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Comprehensive Microsystems, Inc. — THE SYSTEM

the Dec. 2006 Review of Fixed Asset Management Systems

Comprehensive Microsystems’ THE SYSTEM is a comprehensive and intuitive
fixed asset management and depreciation system for business and nonprofit entities.
THE SYSTEM offers the ability to track multiple books and supports all of the
traditional depreciation and amortization methods and conventions. THE SYSTEM
can support any number of companies and subsidiary units, with up to 250,000
assets each. THE SYSTEM is available in the following versions: an unlimited,
network-ready version ($5,995); three different Site License versions with price
dependent upon the number of users at one location (ranges from $1,195 to $2,395);
a single-user version for up to two users at the same location ($795), a Lite
version that supports one depreciation schedule (book) per company ($395); and
a free version that supports companies that manage 50 or fewer assets.

THE SYSTEM features an intuitive WYSIWYG mouse-driven interface that is compact
in design. The accountant is provided with two rows of large, colored buttons
to the left of the opening screen that offer access to program routines, including
selection of company, finding or creating companies, adding and disposing of
assets, accessing depreciation schedules and reports, preparing tax forms, and
closing the year. The opening screen contains basic client information until
an asset or other task is selected. A client asset list is available via the
Find Asset button, which provides dozens of options that can be used to search
and filter the asset list.

Data-entry screens are relatively simple yet intuitive with icons that allow
copying of asset data and use of templates, and tabbed access to asset attributes
such as the type of asset, depreciation, tax, convention and disposal information.
Selection lists for commonly re-used information are available, enabling the
user to quickly set up asset categories, groups, account numbers and other criteria.

THE SYSTEM supports up to 25 depreciation schedules. Predefined depreciation
schedules include Book, Tax (Federal), AMT, ACE, State and other. Additional
user-defined depreciation schedules can be set up at the user’s option.
THE SYSTEM does not support onscreen viewing of depreciation schedules in a
side-by-side format. However, side-by-side reports can be created and printed
to screen for up to five depreciation schedules, provided that the report has
been previously generated and the user elects to view the report onscreen before

THE SYSTEM manages all stages of an asset’s life, from acquisition to
disposal, including transfers and acquisitions, mass disposals, partial transfers
and like-kind exchanges. THE SYSTEM provides users with comprehensive depreciation
methods and calculations, including all varieties of MACRS and ACRS, straight-line,
declining balance, and sum-of-year’s-digits, and supports all required
conventions including mid-month, mid-quarter and half-year. Calculations are
performed automatically, but may be optionally overridden by users. Short-year
calculations are supported, as well. THE SYSTEM provides users with the ability
to create depreciation expense projections out to 10 years. It does not support
barcode technologies, nor does it store digital photos for asset identification.

Cougar Mountain Software (
has recently enabled integration between its accounting software and THE SYSTEM,
allowing direct linkage to the GL. Additionally, THE SYSTEM can import data
from programs such as Sage Software and BNA, and from plain text files. Journal
entries can be exported into file formats for use with many other GL programs.
THE SYSTEM does not directly integrate with tax programs.

THE SYSTEM includes comprehensive standard reports for depreciation, projections,
disposals and acquisitions, and detailed histories. As previously mentioned,
although all multiple books cannot be viewed onscreen simultaneously, one of
the reports permits the printing to screen of up to five depreciation schedules.
IRS-compliant laser and substitute Form(s) 4562 can be generated directly from
THE SYSTEM, together with worksheets for IRS Form(s) 3468, 4255, 4797 and property
taxes. THE SYSTEM includes a report writer add-on that allows greater control
and customization of reports.

HELP/SUPPORT — 3.5 Stars
THE SYSTEM includes a built-in Help utility that provides user’s with
information concerning depreciation treatments in addition to program guidance
and tutorials. THE SYSTEM includes powerful and very helpful error-checking
functions focused on items such as depreciation method effective dates, asset
lives, luxury auto limitations and allowable IRC 179 deductions. The vendor
offers no online self-support tools aside from a telephone number for technical
assistance. Free technical support is included for the first year of ownership
(including program updates), and is available through subscription packages

THE SYSTEM offers comprehensive depreciation calculations and is capable of
managing fixed assets for small to midsize businesses. The strengths of THE
SYSTEM are found in error checking of depreciation calculations, support for
up to 25 multiple books and customized reporting.

2006 Overall Rating: 4 Stars