2013 Review of CCH ProSystem fx Portal

CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business — CCH ProSystem fx Portal
800-PFX-9998
CCHGroup.com

From the April 2013 review of client portal systems.

Best Fit: Accounting professionals who need the ability to create, update, and manage up to 2,500 or more client portals in a powerful client interface. The Enterprise version supports unlimited portals. Firms who use the CCH ProSystem fx suite of applications (but not necessarily those who use CCH Small Firm Services). Firms who want to publish invoices, tax returns, and documents to portals from within other applications.

Strengths

  • Easy to use interface with customizable firm branding which supports drag and drop into most web browsers.
  • Good integrations with ProSystem fx Tax, ProSystem fx Document, Global fx Tax, and ProSystem fx Engagement.
  • Customizable client-facing materials for explaining how to use the portal and automated password reset e-mails for clients.
  • Files can be archived and removed either by settings for an entire folder or using individual settings for each file.

Potential Limitations

  • ProSystem fx Portal offers good integration with most software in the CCH suite, including ProSystem fx Document SaaS and ProSystem fx Engagement, however, there is not any special integration with the CCH Small Firm Services applications (ATX, TaxWise, etc.) or the on-premises Foundation version of ProSystem fx Document.
  • The service does not encrypt data at rest on its servers, which may be required by some states.

Detailed Observations

ProSystem fx Portal is the integrated portal offering which is part of the CCH ProSystem fx Suite of applications. The service is operated from dedicated hosting within an externally reviewed (SOC 1 currently available, SOC 2 in process) Tier IV data center in the Midwest U.S. New client users are provided with an e-mail that includes a link to the portal as well as their system-generated login credentials.

Files can be uploaded individually or using a drag and drop interface into a Silverlight-enabled browser.

Users can be notified via e-mail or via alerts when a file is uploaded or downloaded, and the system tracks files which are near their expiration date and have not been accessed by a client. Notification e-mail templates are customizable, and can be modified to include firm-specific language and branding as well as system-tracked data like file expiration dates.

The product includes a keyword search function which allows users to search for a user’s portal by e-mail address as well as search for words within the files in the shared area.

The integration with some of the CCH applications is impressive, and includes the following:

  • ProSystem fx Practice (SaaS) users can print client invoices directly to client portals.
  • A batch client linking tool allows users of ProSystem fx Tax, Global fx Tax, and ProSystem fx Engagement to quickly link engagements in these products to client portals. Once linked, tax returns and working papers can be published directly to a portal.
  • Portal users who have ProSystem fx Document (SaaS and on-premise versions) can see if a portal has been created for a client without leaving the Client Manager.
  • Files stored in ProSystem fx Portal can be copied to and from ProSystem fx Engagement with a few mouse clicks.
  • Users who use ProSystem fx Document along with Portal can run a large number of reports on portal settings and activity.

Portal offers an intuitive interface, with clients listed in a pane alongside an explorer “tree” view of the folders for the selected portal. Recent additions, upcoming deletions, and tasks are also listed in a collaboration area on the right side of the screen. Users can also see announcements and use a search box which appears at the top of the home screen.

The product does not offer integration with some of the Foundation (legacy) applications, as well as the entire CCH Small Firm Services line of product, but there are some tools which can be used to work around limitations. Users should test and adjust configurations as needed prior to deployment to the entire firm.

Summary & Pricing

ProSystem fx Portal is a good fit for many firms, especially those running the ProSystem fx suite of applications. Plans start at $630 per year ($52.50/mo).

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