Technology is a critical component of any accounting practice, but one of the most challenging factors faced by firms is finding solutions that can integrate and share data. CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, sees a solution in their new Open Integration Platform, which they announced at the Maryland Association of CPA's Innovation Summit in Baltimore.
“The best application for one firm may not be the best for another, so the key in the Open Integration Platform is to allow integration of applications from different sources, sharing data and streamlining workflows easily between systems,” said Mike Sabbatis, CCH President and CEO. “Creates more value for cpa firms- no longer have to think in terms that the programs all need to be from the same company- really opens it up to crm and other functions.”
Watch video of Mike Sabbatis discussing how the new platform will help accountants.
The new platform is the first to enable direct, secure integration between CCH common data, rich feature sets and services, and third-party solutions. Sabbatis said that it has been a key part of the development plan for the next generation of CCH cloud-based solutions, built to support a firm’s entire “ecosystem” and facilitate the open and collaborative way in which people want to work today.
CCH’s capability to offer the new Open Integration Platform is based on its next generation SaaS offerings, which CCH built from the ground up leveraging the latest technology. Utilizing service oriented architecture (SOA), CCH’s SaaS solutions and the Open Integration Platform deliver truly differentiated cloud capabilities, anywhere and anytime.
Virtually any application from third party providers, or those developed by firms for in-house use, can be linked, allowing easier interaction and use from within the CCH Next Generation suite, which includes SaaS versions of Tax, Document, Workstream, Practice and Portal. This can significantly reduce redundant databases, of which many firms can have as many as a dozen or more. This can then help reduce inconsistencies in the data, and also decrease the effort required to maintain them.
“Whether sole practitioners or large firms, the new platform makes access to data easier, and also makes it simpler for developers to build products on top of the platform” Sabbatis added.
The initiative has been led by CCH’s Chief Technology Officer and Technology Shared Services Vice President Brian Diffin, and Business Intelligence & Strategy Vice President Christian Wolfe.
“Open integration replaces the old, territorial technology model with a collaborative marketplace of applications and innovation,” Diffin said. “Partnering with third-party developers in this way increases the overall population of ideas as well as the velocity of solution development. This provides CCH customers with more choices and a higher return on their technology investment.”
Diffin added, “When we say open, we mean open – that means integration with applications from complimentary providers or even customized solutions created within a firm.”
The potential for integration includes vendors who offer CRM systems, specialty accounting products, performance management, resource scheduling, timekeeping apps, business intelligence and custom reporting solutions, according to Wolfe. The company is currently working with Templeton Solutions, New River Innovation, AccountantsWorld and XCM Solutions.
The XCM integration features enable integration with CCH’s SaaS and on-premise versions of Document, with users now able to create links from tasks directly to files stored in Document. This lets them quickly access those files at any time, without having to move to a different application.