2011 Review of BNA Software – BNA Fixed Assets DesktopPro

BNA Software - BNA Fixed Assets Desktop Pro



Best Fit:
Professional firms managing multiple clients with varying asset bases and depreciation needs. It’s also a good fit for large enterprises or government entities with complex asset management needs.


  • Global/group/departmental edit capabilities
  • Wizards for asset life management/mass actions
  • Multi-entity consolidations
  • Strong customization options

Potential Limitations:

  • Doesn’t offer income tax compliance for any entities

From the December 2011 Review of Asset Management Programs

BNA Software, which was recently acquired by Bloomberg, has long been one of the most respected developers of professional tax planning, analysis, estate planning and compliance, sales and use tax, and asset management systems. The company’s core fixed asset application is BNA Fixed Assets DesktopPro, which is geared toward professional firms managing the asset bases of multiple entities … or for in-house use by multi-departmental organizational structures. It offers automated tools for asset tracking and inventory, as well as integrated depreciation capabilities that include all treatments and conventions. The system is available as an installed, on-premise program for use on networks or as a stand-alone, or can be used as an online program through their BNA Fixed Asset Web edition.

Basic System Functions - 5 Stars
After initially setting up the program, the system provides a simple client data entry utility for creating entities. Templates are available as well as the ability to copy default settings for asset types, books, search preferences and reporting options. Personalized user-based project lists can also be set up. The system includes multiple wizards throughout, including for disposals, acquisitions and reporting. Other customization options also enable changing asset fields and creating custom data-entry options. The program’s client selection list is based on the somewhat limited Windows Explorer folder directory, which provides only basic search and filter options. Within client records and books, interface components include intuitive tabbed screens for accessing assets, books, queries, asset types, G/L reporting, exporting and other key program areas, while pull-down menus also provide system navigation.

As opposed to the client selection screens, the asset screens provide extensive detail via a spreadsheet view that allows sorting by columns and customization of how columns are displayed, along with button links to create or copy assets, disposal functions, splits, transfers, like-kind exchanges and other asset life events. When working with asset data, BNA Fixed Assets DesktopPro offers three entry modes: individual asset information screens (which provide the most detail), an express entry worksheet for multiple asset entry, and a guided wizard feature. Data can also be imported from outside programs and spreadsheets. Mass asset acquisitions and dispositions are supported using the express and wizard entry modes.

On the detailed asset information screens, users can move between tabbed views/entry of general information, accumulated depreciation/balance, depreciation expenses and transfer/disposal information. The program allows for the attachment of digital images or other documents, such as warrantees, to asset records. The system can be used to manage unlimited entities, including those with subsidiary units, with up to 10,000 assets each. It supports multiple concurrent users accessing separate data files and has client and group level security features.

Core Asset Management Features - 5 Stars
BNA Fixed Assets DesktopPro is among the most comprehensive of asset management systems on the market. Many of the detailed asset information screens simplify tasks. While setting up assets, the system’s wizards can help users select the proper depreciation methods and treatments depending upon the property type and class. It supports regular, farm, Indian reservation, Indian farm and government entities. The summary tab is the central dashboard, which displays all of an asset’s books side-by-side, with the ability to drill down to details, including depreciation, net book value, net Section 179, first year depreciation and more. All data is automatically calculated when entered.

Among the system’s preconfigured books are GAAP, federal tax, AMT, ACE and E&P; and users can create up to 99 customized books. The system includes built-in rules for ACRS, MACRS, straight-line, sum-of-the-years’ digits and other common and historical methods, with the ability to set up multiple short tax years.

Users can perform edits and life event actions across groups of assets or globally to all of a client’s assets, with support for divisions, cost centers or geographical locations. This includes mass acquisitions and disposals, multi-asset like-kind exchanges, asset splits, transfers and sales. Consolidations can also be performed. An audit trail tracks all changes for each asset and each book. The system includes a data validation engine that checks data, type, class and methods to ensure compliance with GAAP and federal tax code, and notes potential data errors and conflicts.

The optional add-on Asset Inventory program, which includes barcode scanning, can be used in conjunction with BNA Fixed Assets DesktopPro to provide location tracking as well as service and maintenance schedules.

Reporting - 5 Stars
The reporting features in BNA Fixed Assets DesktopPro are centered on a comprehensive collection of pre-built detailed and summary reports for accounting, tax, property tax and general management categories. Reports can be customized to the field and line level. Users can also create customized reports and save report batch sets using an included report writer. Output can be viewed on-screen with drill-down capability, or saved to Excel, PDF, HTML and text formats, which allows for additional customization or data transfer. Fileable versions of IRS forms 3468, 4255, 4562, 4626, 4797, 8824, Sch. M-1, M-3, and mid-quarter/Sec. 179 and FASB 109 projections can be printed from the program.

Import/Export/Integration - 5 Stars
BNA Fixed Assets DesktopPro offers direct integration with BNA Asset Inventory and Construction-in-Progress modules, and can import asset data from Sage, CLR, Thomson Reuters via CSV files. The program exports reports to Excel and text formats for use in small business bookkeeping programs, and has a GL export utility that enables transfer of data into Sage Accpac, Microsoft Dynamics, PeopleSoft, Timberline, CYMA and other accounting systems.

Help/Support - 4.75 Stars
The program has advanced capabilities with a user interface that includes several wizards and intuitive data entry. The system also guides users to select appropriate depreciation treatments for a particular property type. It includes a traditional index-based Help utility. Online support options include a resource center, FAQs, white papers, system documentation and access to training options. Live phone-based support is included with the program. This is a PC-based system that supports all modern versions of Windows.

Summary & Pricing
BNA is the expert in tax knowledge and planning, and the company’s BNA Fixed Assets DesktopPro reflects this expertise, providing comprehensive depreciation management capabilities with the ability to manage multiple books per asset along with excellent customization capabilities. The system can handle asset bases of any size, including enterprises or entities with complex, multi-departmental needs. BNA Fixed Assets DesktopPro starts at $1,595 and includes unlimited technical support from a staff that includes CPAs.

2011 Overall Rating 5