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Open Systems, Inc. — TRAVERSE Fixed Assets

From the December 2005 Review Fixed
Asset Management Software

The Fixed Assets module of the TRAVERSE accounting system provides asset depreciation
amortization and forecasting functions, with support for multiple books, depreciation
types and federal form preparation. The program can operate as a stand-alone
system, but its full capabilities are attained through integration with the
full accounting suite. The TRAVERSE fixed assets module costs $1,775.

The program’s key navigation window offers access to all available accounting
modules and functions from a three-paned selection list.
The left shows modules, the middle shows general task categories, and the right
column offers access to specific tasks and functions. This menu is wonderfully
intuitive, making it simple to get to areas of the program with just a few clicks.
The Fixed Assets module’s task categories include Period Work, Forecasting,
Reports, Productivity Reports, Year-End, Setup & Maintenance, and Master
Lists. Setting up depreciation tables and adding and editing assets are performed
in the Setup & Maintenance section. The program provides wizards for many
of these tasks.

Accessing a list of client assets is possible through the Master Lists section.
Within an asset record, the system displays a simplified tabbed data-entry screen
with traditional data fields and pull-down selection lists. The system automatically
performs calculations, which are reflected immediately on the screen. Unfortunately
it takes a couple of steps to get back to the asset list from an asset, but
this is minor.

TRAVERSE includes three pre-defined books (Federal, Book and AMT) and allows
one additional custom book, although these books cannot be viewed on the same
screen, which would aid in comparisons. It supports MACRS, ACRS, straight-line,
modified straight-line, sum-of-year’s digits and declining balance methods,
and provides IRS depreciation tables.

The system is primarily geared for in-house use by businesses but can be set
to manage multiple (unlimited) client companies with any number of assets in
multiple cost centers, divisions or other subsets. TRAVERSE allows mass and
partial dispositions, mass acquisitions, consolidations, like-kind exchanges
and splitting of assets. And since default depreciation rules are set at the
company level, some changes across all assets can be made with a single entry.
TRAVERSE also includes forecasting capabilities, buy vs. lease calculations
and amortization features.

The system provides a variety of customization options, including the ability
to create user-defined “hot key” shortcuts to specific tasks. Security
features enable restricting access at the menu level. Additionally, the system
is English/Spanish bilingual.

TRAVERSE’s integration functions are focused on sharing data throughout
the full accounting suite, which enables the automatic posting of depreciation
to the GL and other components. The system also utilizes Microsoft Word, Excel
and Outlook for some reporting and sharing functions, but it does not offer
integration with tax packages or accounting systems from third parties. It can
import data from select file types but is limited in its export capabilities.

The design of the full TRAVERSE system simplifies access to reports by grouping
them with their module and task types, rather than hunting through an extensive
list in another section of the program. The system has an ample stock of pre-built
standard reports including depreciation, comparisons, valuation, gains and losses,
credit recapture, property assessment, and summaries, along with the ability
to print form 4562 worksheets. Reports can be output to Word.

HELP/SUPPORT – 4.5 Stars
The built-in Help utility is comprised of a traditional searchable index and
limited context-specific assistance, along with a user manual and tutorial.
The company’s online support center offers a Knowledgebase, various checklists,
user tips, user guides, forms and online training. Technical support is available
in subscription packages or on a per-incident basis.

The TRAVERSE interface is extremely efficient, making the system easy to learn
and use, without being too soft for the experienced user. The system allows
only four books, which is sufficient for most individual companies but perhaps
not flexible enough for an accounting firm representing a variety of client
types and is therefore best suited for in-house use by companies.

2005 Overall Rating – 4 Stars