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App Watch on Validis, CCH and SmartVault

Oct 3rd 2016
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Another App Watch is upon us, as we find a release of nonprofit working papers from Validis; the launch of a small firm-focused ProSystem fx from Wolters Kluwer; and SmartVault’s digital signature deal.

This column is and ever shall be free from promotional material, paid or otherwise. It is only meant to briefly inform you of what has recently transpired in the vendor/service provider realm as it is relevant to you, the tax and accounting professional. And, where we can, we’ll provide you a note of insight on the actual relevance and meaning behind the news.

So here’s what happened since the last time we were here…

News: Validis Releases Nonprofit Working Papers

Data extraction and analytics software maker Validis has released working papers specific to nonprofit audits for accounting firms in the U.S. and Canada. The working papers are configured to reflect the additional granularity required for nonprofit clients and include the following GAAP compliant reports: Program Revenue and Receivables Summary; Contribution Revenues and Receivables Summary; Grant Analysis Reports; and In-kind Revenue and Receivables Summary. Validis clients receive automatic access to new features as they are added at no additional charge.

Views: First off, who are these guys? I know that’s what you’re saying and trust me, you’ll be hearing more from them. As I’ve mentioned before, as have others following accounting technology trends, the work you do as an accountant is going to be increasingly valued on how efficient you are and how well you can delve into the numbers, not just produce the work. And for client verticals, it will be on how well you know and can serve that business sector. So, for this release, it’s about being able to dig into what is required in working papers for nonprofit clients. All of it is done automatically so you can, as the trend dictates, spend more time working with your client on the success of their business rather than the actual, you know, work involved in producing the papers and the numbers.

News: Wolters Kluwer Launches CCH ProSystem fx for Small Firms

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting has launched CCH ProSystem fx for Small Firms, a new bundle of CCH ProSystem fx Suite solutions tailored especially for the unique needs of small firms who prepare both simple and complex tax returns, and offer year-round billable services to their clients. CCH ProSystem fx for Small Firms enables secure document storage and client communication to processing the most complex returns with minimal manual input. Small firms can select CCH ProSystem fx for Small Firms in one of three packages, each based on the number of returns they process: Solution 150, Solution 300 or Solution 500.  Each package also includes dedicated recorded training sessions, year-round technical support, and tax preparation software conversions at no additional charge.

Views: The gut reaction from many small firms I’ve spoken to over the years is that workflow is always an issue, but do they need to invest in software to help them do it? They have their own processes, they know where documents are. It may not be great, but they're a small firm so why bother? Workflow is a deeply personal thing, not easily solvable with a “tool.” These are the habits you form that the longer you do them the harder they are for you to break, no matter how harmful they may be. The way you do things “the way you’ve always done them” isn’t always right, but it’s what you know. So how can a tool help you? Like any technology, it in and of itself, can’t. But having it, if it’s simple enough and created with your unique challenges in mind, is better than not….especially, as a tax and accounting professional working with multiple clients and documents and files. You can always do what you do better, more efficiently, no matter how small you are.

News: SmartVault Partners with RightSignature for Digital Signature Solution

Online document and portal solution provider SmartVault has partnered with e-signature provider RightSignature to offer a secure, easy-to-use solution for signing documents online.

The digital signature solution, powered by RightSignature, offers users the ability to request signatures on documents right from SmartVault. Customers can utilize the digital signature solution for all documents, including IRS forms 8878 and 8879, which require Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) for compliance. A document can be sent out to be e-signed by simply right clicking the document in the SmartVault Connected Desktop or directly from the SmartVault Portal. After the document has been signed by all parties, SmartVault automatically pulls the signed document back from RightSignature for permanent storage and retention in SmartVault. SmartVault’s digital signature solution will be available to customers later this year.

Views: Not a whole ton to say here, except if you’re a SmartVault user and in a state that allows e-signatures, why wouldn’t you want to have this?

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