset life events, the program is somewhat limited, offering only acquisition, disposal and exchange, but no splitting, transfers or mass asset actions.

Fixed Asset Pro can extract data from prior versions of its own software but does not offer direct import/export functionality with other programs. However, users can output reports into Excel and text formats that can be imported into the GLs of most accounting packages.

The asset management sys-tem provides a good selection of reports, including depreciation summaries for each book, acquisition/disposal activities, personal property taxes, projections and posting totals. A form 4562 report is also available. The program’s report writer offers some customization functions such as page layouts, adding tables and placing other graphics. Users can also save report templates and formats, as well as search previous reports. The reports can be printed, viewed on-screen or output into Excel, CSV and other formats.

Fixed Asset Pro includes context-sensitive Help features that generally take the user directly to guidance related to the function they are performing, and offers an index-based Help utility. The vendor’s website offers tech support contact information, but no FAQs, downloads or other support functions. A printed and electronic user manual comes with the system. Live technical support is included with the program and its annual updates.

2008 OVERALL RATING: overall rating