From the December 2005 Review Fixed
Asset Management Software
Sage Software (formerly Best Software) has changed the branding for its line
of fixed asset solutions over the last year. The overall product line is now
called Sage FAS Fixed Assets. While the company didn’t change the name
much, it has added extensively to its asset management line, now offering more
robust specialized versions for nonprofits and government entities, as well
as a powerful application for managing fixed assets under construction. In addition
to FAS Asset Accounting, which is the vendor’s primary asset application,
other Sage FAS solutions include the following: FAS FirstStep for organizations
with under 1,000 assets and less complex needs; FAS Asset Inventory, for larger
entities with the need for barcode capabilities that integrate with FAS Asset
Accounting; and FAS Report Writer, as well as a construction in progress solution
and asset accounting and applications designed especially for nonprofit and
government organizations. The asset management programs can be used as an integrated
system with Sage Software’s other accounting lines, linked to third-party
general ledgers, or as a stand-alone application. The powerful, high-end FAS
Asset Accounting starts at $2,245.
Pennsylvania-based Guthrie Healthcare System (www.guthrie.org),
a not-for-profit health care organization that includes primary care and specialty
physicians, community hospitals, and a research institute as well as home care
and long-term care facilities, has used FAS Asset Accounting for many years
and migrated to the SQL version several years ago. Stephen M. McNamara, the
organization’s Information Services Project Manager says, “It is
very easy for us to maintain and support this system, with occasional updates,
database maintenance and minor troubleshooting at times.” McNamara says
they have used support at times, always with good results.
NAVIGATION/EASE-OF-USE – 5 Stars
Although one of the most powerful professional fixed asset management applications
on the market, FAS Asset Accounting’s design keeps it fairly simple to
use, with an intuitive interface and extensive customization options. The system’s
primary interface is easy to understand and work in, with assets organized within
client records that are accessed via a spreadsheet list that, by default, includes
many details of each asset, making it useful as a summary screen, and is also
customizable to each user and/or client. This screen offers two options: Group
View, which allows viewing related assets by location, type, department or other
user-definable categories; and Detail view, which provides tabbed access to
depreciation, books, history, asset images, notes and all other asset information.
Asset lists can be easily filtered or sorted, and search options further ease
asset retrieval. The Detail view acts as the primary data-entry screen, with
more than 25 customizable fields.
As with most tasks within the program, asset creation and data-entry screens
are customizable, and the process is guided and aided further by features such
as templates, smart selection lists, asset grouping, and mass edits.
MANAGEMENT FEATURES – 5 Stars
FAS Asset Accounting supports an unlimited number of client companies and assets,
supporting entities with multiple geographic locations, divisions, departments
and cost centers. The program allows up to seven books, with two user-defined
books supplementing the standard Federal, State, Tax, ACE, AMT and Internal
books. All books can be viewed on a single screen, with up to 20 depreciation
methods for each. In addition to performing actual current depreciation, the
system enables both projected depreciation and depreciation calculations on
prior periods. Projected calculations can be saved for later use or reference.
With more than 50 GAAP-, FASB- and IRS-approved depreciation methods such
as MACRS, ACRS, straight-line, modified straight-line, declining balance and
sum-of-the-year’s digits, the system is extremely comprehensive. It also
incorporates more than 300,000 IRS tax and GAAP rules, including recent changes
made regarding hurricane-affected areas. FAS Asset Accounting simplifies asset
transfer within an organization and enables like-kind exchanges as well as partial,
whole and mass dispositions. The program’s Audit Advisor utility helps
identify possible errors by analyzing depreciation calculations.
INTEGRATION – 5 Stars
FAS Asset Accounting integrates with the other Sage FAS products and can link
GL and other data with some of the company’s other accounting lines, including
Sage Timberline, Peachtree by Sage, Sage MAS, and Sage MIP Fund Accounting,
allowing easy migration of asset data. It can also import from most competing
GL and asset management systems and can export to Excel, ASCII and other formats.
For more detailed inventory management utilizing barcodes, the optional FAS
Asset Inventory is available, with full integration with FAS Asset Accounting.
REPORTING – 5 Stars
FAS Asset Accounting includes over 50 customizable asset and management reports,
such as depreciation summaries, book value, FASB 109 projections, depreciation
expense, asset basis and disposals, as well as forms 4562, 4626 and 4797. An
optional FAS Report Writer enables further customization and report design.
Reports can be saved in *.PDF, Excel, HTML, XML, Lotus, dBase and ASCII formats,
and viewed on-screen before printing.
HELP/SUPPORT – 4.5 Stars
The program’s Help utility is traditional, but the other assistive features
built into the program are above the standard, with right-click and content-specific
Help as well as keyboard shortcuts and links to the vendor’s online Help
center. Additionally, the program includes the Sage FAS Depreciation Guide resource
for fixed asset management. Technical support for the program is subscription-based
at $645 per year, which includes updates.
FAS Asset Accounting is comprehensive, with an easy-to-use interface and a wide
array of features that give it the ability to rapidly handle complex asset issues
for any entity, but its strength and pricing make it more ideal for larger entities
with vast physical assets.
2005 Overall Rating – 5 Stars