Designed to take advantage of its integration with the ProSeries professional
tax preparation programs, ProSeries Fixed Asset Manager (FAM) also runs as a
stand-alone system. FAM provides traditional asset depreciation with support
for multiple depreciation books, with the ability to track assets from acquisition
to disposition. FAM supports an unlimited number of client companies and assets.
The annual license for FAM is $495; renewals are $195.
NAVIGATION/EASE-OF-USE — 4.5 Stars
FAM provides wizards to guide in setup of company information, default depreciation
books and methods. The FAM user interface features clickable screen tabs that
allow entry to Schedule, Asset, Disposal, Projection, Notes and Calendar. Program
functions are accessed via pull-down menus and icons in two upper toolbars.
A popup calculator is provided, and movement through the various screens and
pull-down menus is WYSIWYG. Users with a basic level of depreciation knowledge
can pick things up very quickly.
FAM’s main screen shows a listing of assets in spreadsheet format with
information as to asset description, acquisition date, method, convention, cost,
as well as the ability to add additional user-selected columns. The list is
sortable and includes advanced search and sorting functions. Queries and sorting
options may be saved for future use. An additional row of tabs along the bottom
of the screen offers one-click access to the various depreciation books. FAM
offers additional customization options, such as adding fields to data-entry
sheets, creating customized column sets, and changing fonts and colors. The
Asset Folder provides detailed asset information, including a view of the multiple
depreciation books on the same screen along with the method and convention used,
recovery period, and other detailed information. Descriptive entry fields include
warranty dates, serial numbers, department, group and up to five user-created
Depreciation calculations are performed automatically upon data entry, allowing
for a fast user comparison of amounts. FAM windows and subwindows are resizable
and scrollable. The asset notes section includes mini-word processor functions
that are handy and helpful. In addition to the wizard for new company entry,
the system provides for the use of templates and copy functions for setting
up assets, and includes a wizard for importing asset data.
MANAGEMENT FEATURES — 4 Stars
FAM performs a variety of asset calculations and events, and simplifies fixed
assets tasks such as the combining or splitting of assets, mass acquisitions
and disposals, and enabling users to make changes across all assets or specified
groups with a global change function. FAM supports up to six books per asset
(Federal, AMT, ACE, State, Book and one additional user-defined book), offering
a simultaneous view of all depreciation books on the same screen. FAM includes
a calendar view that provides asset information and related events such as acquisition,
disposal, splits and other information by date. FAM provides comprehensive support
for all depreciation methods, including MACRS, ACRS, ADS, straight-line, declining
balance and other traditional methods. It also includes the ability to project
future depreciation and asset disposals over user-specified periods.
INTEGRATION — 4.5 Stars
FAM integrates with the ProSeries professional tax system, allowing for fast
and accurate transfer of client records and fixed assets data to tax return
forms and schedules, which are automatically populated via the export function.
FAM includes a wizard for importing data from other programs and data in *.CSV
and text formats. Program data can be exported via Word, Excel, ASCII and plain
text formatted files. While no direct integration with or link to other accounting
systems is provided, many users should be able to take advantage of the import/export
REPORTING — 4.5 Stars
FAM includes more than 50 comprehensive reports, including reports for asset
depreciation, basis comparison, gain/loss, projections, disposal and acquisitions,
lead schedules, GL reconciliation and others. A built-in report writer and wizard
allow customization and creation of reports. FAM provides tax worksheets for
transfer to IRS Form(s) 4562, 4626 and 4797. FAM also tests and calculates Section
179 depreciation expense tests and performs the required mid-quarter determinations
and depreciation calculations. A printed label function allows users to create
property tags for fixed assets. Reports may be viewed onscreen or printed.
HELP/SUPPORT — 4.5 Stars
FAM includes a content-specific F1 Help utility, as well as tutorial videos
and startup tips. The ProSeries support website includes a searchable knowledgebase,
downloadable program updates, tax news, product news, discussion forums and
links to human-based free technical support. The company also provides a free
tele-seminar to new users.
FAM offers a comprehensive fixed assets product with valuable integration capabilities
for users of ProSeries professional tax software. It is capable of handling
many complex issues, while providing an intuitive and customizable interface
that should not require lengthy training. For standalone users, the ability
to create and print tax forms, which are suitable for filing, would be a nice
enhancement in a future release.
2006 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars