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2006 Technology Innovation Awards

The 2006 Tax and Accounting Technology Innovation Awards were announced in June, recognizing recent advances in technologies that benefit accounting and tax professionals.

From the Aug. 2006 Issue

The 2006 Tax and Accounting Technology Innovation Awards were announced in
June, recognizing recent advances in technologies that benefit accounting and
tax professionals. This year’s five award winners included long-standing
heavyweights in the accounting technology field such as CCH, Intuit and PayCycle;
relative newcomer Colligo Networks; and the formidable Microsoft, which recently
reintroduced itself to the accounting market.

Winners of the Tax and Accounting Technology Awards are selected by this magazine’s
editorial advisory board, contributing writers and editorial staff for their
innovation as well as for the potential benefits their products or services
are likely to deliver to the profession. The advisory board is comprised of
accounting and tax professionals from across the country who are engaged in
public practice in firms ranging from sole practitioners to major, multi-office
regional practices. This year’s nominees included software, hardware,
services and web-based products geared toward increasing the productivity and
profitability of a professional practice, or toward enhancing the relationship
between a firm and its clients.

The awards were announced at a reception ceremony at the California Accounting
and Business Show & Conference in Los Angeles, and during a lunch general
session at the AICPA TECH 2006 conference in Austin, Texas. Executive Editor
Gregory L. LaFollette, CPA.CITP presented the awards.

“I am excited by the continued evolution of technologies designed to
assist tax and accounting professionals,” said LaFollette. “These
technologies help us better meet the everyday challenges we face in providing
a valuable and trustworthy service to our clients, enabling greater productivity,
efficiency and profitability.” Mr. LaFollette remains in professional
practice with the top-100 firm of Eide Bailly, LLP.

Any technology that benefits the tax and accounting professions may be nominated
for an award, whether software, hardware or technology service. To be considered
for an award, the nominee must be commercially available at the time of judging,
and be either less than two years old or have undergone a significant redevelopment
or addition within that timeframe. Products or services previously winning an
award are not eligible. All award recipients were selected on an “at-large”
basis — there are no categories represented by the winners, nor are the
winners ranked against each other. Nominations can be made by any person, including
vendor representatives, resellers and end users.

You can jump directly to specific winners:
CCH Tax & Accounting |
| Microsoft Small Business Accounting
PayCycle Inc. | Colligo Networks
| Honorable Mentions


CCH Tax and Accounting (
received an award for ProSystem fx Scan, formerly known as BOCDIP.
The system is an automated document identification tool that supports the paperless
process for accountants, quickly completing what previously were several expensive
and time-consuming tasks, freeing professional staff to engage in more profitable
activities. The system includes PDFlyer, a powerful and user-friendly Adobe
Acrobat plug-in that facilitates working with multiple *.PDF files in a paperless,
dual-screen environment. Together, BOCDIP and PDFlyer provide an extremely efficient
system for preparing paperless 1040s.

The CCH ProSystem fx Scan paperless process begins when client information
arrives at a firm. With minimal preparation, a member of the administrative
staff scans the information, and CCH ProSystem fx Scan, working completely behind
the scenes, retrieves and processes the information and outputs an identified,
organized and bookmarked *.PDF file. Professional staff members may then efficiently
prepare and review the return on-screen, taking advantage of PDFlyer. Once review
is complete, all the information used to prepare the return (including preparation
and review annotations) is already in digital form for storage in a firm’s
document management system.

“We’re very honored by this special award and thrilled to be recognized
for the third consecutive year for product innovation leadership,” said
CCH President and CEO Kevin Robert. “This industry recognition confirms
what our customers already benefit from — CCH’s commitment to innovation
and integration that makes professionals more productive and profitable. We
take our responsibility of being a strategic partner to our customers very seriously.

“CCH is focused on ensuring that our customers have best-of-breed integrated
workflow solutions that ensure their competitive advantage, and ProSystem fx
Scan is evidence of that,” said Robert. “With the acquisition of
this document automation tool and integration into our portfolio of software
solutions, including our Tax, Document and Engagement products, we are providing
CCH customers with a significant competitive advantage in facilitating their
move to a paperless office environment and reaching new levels of productivity.”

————————————————, a new web-based research
system from Intuit (,
received an Innovation award because of its use of “Wiki” technology
to provide a free interactive tax research portal for professionals. The non-commercial
website allows registered users to update and maintain the research content
on the site, allowing professionals to assist each other.

Essentially, the site draws on the power of the professional tax and accounting
community, leveraging the collective knowledge of professionals everywhere.
The content on is written by tax practitioners and accounting
academia from across the country. As of publication, there are 8,653 articles
available. The site also includes key information that tax professionals need
when conducting research, such as the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Regulations
and Tax Court Cases, and, unlike research software, the content on the site
is dynamic and constantly updated.

The website is simple to use, with the ability to browse by
topic or conduct a site-wide search for a particular topic. Professionals can
also create watch lists for articles of interest or pose a specific question
in the Discussion Forum for the community to answer.

“Intuit is honored that was selected for this award,”
said Brian Andrews, Director Product Management, Intuit Professional Tax. “
is a free online resource for tax preparers, and Intuit has built the site to
make it not only an information source but also a unique and thriving community.

“We created TaxAlmanac just over one year ago in response to tax professionals
who were unhappy with existing solutions. More than 150,000 users have visited
the site, and the feedback has been phenomenal. Innovation has been the foundation
of success at Intuit, and it is very rewarding to have our innovation recognized
with this award.” Intuit recently announced that the free tax research
portal now has 10,000 registered users and that an estimated 150,000 tax preparers
used during the 2005 tax year season to glean information and
to help keep them compliant on regulatory issues.


Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting
also received an award, showing the potential effect that the world’s
largest software developer may have on the professional tax and accounting markets.
The program, which is geared toward the small business market, offers the ubiquity
that only Microsoft can provide, with the look and feel of familiar Microsoft
Office software like Outlook and Word, plus the ability to seamlessly integrate
with Office programs for contact management, word processing and database and
spreadsheet functions. The system is built on the MSDE database engine.

“It is an honor to receive one of The CPA Technology Advisor’s
2006 Tax & Accounting Technology Innovation Awards,” said Rajat Taneja,
General Manager for Small Business at Microsoft Corporation.

The program maintains a comprehensive, full-time audit trail and provides
modules for all traditional accounting functions, as well as payroll integration
through ADP. SBA supports a variety of business types, from retail to service-based
concerns, as well as manufacturing, wholesale and distribution firms. “Microsoft
is very committed to the accounting community, and we are honored that Microsoft
Office Small Business Accounting 2006 was recognized for helping improve efficiency,
productivity, and profitability among this population. On behalf of Microsoft
and SBA, I would like to thank The CPA Technology Advisor for this acknowledgement,”
said Taneja.


PayCycle, Inc. (
was honored for its 2006 Wholesale Program for Accounting Professionals, a comprehensive,
online client payroll solution available at discounted wholesale pricing. Through
the professional accountant version of the online payroll system, accountants
can either handle all aspects of the payroll process or provide consulting and
compliance services to small business clients who perform most of the process
themselves. Either way, the online system maintains the accounting firm’s
brand at all times and helps to make payroll profitable for accounting professionals
by automating the entire process.

The wholesale program costs $14.99 per client per month for the first five
clients and $9.99 per month for subsequent clients. The monthly fee is all-inclusive.
There are no additional per-payday or per-employee charges. Direct deposit services,
federal and state electronic tax payments and filings, including W-2’s,
are also provided at no additional expense. The program even offers toll-free
customer service with payroll experts, a benefit rarely found in payroll systems
for accounting professionals PayCycle provides complete payroll form support
for all 50 states and offers paperless electronic payments and filings for 19
states. This saves accountants and their staff hours of time calculating and
completing state payroll tax form filings.

“PayCycle is honored to win one of The CPA Technology Advisor’s
Innovation Awards this year,” said Jim Heeger, CEO, PayCycle, Inc. “We
thank the sponsors for recognizing and celebrating innovation in the accounting
industry. PayCycle is very pleased to be the only payroll solution selected
as a recipient of one of this year’s technology innovation awards.”


Colligo Networks (
received an Innovation Award for its Colligo Workgroup Edition 4.0, which enables
mobile workgroups to collaborate through a simple process of Discover, Connect
and Interact. Colligo’s Instant Networking software allows WiFi-enabled
notebooks, tablet PCs and PDAs to create “server free,” direct connected
adhoc networks with a single button click. Users can then share data and interact
with each other using common or corporate applications in a secure and reliable
environment, regardless of whether they have access to the Internet or corporate

Colligo increases the productivity of mobile workers by enabling them to act
on information when and where it is created. Gone are frustrating data-sharing
and communication methods, such as floppy disks, USB key swapping or slow infrared
connections. Workgroups can now confidently Colligo each other with enterprise
grade security anywhere. Colligo’s patent-pending technology brings core
mobility solutions to audit teams that need to interact when in connected, disconnected
(server free) and intermittent modes. Colligo Workgroup Edition 4.0 is deployed
by accounting firms in North America, Europe and Asia. Colligo Workgroup Edition
4.0 supports numerous collaboration and engagement platforms, including Lotus
Notes, CaseWare, CCH ProSystem fx, and Thomson Creative Solutions.

“We applaud The CPA Technology Advisor’s efforts in continuing
to recognize technology innovation in the tax and accounting field,” said
David Wood, Vice President of Sales for Colligo Networks. “We are honored
to be recognized for the innovation and practical application of Workgroup Edition.
Receiving the 2006 Tax and Accounting Technology award confirms that we’ve
solved a critical challenge to audit teams — extending the use of audit
applications into offline settings where team members have no access to the
Internet or corporate servers.”


In addition to the above winners of the 2006 Tax &
Accounting Technology Innovation Awards, several products were also recognized
with Honorable Mention certificates for their contributions to technologies
that enhance the profession. This year’s Honorable Mention recipients
included the following:

QuickBooks Online Edition
offers a simplified approach to implementing the small business market’s
leading business management program, requiring only an Internet browser to manage
and work with a business’ books. In addition to not having to install
and maintain software, users are able to securely access their data from virtually
any location, and the online nature of the system encourages accountant collaboration
and eases write-up and reconciliation tasks.

2006 from BQE Software
offers a flexible time-based billing and project management system that integrates
with all major small business applications including QuickBooks, Peachtree and
Microsoft’s SBA. The customizable system includes in-depth analysis and
business management tools, as well as more than 400 standard invoices and reports
that can be edited to meet the needs of any business.

Tax & Accounting’s GoFileRoom Version 4.0
provides an organized location for storing and managing all of a professional
firm’s documents, from client tax documents to financial statements, contracts,
and firm and employee data. The system provides a streamlined organization method
that makes data easier to find and simplifies searches, as well as offering
added benefit through the ability to add comments and track the review process.
GoFileRoom gives your business one place to manage all of your documents, and
we do mean all of them: client documents, contracts, financial statements, employee
information, you name it. It helps you organize and standardize how every document
is stored and shared. No more frantic searches for the “Smith file.”
Now, you can review, add comments and approve documents electronically. You
can securely access your documents from anywhere, and it’s easy to learn,
implement and manage.

Creative Solutions’ Practice CS
enables professional firms to more competently manage the workflow processes
within a practice by utilizing a technologically advanced and customizable system.
The system’s real-time digital dashboards offer a drill-down capable overview
of day-to-day details, while time and billing functions, project management
and data sharing capabilities add further value to the system.

Gerke & Associates’ BizBench Financial Benchmarking Software

( uses client summary
financial data to enable practitioners to produce customized business performance
reports for their clients that include performance ratios that quickly identify
strengths and weaknesses of clients’ businesses. The system also identifies
industry percentile rankings and provides scenario planning, peer company comparisons,
and calculation of liquidity, efficiency, operating, financing and profitability
ratios. The BizBench goal-setting feature uses projected improvement figures
to calculate new ratios and rankings if target goals are achieved. The system
compares client ratios with median ratios of similar-sized firms in the same