Customer Success Story: BNA Fixed Assets Software Provides Sinclair Broadcast Group With Greater Accuracy and Control of Fixed Asset Data
BNA Fixed Assets™ Web
BNA Fixed Assets Web helped Sinclair to:
- Condense the time to close while reducing headquarters’ workload by more than 75%.
- Improve income statement and balance sheet accuracy and eliminate after-the-fact adjustments.
- Enable real-time access to fixed assets data and a more accurate picture of deferred tax liability.
- Provide precise access control and enforces corporate depreciation policies.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country today. Sinclair owns and operates, programs, or provides sales services to 74 television stations in 45 markets, reaching 26% of U.S. households. Managing more than 69,000 fixed assets throughout the company was a major challenge for Stefan Feinberg, Manager of Finance at Sinclair, and his staff.
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Three Months of Effort to Consolidate and Correct Data
The decentralized software Sinclair was using for fixed asset management and reporting presented a host of difficulties. Each of the stations had a copy of Vertex® Fixed Assets Manager software that was used to create and maintain fixed assets data locally. To consolidate the stations' fixed assets information for the corporate tax return, the data was e-mailed to headquarters, then painstakingly reviewed and consolidated. It took two people, three months of dedicated work to get this done, said Feinberg.
In addition to the inordinate amount of effort required to consolidate the data, the accuracy and timeliness of the data was equally challenging. Having a large number of fixed asset databases proved to be too daunting of a task to manage. We had two fixed asset systems; one for GAAP books and one for tax books. We were doing twice the work! said Feinberg.
The Decision to Centralize
As Sinclair began preparation to move to Oracle® ERP and general ledger systems, the opportunity presented itself to search for a better solution to fixed asset and depreciation management. After evaluating several alternatives, Sinclair selected BNA Fixed Assets Web for its centralized solution hosted over the web, accurate support of tax laws, immediate availability of tax changes in the application, Open Timeline™ capability, and ease of use.
BNA Fixed Assets Web Improves Accuracy and Control
By using BNA Fixed Assets Web, Sinclair can centrally set and control depreciation policies, giving the company better control over asset data for both tax and accounting purposes. "With the decentralized system we had before, a business manager at a station could decide on a certain tax life for an asset without knowing how corporate would handle it. Now asset data goes in correctly at the beginning, with no duplicated efforts and no adjustments after the fact," said Feinberg. The additional control enabled by the fixed asset management software also helps Sinclair meet Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 regulations ensuring data integrity of reported financial data for public companies. Feinberg believes that one of the major advantages of BNA Fixed Assets Web over other systems is the ability to make changes to asset data at any point in the lifetime of the asset — while preserving the entire history of that asset. "The BNA Fixed Assets Web Open Timeline capability is tremendous. We can make changes in the past and know those changes are accurately applied and tracked."
Shortened Closing Time Reduces Uncertainty
With BNA Fixed Assets Web, Sinclair now has faster reconciliation of book and tax depreciation, enabling the company to close its tax books sooner and calculate the income tax provision more accurately. Previously there was some uncertainty about the impact of depreciation on deferred tax liability until the financial statements were reconciled. "Now that we have a real-time, accurate picture of our depreciation, we no longer have to estimate this component in calculating our tax provision," said Paul Nesterovsky, Tax Director at Sinclair.
Reduced Efforts by More Than 75%
Now, with BNA Fixed Assets Web, Sinclair has a centralized fixed asset solution that automatically consolidates fixed asset data, yet provides the stations with decentralized fixed assets reporting. All stations have direct access to BNA Fixed Assets Web, while headquarters is able to maintain complete control and enable secure access to each database. Using BNA Fixed Assets Web also frees Sinclair from installation, upgrades, back-up, and support requirements across its stations and headquarters, while enabling compliance with Sinclair's disaster recovery requirements. After a smooth migration to BNA Fixed Assets Web, Sinclair achieved the benefits it desired:
- Significant reduction in time and labor to close GAAP books and to prepare tax returns
- Faster, more accurate and real-time reporting
- More accurate, timely picture of deferred tax liability
- Little to no after-the-fact adjustments
- Controlled access for data integrity and compliance
Real-Time Access Provides Needed Visibility
With real-time access across all stations, Sinclair has a clearer picture of its fixed assets. "I can go to any location and get real-time information about fixed assets. I couldn't do this before without having a station send me a file. By the time I'd get the data and create reports, the fixed assets information was out of date," explained Feinberg. With BNA Fixed Assets Web, Sinclair now has a centralized and consolidated solution that provides a significantly improved level of control and accuracy of fixed assets data.
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About BNA Fixed Assets Software
BNA Fixed Assets provides you with the ability to document your depreciation and amortization policies through Asset Type templates and allows you to automate the enforcement and implementation of these policies when performing data entry for fixed assets. This eliminates potential errors from misclassifying assets, automates the process of entering assets, enforces the use of a company’s depreciation and amortization policies, greatly reduces the volume of data required to enter each asset in the system, and, above all, guarantees compliance with GAAP rules and IRS regulations.
BNA Fixed Assets provides an annual automatic update of its fixed asset software as well as periodic updates as tax law changes. What’s more, BNA Fixed Assets software speeds the data entry process by allowing you to copy and paste data for multiple assets from an Excel spreadsheet into BNA Fixed Assets, for greater efficiency and accuracy. With BNA Fixed Assets, you’ll benefit from having the best fixed asset solution available on the market today to maximize productivity, comply with GAAP rules and IRS regulations, and meet all of your financial and tax reporting requirements.
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