2011 Review of Sage Software — FAS 100

Sage Software - FAS 100
800-368-2405

www.sagefas.com

 

Best Fit:
Mid-sized or larger organizations, or professional firms managing the assets of such entities, who have increasingly complex asset depreciation needs and departmental management requirements.

Strengths

  • Excellent customization & assistive features
  • Global edit capabilities
  • Support for all asset types & disposal needs
  • Strong reporting options & output formats
  • Optional barcode scanning for physical audits/inventory

Potential Limitations

  • Live support is free during initial use, but then requires a support subscription.

 

From the December 2011 Review of Asset Management Programs

Sage Software recently released a completely redesigned version of its popular fixed asset management solution, FAS, which includes a new interface and navigation elements focused on tasks and workflow. The system, which is available in versions tailored for commercial U.S. businesses, Canadian enterprises, nonprofit organizations and government entities and schools, provides asset accounting, depreciation and reporting capabilities that help entities effectively manage assets throughout their lifecycles. Sage also offers an Asset Inventory system, barcode reader solution, and various resources such as asset labels and checks and forms.

Basic System Functions - 5 Stars
The redesigned FAS 2012 is available in the same three levels as the previous version: FAS 50 for managing the assets of smaller entities, FAS 100 for mid-sized enterprises and FAS 500 for those with more extensive asset management requirements. This review is of the FAS 100 system, which can be used as a stand-alone or networked for use by multiple concurrent staff. It offers client and task-level security settings and individual user customization of workflow, reporting and navigational elements of the system, with new drag-and-drop functionality.

FAS 100’s new interface is impressive and very user friendly, with wizards that help with the initial setup of companies and assets, templates and copy functions. Wizards also provide easy access to common functions. The default startup screen includes panels that offer support resources such as productivity tips, program usage guides and how-tos, a Fixed Assets 101 primer, and links to professional resources such as the IRS, FASB, state tax laws and GovTrack. General pull-down menus are available at the top of the screen.

The client selection screen is sorted only by company name, but when a client is selected, the user is presented with a great new layout that opens into the asset list. This provides a spreadsheet view of summary data for every asset, along with location, department, class, cost, replacement values, serial numbers and extensive other information, including GL expense, asset and accumulated depreciation accounts. The data columns in this list can be completely customized by the user, and the system also has options for searching and filtering assets. The new version of the program allows for global asset edits.

The Assets Snapshot is a graphical dashboard view of asset activity, depreciation and other information that can be viewed via the various books, by date placed in service, by investment of remaining life or other options. To the left of the asset list, FAS 100 offers a vertical menu to common tasks, such as adding or importing assets, calculating depreciation, disposals, transfers, creating groups and various customization options. Within individual asset detail screens, users can view all books side by side, with tabs giving access to transaction histories, notes and images.

FAS 100 can support up to 20,000 assets for any number of companies, with multiple users able to concurrently work within the program. Security settings enable function-specific access rights to data entry, viewing and reporting. For larger enterprises, FAS 500 can support any number of assets. For smaller businesses, the FAS 50 program is designed to manage up to 1,000 assets for a single entity.

Core Asset Management Features - 5 Stars
The system supports up to seven books per asset, with customizable, predesigned options for federal, state, AMT, ACE and internal, plus the ability to add two custom books. With more than 50 depreciation methods, the calculation capabilities in the FAS system are exceptionally comprehensive, providing users with standard and customizable options for MACRS 150 and 200 percent, ACRS, straight and modified straight line, various declining balance methods, sum-of-the-years’ digits and the ability to create completely custom methods.

The system enables management of assets for entities with multiple locations and departments, with the ability to create any number of groups and track any information desired. FAS supports any asset types, including multi-part and in-progress, as well as classes for regular, farm, Indian reservation, Indian farm and government properties. Asset acquisitions and disposals can be performed individually or by mass action, and users can perform partial disposals, like-kind exchanges, transfers and consolidations between subsidiary units or groups of the same larger entity, or merge full company files.

The system includes an audit trail and detailed asset histories, and the Audit Advisor diagnostic system checks assets against newly implemented regulations and depreciation rules. These include disposals and transfers with the 168 allowance, Sec. 179 limits, MACRS methods, light trucks and vans, less than 100 percent business use and other treatments. An optional FAS Fixed Asset Inventory module provides additional features, such as automated tracking and reconciliation functions, with integrated barcode technology for electronically performing asset audits with a scanner. The system includes an inventory process map with step-by-step guidance.

Reporting - 5 Stars
The report center in FAS is easily accessible and opens into a tabbed screen that has a customizable favorites list (reports most commonly run by the user), as well as access to batch reporting and the entire library of predesigned options. This includes depreciation expenses, summaries and adjustments, period close summaries, acquisition and disposal activity, asset basis, property tax, GL postings and projections.

New in the 2012 version, the FAS 500 system includes a Global Task Manager function that automates depreciation and reporting across multiple companies. FAS 100 and 500 offers a report writer that provides extensive customization and the ability to save reports into Excel, CSV, PDF, HTML and Crystal Reports formats. All FAS products can print several IRS forms and worksheets, including 3468, 4255, 4562, 4626 and 4797, and it supports FASB 109, GASB 34 and GASB 35.

Import/Export/Integration - 4.5 Stars
FAS 100 integrates directly with Sage Peachtree, and users can import data from Sage Accpac, Sage MAS 90 and Sage MAS 200. It can also integrate with virtually any general ledger system using the FAS Universal Link. The system’s Custom Import Helper can map data from Excel spreadsheets and ASCII files. It also offers a similar export utility that guides users through the process of selecting asset data to export into CSV format, which can be imported by most financial and tax systems.

Help/Support - 4.75 Stars
FAS includes a Help index, right-click menus, user guides, and report and depreciation guides, but the most notable new Help addition is the Assistance Center, which is the default view when not working within a client. It is available via a link that remains on-screen at all times. It offers various tips and how-tos on managing assets, running depreciation and generating reports, in addition to links to various external sources and access to Sage’s online support resources. These include the knowledgebase, product documentation, information on barcoding, training options, whitepapers, and access to an online user community. FAS supports all modern versions of Windows, and live phone and online technical support is available via subscription.

Summary & Pricing
The redesigned interface for Sage FAS is exceptionally user-friendly, with simple customization and drag-and-drop functionality. The new Assistance Center further eases program use. The FAS 100 system offers comprehensive asset management, depreciation and tracking capabilities, with strong reporting for firms that manage entities with fewer than 20,000 assets. Pricing starts at $2,385 for FAS 100; FAS 50 starts at $1,495.

2011 Overall Rating: 4.75

 

 

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