Real Asset Management International — Asset Station

From the Dec. 2008 Review of Fixed Asset Systems

Real Asset Management International offers a broad suite of asset accounting, tracking and management systems for mid-sized and larger enterprises, government entities and other organizations, providing comprehensive depreciation functionality with support for both GAAP and IFRS standards, along with extensive reporting capabilities, including GASB 34 compliance. The vendor’s Asset Station is geared toward the smaller enterprise market, providing the same level of functionality to professionals managing entities with up to 1,000 assets, including a complete audit trail. The system offers integration with Excel and other programs and is upwardly scalable into the vendor’s networkable Asset4000 system. The single-user system starts at $499, with annual updates at $60 per year.

Asset Station offers numerous wizards for setting up companies and creating assets, in addition to guiding users through asset import or manual entry, and consequent setting of their opening balances, classification, remaining life, depreciation methods and conventions. Asset entry tasks are further simplified by the ability to use existing items as templates, copying all or part of the information across to additional assets. The primary interface offers several customization options and is both aesthetically and functionally well-designed, with intuitive navigation and toolbars that provide quick access to key functions, lists and reports. An additional Explorer-style collapsible menu also gives users access to additional management functions, while summary financial information is viewable in a display at the bottom of the screen.

The main work area of the screen provides a searchable and filterable asset selection screen displayed in a spreadsheet format that includes sortable columns for asset descriptions, costs, capitalization date and other information. The system allows asset queries to be saved in a customizable searches list. Detailed asset information is provided on tabbed screens that offer overviews of various asset information, depreciation, notes, and asset disposal and life data. Images and documents can be attached to asset files. The detailed screens make good use of selection lists and other devices for speeding data entry, while global change tools enable users to quickly edit groups of assets. Asset Station also provides wizards for reporting and other functions.

Asset Station’s customization options, which allow for tailoring of virtually all description fields, enable extensive track-ing of various asset details with the ability to track any kind of asset across its depreciable and maintenance life. The system offers multiple methods of asset transactions, including traditional disposals, mass and partial disposals, like-kind exchanges, splitting, unsplitting and combinations, in addition to supporting related, parent/child and manufactured assets.

As previously noted, the program supports all traditional GAAP, IRS and IFRS depreciation methods and conventions, including ACRS, MACRS, straight-line, modified straight-line, units of production, sum-of-the-year’s digits, declining balance, non-depreciating and amortization, with the ability to manage all types and classifications, including Indian and governmental entities. Since it is designed for generally less complex entities with smaller asset bases, the system only allows one book per asset.

Asset Station can manage asset depreciation and tracking for any number of business entities and subunits with as many as 1,000 assets each, which can be grouped in any manner. The system also offers multi-currency capabilities, which may be most useful to entities managing assets in geographically diverse locations. The program includes asset projection and analysis functions, in addition to a complete audit trail.

The program includes wizards for importing asset data from Excel and many accounting applications, and Asset Station’s export capabilities enable the output of data into Excel and various text formats. This data can then be imported by most accounting applications and routed into the GL. No direct integration is offered with tax preparation systems, but the same two-step, export-import process can be used to move data into most trial balance packages.

REPORTING - 4.5 Stars
Asset Station’s report library includes standard options for asset registers, disposals, acquisitions, detailed histories, depreciation details, depreciation summaries and analyses, and provides ample customization tools. Reports can be viewed on-screen, printed or saved as Excel or PDF files.

Asset Station is very intuitive to use and provides a variety of assistance functions, such as task-related guidance, right-click menus and a traditional Help index. The system also includes a print and electronic user’s manual. The company’s website provides product updates and whitepapers, but lacks self-help FAQs or a knowledgebase. Access to live technical support for the system costs an additional $99 per year, and annual product renewals are $60. Several training options are offered at less than $100 per course.

2008 OVERALL RATING: overall rating