CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business — ProSystem fx Write-Up

From the Nov. 2008 Review of Client Write-Up Systems

As a part of CCH’s comprehensive line of professional accounting and practice management applications, ProSystem fx Write-Up offers a fully integrated option for accountants providing this service to their business clients. The system supports any number of clients and departments and provides powerful drilldown financial statement generation tools, after-the-fact payroll, bank reconciliation functions, full checkwriting capabilities, advanced user customization features and streamlined workflow processes. Write-Up can import or convert transactional data from most accounting packages and can output reports to common paperless file formats. Pricing for the program starts at $1,850.

Based on the .NET platform, ProSystem fx Write-Up is extremely customizable and flexible, with very impressive user-controllable interface options and menus that can be personalized using simple drag-and-drop placement of the items. During program and client company setup tasks, the program includes an import wizard that can manage the process of pulling in or converting data from other programs, provides templates for charts of accounts, and also offers the ability to copy existing chart setups to other clients.

After selecting a company from the searchable/sortable client selection screen, ProSystem fx Write-Up opens to an interface that displays a customizable Shortcuts menu that is movable or minimizable as desired. The Shortcuts menu can house links to functions like transactions, reconciliation, accounts, live and after-the-fact payroll, checkwriting, or recording deposits. The screen also offers a few icons for key features and traditional pull-down menus, while most of the remaining area is used for work processes depending upon the task. When viewing transactions, information is presented in spreadsheet format with full drilldown access and the added ability to further customize the information presented to meet firm or user workflow preferences.

Data-entry screens appear as popup windows that provide an exceptionally intuitive structure, with tabbed access to information entry and intelligent features such as selection lists for banks, accounts, clients and virtually all other fields for which the system houses data. The program includes strong filtering functions that simplify finding specific transactional data quickly. The system’s reconciliation functions offer an outstanding overview screen that gives quick access to deposits, receipts, outstanding checks, prior reconciliations and other items.

The working trial balance capabilities in ProSystem fx Write-Up highlight and track adjusting entries and automatically process the updates on-screen. After-the-fact payroll is built into the program, while integration with PayCycle’s web-based professional system is also available for live payroll processing. Write-Up also includes signature-ready payroll and wage reporting forms, including payroll and tax liability reports. Because of the very comprehensive nature of the system, it will require some training and direct experience by users before gaining full competency with all of its capabilities.

As with the system’s flexible interface, ProSystem fx Write-Up provides amazing customization options for reporting and financial statement preparation. Full sets of financials can be generated, along with comparative financials, consolidated reports and other options. Reporting processes are guided by a reporting wizard that allows users to design client-specific reports and compilation letters, or save or search previously customized reports and letters. Reports can be saved to Excel or PDF formats.

In addition to file saving options, ProSystem fx Write-Up can export data directly into other ProSystem fx programs, including Engagement and Trial Balance. It also offers dynamic links that enable the system to share data with ProSystem fx Tax, with information automatically routed to appropriate client returns. As previously noted, the system includes an import wizard that guides users through acquisition of client transactional data (including account, customer, employee and vendor data) from other sources, including QuickBooks, Peachtree, Quicken, Write-Up CS, the Windows Clipboard or from ASCII-formatted files.

Along with its previously praised customization option, ProSystem fx Write-Up also gives users great assistive features, including right-click menus, content-specific Help and program tutorials. CCH’s support website provides program updates, news items and a good collection of FAQs. Technical support is included in pricing.

ProSystem fx Write-Up represents the most technologically advanced write-up system on the market, providing outstanding flexibility and user control over virtually all aspects of the interface and displays, while also getting serious about real workflow issues by providing extensive drilldown accessibility options that are always at hand. The program can import from most accounting systems and offers export capabilities, but it really excels when used in conjunction with CCH’s engagement, trial balance and tax programs.

2008 Overall Rating: overall rating