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CCH Tax & Accounting — ProSystem fx Fixed Assets

From the December 2005 Review Fixed
Asset Management Software

As either a stand-alone system or as part of the ProSystem suite of integrated
software from CCH, ProSystem fx Fixed Assets offers a comprehensive
system for management of fixed assets, supporting the needs of organizations
with minimal to very complex asset bases. The system includes five standard
books and allows up to three user-created books, with support for all traditional
depreciation and amortization methods, as well as custom treatments, and is
capable of producing FASB- and GAAP-compliant reporting worksheets and financials.
Its integration capabilities with the other products in the suite enable sharing
of data with CCH’s ProSystem fx and Global fx Tax and
Engagement systems. A single-user version of ProSystem fx Fixed Assets
starts at $1,550, with additional concurrent user licenses costing $135.

ProSystem fx Fixed Assets uses spreadsheet-like screens for displaying
client selection lists and asset information, allowing users to quickly see
summary data and drill down to asset details. The customizable interface provides
traditional Windows pull-down menus and icons, along with additional navigation
features including tabbed data-entry screens and collapsible menu trees. The
client selection screen is easily sortable, filterable and searchable. Once
within a client’s files, a tabbed interface allows easy movement between
a selected asset’s detail information, the client’s asset list and
disposition options, and can be customized per client needs or per user preferences.
Helping to further streamline the process, templates are available during new
asset setup, as is the ability to copy existing assets, and the program can
be set to automatically assign IDs.

Most asset information is, as expected, housed in the Detail section, which
displays an exhaustive compilation of various basic information, including ID,
acquisition date, description, location, GL account and department info, cost
center, and many other items. Additionally, this is where depreciation information
is accessed, with a singular workscreen offering views of all of the available
books for that asset, which makes it easy to quickly compare the effects of
various methods. Scroll lists are available for selecting common information
such as accounts, departments and other input. Users can also create up to seven
fields for tracking miscellaneous data.

ProSystem fx Fixed Assets supports any number of clients and assets,
and includes Federal, State, AMT, ACE and Financial books, with the ability
to create up to three additional books, which, as mentioned above, are all viewable
on a single screen. The system supports mass and partial dispositions, like-kind
exchanges and negative depreciation, with support for a variety of depreciation
types, including MACRS, ACRS, straight-line, declining balance, section 179
and Indian reservations. Asset books also provide information on property type,
cost, averaging convention, asset life, prior depreciation, business use percent,
and current depreciation.

The system’s projections enable viewing scenarios for a single asset,
a single book or all of an asset’s books. While the system automatically
performs calculations as data is entered, system calculations can be overridden
as necessary. The Tax Link feature with Fixed Assets aids in transferring client
asset data to tax prep systems.

ProSystem fx Fixed Assets is completely integrated with the ProSystem
fx Suite, which is very valuable to users of ProSystem fx Tax as well
as the other Suite programs. It also can convert or import data from most other
fixed asset management systems and spreadsheets. Client data files and *.PDF
versions can be exported into Engagement binders. The system does not integrate
with barcode scanning applications.

REPORTING – 4.5 Stars
ProSystem fx Fixed Assets’ reporting is FASB- and GAAP-compliant,
and includes a standard array of more than 20 reports, including asset expense
and depreciation, comparisons, variance, acquisitions/dispositions and projections,
as well as customization options. Reports can be grouped by several methods
and viewed, printed or saved in Excel, Word, *.CSV or *.PDF format. The program
can produce forms 4562 and 4797.

HELP/SUPPORT – 4.5 Stars
The program’s intuitive interface includes right-click Help and context-sensitive
assistance at the field level (which means it knows what task you are probably
having trouble with), along with a built-in tutorial, support links and other
assistive features such as templates and copy ability during asset creation.
Support and one year of updates is included in the cost of the system; training
is also available at an additional cost.

While its integration capability with CCH’s tax and other products is
one of the key features of the program, ProSystem fx Fixed Assets offers
competent asset management features even as a stand-alone system. The program’s
support for multiple books and methods should meet the needs of most entities
with simple or complex depreciation needs, while its single-screen view of all
books is extremely useful when performing comparisons. While the system does
not support barcode scanning, it is strong enough to support most client needs
and is fairly easy to learn and use.

2005 Overall Rating – 4.5 Stars