Skip to main content

Thomson Creative Solutions — Fixed Assets CS

the Dec. 2006 Review of Fixed Asset Management Systems

Fixed Assets CS is the asset management and reporting component of Thomson
Creative Solutions’ integrated suite of professional accounting applications,
integrating with Write-Up CS and UltraTax CS. Many readers will remember Fixed
Assets CS as Depreciation Solution. Fixed Assets CS supports all depreciation
methods, provides multiple depreciation books and integrates seamlessly with
the other Creative Solutions software, including tax preparation, write-up and
document management. While Fixed Assets CS is ready to do duty as a standalone
system, its integration features are a key benefit to users. The program starts
at $1,100.

Creative Solutions has always maintained a consistency in software platforms
across its products, resulting in a “know-one-product-and-you-know-them-all”
learning curve for users of the integrated suite of products. Fixed Assets CS
features an intuitive, simple-to-understand interface. The Asset List window
opens automatically after you add a new client or open an existing client. This
window displays the assets that have already been entered for the (open) client’s
selected business activity. The available business activities are shown in a
vertical listing found in a separate window to the far left in the opening screen.
If you click an activity, you will instantly see the assets for that activity.
The asset listing is printable, sortable, filterable and searchable. Reaching
detailed information and schedules requires only one click from this point.

Data entry in Fixed Assets CS is intuitive, as well. Have any doubts? Wizards
are available that help guide users through the many processes. Many input fields
may be customized at the client level, while entry screens utilize “smart”
lists that store entries likely to be called upon again, such as groups, GL
account numbers, location and type. Future entries of the same location, etc.,
can then be made by selecting the entry from a drop-down list. Users can copy
existing assets or set up templates. Through a wizard, the system also helps
in the selection of depreciation methods and lives during asset setup.

Fixed Assets CS supports like-kind exchanges, mass dispositions, and splitting
of and grouping of assets. The system provides depreciation treatments for Tax,
AMT, ACE, States, State AMT, State ACE, New York City, Book, E&P and Custom.
Fixed Assets CS allows unlimited state, State AMT, State ACE and customized
treatments per asset. The unlimited state treatments include calculations for
Pennsylvania straight-line, California 1120C corporations, state 179 limits
and bonus depreciation. For each treatment, the following methods are provided:
MACRS (GDS, ADS, S/L, 150% and Indian Reservation), ACRS, Straight Line, Sum-of-the-Year’s
Digits, Declining Balance variations, Units of Production, Amortization, and
up to 99 different customizable methods.

Fixed Assets CS has physical limits, but few firms are likely to require access
to more than the 7,000 clients allowed. Likewise, most clients will not be likely
to exhaust the limit per client of 32,000 assets. Using multiple clients with
divisions, multiple geographical locations and creation of other subgroups is
a way to get around the asset limits.

Fixed Assets CS has over 90 predefined asset classes to help assign methods
and lives. The asset class list is tailored so that different lists are displayed
depending on if you are entering assets for a general business, a farm or a
governmental entity. An optional inventory module offers greater functionality
in this area. The program lacks support for barcode scanning, but does support
the import of digital photos for asset identification. A unique capability of
the system is that it can be set up either at the accounting practice or at
a client’s location. If located at the client’s office, the program
can be set up to transmit asset data to the accountant’s write-up and
tax preparation system, reducing data entry and ensuring accuracy and timeliness
of data.

Creative Solutions pioneered the concept of software integration. Fixed Assets
CS is a perfect example of the seamless integration available with Write-Up
CS and UltraTax CS, the result being the ability to get more work done in less
time. An example of the integrated automatic flow of data is that asset information
entered in Fixed Assets CS is instantly available in UltraTax CS when needed
during tax preparation, without having to import or enter data. Fixed Assets
CS also exports to RIA’s GoSystem Tax, and data can be exported to or
imported from ASCII formatted files and Excel files. Users who license the optional
FileCabinet CS Document Management System can save and share files in *.PDF

Fixed Assets CS is supported by a built-in report writer that enables customization
of dozens of standard reports, including graphs and charts for visual presentation
to clients. Filtering, sorting and printing options are abundant, and the program
provides handy templates that can grab information from client files as needed.
Fixed Assets CS produces worksheets for ACE, AMT and FASB 109 and generates
IRS-compliant Form(s) and/or Worksheet for 3468, 4255, 4562 and 4797. The system’s
Image Worksheet can produce a client-ready report with selected asset information
including a digital photo of the asset if stored in the system.

The program’s Help system provides context-sensitive Help and right-click
menus, together with a strong index-based reference system. The ARNE2 online
community of users of Creative Solutions programs is also an excellent tool,
where queries concerning program use or how to apply a particular treatment
might be answered by a member who has faced a similar situation and is willing
to share it with you. Creative Solutions offers an online support center with
FAQs and other information, as well as many training options and aids.

Fixed Assets CS is an intelligent and intuitive asset management system, with
comprehensive support for fixed asset accounting from asset acquisition through
asset disposition. Fixed Assets CS is powerful, and the program flow is well
thought out. Experienced and new users alike will quickly feel at home. The
program will satisfy the needs of most small and midsize entities, whether using
the program as an in-house application or in a professional accounting environment.
Users of other Creative Solutions software will no doubt reap the greatest benefits
due to the powerful integration with CS tax and write-up programs.

2006 Overall Rating: 5 Stars