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CCH Tax and Accounting – ProSystem fx Trial Balance

ProSystem fx Trial Balance is designed
to automate and streamline trial
balance preparation. The program’s
interface provides options for reviewing
trial balance information and relates
the balances to specific workpapers
associated with the detail work.
The program directly integrates
with the other products offered
by CCH, including ProSystem fx Engagement
(reviewed on page 12) and the ProSystem
fx Office line of products, as well
as with third-party tax software
vendors. ProSystem fx Trial Balance
costs $1,100 and includes full CCH

ProSystem fx Trial Balance opens
to an intuitive but slightly crowded
workspace that provides more than
a dozen minimized windows for the
assorted tasks that can be worked
on during a trial balance. This
includes making journal entries,
entering account information, applying
ratios, viewing tax information
and using the program’s diagnostic
features. Windows not active are
stored at the bottom of the screen,
similar to a traditional Windows
environment. The system is quite
flexible and customizable, allowing
users to arrange and modify screens
to their needs for specific types
of engagements. Individual screens
are well designed, and navigation
is fairly intuitive once a user
grows accustomed to the multiple
window environment.

Actual data entry is performed via
the Accounts screen, which provides
a spreadsheet-style format for entering
beginning balances and ongoing information.
An array of icons and pull-down
menus offer access to the primary
components of the program, such
as accessing predefined industry-specific
classifications and lead schedules,
running diagnostics, creating new
clients or using the system’s
help utility. Trial Balance supports
up to 11 years of data and supports
multiple types of entries, including
adjusting, passed adjusting, reclass,
tax, eliminating journal, recurring
and intentionally unbalanced entries.
It also makes transaction data into
source journals for cash receipts,
cash disbursements and general journals
fairly simple.

can maintain multiple-period types
for interim processing, such as
months, quarters or semi-annuals
for the same client, and can calculate
larger interim periods from smaller
ones. The program allows each user
to customize screen displays and
provides user- and folder-level
security protocols. The program
has a collaborative work environment
that allows multiple users to access
client files at the same time, whether
in or out of the office. For traveling
workers, the system allows file
checkout and synchronization upon

ProSystem fx Trial Balance provides
more than 30 predefined industry-specific
ratios for analytical review, and
includes more than 60 templates,
which helps with transferring data
to Word and Excel for report generation.
The system also supports fund accounting
for nonprofit organizations, providing
templates for several common types,
including educational organizations,
healthcare, government units, and
volunteer groups, and the general
ledger allows account numbers of
up to 40 characters.

ProSystem fx Trial Balance is fully
integrated with ProSystem fx Tax,
which significantly reduces preparation
time for users of both products.
The system’s Dynalink feature
transfers all trial balance data
to a client’s tax return,
automatically populating fields
with appropriate financial information.
The program maintains and updates
balances between ProSystem fx Trial
Balance and Tax to ensure balance.
The system automatically converts
client file data from ACE, ATB,
Fast, GoSystem Audit and QuickBooks,
and includes an import wizard that
enables the importing of client
data from most other accounting
packages. The system integrates
with Microsoft Word and Excel for
linking of financial statement data.

Trial Balance includes more than
70 standard reports and workpapers,
including lead schedules, trial
balance reports and material variances.
Through integration with Word and
Excel, these reports can be customized
as needed, including the use of
letterhead, headers, footers and
font control. Using a wizard to
guide users, the program produces
excellent financial statements that
allow drill-down links to show underlying
detail by leads, subleads and accounts
and allows combination of accounts
into built-in leads and classification
schedules. Trial Balance also allows
printing to *.PDF format.

Aside from the aforementioned *.PDF
printing, ProSystem fx Trial Balance
is limited in its paperless management
capabilities because this is seen
as more of a process management
function by CCH, which should be
handled by an engagement program.
As such, this program offers complete
integration with ProSystem fx Engagement,
which organizes and stores any kind
of document in electronic client

ProSystem fx Trial Balance is a
strong trial balance program, providing
several features that increase efficiency,
as well as flexibility and powerful
reporting and financial statement
capabilities. The program can support
simple to very complex clients,
including fund accounting for nonprofits.
Although navigation is somewhat
intuitive, new users may require
a little extra time to grow accustomed
to the multiple window environment.


Program Use/Navigation covers ease-of-use; number of clients and form recipients; primary navigation tools; and general operation of
the program, including data entry.

Workflow Management addresses how the program streamlines engagement processes via workflow and communication tools, customization and other features.

Integration with Other Software is considered a very significant factor since drawing information from GL accounts is an integral
part of the trial balance process,
and the ability to export the data
into a tax program greatly reduces
preparation time.

Reporting functions of the software, including analysis and client deliverables such as financial statements is essential. This section looks at the availability of standard reports, customization capabilities and integration with word processing and spreadsheet applications for preparation of the final product.

Relative Value provides the reviewer’s subjective opinion of what the user gets for the price. There is some variance
in the pricing of the programs in
this review, but it is not very
of course, is not exclusively related
to cost. Sometimes the best deal
is not the cheapest, and sometimes
the most expensive option does not
provide the best function.