Skip to main content

CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business — ProSystem fx Practice Management

ProSystem fx Suite of professional tax, research, accounting and engagement
management programs is one of the most comprehensive on the market, providing
total integration between virtually all programs that a professional firm uses
for client services or internal management. The Suite’s Practice Management
program delivers on this last aspect, offering extensive time and billing functions,
contact management, project management, its own AR, client communication tools,
and even prospect and referral tracking. Additionally, the program offers abundant
tools for managing business productivity. ProSystem fx Practice Management
is available in three versions, with the basic system starting at $1,190 for
a five-user license. Versions are also available that utilize Microsoft SQL
and SQL Express.

From the June 2009 Review of Practice
Management Systems

If implementing one of the SQL Server-based versions, the administrator will
need to be familiar with SQL database technologies during setup of the program.
Each of the various components of ProSystem fx Practice Management
opens independently: These include AR, Administration, Contact Management, Billing
& Invoicing, Custom Library, Project Management, Project Tracking, Practice
Management, Reports and Time Entry.

ProSystem fx Practice Management’s interface provides excellent
navigation features and crisply designed screens, with data-entry functions
that are generally easy to understand, with customization features that enable
users and administrators to tailor program functions to user needs.

Since time tracking is one of the core components of any practice management
system as far as it being a function that virtually all staff will use, these
functions are easily accessed through the Time Entry module. In this area of
the program, data-entry screens offer assistive tools like selection lists and
calendars, as well as other smart entry features. The system’s various
modules are accessible from the features menu option on the menu bar, which
displays only functions the user has rights to based on role.

ProSystem fx Practice Management offers good project and group time
tracking capabilities that provide productivity analysis by client, tasking
and staff, with client contact information easily available, along with due
date tracking, budgeting and milestones. The system also provides good options
for managing non-billable time such as for training purposes or tracking CPE.
The program’s Administration module includes many useful client management
and marketing functions, including access to reporting, referral and prospect
tracking, and client communication tools that can be used to produce mass emails,
labels and letters. The built-in AR includes options for electronically invoicing
clients through integration with email. ProSystem fx Practice Management
also provides the ability to set user access rights, providing for good security.

The system also offers good business management features, including data analysis
functions that can dig into time and expenses, invoicing, collections and employee
data. Additionally, summaries of key business data are available with a few

Another notable function is the integration of employee self-service functions
into the time and expense entry screens. Since employees are already managing
their time via timesheet entry, only a few additional steps allow them to track
their unused leave time. Available add-ons to the system include Internet Time
Entry for remote access and a Custom Library subscription services that offers
greater firm analysis features.

Users can also add the CCH Coolbar, a feature that gives quick access to information
in the Practice Management system while working in Microsoft Outlook. This includes
contact lists, client details, WIPs, timesheet entries, financial information
and other actions.

ProSystem fx Practice Management has strong general reporting capabilities
that include more than 70 customizable standard reports. The reporting options
cover all areas of practice, and on-screen reporting views also provide additional
insight into key data and offer filtering and sorting by clients, employees,
projects, marketing, scheduling and other options. Reports can be output to
PDF or Excel, or can be emailed directly from within the program. Reporting
functions specific to billing and WIPs are accessed via client functions, providing
quick access to summary and detail options.

Although it can run as a stand-alone program, Practice Management is at its
best when used in conjunction with other applications in the ProSystem fx
Suite, with full integration between it and programs for tax compliance, write-up
and other tools. The CCH Coolbar add-on offers integration with Microsoft Outlook
for time entry and views of contact information.

Practice Management includes many assistive features and an ample Help utility.
For users to get the most out of the system’s capabilities and customization
options, some form of formal training is probably advised. For many firms, this
can be provided by in-house staff members who already have experience with the
program. The company also offers CPE-eligible web and live training options.
The vendor’s website offers a broad collection of Help tools, including
downloads, FAQs, product documentation and access to the CCH University. Technical
support is included in program pricing.

The CCH ProSystem fx Practice Management system is quite comprehensive
and best-suited to mid-sized and larger practices offering services to a diverse
client base. The program is at its best when integrated as part of the ProSystem
fx Suite, providing excellent timesaving features in collaborative
environments, along with managerial supervision of key business indicators.
Other add-on enhancement applications from CCH include IntelliConnect and CCH@Hand,
which integrate Word, Excel and PowerPoint files for tax research; and XCM Workflow
for workflow automation.