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CCH Small Firm Services —TaxWise Client Write-Up & ATX Client Write-Up

TaxWise: 800-755-9473 - www.taxwise.comATX: 877-728-9776 -

From the Nov. 2008 Review of
Client Write-Up Systems

Both ATX and TaxWise, now operated by CCH through its Small Firm Services (SFS)
division, are well-known for their comprehensive tax suites geared toward small
to mid-sized tax-focused offices. In addition to accounting program options
that now include payroll, trial balance, fixed asset management and a Client
Checkbook tool, CCH SFS also offers a Client Write-Up system designed for ATX
and TaxWise users, providing GL, trial balance, reconciliation, after-the-fact
payroll, AP, AR and financial statement generation functions. The system costs
$420 as a stand-alone that integrates with the user’s tax suite, with
$336 renewals. An $89 training program is required for the initial licensing
of the program. A bundled package that includes Client Write-Up and a live payroll
system with all state tax tables is available for $825.

Although branding and name elements are dependent upon which system is being
used, the ATX and TaxWise Client Write-Up systems differ only in their integration
with the two tax compliance programs, providing a well-designed interface that
opens to the most recently used client files and offers primarily text link
access to primary features such as checkwriting and reconciliation functions,
posting journal entries, and generating financial statements. The main screen
also provides pull-down menus across the top for additional access to various
lists, after-the-fact payroll functions, data-entry activities, several summary
Quick Look tools, reports and utilities.

Within the journal entry task window, Client Write-Up provides a spreadsheet
view of the journal, with tabbed access to account setup functions, the check
register, batch posting, review of financials and the ability to set recurring
entries. Selection lists are available for choosing the source journal and period.
Icons for research and a calculator are also offered. Navigation and data entry
can be entirely keyboard based (heads down), with the system utilizing a centralized
entry point for payroll and check data input. Client Write-Up also offers a
Day Sheet Journal entry option for daily sales and cash deposits. Two entry
formats are available for entering check information — the check register
or single check format screen. Through the optional Client Checkbook add-on,
professionals can allow clients to enter their own transaction information;
add vendors, clients and employees; or perform other tasks, with the data directly
importable into the write-up system. Additional import functions are also offered
(see Integration/Import/Export section). CCH has recently added credit card
reconciliation functions to the programs, as well.

Transaction amounts can be set to automatically distribute to appropriate GL
accounts, with the system examining data in several ways, including journal
and check entries, financial statements and in Charts of Accounts. Users can
set up multi-year budgets. The built-in after-the-fact payroll functions automatically
record employee and vendor information for reporting purposes, and include the
ability to offer direct deposit. It also provides forms for federal, state and
municipal compliance, including W-2s and 1099s.

In addition to customizable full financial sets, Client Write-Up offers a broad
selection of additional reports, ranging from trial balance and GL, charts of
accounts, journal registers, cash activity, budget reports, payroll options,
and compliance output, with GAAP-compliant template-based formatting that can
be tailored to specific client or institution needs, including customized placement
of all elements. The program also offers Spanish language reporting for financial
statements and charts of accounts.

Practitioner Says:
“We have a two-person firm located just outside
of Denver, Colorado. Our main focus is tax preparation, followed by consulting
and write up. We chose the TaxWise Client Write-Up program because of its
price and compatibility with our tax software, and we have found the program
to be very flexible in meeting the needs of the different kinds of businesses
with which we work. As with any change, running a dual system would be advisable
to anyone looking to implement this product. Plus, I’d advise that
you read and understand the documentation. Originally, we found the documentation
was a little week on clarity and relevant examples, but it has improved.”

For data transfer to year-end returns, Client Write-Up integrates directly with
the firm’s TaxWise or ATX tax application, and the program offers import
of client GL data from QuickBooks, Peach-tree and CSV formats. Client Write-Up
also offers integration with the PayCycle online professional payroll system.

In addition to the expected index-based Help utility and topics, the program
provides a full electronic User Guide, Setup Checklist and a Year-End Guide
that provides tips for performing quarterly and year-end tasks, information
on regulatory and tax changes, as well as program changes. Training is required
with the initial purchase of the system ($89), but technical support is free.
The support websites for ATX and TaxWise offer additional materials, program
updates and support options, including a host of training and CPE-eligible training

For practices that have been traditionally focused on tax compliance, but perhaps
now are looking for a more consistent year-round client relationship, the Client
Write-Up systems available for ATX and TaxWise offer an intuitive and cost-effective
means of establishing write-up services. With good import functions and integration
with the firm’s ATX or TaxWise compliance system, Client Write-Up provides
broad reporting, customizable financials and capable after-the-fact payroll
that can be turned into a full, live payroll system.

2008 Overall Rating: