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CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business — ProSystem fx Document


From the June/July Review of Document
Management Systems

It has been about three years now since CCH acquired the ProSystem fx
Document software, and it’s clear that the system is continuing to evolve
as a core component of the ProSystem fx product strategy through its
direct integration with the suite’s Practice, Engagement and Tax products.
The two most significant enhancements this year are the addition of an ASP (application
service provider) option and advanced e-mail management functionality.

Usability — 5 Stars
The Document homepage can be customized to the needs of individual users. The
interface is designed using display panels that can be mixed and matched as
desired. Examples of some of the panels include searching, recently accessed
documents or clients, reports and more. Searching capabilities offer a variety
of alternative data items that you can mix and match. The document hit list
can be customized by arranging the displayed columns of data using drag-and-drop
functions. A right-click menu provides direct access to numerous functions that
can be performed on a document or file.

Scanning — 5 Stars
Two basic approaches to scanning are available with Document. One option is
to generate a routing slip with bar coding by establishing the indexing metadata
for the document. The routing slip is placed on top of the document to be scanned
and will be automatically filed upon scanning. The other option is to scan directly
into an import folder and then upload the document into the program. An additional
scanning tool is the ProSystem fx Scan module, which will perform document
“cleanup” and then organize the pages into a single, bookmarked
PDF using document recognition technology. This tool also provides an extended
set of accounting and tax tick marks for Adobe Acrobat. The ProSystem fx
Scan module can be used independenty of Document, as well.

Integration — 5 Stars
As you might expect, the most advanced integration features of Document are
within the ProSystem fx suite of applications: Tax, Engagement, Practice,
Fixed Assets, CCH@Hand, etc. These applications can be launched directly from
within Document. The new E-mail management functionality emphasizes the value
and importance of the role that MS Outlook plays in most accounting and tax
firms. A Document panel is displayed along the left side of the Outlook navigation
bar that displays a folder list of clients with subfolders by year that will
take you directly to stored documents. You can also drag and drop e-mail messages
and attachments from your Inbox to Document from the Outlook window. A particularly
nice aspect of this feature is that you can configure it to automatically delete
the message from Outlook once it is moved into Document. Early feedback from
users is confirming that this is helping firms to significantly reduce the amount
of storage individual users are requiring for their Outlook files.

Workflow Tools — 4 Stars
CCH recently partnered with XCM Solutions to utilize their workflow functionality,
expanding on the workflow tools that CCH has already built into its products
and modules. XCM was designed by a CPA firm to help transition the firm’s
workflows to a paperless model, so they know what’s important in this
application. The XCM system supports the setup of custom workflows and provides
extended capabilities to track the status of engagements. You can learn more
It appears, though, that CCH is embarking on a strategy to expand its workflow
functionality within Document. You can now set up projects or engagements within
Document or via integration with ProSystem fx Practice. Projects can
be set up individually or in bulk, and you can assign a batch of files to a
project to create a virtual binder. Projects can then be assigned personnel
and tasks, and the status of the project can be tracked.

Client Portal — 5 Stars
The portal features have been enhanced to provide the option to select individual
files or a group of files to publish to the portal. You can set the status as
read only or read and write, which means clients can have the ability to open
and edit a document or file that you post to the portal (i.e., tax organizer).
If a client “checks out” a document for editing and then checks
it back in, an e-mail notification will be generated so you will be aware of
this activity. Clients can upload files directly to the portal, and staff can
view the portal screen directly from the Document listing. The addition of the
ASP hosted option for Document increases the potential for smaller firms to
leverage the power of the portal by eliminating the need to configure an in-house
Internet server.

Technology — 5 Stars
ProSystem fx document is developed in the MS .NET framework and utilizes SQL
database architecture. The newest release (version 3.7) is compatible with MS
Server 2008. The ASP option provides a completely web-hosted solution.

Pricing/Overall Value — 4 Stars
Pricing for Document starts at $2,050 for the base server license and an additional
$530 per user. The annual maintenance and support fee is 45 percent. The portal
module is $1,100 for the in-house solution. The ASP option is $3,000 for the
base license, plus $500 per user and $2,000 for the portal fee. This is an annual
subscription fee model. CCH has been focusing heavily on gathering customer
feedback on the Document solution and has been consistently increasing the functionality
of the solution over the past three years.

2008 Overall Rating — 4.5 Stars