Best Fit: Firms that currently or plan to use CS Professional’s Suite of applications in their practice.
- Product offers solid integration with CS Professional Suite
- Good selection of automated web content is offered
- Easy editing tools are available for users to utilize
- Good selection of tools available to assist new users
- Product may not be used to its full capacity if not used with other CS Professional Suite applications
EASE OF USE -5 Stars
Acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2011, Web Builder CS (formerly Emochila) is designed specifically for accountants and tax professionals. Web Builder CS makes it easy to get started with the service, with users able to choose the template they like and create a website using default information that can be edited, or they can opt to use Web Builder CS designers to create a working website. After the initial website creation, users can choose to edit the website themselves or utilize Web Builder CS design personnel to make any site edits. Users can make website changes through the Help & How-To Center, which provides a host of options including the ability to quickly access support personnel, to make website edits themselves. Conveniently, Web Builder CS also handles any domain related issues, including registration and transfer, and the product includes five firm-branded email addresses in the subscription pricing.
Making changes in Web Builder CS is easy, with users able to simply click on the Pages option to access all of the pages currently being utilized. Clicking on a page allows users to easily edit text on that particular page. To update images, users can click on Manage Images to change images or upload new images to their website. There are also options to manage any files that have been uploaded to the website, and the Help and How-To Center also offers users the ability to manage as well as managing both newsletter and website settings options.
TEMPLATES/CUSTOMIZATION 4.5 Stars
To create a working website quickly, users can quickly choose a template, populate the pages with generic text, and later customize the text to suit the needs of the firm. Logos or other custom images can be added to any page, and users can easily create an unlimited number of webpages at no additional cost, including the addition of custom landing pages to advertise a service. Users can also add slide shows and videos as well. Web Builder CS offers a variety of standard website templates that users can choose from, with designs available in both Classic and Mobile Friendly design. Along with the design platform, users can choose from a variety of template categories including Contemporary, Modern, and Nature-inspired designs. Each template also displays the category it is optimally designed for, so users can choose a template accordingly. Standard website templates are included in the cost of the product subscription. For those looking for more customization options, users can choose an Enhanced Template, or opt for a custom-designed template. Website CS also offers custom logo design at an additional cost.
AUTOMATED CONTENT – 5 Stars
Web Builder CS comes prepopulated with information geared toward tax and accounting firms. Users can choose to use this information as is, replace with custom text, or simply certain areas. The product also offers a host of tools that firms can offer their clients, including an appointment request tool, an interactive map that provides potential clients with directions to the firm, 120 financial calculators in areas such as Budget, College, Debt, Home and Mortgage, Income, Investment, and Retirement. Just clicking on one of the calculators brings up an interactive form that clients can quickly fill out. Users also have access to financial guidance articles, IRS forms and publications, a tax due date calendar, and business and tax strategies articles that can be posted on the website and offered to clients and potential clients alike. Also available is the Daily Updates feature, which features up to the minute financial and tax related news that can be shared with clients on a daily basis. Premium content is also available for users to use in blogs and newsletters.
MARKETING/SEO/CLIENT TOOLS – 5 Stars
Web Builder CS allows users to easily accept online payments and the availability of client portals allows firms to easily and safely share confidential files with clients on a regular basis. Clients are required to have a username and password in order to log into the portal, where documents can be uploaded and downloaded securely. An automated monthly client newsletter helps firms stay in touch with their clients on a regular basis, and Web Builder CS also offers a variety of client tools such as Financial Guides including banking, business, financial, life events, and taxes. Tax tools and tips are also available and the product also integrates with other applications designed to enhance CPA websites.
Web Builder CS also integration with Google Analytics, and offers users the ability to create and share blogs with social media accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The product also offers strong SEO Support, and offers easy search engine submission for Google, Bing, and Yahoo to increase the firm’s profile. Users can also add additional keywords for better search results and also provides firms with vital website statistics on page visitors.
HELP/SUPPORT 5 Stars
The customer center offers users access to all account information, firm profile, any orders and payments, as well as access to other CS Professional products that users may subscribe to. Product support is available 24 hours a day, with users able to easily access support via the customer center. Users can also download any product updates from the site, and the Help & How-To Center offers access to user bulletins, a site wizard, and tips on how to find solutions to common problems. Web Builder CS also offers potential users a free 30-day trial to try out the product.
Thomson Reuters Web Builder CS is an excellent choice for accounting and tax firms already using CS Professional Suite products. Users can choose to design their own website or let Web Builder CS personnel build the site for them, and editing web information is easy. Standard website designs are included in the subscription cost, which is $70.00 per month. For those wanting a more custom design, enhanced template designs are an additional $400, and a custom design with animation will run an additional $2,500. Additional email addresses and storage are available as well, and users can opt to pay monthly, with no long term contract required.
2016 Rating 5 Stars