Thomson Reuters - Trial Balance CS
From the Feb. 2012 Review of Engagement & Trial Balance Systems.
Trial Balance CS is the working trial balance component within the Thomson Reuters CS Professional Suite. Trial Balance CS may be purchased and used as a standalone product or directly integrated with other CS Professional Suite products. The system is adaptable to a wide variety of business types and allows users the ability to generate full custom financial statements.
A key feature of Trial Balance CS is the ability to customize 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. Individual client files may have several different trial balance views as determined by the user and switching between these views is easily accomplished. This allows users to display financial and tax trial balances as isolated sets of numbers, for instance. Each custom view may also be shared with other client files.
Trial Balance CS has a strong set of reporting options included. User-generated custom report functions are not available, however all natively included reports may be modified as needed. Multiple reports may be grouped together and saved under a report profile for recalling at a later time. Any saved report profile group and all of its customization options may be shared with other client files as well.
Financial statements are a strong component within Trial Balance CS. A handful of preformatted financials are included, but users will most likely need to modify these reports to fit client needs. While the trial balance aspect is fairly intuitive, the financial module does take some getting accustomed to. Although it has a spreadsheet feel about it, the underlying formatting and formula options may cause frustrations for some users. Support for cash, book and tax basis, among others, is included and users may easily switch the basis by changing the respective field codes as appropriate. Once financial statements are created, however, very little modification is necessary and the statements may be easily shared with other similar client types.
Journal entries may be made through a variety of ways. One method unique to Trial Balance CS is the ability to use a split screen while in the trial balance view. This method allows users to see the effects of a journal entry in real time as each account is adjusted. This helps prevent multiple edits on journal entries to arrive at the desired result as well as alternating between numerous screens. Journal entries may also be made directly to tax codes instead of specific accounts, preventing the need to set up a contra account for certain tax adjustments. Any tax adjustments are properly isolated and included in the import files for the supported tax software solutions.
As part of the CS Professional Suite, Trial Balance CS is designed to integrate with other product offerings in this lineup. Each of the products in the CS Professional Suite share a common database and this allows data and balances entered in one product to flow seamlessly to other programs. This may aid in drastically reducing any unnecessary data entry. Trial Balance CS also has several import integrations built in and supports the most recent versions of QuickBooks and allows copy and paste import from nearly any spreadsheet program currently available.
Once users are ready to start tax return preparation, Trial Balance CS data can be easily exported to many major tax preparation packages. In addition to fellow CS Professional Suite products, UltraTax CS and GoSystem Tax RS, Trial Balance CS integrates with Lacerte Tax, ProSystem fx Tax and ProSeries Tax. Direct tax data import is natively provided for the UltraTax CS and GoSystem Tax RS products, while the non CS products are only supported through export files which must be manually imported into the respective tax software solutions. Trial Balance CS also has specific reconciliation screens and reports to help record and reconcile any differences between adjusted book net income and tax net income.
Trial Balance CS offers a very intuitive user experience and most users should be able to use the product with little training required. With the simple interface and strong customization options, it may easily be adapted to any client or financial statement reporting requirement. Pricing starts at $900 for a non-network license.