Engagement CS is the audit engagement component of the CS Professional Suite from Thomson Reuters, providing a workflow and process management solution that includes comprehensive trial balance capabilities along with multi-professional collaboration tools, advanced document archiving, integrated research and confirmation services, and additional practice tools.
Basic System Functions
Engagement CS is available as either a locally installed or remotely hosted application, both of which share the standard interface for the CS Suite, providing intuitive navigation and multi-paned access to key system programs and features. The system uses the same database across all programs, which further ensures that client data is accurate across all modules and eases data flow between the different programs. Core to the Engagement CS system is that it provides full trial balance capabilities, including the ability to customize balance definitions and the sequence of columns when laying out the accounts. Users can also automatically post adjusting journal entries to the trial balance in real time and see the immediate effects of adjustments or changes to the basis of financial statements via a split-screen view. Budget journal entries can also be easily created as necessary based on GASB requirements.
Additional customization options are available for setting workpaper references and tickmarks. Accounts can be assigned to up to five grouping codes and subcodes for reporting, leadsheet and workpaper preparation. Templates and wizards are available for initiating engagements and tracking engagement processes. 4.75
Managerial oversight of engagements is aided by advanced notifications and review functions that help to standardize procedures, along with tracking and reporting options that include signoff administration, note tracking, tick marks, interactive review notes and diagnostics, while management tools offer additional monitoring. The Wrap-Up wizard goes a step further, aiding in finalizing engagements and wrapping up year-end processes, including clearing and deleting review notes, reviewing potential journal entries, and finalizing engagement documents and workpapers.
Documents can be archived individually or bound into organized PDF binders that retain folder structures of working documents. The system also integrates with FileCabinet CS and GoFileRoom CS for document management. Both static and dynamic reporting options are available, allowing users to quickly see live data and drill down to underlying intelligence. Firms can also e-mail financial statements, returns and other documents to clients and third parties. Additional reporting options include a tax code report and built-in tools for editing and customizing financial statements, client letters, and other documents and schedules. 5
Workflow & Collaboration
Engagement CS is designed for multi-staff engagements, providing advanced collaboration tools that include check-out and file overwrite protection, as well as options for using field networks. Users can work on engagements simultaneously. This includes the ability for staff in the office and in the field to access the same files, with senior staff overseeing all activity. Engagement CS’s integration with Colligo Networks and Capital Confirmation further aid in collaboration capabilities. The system also provides customizable checklists that let firms standardize processes based on practice standards or clients needs. Document management and storage functions allow for the attachment of virtually any file type along with engagement folders. 5
Trial balance data can be exported into virtually any tax systems, although ideally users of Engagement CS would be using the UltraTax CS system, which offers direct integration. The engagement program can acquire business data from all accounting systems and provides reporting capabilities that offer output to Excel, Word, PDF and other common formats. For staff and client collaboration, external integration is available with Colligo Networks and with Capital Confirmation. Other options include integration with PPC’s Smart Practice Aids and the PPC Reference Library for research. 5
Engagement CS offers a strong built-in Help utility that offers traditional indexed guidance and access to user manuals. The vendor also offers an extensive online knowledgebase and the ARNE 2 online forums, where professionals can help each other and share best practices and other tips. Live support is also included, and Thomson Reuters offers several options for training and consulting in both live and web-based formats. 5
Summary & Pricing
Engagement CS is best suited to professional practices whose audit engagements can be enhanced by remote, field-based access to full engagement workpapers and who need multi-staff collaboration options. The system offers excellent integration within the CS Suite as well as with external programs, making it exceptionally powerful, yet intuitive for users accustomed to the CS Suite. Pricing for Engagement CS starts at about $1,800 with renewal discounts available.
2010 Overall Rating 5
See inside July 2010
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