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CCH Tax and Accounting – CCH Tax Research NetWork

Tax Research NetWork (TRN) provides a web-based research system that includes subscription modules for CCH’s federal, state, international and accounting material. CCH includes more than 100 primary research sources, in addition to analyses and explanations provided by legal and accounting experts, and current news related to specific tax and accounting subjects. Pricing for TRN is based on the research libraries and content to which you subscribe, with single-user subscriptions starting at $199.

EASE OF USE – 5 Stars
TRN is accessed through and opens
within Microsoft’s Internet
Explorer browser, which most users
will be immediately familiar with.
The system provides a screen that
includes multiple tabs for accessing
subscription libraries, tools, training
and other options. By default, the
screen opens to the My CCH tab,
which users can customize to provide
news, research and other information
tailored to that user’s preferences.
The screen divides these into sections
for Favorite Research Publications,
Research Tools and other categories
that offer traditional text-based
links, and also provides additional
subscription sign-up links.
TRN also provides a news section
called Today’s Tax Highlights
that provides direct links to recently
enacted tax legislation and news,
and a Tax Briefing section that
offers more in-depth special reports
on key tax issues.

Within specific research volumes,
such as the Federal Tax research
library, TRN divides its offerings
into sections that can be selected
for searching or browsing. For Federal
Tax, these sections include Primary
Source documents, Features and Journals,
Tax Legislation, CCH Explanations
and Analysis, Business Valuation,
Practice Aids, Tax Archives and
Topical Indexes. Within each of
these categories are specific offerings,
allowing users to quickly drill
down to specific publications, journals,
rulings or legislation for searching.
The system also includes a query
field and options at the top of
all screens to provide quick general
searches, and includes links to
view research history and set user
preferences. Documents retrieved
during searches can be printed,
copied and pasted into word processing
documents, or saved or bookmarked
for future reference. Additionally,
documents can be exported to files
or stored in the Keep List, which
allows users to save prior research
into folders that can be subsequently
searched or retrieved. Prior searches
are easily accessed through TRN’s
Research History list, which enables
recurring searches to be easily

CCH@Hand, a newly added set of research
tools that can be added to TRN,
further aids in use. CCH@Hand allows
increased integration between the
research application and Microsoft
Office products by providing a research
task pane that opens onscreen while
in a Word document, allowing quicker
access to research tasks and simplified
cutting and pasting of materials
into documents. The system can also
set embedded links to research materials
referenced within a document, allowing
the user to jump directly to that
source document. Overall, the system
is easy to navigate, whether performing
simple or more complex research
tasks. Customer support is included
with subscriptions.

CONTENT – 5 Stars

CCH is one of the largest providers
of tax research and primary source
documents, and, as such, TRN provide
a great wealth of materials to which
you can subscribe. This includes
extensive federal, state, international,
sales tax, financial and estate
planning, special entities, pension
and payroll and accounting and audit
libraries, as well as legislation
and court rulings, current news,
and expert explanation and analysis.
Through CCH’s free Tax Tracker
News, users are provided with CCH’s
Federal Tax Day and State Tax Day
newsletters that provide daily assessments
of tax and accounting related topics
that can also be sorted and searched.
Tax Tracker News can be sent via
e-mail to users if desired.

Additionally, TRN includes the Aspen-Miller
series of accounting and audit guides,
including the GAAP, Governmental
GAAP, GAAS, Engagement, Governmental
& Not-for-Profit, and International
Accounting libraries. TRN can also
provide access to CCH’s perform
plus II, which has more than 13,000
tax forms and instructions as well
as IRS publications, state tax department
directories, quick guides and practice

TRN can export selections or whole
documents to Word format, and through
CCH@Hand offers direct integration
with that word processing program
and other Office applications. Through
CCH’s Client Relate, users
of ProSystem fx can have
the system automatically link tax
law changes or other developments
to specific clients based on their
particular profile, which can help
professionals react more quickly
to potential tax issues. As a web-based
system, TRN can be accessed from
virtually any computer and also
supports PDA access through CCH
Mobile, which is compatible with
Palm and CE-based handhelds.


CCH has included a variety of customization
features in TRN, including the ability
of individual users to customize
their My CCH desktop to provide
quick access to topics and libraries
of greatest relevance to their practice,
and the ability to save and re-perform
previous searches through the Favorite
Searches function. The Tax Tracker,
which can be accessed via e-mail,
can also be customized to provide
content most relevant to a professional’s
practice area, which can essentially
act as an automatic search tool
that monitors specific areas for
changes of interest.

UPDATES – 5 Stars
Because TRN is an online research
system, no updates are necessary
by end users because the system
is maintained by CCH. TRN’s
content is continuously updated,
providing daily alerts and library
updates of primary and analysis


Users of Tax Research NetWork who
carefully determine which research
libraries they need will gain a
great value from the program. It
offers a great depth of comprehensive
primary content and reliable analysis
within a web-based system that is
accessible from anywhere, always
available, always up-to-date, and
has a well-designed interface that
aids in search tasks and navigation.
The program’s ability to integrate
with Microsoft Office and ProSystem
fx products as well as
other productivity features also
adds considerable functionality
to the program.

2005 OVERALL RATING: 5 Stars

The products were reviewed based
on the following criteria:

  • Ease of Use. This section explores navigation features, including accessibility of primary search tools and functions. As
    well, the ability to save common
    searches or specific results,
    or copy and paste contents of
    documents, adds to ease of use.
    Higher scores in this area reflect
    a comfortable, easy-to-use interface
    that provides intuitive access
    to key functions.
  • Content. This section points out the research libraries available, including federal and state sources. It also identifies what type of content is available: primary sources such as code and rulings, as well as expert analysis and insight. A higher score here is earned by products with a comprehensive array of federal resources, including the availability of state research products. Research analysis is also considered, although not all professionals will seek such guidance.
  • Integration. This section observes the ability of the software to work with tax preparation or write-up programs to automatically find areas of potential relevancy within the research, as well as
    the ability to attach or link
    saved research results to appropriate
    client files. Programs receiving
    better marks in this category
    make working between tax preparation,
    write-up and the research program
    more efficient.
  • Customization. This section covers the ability of the programs to organize specific areas or subscribe to only specific areas, which allows practitioners to narrow down research content to only those areas relevant to their practice. A mountain of research is available; products scoring well in this section provide good sorting and personalization methods that enable users to tailor the program to meet their needs.
  • Updates. With constantly changing tax law, the currency of information can be crucial. This section looks at how often research libraries are updated and by what method: CD, online automatic. Few practitioners enjoy performing software updates. As such, this section identifies
    the frequency and ease with which
    product updates are performed,
    with automatic, schedulable and
    online update capabilities receiving
    better marks.
  • Relative Value. This section offers the reviewer’s subjective opinion of the “bang for the buck.”