Not All Sage FAS Users Should be Created Equally

Here at Fixed Asset Consulting, we have been performing many data conversions lately.  Mainly data that has been in the Sage Fixed Assets Depreciation (formerly Sage FAS) and was outsourced.

The biggest problems we are running into during our analysis and process is that those ‘outsourced’ professionals who are using the Sage Fixed Asset System (or any automated fixed asset system) are not entering the asset information in correctly.  Here is a list of what we have been seeing (note: not all the data we are analysing and fixing are from the same source/end users):

  • Bonus depreciation not being utilized consistently.  Some assets have it on, others don’t.  Same property type, same placed-in-service year, etc.
  • Bonus depreciation not being used at all even though the Client is claiming in on their tax returns.  This means that even though the Tax calculations are outsourced, the Client still has to perform off-line adjustments and calculations on a spreadsheet.
  • Inconsistent data entry and misuse of critical depreciation fields.
  • Property Types are incorrectly used. I.e. Buildings and building remodels are set to Personal Property with a 39 year life and a straight-line method.  Should have been set to Real Property.
  • Adjustments were never taken and trued up on the data.  This is causing a lot of over and under depreciated assets to occur at the end of the assets life, creating a NBV on a fully depreciated asset.
  • One line items that represent 3 or sometimes 10 assets.  When reconciling this information back to the customers off-line data or internal data, some of those “assets” where disposed of.  Or… the sum of the 3 assets don’t equal the total amount of the one asset in the outsourced system.

We could go on and on, however, many times this stems from the end-user not being professional trained on the system, being thrown into fixed asset management role without training, not communicating properly with their clients or just not knowing what they are doing.

Not all fixed asset users or those managing fixed asset data should be created equally.  Problem is, many don’t know this is happening until it’s too late.  Don’t be one of them.

Are Your Fixed Assets Audit Ready?

While on site last week performing fixed asset consulting and data work, my client had encountered last-minute auditors. Not just one, but three (3) from different places. Funny thing was, they were keeping their fixed asset listings and their CIP (construction in progress) accounting assets in the same spreadsheet. Boy, was it a long one with filters and pivot tables, etc.

During the first day of my stay, I uploaded their fixed asset records into FAS Asset Accounting, ran some preliminary depreciation to balance back to FY 2010. In a matter of hours I was able to prepare a report in 3 different formats and export out to a PDF for the corporate Controller. At the end we noticed about a $95K difference in depreciation – in their favor!

The next day the Auditors were in and out of the Controllers office asking all about fixed assets and their current schedule and if they could get a listing sorted by asset class / asset type with sub-totals by location. With their current “system” (aka: spreadsheets and SAP fixed assets), they couldn’t get this or make this readily available. However, with Sage FAS Asset Accounting they were able to very quickly.

Thank goodness they had a fixed asset Consultant on deck that week. Next time they have an unexpected / unanticipated audit (they thought they had until December), they will be even more ready with CIP reports as well. So the question is… are YOU and YOUR fixed assets audit ready?

New FAS Asset Accounting v2012 Coming in September

I am finally back into my humble office after attending the Sage Software Summit 2011 with an immediate trip to some customers out in Boston and Maine, now playing a serious game of catch up.  Ugg, one thing is for sure, when you leave, nothing just stops and goes away. 

What I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention is the new version of Sage FAS (v2012) that will soon be released – starting in mid-September.  Sage FAS division had a handful of breakout sessions @Sage_Summit letting both Business Partners and Customers play around with the latest version – one even showcased the ease-of-use on customizing the new interface and layout.  Feedback was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!  I myself am extremely excited to start implementing it world-wide.

Some of the changes to the Sage FAS Asset Accounting software that I (and my customers) are excited about are:

  • The capability to perform Task Based functionality (like you do in Outlook).
  • Ability to drag and drop columns in the Group View – now appropriately named: Asset ListNew Sage FAS Asset Accounting v2012 Layout.
  • A user can now drag the general field section (in Asset View/Detailed View) down to view all the fields as needed – seriously, this is a HUGE one for every user.
  • Capability to UPDATE asset information through the custom import wizard – this is the big dog!
  • Much, much, much more…

I don’t have all day to type out this blog entry so I am trying my best to keep it short and sweet and highlighting only a handful of things I and you will love about the upcoming release of Sage FAS Asset Accounting v2012.  It may seem a bit young for a facelift… but 14 [personal] years in the business — well, in software years, that facelift is long over due.  To Sage FAS division I say – GOOD JOB and way to be the best plastic surgeon in the U.S.!

Sage Summit 2011 Fixed Asset Management Workshops

Sage authorized consultants from Paragon will team with current Sage FAS customers in three breakout sessions to discuss best practices in fixed asset accounting and management at the Sage Summit 2011 conference.

Chicago, IL – July 5, 2011 – Paragon Systems (www.FixedAssetExperts.com), a nationwide provider of Sage FAS Fixed Asset Management software, has announced participation in the Sage Summit 2011 conference as an exhibitor as well as a workshop host.  In addition to their display in Booth 733, Paragon will also present three breakout sessions discussing the advantages of fixed asset accounting and management with Sage FAS Software.  The conference will be held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, DC.  July 10 – 15, 2011.  Sage Summit 2011 represents a new format that combines both Sage Authorized Business Partners and Sage customers at the same event.

FULL PRESS RELEASE ]

Physical Fixed Asset Inventory / Audit: Quick Start

In the past few months, I’ve received about one or two calls a week with questions pertaining to conducting physical inventories.  Which gets me thinking… Oh yeah, it is about that time a year again.  Internal audits of companies fixed assets! 

About this time every year is often when companies start putting deadlines on themselves for gathering their information.  Many times it is sparked by internal audit controls, SOX testing, reorganizing, or better yet, “the auditors just left and said we need to do a better job controlling our fixed assets“.

After having several conversations with all these different companies; their situations running in a variety of flavors… I get a little worried that perhaps, they are still going to venture off in the wrong path.  The one of destruction not success.

 Things to ponder and prepare yourself for BEFORE running willy nilly amongst your assets:

  1. First thing to ask yourself – Is everyone on board internally with this project?  By everyone I mean, departments other than Accounting?  Remember to think of your compadre who work there too.  Example: IT Department, Facilities, Tax Department versus Finance (crazy, but we run into this miss-communication factor quite often).
  2. Second part – where is your data now and what’s it look like?  Are you pulling your fixed asset data from a spreadsheet, home-grown system, IT’s list/system, Facilities listings?  You need to know what data you have and what it looks like so you can better determine what course of action you will be performing with your inventory.
  3. Third piece of the puzzle – AFTER you review your data and data sources, you need to determine if it’s best for you to perform either a Dynamic Inventory or a Baseline InventoryThis is the BIG decision people!  You make the wrong choice here and you could be wasting a lot of precious time and end up taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r on your project.  Or even worse, you may end up doing it all over again!
  4. Moving forward – Labels / Tags… what kind, how many, what are they going to look like?  Order them and provide yourselves with a couple of weeks turn around.  It’s all about scheduling.
  5. Tag em’ – by now you should have already determined what you are tagging, where your putting the tag and who is tagging.  Also, you should have already decided by now WHAT information you will be gathering.  Seize the day and attack!
  6. The BIG Bear of Inventory – reconciliation time folks!  Keep in mind and be prepared that this CAN and WILL take some work.  Especially if your company is a first timer (meaning – you’ve never performed a physical asset inventory – ever).  However, this is where the fruit of your exhausting labor comes into play.  You get to find out what you have, what you don’t have (ghosts… BOO), where it is and who is responsible for it. 
  7. Last but certainly NOT least – keep up the good work my friend!  Now that you’ve cleaned up your data, keep it clean.  Now is the time to determine when you will be performing the next one to ensure that your data stays accurate.

Whew, I feel better getting that off my chest.  I know what you are thinking and I agree, that does seem like a lot to think about and plan before running like a crazy person through the field of assets.   Knowing about fixed assets is one thing… Trying to find them and clean them up is another! 

P.S. did you know that Paragon Systems offers an array of physical asset inventory services and consulting?  Yeppers… ala carte or full load.  Email me.

SAP Fixed Assets To Sage FAS: Live Update 6

It’s been a while since my last update on the large SAP fixed assets to Sage FAS Asset Accounting.  We had a minor set back – client induced.  However everything is moving along quite nicely with great momentum!

Two out of six companies are in the final phases – comparing ending balances between original 4562’s and FAS Asset Accounting generated 4562’s.  So far, little discrepancies are showing and in the end of the day, may turn out to be immaterial.  Once the balances are blessed (for our end), we will then move on to the largest of the 6 (over 35,000 line items). 

Soon, SAP fixed assets for federal Tax and multi-state depreciation will be a thing in the past…  And so will months and months of off-line spreadsheet finagling!  Cheers to that!

Fixed Asset Software: More Ways to Capture ROI

Did you know there are MANY uses for a fixed asset solution?  Yes, other than just depreciating on capitalized assets.

Ways to increase your internal return on investment on an automated fixed asset software solution:

  • Depreciation: Get out of those multi level, multi workbooks and most of all multi calculation – formula driven errors!
  • Tax Compliance: Keeping up to date on federal tax depreciation rules and bonus depreciation calculations.
  • Sales Tax: Tracking sales tax amounts for Sales Tax reporting and state audits.
  • Property Tax Reporting: Keep track of expensed items in the same place.  You can group your assets together by “capitalized or expensed” for additional property reporting.
  • Paper Trails: for adjustment and balancing audits, disposal, transfers, impairments, etc.
  • Paperless: you can scan take photos and attach those to the assets (capitalized or expensed) in the same system!  Whoa!

All of this and more can be captured, performed and tracked in ONE system – not multiple places.  After all this… I am pretty sure the cost of a fixed asset depreciation system will pay for itself the very first day you get your data in it!

White Paper: Email me to read more about Maximizing your ROI with a Fixed Asset Management Solution.  Subject: Crazy White Paper.

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