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CCH — ProSystem fx Document

From the April/May 2006 Review of
Document Management Systems

ProSystem fx Document is designed as an accountant-centric application for
midsize to larger firms. As the product development evolves, it will feature
a much stronger integration with the vendor’s tax and accounting software
product line. ProSystem fx Document is a feature-rich application,
and the extended feature set makes it a very viable solution for midsize to
large firms.

Installation & Configuration — 4 Stars
ProSystem fx Document is designed as a scalable system that requires
a fairly sophisticated client/server configuration. CCH can supply the detailed
IT infrastructure requirements. You will need on-site assistance from the vendor
to perform the initial setup and configuration. Frankly, I recommend you leverage
the vendor’s expertise for this task with all of the solutions. CCH will
provide a comprehensive service that includes installation and configuration
along with best practices consulting and training services in a weeklong on-site
visit. A full web-hosted ASP option is planned for a September 2006 release,
which will make the product a more practical solution for small firms as well
as offer a new delivery method for any size firm who chooses to utilize the
ASP model.

User Interface — 4 Stars
The interface is essentially designed as a knowledgebase portal. It consists
of six separate panels of static information. Displayed information is user-definable,
and the next release (due out in June 2006) will allow the user to customize
the number and layout of the panels. One of the panels displays your recently
accessed documents, which is very logical from a workflow perspective. The portal
interface also provides the capability to “push out” documents for
direct client access and download. All of the search and results (hit list)
fields are configurable at the administrator level.

Integration — 5 Stars
As you would expect, integration with the ProSystem fx applications
is stronger than with non-CCH applications. However, CCH plans to provide an
API (Application Program Interface) that will allow third-party vendors to develop
direct integration with ProSystem fx Document. The list of existing
application integration includes the following: CCH@Hand accounting and tax
research network, ProSystem fx Engagement’s electronic workpaper
system, ProSystem fx Tax, MS Outlook, MS Office, ProSystem fx
Practice, and CaseWare. In addition, a Document Print Driver is provided to
generate document images and file them directly into ProSystem fx Document
from any application.

Training & Support — 5 Stars
CCH provides a comprehensive offering of on-site and web-based services that
includes technical support, best practices implementation advice, and end-user
and administrator training.

Workflow & Document Tracking — 5 Stars
The system provides an extended set of features to help firms develop a true
paperless workflow. Pieces from ProSystem fx Document will be available
in ProSystem fx Practice with the June release, but direct integration
with ProSystem fx Practice for comprehensive engagement management
and due-date tracking should be available in August 2006. A “subscribe”
feature is provided that allows you to keep track of a document as it is routed
throughout the firm and see who is editing the document and/or checking it out.
As well, an online discussion feature allows two or more people to collaborate
on a document.

Security — 5 Stars
A complete user- and group-level security model is provided that allows you
to grant and control permission to access, edit, check out documents, etc. A
document/file history-tracking feature allows you to track the evolution of
a document through multiple versions. A document retention feature includes
the capability to establish retention rules based on document classes and sub-classes.
A preview report can be generated prior to purging documents.

Pricing — 4 Stars
The base price for ProSystem fx Document is $1,825 for the administrative
user; each additional user license is $475. The client portal is $995 for an
unlimited number of client logins. The annual maintenance fee is 45 percent,
which is more than double the typical 15 to 20 percent.

Relative Value — 4.5 Stars
As the development of integration with the other CCH products continues to evolve,
the value of this solution for firms that have standardized on the ProSystem
fx platform will be quite high. I envision a strategy by CCH to evolve
ProSystem fx Document’s portal interface in the future to be
the primary launch pad for all of the ProSystem fx applications that
a firm has implemented.

2006 Overall Rating — 4.5 Stars