Thomson Reuters - Engagement CS
From the Feb. 2012 Review of Engagement Systems.
Small to medium sized accounting firms with a focus on audit engagements, especially those currently relying on PPC Practice Aids for guidance.
- Strong integration with PPC Practice Aids and other Thomson Reuters products
- Ability to manage engagement without network connectivity
- Available as a fully hosted solution
- Full integration experience requires separate licensing of CS Professional Suite products
Engagement CS helps complete the accounting offerings within the CS Professional Suite product lineup. Engagement CS provides tools to enhance tax, audit and other accounting related engagements within a paperless workflow system. With strong integration features with PPC Practice Aids and the popular Microsoft Office products, Engagement CS provides a strong solution for small to medium size accounting practices.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS (5 Stars)
The interface of Engagement CS is generally composed of a three pane layout. The engagement navigation structure is on the left side of the screen, all currently opened documents are on the right side of the screen and various notes and user information are housed on the bottom of the screen. The dividers between each of these panes may be adjusted to provide more space as necessary and to fit any size monitor or screen resolution. Above the three panes layout sits a traditional drop down menu navigation structure accompanied by a row of various shortcut icons.
Trial Balance CS, which has been reviewed separately, is included with the license cost and provides the trial balance functions for Engagement CS. Trial Balance CS is customizable in nearly all aspects of the software. From trial balance views to reports to financial statements, users have the ability to specifically tailor these to each client file. A recently added feature within Engagement CS allows multiple staff members to simultaneously view the trial balance while others are making adjustments. This keeps all the underlying data in “real time” at all phases of the engagement and removes the necessity to sync data between users.
Engagements may be setup from preformatted templates included with the Engagement CS installation or users may create their own templates based on various firm or client specific needs. Tight integration exists with Microsoft Word and Excel products and both products receive a custom add-in toolbar to quickly exchange data with Engagement CS. Once users create templates, they may be shared with other engagements as well as saved for future engagements.
ENGAGEMENT MANAGEMENT (5 Stars)
Engagement CS provides advanced user management features to control access and capabilities of each user login. Upon opening Engagement CS, users are required to login and based on their login credentials the program will automatically limit each user as necessary. Users may also be controlled on a per-engagement basis as well, which overrides the global user permission rights. This allows users to be granted limited or full access to individual files within a particular engagement, for instance.
As mentioned above, the interface generally rests within a three pane design, with engagement navigation on the right portion of the screen. Engagement navigation is done through a folder tree structure similar to Windows Explorer and is equally as customizable. This design should provide users a high comfort level in navigating through engagements. Files may be imported into the folder tree structure through menu options that allow users to import the files or through simple drag-and-drop. Engagement CS also has a scanning module included and allows documents to be directly scanned into the engagement. Regardless of method, upon import users are allowed to assign document name, workpaper reference and folder location as well as any user specific access restrictions.