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Thomson Reuters — Practice CS
From the 2012 review of Practice Management systems.
Best Fit: Firms of all sizes looking for a comprehensive solution offering project management and workflow capabilities or users already in the CS Professional Suite product ecosystem from Thomson Reuters.
- Comprehensive project management capabilities
- Available as a cloud solution
- Strong reporting capabilities, including filtering and fully customized reports
- Multiple dashboard capabilities
- Requires purchase of numerous modules or other CS Professional Suite products to achieve full functionality
- Support requires separate maintenance contract
Practice CS is the practice management offering within the CS Professional Suite lineup from Thomson Reuters and includes extensive tools needed to manage an accounting practice. Practice CS is offered as a core product with three separate add-on modules. Each module includes functions to enhance data entry and reporting as well as incorporating quality customer relationship management. New for 2012 are enhancements to the Mobile CS solution allowing direct time and expense entry from Apple iOS and Google Android devices and a new file transfer capability through NetClient CS.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS - 5 Stars
Practice CS is generally intuitive to navigate and understand and consists of three main areas – firm, client and staff. Menu options change based on the area currently being viewed and icons at the top of the screen direct users to the various dashboards included within the system. Coupled with the available modules, each respective area is greatly enhanced for data entry and reporting.
Each dashboard may be customized by the currently logged-in user or through a default company template. A wide variety of tabs and screen layout options are available. Each user is also limited based on user rights currently assigned to them. This user right limitation is especially true for the home dashboard, which is highly customizable and can include email, tasks and calendar appointments synched from Microsoft Outlook as well as specific web pages, like web-based research materials, and access to various help and support resources.
TIME MANAGEMENT CAPABILITIES - 4.75 Stars
At the core of Practice CS is time and expense entry. The time and expense entry screen is designed for quick and easy data entry. Users simply enter time to the appropriate client, project and task and may also enter comments or other descriptions that may be included on the invoice when billed. Timers are included with the system and multiple timers may be running at once. Remote time entry is available for users outside the office by simply entering in time and transmitting it back to the office via Internet connection. Time and expense items may also be entered through a smartphone using Mobile CS. Currently available for Apple iOS and Google Android devices, Mobile CS also keeps all client contact information synched and also allows access to real-time data within Practice CS.
Practice CS allows default templates to be setup for each type of engagement or project. These templates may be as detailed or summarized based on accounting firm requirements and assigned to clients individually or in batches. Templates also allow direct links to fellow CS Professional Suite products and allow third-party links as well. For CS Professional Suite products that are linked, when a staff member selects a task or project the appropriate CS Professional Suite product is launched and the correct client is automatically opened.
INVOICING FUNCTIONS - 4.75 Stars
Invoicing through Practice CS may be accomplished through a variety of ways. Those in charge of billing may simply select a client and all associated time and enter an invoice amount, and all time attached to an invoice is automatically written up or down as necessary. Each invoice may also include custom narratives as desired. Practice CS contains a few invoice templates, but custom invoices may be created and even contain a firm logo. Other invoice options available include zero billing and recurring billing based on time period. Payment processing is entered manually, but may be integrated with NetClient CS, which can process payments electronically.