CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business — ProSystem fx Scan

 

CCH a Wolters Kluwer business - ProSystem fx Scan
800-739-9998
CCHGroup.com

From the July 2011 Review of Tax Document Automation Systems

Best Fit:

  • Firms who want to control all aspects of the tax document automation process
  • Organizations who use other ProSystem fx applications in their individual tax preparation process

ProSystem fx Scan is the tax document automation tool for the popular CCH ProSystem fx suite of applications. Scan is different from most of the competing products because it is one of only two products reviewed here, which is installed locally on a firm’s servers. Scan does not require information to be sent to a secure data center for batch-based processing. However, the firm may need to invest in additional hardware to support processing large volumes of documents. The ability to significantly decrease processing times and avoid sending confidential client information to a service bureau is very appealing to many practitioners.

Core Product Functions/Features:

ProSystem fx Scan is broken down into two components:

Strengths

  • One of two products in this review where none of the data is processed outside the firm’s data center
  • CCH’s proprietary PDFlyer add-in for Adobe Acrobat supports bookmarking & repagination of scanned forms

Potential Limitations

  • While Scan can be used to organize documents for use with any tax software, the Autoflow wizard only supports importing of extracted forms data into ProSystem fx Tax
  • Importing data using the Autoflow wizard requires the use of pre-purchased authorizations, which have a current list price of $12 per tax return
  • Investment in hardware and software to initially deploy this application may not make sense for firms who process fewer than 150 returns
..
  • Scan, which is a tool for organizing and bookmarking source documents for tax returns. The Scan engine is licensed for unlimited use based on the number of simultaneous users who will work with the application.
  • Autoflow, which is the add-on product that extracts data from the images analyzed with Scan. This data is validated in a process similar to a “spell checking” process and, once validated, can be automatically imported directly into ProSystem fx Tax.

Scan is bundled with the PDFlyer calculator and workpaper annotation tool, which extends Adobe Acrobat to add features such as repagination, hyperlinked workpaper references, and tick marks, simplifying the paperless editing and annotation of documents. PDFlyer also supports adding digital calculator tapes to documents for better documentation of account analysis, and supports using up to five monitors simultaneously. This tool can also be used to reorganize documents in accordance with a custom organization scheme.

Paperless Workflow:

Scan is designed to help hourly staff effectively organize client-provided documents so paraprofessionals and professional staff can have a file that is organized and as close to complete as possible, thus avoiding the inefficiencies associated with starting and stopping work on a file. If data is not extracted from documents and populated directly into the tax application, the source documents are organized and bookmarked in the order they appear in ProSystem fx Tax.

Scan offers a number of features that streamline the processing of documents into other applications in the ProSystem fx Suite of applications, including the following:

  • Support for using barcodes to automatically file documents in batch in ProSystem fx Document.
  • Right-click menu options allow workpapers to be moved to ProSystem fx Document.
  • Numbers extracted from recognized tax source documents are highlighted and color-coded on the page to simplify the validation process.

The application will also create an Excel spreadsheet listing securities trades reported for easy reconciliation to source documents and import into most tax applications.

Integration:

CCH refers to its solution for using OCR technology to extract and import data from scanned tax forms as “Autoflow” technology. While the scan and organize features are priced based on the number of simultaneous program users, the data extraction and import tools are licensed on a per-return basis. The list price for using Autoflow on a return is $12.

ProSystem fx Scan does not currently offer a solution for direct download of stock trades from financial institutions. However, it does offer basis tracking through its Gainskeeper Pro application (sold separately).

Help/Support/Training:

CCH offers end users training in the use of the Scan application, and its consulting group assists firms with implementation and process optimization. The annual maintenance fee includes software updates, as well as a web-based training session.

Executive Summary & Pricing

ProSystem fx Scan is the tax document automation tool for the popular CCH ProSystem fx suite of applications. Scan is different from most of the competing products because it is one of only two products reviewed here, which is installed locally on a firm’s servers. Scan does not require information to be sent to a secure data center for batch-based processing. However, the firm may need to invest in additional hardware to support processing large volumes of documents. The ProSystem fx Scan application starts at $4,185, and the Autoflow (OCR/import) feature has a list price of $12 per return processed.

2011 Overall Rating

 

 

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