2011 Review of Thomson Reuters — Fixed Assets CS

Thomson Reuters - Fixed Assets CS
800-968-8900

CS.ThomsonReuters.com 

From the December 2011 Review of Asset Management Programs


Best Fit:

Firms serving multiple clients with moderate to complex asset bases and depreciation needs, particularly those firms using other programs in the CS Professional Suite.

Strengths

  • Mass edits across groups, departments & global
  • User-friendly wizards for many tasks
  • Simplified splits, disposals & consolidations
  • Good user customization
  • Tight integration with tax & trial balance

Potential Limitations

  • Not unlimited on assets or entities, but more than sufficient for most needs

 

Designed for public accountants managing multiple clients, the Fixed Assets CS program from Thomson Reuters offers a flexible and highly customizable asset depreciation, accounting and inventory system that supports entities with multiple locations, departments and other organizational structures. The system can be used independently or as a part of Thomson Reuters CS Professional Suite, with direct integration into the tax and trial balance systems, as well as data sharing with many other programs, including write-up and practice management.

Basic System Functions - 5 Stars
The program shares the same general interface structure and navigation features as most other CS Professional Suite programs, opening to a user-customizable home screen that displays links to recent activity by the user, access to user bulletins and other functions. The home screen also notifies users of program notices and updates. Users can customize data fields, page layouts, create links on the home page or create tailored batch reporting.

While setting up clients, the customizable template can be used, users can copy existing entities, or data can be imported with the assistance of a wizard. Other wizards and guides are also offered for acquisitions and disposals, reporting, and selection of depreciation methods. The main interface offers traditional Windows pull-down menus along with icons for primary system tasks, and a shortcut button for moving back to the home screen.

Fixed Assets CS can support up to 20,000 client entities with up to 32,000 assets each, which can be grouped into departments, geographical locations, cost centers or other sub entities as needed. When used as a networked program and with proper system licensing, it can be used concurrently by all staff in the same office, with file checkout and multi-level security options available.

The program’s client selection list appears in a subwindow with options for searching, sorting and filtering by entity tax type. The program then opens into the Business Asset List, a spreadsheet view that offers summary information on each asset, including in-service date, disposal date, cost/basis, current depreciation and assigned group. Asset detail screens display all books side-by-side, with tabbed access to depreciation, disposal, transfer, vehicle/listed and home office details. Additional tabs allow tracking of custom information for each asset, adding notes, and attaching images and documentation. A left-side navigation menu offers movement between asset functions as they relate to taxation, with options for itemized, business, business COGS, rental, farm, employee business, farm rent, K-1 and Misc.

Core Asset Management Features - 5 Stars
Fixed Assets CS includes preconfigured books for tax, federal, state, AMT, ACE and the ability to add unlimited custom books. During asset setup, the program’s wizards help the user select the asset type and then, along with client entity, determine the appropriate treatments and depreciation methods, with the ability to override system defaults as necessary.

The program offers support for all common methods, including recent changes to bonus depreciation and Sec. 179 expensing, as well as standard MACRS, ACRS, various declining balance methods, straight-line, sum-of-the-years’ digits, units of production and amortization. Users can also create dozens of custom methods as determined by client need. The system automatically calculates depreciation and transfers information as necessary as data is entered or edited, with calculation methods based on IRS and Treasury formulas and tables.

Fixed Assets CS has tools and wizards for mass acquisitions and disposals, and has extensive additional life event management utilities, allowing users to easily split and unsplit assets; record asset sales, retirements and casualties; perform like-kind exchanges; or consolidate the assets of multiple entities. An optional asset inventory module is available for additional asset tracking functions, including integrated barcode scanning.

Reporting - 5 Stars
Fixed Assets CS includes a library of standard reports that users can completely customize and group into sets. The built-in report writer also enables users to create custom reports. Standard options include acquisitions and disposals, asset details, depreciation projections out to 10 years, tax property details, tax balance sheets, convention details, journal entries, AMT/ACE basis adjustments, asset lists, labels and comparisons. The program can also print fileable forms 4255, 4562 and 4797, in addition to FASB 109 and the form 3468 worksheet. Reports can be saved to Excel or PDF formats.

Import/Export/Integration - 4.5 Stars
Fixed Assets CS integrates directly with the tax and trial balance systems from Thomson Reuters, with data importable directly into client returns, as well as with the vendor’s document management systems for paperless storage and client portals for secure collaboration. The program can save reports to Excel and text formats, allowing for two-step data export/import with other financial programs.

Help/Support - 5 Stars
Fixed Assets CS includes a traditional index-based Help utility with task-specific guidance, in addition to user-friendly features such as right-click menus, FAQs and task-focused wizards. Online resources include extensive product documentation, a knowledgebase, news, program tips, marketing tools and program tutorials. The online ARNE network also offers a user community for professionals. The program supports all modern versions of Windows, and free phone and online support is included with pricing.

Summary & Pricing
Fixed Assets CS offers a streamlined and intuitive asset management solution that can be used to manage virtually all asset and entity types, with extensive calculations and support for multiple books per client. The system is best suited to firms using other parts of the CS Professional Suite, particularly UltraTax CS, Trial Balance CS and Accounting CS, providing excellent integration and data sharing. Pricing starts at about $1,500 with renewals at about $300.

2011 Overall Rating 5

 

 

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