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BNA Software — BNA Fixed Assets Desktop Pro

From the Dec. 2007 Review of
Fixed Asset Systems

BNA Fixed Assets is a comprehensive asset depreciation management system designed
to give professional accountants or in-house controllers the ability to organize
and track large asset bases across any number of client companies and their
subsidiaries. It combines multiple book capabilities, powerful calculation features
and integrated expert guidance into a system that can be used by single professionals
or in larger, networked offices. BNA Software offers several fixed asset management
variations, including options for large organizations and hosted solutions,
as well as the Fixed Assets Desktop Pro version, reviewed here, which is geared
toward servicing smaller organizations as a stand-alone program. All versions
of the program provide GAAP-compliant reporting, with support for all traditional
depreciation methods and conventions. Pricing for the Fixed Assets Desktop system
starts at $1,595. For the 2007 version, the system now includes a construction
in progress function for tracking assets through assembly, construction or upgrade
processes. This feature is available at no extra cost in BNA Fixed Assets DesktopPro.

Navigation/Ease-of-Use – 5 Stars
BNA’s DesktopPro has a very modern, clean and easy-to-understand interface
that provides the primary work area, along with a Calculation Info tab on the
right that provides information related to tasks the user is performing. Since
BNA is one of the leading tax research companies, the guidance and explanations
provided through this panel and other assistance devices is outstanding and
comprehensive. The system also provides several tools such as wizards, templates
and copy options that speed asset entry and mass edits, as well as assisting
with setting up books and determining appropriate asset classes, methods, depreciable
life, rate, convention and whether bonus depreciation can be applied.

After selecting a company or subsidiary’s database to work within, the
program opens the asset list, a spreadsheet displaying all assets for the entity
and providing sortable columns for ID, Type, Description, Acquisition Date,
Comments and Status, making it easy to find items by a variety of methods. Users
can save asset searches into customized query lists. The interface also provides
tab-like buttons across the top of the screen for moving between the asset list
and specific areas, such as books, reporting, export functions, queries, types,
field customization options and Help. Additional buttons across the bottom provide
asset-event and treatment options, such as creating or deleting items, editing,
disposal options, splitting and transfers, as well as quick access to the audit
trail feature.

Asset data-entry screens have easy-to-use forms that include customizable
information fields for tracking miscellaneous data such as warranties or service
information, while various tabs give access to detail screens. The Summary,
Balance/Accum, and Depr Expense tabs give quick financial overviews of all books
assigned to an asset, while the Documents tab enables users to easily add images,
documents or virtually any other file to an asset’s records.

Management Features – 5 Stars
Users have the ability to manage up to 99 user-created books in addition to
pre-defined books for Federal Tax, GAAP, AMT, ACE and E&P, and includes
outstanding guidance from BNA’s tax experts that helps ensure regulatory
and tax compliance. The system can also be set to automatically update whenever
tax laws change. A built-in validation engine also helps enforce GAAP and tax
law compliance. Each of the books, including user-defined ones, maintains a
full audit trail that offers an Open Timeline feature that lets users access
transfer histories and historical depreciation data as well as projected figures.
The system can also calculate negative depreciation.

Of course, Fixed Assets Desktop Pro supports MACRS, ACRS, Sum-of-the-Years’
Digits, Listed Auto, Amortization, Straight-Line, Units of Production, Declining
Balance and Section 179, including the new bonus depreciation limits. More than
20 predefined property types help users properly classify assets during setup,
and the program supports regular, farm, Indian Reservation, Indian farm and
government entities. Fixed Assets Desktop Pro supports any number of client
companies and sub-units with up to 10,000 assets each, which can be acquired
or disposed of in bulk, including mass and partial dispositions, splits, multiple
splits, combinations, like-kind exchanges or transfers-out. As previously noted,
BNA Software has introduced a construction-in-progress feature in the 2007 version
that can be used to track machinery upgrades, building construction, multi-component
equipment and other items that have expenses or possible depreciation prior
to being a completed, in-service asset.

Integration – 4.5 Stars
All of BNA Software’s asset management systems are compatible, enabling
quick data transfer between the systems, while the program also provides data
export to major small and mid-range business accounting systems, including Microsoft
Dynamics GP, PeopleSoft, Timberline and Accpac, or into HTML, plain-text and
PDF formats. Asset data can be imported from spreadsheet, text and other common
files. The program does not offer direct integration with tax preparation systems.

Reporting – 5 Stars
The fixed asset management system includes a comprehensive and customizable
reporting system that enables PDF output for paperless management, and offers
a broad array of reports for depreciation, gain/loss, book value, comparisons
and projecting up to 12 periods. The system also offers direct output of fileable
forms 3468, 4255, 4562, 4626, 4797, 8824 and M-3, along with worksheets. All
reports and forms can be previewed on-screen prior to printing. BNA Software
offers an optional Crystal Reports module for enhanced customization and report-building

Help/Support – 5 Stars
The program’s built-in Help functions are easy to use and offer task-related
information, including information on depreciation treatments and guidance on
other tax issues. The vendor’s online support center provides product
documentation and access to other assistance, including the Knowledge Center,
which offers regulatory updates and analysis of tax legislation. Technical support
is included in program pricing.

Fixed Assets Desktop Pro provides a streamlined asset management system that
is geared toward professional use, with support for clients with large asset
bases and workflow features that simplify not only the functions associated
with selecting appropriate depreciation strategies, but also general administrative
and reporting tasks associated with asset depreciation. The system offers excellent
scalability and customization options, making it one of the strongest systems
on the market.

2007 Overall Rating: 5 Stars