The video above briefly demonstrates a powerful feature of AssetAccountant™ – its automatic calculation of adjusting journals. Make as many changes to an already posted journal period as you like, and AssetAccountant™ will keep up with you.
AssetAccountant™ combines sophisticated interpretation of Tax and Accounting rules with a modern user interface design, to simplify the process of creating and maintaining fixed asset registers.
70 seconds explains AssetAccountant™ – “We’ve mastered Depreciation So You Don’t Have To”
Fixed assets management for tax and accounting is complex. It requires an organised, consistent and compliant system that yields reliable, accurate depreciation results.
Specialist fixed assets management software, like AssetAccountant™, that also integrates with QuickBooks Online, provides your fixed asset manager with the tools needed to optimise the quality of the fixed assets register and support sound decision making about fixed asset priorities.
The stakes are far too high to risk significant errors in your fixed assets register that lead to errors in tax and accounting outcomes.
Many fixed assets registers are ‘home grown’ spreadsheets that attempt to calculate tax or accounting depreciation, but rarely both. And while using spreadsheets year after year someone must program and update the worksheets and workbooks manually. Creating and maintaining these depreciation spreadsheets requires a tremendous expenditure of time, and yet they are prone to many problems, including:
“Spreadsheets can certainly perform complex mathematical calculations. They are, however, not the best tool for managing fixed assets,” says Accounting Today, Ted Needleman, advising instead, “What your clients need is a combination of database and calculation engine.” (asset screen of AssetAccountant™ shown here)
Ted Needleman, “Fixed assets software: The forgotten application?” Accounting Today, October 11, 2004
Simply put, the spreadsheet method for calculating depreciation on your fixed assets is too difficult, risky, and time consuming to be considered effective.
When selecting a fixed assets register software, consider the size of your organization and the number of fixed assets, as well as potential for future growth. Ask about the scalability of the software you are evaluating. If your business is small, ask if the provider offers a version of the software designed for the needs of small businesses and available at an affordable price.
If your business is midsized or larger, can you add integrated products for additional functionality, project accounting, and advanced reporting? As your company acquires more assets, will the fixed assets register scale to meet the needs of an expanding fixed asset database? Is the reporting package extensive? Can you get customised reports (for a fee) based on your organisation’s changing needs?
To reduce the risk of needless error and make the best use of your time, it is essential that the fixed asset register that you select integrates with your accounting system. All fixed asset register modules should integrate seamlessly together and reconcile. Additionally, your fixed assets register should be able to exchange data with your general ledger and other accounting systems.
Whenever data can be automatically shared between your applications, valuable time is saved that would otherwise be spent manually rekeying critical data. Integration also ensures that clerical errors, such as typos, do not cost your organisation money and compromise accuracy.
Fortunately, fixed asset management software solutions exist that can automate the process, while saving time and eliminating the errors associated with spreadsheets. In reviewing fixed asset software packages for the CPA Technology Advisor, Isaac O’Bannon recommends examining navigation and ease of use, management features, integration, reporting abilities, and the quality of technical support and software updates.[i]
Carefully review both providers and solutions as you conduct your evaluation. Find out how other customers are benefiting from the solution. Ask for a demonstration or try out an evaluation copy at your company. By beginning your search for a solution with a clear idea of the features you would find most beneficial and selecting from vendors that have expertise, you’ll ensure that you find the software that is right for your organisation.
[i] Isaac M. O’Bannon, “Forecasting Capabilities Aid in Long-Term Depreciation Strategies: A Review of Fixed Asset Software,” The CPA Technology Advisor, November 2004
Can help you and your business to manage risk, time and give you confidence in the quality and compliance of the Fixed Asset register and financial reports.
We don’t want to add to the finance departments burden. We want to make both Fixed Asset register conversion and maintenance easier both now and into the future, with:
We’ll take care of converting your existing fixed asset register.
Do it yourself, or we can help, with mapping your chart of accounts directly to AssetAccountant™, ensuring your future journal entries post effortlessly and accurately (no re-keying errors) to your QuickBooks Online ledger.
We constantly monitor the ATO and make the updates without your finance team needing to understand the ‘ins and outs’ or needing to make changes to the Fixed Asset register themselves. AssetAccountant™ can help you and your business to manage risk, time and give you confidence in the quality and compliance of the Fixed Asset register and financial reports.
A fixed asset register can be a strong foundation toward accurate and complete financial statements.
But if the foundations are flawed the financial reports will be also.
Here are some tips from QBO and AssetAccountant™ to make sure your fixed asset register is a rock solid foundation and integrated.
Do you take the fixed asset register for granted?
Most organisations have one, or at least claim they do – but unless you clearly understand what you are going to use it for there is a risk that the fixed asset register won’t meet your needs.
A fixed asset register is important to many people in your organisation, and is used for many purposes, financially:
One of the keys to making the fixed asset register easy to use is to establish a consistent way of describing and grouping assets. This has several benefits including:
Names and numbers should be easy to understand so that assets can be easily identified, and names and numbers easily remembered. If you take just a little time to set up the conventions properly, it will be much easier all round if you can remember the name or number of the asset without having to drill down or search through the entire register.
Of course, you can accept the automatically added number as a unique identifier when you add an asset to the register, but this will almost certainly just be a number allocated in sequential order, and not easy to understand. It will be far better to set up a structured numbering system – which aligns with how you use your assets.
Naming conventions should be consistent.
But if your current naming convention isn’t perfect, don’t worry AssetAccountant™ will effortlessly work with the data you already have.
Do you need to differentiate between locations, equipment and components?
There are many situations where you may have many similar assets, at the same location, with different ‘first use’ dates.
Managing this information will ensure the appropriate financial treatment of the asset and allow identification of specific equipment items in given locations – even though these can relate to assets at different levels in the equipment hierarchy.
So, one of the key decisions that you need to make is whether you want to record activity and costs against both equipment and location – and if so, which equipment/locations you want to do this for.
There are benefits in limiting the number of assets that you classify as equipment:
However, if you do not establish all assets as individual items in your fixed asset register, then it makes it more difficult to collate and analyse data for those assets.
So, give careful consideration to what level of detail you need and establish clear rules for deciding whether an item is required to be recorded as an individual asset in the fixed asset register.
Things to consider in establishing when to include an asset in your fixed asset register include:
Depreciation rates – for accounting purposes, items with differing depreciation rates should be recorded separately in the fixed asset register. Otherwise, depreciation calculations become more difficult than they need be.
Statutory requirements – is there a need to be able to easily track the performance of the specific asset. If so, you may find it easier to include it individually in the fixed asset register.
Asset criticality – what is the impact of asset failure on your organisation? If the consequences of failure events of a specific asset are significant, then it as an individual item in your fixed asset register.
Costs – is the item expensive to purchase or maintain? Effective management of costs will generally require that these assets are established separately in your fixed asset register.
Warranty – items for which you want to separately track warranty information are most likely best established as separate items in your fixed asset register
It’s easy for systems to store lots of information regarding assets. But every field takes time – time that is potentially wasted if you are not going to use the information recorded. For example, recording warranty information is of little value if you don’t have a system in place to ensure that all possible warranty claims are investigated and initiated.
This article has offered tips to help your fixed asset register to best meet the needs of your organisation. If you would like further guidance or assistance in establishing or improving the fixed asset register in your organisation, Quickbooks Online and AssetAccountant™ can help you and your business to manage risk, time and give you confidence in the quality and compliance of the Fixed Asset Register and financial reports.
Your clients do not need to be expert in financial reporting requirements. If they were, why would they need you? And at the same time, many boards are deliberately appointing directors from a range of backgrounds to give the board diversity.
But not being a financial reporting expert does not absolve business owners or directors of their duty to ensure:
So, before you ask your client to approve the company financial statements and the valuations and depreciation of fixed assets, you should ask yourself:
Do the financial statements make sense and present the results, cash flows and state of affairs of the company realistically?
What are the risk areas that the ATO and other scrutineers know to focus on as areas of risk; like the Fixed Asset register.
Am I confident to explain or defend the asset valuation/depreciation if challenged?
If you are using a spreadsheet for anything other than a ‘few simple assets’, be prepared for particular attention!
A recognised major concern, as noted in the ATO Interim findings report top 100 program, is whether assets are recorded in the tax and financial statements at an appropriate amount. That is, not exceeding their recoverable amount or under-valued for advantage.
Interim Findings Report Top 100 Program
To help you address your concerns about your current Fixed Asset register and the values populating the financial statements, here are a few focusing questions:
Is your Fixed Asset register up to date with current law?
Have fixed assets in the Fixed Asset register been depreciated appropriately?
Is your Fixed Asset register an Excel (or similar) spreadsheet?” (If yes, be alarmed)
Is each formula in the ‘spreadsheet’ that has been used, for years, correct for today?
Fixed assets management includes all the policies and procedures that aim to manage fixed assets throughout their useful life, and when disposing of that fixed asset. A Fixed Asset register, whether paper, spreadsheet or software needs to support these outcomes – accurately.
As you address the risk that the current Fixed Asset register may be deficient or subjecting clients to an avoidable risk, here is how AssetAccountant™ can help:
AssetAccountant™ combine Tax and Accounting rules with modern interfaces to simplify the process of creating and maintaining fixed asset registers.
What is your level of confidence that your current Fixed Assets register is delivering accurate and complete information for inclusion in your QBO generated financial statements?
But everyone is so busy!
We hear you. This has been a crazy year.
Every finance department, in every business, large and small, has had to deal with COVID-19, constant changes, updates, interpretations of support and incentives – phew!
It is almost impossible for even the most diligent finance team to keep up with all the urgent work, and it is likely that maintaining the Fixed Assets register keeps getting bumped down the list.
So why not streamline something that can be time-consuming and cumbersome?
We don’t want to add to the finance departments burden.
We want to make both Fixed Asset register conversion and maintenance easier both now and into the future, with:
We’ll take care of converting your existing fixed asset register.
Do it yourself, or we can help, with mapping your chart of accounts directly to AssetAccountant™, ensuring your future journal entries post effortlessly and accurately (no re-keying errors) to your QBO ledger.
We constantly monitor the ATO and make the updates without your finance team needing to understand the ‘ins and outs’ or needing to make changes to the Fixed Asset register themselves.
AssetAccountant™ can help you and your business to manage risk, time and give you confidence in the quality and compliance of the Fixed Asset register and financial reports.
Many accountants prefer to maintain a single fixed asset register for their clients’ businesses. And, since tax depreciation tends to be much more aggressive than accounting depreciation, basing fixed asset registers solely on tax rules seems like a great choice.
For example, in Australia, the Tax Act permits the immediate deduction of 100% of the value of some assets. Other assets can be depreciated aggressively in pools and by taking advantage of rules like Backing Business Investment accelerated depreciation.
Depreciating assets as aggressively as possible makes great sense for tax, but using these same rules for accounting has some serious downsides.
For accounting, your fixed asset register should reflect the value of an asset at any time during its useful life. And the ‘cost’ of the asset should be spread across the asset’s useful life – allowing you to reflect the cost to use that asset to produce income in any given period.
But, aside from distorting the true value of assets to a business, depreciating too aggressively reduces the value of those assets on the balance sheet as well as reducing profits on the P&L – therefore undervaluing the business. This can have significant impacts on a business’ ability to borrow, meet banking loan covenants, and sell the business at a fair value.
Keeping separate asset registers for tax and accounting ensures you can maximise taxable deductions for your client and maximise the value of the business on the balance sheet.
To see what we mean here, let’s consider a really simple example.
XYZ Gym Group decides to open a new gym on 01 July, 2019. They’ve leased a premises, purchased $250,000 worth of equipment and secured some foundation memberships.
As XYZ is a small business entity (SBE) for tax purposes and, as all of the equipment purchases were less than $30,000 each, XYZ is entitled to claim 100% of these expenses as a tax deduction in their first year. So far, so good!
Let’s have a look at the financial statements for 2019/20.
The first thing that stands out is that XYZ ends up with a taxable loss of $192,082 carried forward for the year. But, since they’ve used tax depreciation rules only, XYZ ends up with no capitalised assets on the balance sheet. As they have liabilities in the form of creditors, GST payable, bank loans and loans from the owner, they end up with negative equity on the balance sheet.
This will have a significant impact on XYZ should they try to go to the bank to borrow, to open a second gym or to acquire more equipment for the existing gym.
What’s the alternative? The typical useful life for gym equipment is 10 years. So, from an accounting perspective, XYZ could depreciate these assets using the prime cost (straight line) method over 10 years.
Under this scenario, XYZ would depreciate 10% of the value of the equipment in 2019-20, leaving $225,000 worth of capitalised assets on the balance sheet and $25,000 in depreciation expenses on the P&L.
The result? XYZ ends the year with positive equity and a small profit for the year. This is both a more accurate reflection of the true value of the business, and puts XYZ on more solid footing with current and future creditors.
XYZ still has a taxable loss of $192,082 carried forward for the year, but has a much more positive case to present to a bank or a leasing company should they need to borrow for more equipment or to expand the business. Win-win.
Hopefully, it’s pretty clear from this example that your approach to depreciation for tax and accounting can have significant impacts on your clients’ businesses.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy way to manage tax and accounting depreciation side by side?
AssetAccountant™ makes it easy to define the tax and accounting treatment of all of your fixed assets and provides a complete range of capital allowance depreciation methods for tax purposes. These range from simple prime cost and diminishing value methods, through to Division 43, Luxury Motor Vehicle caps, Blackhole Expenditure and the new Backing Business Investment accelerated depreciation rules.
AssetAccountant™ automates treatment of Small Business pools, Low Value pools and Software pools, and will even recommend which assets are eligible for transfer to these pools.
All depreciation calculations are generated for you, and journals can be posted automatically to QuickBooks Online.
Our powerful import system makes the transition from Excel or other platforms easy – you can be up and running in literally less than a minute.
AssetAccountant™ can save you significant time in managing fixed assets, while giving you the confidence that you’re optimising depreciation for both tax and accounts.
The video above will give you a fast introduction to the powerful AssetAccountant™ fixed asset register software.
You’re an accountant who LOVES managing Fixed Asset Registers…
Setting up and managing fixed assets registers is a chore not many accountants confess they enjoy.
Typically, Excel spreadsheets are used.
Which is fine if the asset register is quite simple with clearly defined asset groups and relatively simple tax depreciation methods being used with not a lot of acquisitions and/or disposals.
But add a few other complexities like:
Just to name a few.
It can make an already arduous job more painful.
There are also a few antiquated Windows only desktop software pieces still in use to manage a business’s depreciation calculations.
Opening these up is like entering a time warp – as far back to when Sydney hosted the Olympic games…
AssetAccountant™ is the Southern Hemisphere’s first fully featured, truly cloud-based depreciation engine made for accountants that manages even the most complex FARs.
Shareable, scalable and always updated.
A register can be uploaded to the platform in under 1 minute.
We’re going to show you how to add one or more asset groups into the AssetAccountant™ software.
Now you may want to add just a single asset group with your own particular depreciation details to it, or I’m going to show you also, we have seven or eight pretty standard templates that you can use, and very simply copy across to your asset register.
When using, or setting up AssetAccountant™ for the first time, or even if you’re partway through using AssetAccountant™ and for whatever reason, you decide that you need to add one or more asset groups, the process is quite simple and I’ll show you now.
This is the home screen, the dashboard, and on the tab menu up here, you can see asset groups. If I click there, you’ll see, I currently have three asset groups set up. I’ve got motor vehicles, office equipment at cost and gym equipment at cost. You might notice gym equipment is not a standard asset group. AssetAccountant™ allows you to create or import as many different asset groups as you want to.
I’m going to set up a new asset group. It is as simple as visiting the top tab, asset groups and add. Now you’ve got two options here. I’ll show you the first one, which is new asset group. I’ll come to this one later – adding asset groups from a template. If I add a new asset group here, you can call your new asset group whatever you like and give it a description.
Now you can choose a reporting category. You can choose whether there’s capital gains tax to be applied with the checkbox. The capital allowance – we’ll select “other tangible assets”. You’ve got the three options here and motor vehicles, other tangible assets, or other intangible assets. And here you get to choose.
You can set group depreciation settings for both tax and accounts. Some accountants prefer to leave this blank, which forces anyone setting this up to think about it each time. Assets entered at a later date need to have manually entered the effective life for that particular asset in this group. Or you may choose to enter a standard group setting of diminishing value – five years in this example using Diminishing Value 200% method.
Whenever a new asset is added to this group, these are the standard depreciation settings that are applied to it. Again, you have full control over that. Now just save this and exit. In my asset groups, you will now see it is created with no assets in it. We’ve got my new asset group.
This is how to add asset groups from a template. You can see we have 8 templates that you can choose from.
In this example, we want to add 3 new asset groups quickly and easily. Computer equipment, Furniture and fittings and Machinery. You can see we’ve got some standard tax and accounts depreciation figures for you. For example, computer equipment, diminishing value is 4 years at 25%. Furniture and fittings is 10 years at 10% using Diminishing Value method. You can change these default numbers if you want/need to. You’ve got full control over how this is done. Now simply click save and exit.
Now you will see that we’ve got the three new asset groups. If you don’t like our default naming, simply click in each field and change whatever you like. You have full control over this.