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CMI Software, Inc. — CMI Fixed Assets


From the December 2010 Review
of Fixed Asset Management Systems

CMI Fixed Assets system offers professional asset management and depreciation,
with several versions providing support for businesses of varying asset bases
and with multiple locations, departments or other subunits, as well as the ability
to manage the asset books of multiple entities. The program includes all standard
depreciation and averaging conventions and the ability to create custom books
and treatments, plus tools for managing asset life events and preparing supporting
tax forms. CMI Fixed Assets integrates with the accounting suites from Cougar
Mountain Software.

CMI’s initial setup functions are streamlined, with a single-screen data-entry
sheet for client company setup that simplifies creation of depreciation schedules,
averaging conventions, asset sorting, locations, property codes, GL account
groups, user-defined fields, special settings and other custom data tracking.
Users can also set user-level security from this screen, restricting access
to clients or program features and data. The general interface opens into a
screen with a vertical menu on the left for accessing year-end functions, company
information, reports and assets for the active company, with each of these opening
into additional task-specific functions. Pull-down and icon-based menus across
the top of the screen also give quick access to primary features, such as asset
tasks, viewing depreciation schedules and projections, making journal entries,
and specific reports.

The system’s company selection screen provides a basic, numerically
sorted list of clients and the ability to copy the settings from an existing
company when creating a new one. Asset selection functions allow filtering by
more than 20 information categories, such as asset description, location, category,
disposal date, basis, Sec. 179, or bonus depreciation. New assets can be created
using the Asset Template Wizard, which guides users through data entry and includes
company-specific templates and the ability to duplicate an existing asset, or
users can create assets with only particular fields copied over into the new

For asset data-entry tracking, the program uses information screens that offer
selection lists for items that include department, account number, group and
other data, while tabs at the bottom of the subwindow let users move between
general, tax and disposal information. Tax data-entry screens use simple check
boxes to select depreciation methods, conventions, asset types, ITC code, amortization
preferences, state rules and other asset attributes that affect depreciation
treatments. All versions of the program support multiple companies, but the
number of assets and concurrent users depends on the network version being used,
with the most comprehensive system allowing up to 250,000 assets per business
and any number of users.

Up to 25 books can be maintained per asset, with preconfigured schedules available
for federal, AMT, ACE, book and state, and custom books allowing selection of
all factors, including full year, mid-month, mid-quarter and half-year conventions
and depreciation bonus. Based on current and previous code, the program offers
nearly 20 standard depreciation methods, including MACRS, ACRS, straight-line,
125/150/200% declining balance, sum-of-years’ digits, E&P, and user-defined
custom treatments. It fully supports recently enacted Sec. 179 and bonus depreciation

The system can project asset depreciation for up to 10 years, and has historical
depreciation functions for recalculating prior years. Mass disposal options
include the ability to apply transactions across groups of items, with options
for sales, trade-ins, like-kind exchanges, transfers and abandonments. Assets
can also be split and unsplit, or managed as singular assets with multiple parts
or as assets under construction. Depreciation can also be paused while individual
assets are removed from service for prolonged maintenance, non-use or other
issues. Consolidation options enable the merging of assets between companies.
The CMI system includes location, departmental, group and other business unit
assignments, and up to 10 user-defined fields can be created for tracking assets
by additional factors, such as responsible party. The program does not provide
integration with electronic asset inventory tools such as barcode scanning and

The reporting functions in CMI Fixed Assets are easily accessible from the left-hand
navigation menu, with options grouped into categories for depreciation schedules,
projections, month/quarter depreciation, additions, transfers and dispositions
with gain/loss. A full asset detail report is also available for the entire
life of each asset. Moderate customization of reports, including data and field
selection, can be performed using a built-in report writer. For compliance reporting,
CMI can produce forms 3468, 4255, 4562 and 4797, along with personal property
tax and tax preference worksheets. Reports can be saved to PDF and Excel formats.

CMI Fixed Assets can import and export data from/to Excel, CSV and text-formatted
files, allowing two-step data sharing with many business accounting systems
and the ability to transfer data into professional tax and trial balance systems.
As previously noted, it directly integrates with the GL in the accounting suites
from Cougar Mountain Software.

The program supports modern Microsoft operating systems through Windows 7. The
built-in Help features include task-specific Help that uses an indexed guide
with a troubleshooting utility and glossary, in addition to a user manual, tutorial
and wizards for new asset setup. This gives users the ability to easily duplicate
companies and assets when creating new ones. Support features on the CMI website
are generally limited to FAQs and downloadable program updates, with contact
information for technical assistance. Live support is available through annual
maintenance agreements.

CMI Fixed Assets provides good value for companies managing almost any number
of assets across multiple departments, with up to 25 books and the ability to
quickly perform mass asset disposals and global edits, along with projections
for up to 10 years. A free version of the program is available with a limitation
of 50 assets per company. Pricing for a single-user full version is $795 for
the initial license, with annual maintenance thereafter costing only $195, which
provides for system updates and unlimited support. A site license supporting
up to 10 users is $1,195, with annual maintenance at $295 per year. Licenses
for larger numbers of users are also offered.

2010 Overall Rating: