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Thomson Tax and Accounting — Trial Balance CS

the August 2007 Review of Engagement & Trial Balance Systems

Trial Balance CS is the trial balance product from Thomson Tax and Accounting.
It does a good job of handling all the basics, including import of client information,
financial statements preparation, tax return groupings, and the production of
many trial balance-related reports.

EASE OF USE — 4 Stars
Trial Balance CS sports an up-to-date interface that is consistent with the
other applications in Thomson Tax and Accounting’s CS suite of accounting
firm tools. One interesting feature in this trial balance application is its
“split-screen” interface that allows a user to see the trial balance
and record journal entries on the same screen. Features like this can have a
significant impact on engagement efficiency and accuracy. Trial Balance CS offers
an extensive set of standard reports that can be customized to meet the reporting
needs specific to the particular engagement. As well, report profiles can be
created to facilitate the batch printing of reports.

Trial Balance CS stores up to 10 years of account information. Data fields can
be completed with standard information using an Autofill feature. The trial
balance grid can be customized and filtered to focus the information to the
user’s needs. Trial Balance CS also allows on-screen tick marks and workpaper
references that help keep the information in electronic form by reducing the
need to print and annotate workpapers. Trial balance account grouping can be
done using a “grouping codes approach” that will combine account
information for financial statement and tax return purposes at the same time.
Consolidated entities can be handled either at the general ledger account level
or by using grouping schedules.

Financial Statements are created in Trial Balance CS using a flexible report
editor without the need to export information to Word or Excel. The report editor
includes a row-and-column format, font control, conditional control over data
presentation (“if … then” logic), graphs and logo insertion
features, and 39 built-in analytical ratios. Trial balance CS has 40 built-in
templates that can be used to build financial statements or the user can build
custom statements. Additionally, financial statement formats can be copied from
client to client to efficiently maintain the firm’s statement formatting

As previously noted, Trial Balance CS integrates with other tools in the Thomson
Tax & Accounting suite, including UltraTax CS, GoSystem Tax, Engagement
CS, Write-up CS, FileCabinet CS and Financial Analysis CS. It will also transfer
information to other tax applications using a text file export feature, as well
as to Microsoft Word and Excel.

Trial Balance CS is a good choice for firms that need more than basic trial
balance functionality but do not need the extensive capabilities found in a
full-blown workpaper tool. A perpetual license for Trial Balance CS costs $900
($600 for an annual renewable license).

2007 Overall Rating: 4 Stars