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

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.

ERP Fixed Assets Workflow To Sage FAS Asset Accounting

It’s obvious that companies utilizing an ERP for their fixed asset depreciation and management are getting frustrated – or perhaps they are just now seeing the benefits of implementing a true fixed asset module.  Because of this many are asking what or how do we update FAS Asset Accounting or keep both systems in tune.  Maybe it’s best to just explain what the choices are and we can move on from there.

With this being said, I thought I would explain the two options in a basic format – without giving away all of our knowledge.  After all, this is why we get paid the big bucks – but not as big as an ERP Consultant. 

When implementing a true fixed asset system to work with your ERP system, you have two options:

  1. ERP Parent—FAS Child: Maintain GAAP/Internal depreciation inside ERP asset management and only Federal Tax, AMT and State books in Sage FAS Asset Accounting.  Activity added/updated in ERP, exported out, format updated, imported into FAS AA.  Recommended that you also maintain the GAAP/Internal book in Sage FAS Asset Accounting but only for reconciliation purposes.
  2. FAS Parent—ERP Child: Utilize Sage FAS Asset Accounting for all depreciation—export entries out of AP/PO in ERP.  Upload into FAS, maintain ALL activity in FAS Asset Accounting (no need for disposal and transfer tagging), book depreciation entries into ERP GL.  No reconciliation necessary between ERP asset management and third-party solution. 

From the sounds of it, you would sway towards option 2 – FAS being the asset keeper, organizer, etc.  However, many organizations can’t step away from the ERP being finances Parent / Controller — so then, we are left with implementing option 1.  Either way, it’s far better than what occurs when you DON’T use a third-party solution to run, capture and report on federal tax and state calculations.

SAP to FAS Asset Accounting: Live Update 7

Coming down the home stretch… We are now finalizing the 4562 balances of all six companies!  Guess what happened along the way? 

Through data mining and going through their data output with a fine tooth comb, we discovered millions of dollars worth of discrepancies, for bonus depreciation and mis-appropriated adjustements — in their favor!  What a fun day that was!  As I anticipated, our project has already paid for itself 20 times over and we are 70% finished.  Which leaves a good 30% left for more positive outcomes!

Wow… moving federal tax depreciation and state calculations out of a monster system such as SAP (or any ERP solution) – including to a ton of off-line spreadsheet adjustments, you might actually benefit more than you think!  So… why is it again YOU aren’t making the switch to Sage FAS?  Yes, I know… good question!

Next step in this process, agreeing to State balances and working out Quarterly updates.

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.

SAP and FAS Integration: Live Update 2

Obtaining data tables through remote connection can sometimes be a struggle. Gained access to another company code today and having more success pulling fixed asset data from SAP (ERP) tables.

Sample test data should be done by todays end or tomorrow at the latest so we can better identify what needs to be added, changed and re-formatted to be pushed into the Sage FAS 500 Asset Accounting solution.

Calculating bonus depreciation for 2010 and 2011 assets will be so smooth for our client soon. We are all excited and anticipating great success between SAP data extractions and imports into Sage FAS.

More to come.

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