SAP Fixed Asset Accounting Made Better by Paragon Systems

Fixed Asset experts, Paragon Systems, now authorized for Winshuttle Query & Transaction utilities to simplify enterprise asset management and reporting for larger customers using SAP.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) December 29, 2011

Paragon Systems (http://www.FixedAssetExperts.com) has announced their certification for both Winshuttle Query and Winshuttle Transaction software utilities for SAP reporting. Using the Winshuttle utilities, Paragon is able to help larger U.S.-based companies overcome significant shortcomings and inefficiency associated with the native fixed asset management functionality in SAP.

Angie Bolton Lyons, Senior Fixed Asset Consultant and Sage FAS Fixed Asset expert at Paragon, says her company’s interest in Winshuttle began by listening to customer needs. “Many of our larger clients using SAP Fixed Assets were running into significant challenges. When it comes to fixed asset management, accounting in SAP isn’t well-localized for U.S. companies.” Bolton-Lyons says that those clients were forced to use spreadsheets and perform manual calculations outside of SAP in order to manage important processes like quarterly tax updates, reporting, and complex deprecation calculations.

The right tools, she says, make all the difference. “The data doesn’t extract cleanly out of SAP fixed assets if you’re using Excel or some other manual method. But with the Winshuttle utilities, we’re able to get the live data out easily and accurately using a simple three-step process. It’s so much cleaner, faster, and most importantly saves our clients a tremendous amount of time and hassle.”

Paragon consultants use both Winshuttle Query and Transaction utilities to pull accounting data from SAP and transfer it seamlessly into Sage FAS Fixed Assets. Bolton-Lyons says, “Sage FAS Fixed Assets is far more flexible and capable when it comes to enterprise asset management. Once the data is in Sage FAS, our clients can run calculations and get the numbers they need in minutes – not days or months.”

According to Bolton Lyons, the problems with SAP fixed asset accounting (http://fixedassetexperts.com) really aren’t unusual. “Paragon knows fixed asset accounting is a different animal and requires specialized knowledge. To some clients, it may seem counter-intuitive to add more software to an enterprise system like SAP. But Winshuttle Query and Transaction are really just utilities that make their existing investment more valuable and useful.” She adds, “And when they see how much time, hassle, and costs that we eliminate from the fixed asset process, it’s a no-brainer for our larger clients.”

Full online article: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/12/prweb9066195.htm

Top 5 Ways To Find Money Through Fixed Assets

Wow… today the stock market crashed so big it has probably got us all thinking… where do we go from here? Which also gets me thinking — how can businesses find some cash flow so they have some “rainy day funds” (or for operating expenses) in their back pockets?  Then it dawned on me… if they manage their fixed assets properly and received detailed cost segregation studies or had a proper 3115 study done, then shoot, EVERYONE could have extra cash flow.

If you think about it, there really are many ways to capture extra cash flow through fixed assets.  From very small efforts to large.

Top 5 Ways Fixed Assets Can Capture or Re-capture Cash Flow

  1. Cost Segregation Studies – extra Tax Deductions with properly classified fixed assets.  Money is in the DETAILS, not in bulked entries everyone!  Make sure you capture your 100% bonus depreciation for 2011 – it will go away soon.
  2.  Rev Proc 2007-16 Study – 3115 assets; allows taxpayers to change their method of accounting and claim the allowable depreciation (or amortization) amount they never claimed (i.e. bonus depreciation, etc.).
  3. Physical Fixed Asset Inventories – cost savings all across the board with Property Taxes, Insurance Premiums, Financial savings impact and more.  Have you ever done one of these before?
  4. Asset Appraisals – is it really worth TODAY what it once was?  Probably not.
  5. Automated Depreciation System – if you are still stuck in spreadsheet land for calculations, believe me when I say, YES you ARE missing additional expense and bonus that you are entitled to.  I see it every time I open someones spreadsheet!  Doesn’t matter the size of the organization or spreadsheet, there is ALWAYS calculation error, sometimes in the millions.

Which industries would benefit from these services / studies?  Just about all industries, well, maybe government and non-profit wouldn’t benefit from all five, but certainly from a couple.  Industries that would uncover a ton (always in the thousands – sometimes millions) from one or all five: hospitality, data centers, banks, manufacturing, retail, healthcare to name a few.

Now I know why I love waking up every day to go to work for the past 14 years (and growing)… because everything I (and my associates) do each and everyday help people and their businesses grow.  Who doesn’t like that?  Probably the same people who don’t like furry fuzzy kittens.

 

 

Rolling Out Large Fixed Asset Management Projects

It’s that time of the year again when companies (large and small) are just starting to think about their year-end processes (or just finished with them and their Auditors) when fixed assets come into play.  Property tax season is now coming upon us all and shortly thereafter… tax filing.  

When getting ready to prepare for this type of fixed asset management project, people tend to have a mini (or large) freak out.  I want to remind you all that you don’t have to bite off more than you (and your budget) can chew.  Have you ever thought about breaking your project out into prioritized phases?  Below is an example of the kind of a approach you can take to complete your full fixed asset management project.

Real World Example

Background: Company XYZ is a large fortune 500, multi-location, publicly traded company.  They have well over 50,000 assets within the U.S. 
Current Issues they are facing:

  1. No automated system to calculate their TAX, State and AMT depreciation calculations = hand calculated (spreadsheet formulas) and delayed filing and delayed provisions. (P.S. they are using an ERP solution)
  2. Inaccurate fixed asset listings – due to never performing a physical asset inventory or reconciliation = leads to inaccurate:
    1. Property Taxes and delayed filing
    2. Improper insurance coverage
    3. Financial reporting
    4. SOX 404 Compliance risk
  3. Multiple locations that need an inventory with bar code tagging = thoughts of many, many dollars run through their minds.
  4. Lack of policy/procedures = lack of maintaining accurate fixed asset records.

Recommendations to perform an ACCURATE and MANAGEABLE fixed asset project.

Priorities for this Client were to get their federal Tax, State and AMT calculations automated.  We based their project off of this high priority. 

  1. PHASE ONE: Implement an automated fixed asset accounting solution (Sage FAS 500 Asset Accounting was used).  Finalize this project implementation, work through the data and get it live for use.  Ran their 4562’s, 4797’s, etc.  Receive an immediate return on the software and implementation costs.
  2. PHASE TWO: Start to roll out the physical asset inventory project  through a pilot program.  Starting small — prioritized the PILOT by number of anticipated fixed assets and activity.  Finalize and reconcile this data to observe the findings and obtain an immediate cost recovery on project.
  3. PHASE THREE: Perform the physical inventory on the other locations that were necessary – again, based on priority.  Reconcile results – find and capture the return on investment by property tax savings and insurance premiums. 
  4. PHASE FOUR: Implementation of an automated fixed asset inventory solution that supports the use of bar code readers / technology (Sage FAS 500 Asset Inventory was the solution of choice).  Now the Client can maintain the clean database and keep it maintained with annual physical inventory audits, etc.
  5. PHASE FIVE: Consulting on on-going use / maintenance of the fixed asset solutions and complete management.  Set in place policies/procedures and train staff on the workflow and systems where necessary.

Working with a Phase approach to fixed asset management works to keep it manageable.  Not only is it manageable for your staff and your business… it’s also manageable for your budget, as each phase pays for itself at the end.  Every step of success opens doors for more.

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.!

Balancing SAP Costs Before Importing Into Sage FAS: Live Update 5

A couple of weeks have gone by and we are progressing nice and easy — on schedule and on budget.  Our client has multiple entities (with thousands of data) and we are finished balancing on one and about 95% balanced to another with only 3 more to go. 

The struggle has been with SAP and their transaction codes.  Current FY data is sometimes hidden – which is a small struggle, but we persevere!  Another small struggle for the client is trying to assist us in reconciling starting balances between what SAP could/can handle against what they’ve had to manipulate off-line out of the system.  Hence the reason they are implementing Sage FAS Asset Accounting – NO OFF-LINE ADJUSTMENTS NECESSARY!

Remember when converting and implementing any system for the first time, the VERY first thing you should do is pick a date to balance out to.  This ensures that no data gets left behind and you will have a clean start.

Sage FAS Asset Accounting: Release of Version 2011.1

The moment has arrived for all you Sage FAS Asset Accounting users out there (over 300,000 active users).  The release of version 2011.1!  Yes, it incorporates tax law changes made during the year including the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. 

This release is only available for CURRENT Sage Support members and new licenses.  If you need to renew your support to take advantage of this slick automation and updated depreciation methods and provisions, call me now at (847) 2402981 ext: 164 or shoot me an email with the SUBJECT: RENEW.

The FAS 2011.1 Tax Update contains exciting new features and enhancements to your:

  1. Tax Law Updates: Sage has updated the Sage FAS program to comply with the latest tax law changes:  
  • Updated Tax Forms and Worksheets. The 2011.1 Tax Update includes the updated IRS Form 4562 – Depreciation and Amortization for 2010. 
  • Updated Tax Limits. The 2011.1 Tax Update complies with the scheduled updates to the Section 179 limits and luxury auto limits, including changes to allow up to $250,000 of the Section 179 deduction to be claimed for qualified real property.
  • 168 Allowance of 100% for Certain Property. Assets placed in service after September 8, 2010 and before January 1, 2012 can take a 100% bonus deduction.
  • Extension of Tax Provisions. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 has extended several tax provisions, such as allowing a 15 year estimated life on qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant property, and qualified retail improvement property.

2. Updated Audit Advisor. Sage FAS made the following updates to the Audit Advisor:  

  • Check for the increased Section 179 limits as stated above. 
  • Extend the check for Qualified Restaurant, Leasehold, and Retail Improvement Property. 
  • Added a new check for assets that claimed a 50% 168 Allowance when they are eligible to take the increased 100% depreciation allowance. 
  • Added a new check for real property that may be qualified for the Section 179 expense deduction.

3.  New Sage Timberline Enterprise Link. We have added a new general ledger link that enables you to post depreciation expense and accumulated depreciation from Sage FAS to Sage Timberline Enterprise.

NOTE: Please note that no database conversion is required to upgrade from version 2010.1 of Sage FAS to version 2011.1. However, if you are currently using an older version of Sage FAS, you must first upgrade to version 2010.1 before installing Sage FAS version 2011.1. 

If you DON’T have all the CDs or other material available for versions lower than 2010.1, you need a data schema upgrade.  Contact me today for competitive rates.

SAP Fixed Assets to Sage FAS: Live Update 4

Whew… we have been busy! Extracted five out of six companies out of SAP fixed assets.  Finalizing cost balances between internal books and all federal tax books.  What a mismatch.  Although, we have seen this every time we export out of any ERP.  The disconnect between entry per book. 

This week and next we will be moving on to re-formatting and building the federal tax books.

Preparing our clients import files to include bonus depreciation where necessary is so rewarding – for us and them! They are getting close to being able to throw those spreadsheets and the formulas that are contained with-in – into the electronic trash.

More on Sage FAS software – check out our new facelift at www.FixedAssetSoftware.com.

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