App Watch on Wolters Kluwer, Fujitsu and FloQast

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Hello again and apologies for the length of time since the last App Watch post; mostly it was a combination of lack of relevant news and other projects/content taking priority.

Nonetheless, we’re back with the latest non-promotional, never paid-for column about what’s new in tax and accounting-related products and service offerings. This week we’re focusing on a new service from Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting; a cloud feature from Fujitsu’s ScanSnap; and an analytics solution from FloQast.

Here’s more on that …

News: Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting Introduces CCH AnswerConnect

Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting has launched CCH AnswerConnect, an answer-oriented, tax information service developed for both practitioners and corporate tax professionals who rely on quality tax content to advise their clients. CCH AnswerConnect covers a full spectrum of tax topics and written by Wolters Kluwer and industry experts. It is designed to support users with intelligent search capabilities, a broad selection of tools and practice aids, and an innovative and intuitive design that puts all relevant information together. These features span the full range of Wolters Kluwer tax content.

CCH AnswerConnect covers all areas of federal and state tax law, with international content in development for future release. In the Federal Tax Code Section, users will have access to the entire Internal Revenue Code in a new 360-degree view that includes full text of the law, history, regulations, newly-written explanations, related cases, forms, tools, and more. Each federal tax topic contains an overview that brings together the analysis, practical applications of the law, news, examples, gray areas, infographics, and videos. The State Tax Topics provide broad coverage on an issue with links to specific treatments in each state, as well as access to CCH State Tax SmartCharts – a high-level snapshot of tax treatment across states, with access to more details as needed.

Views: Having admittedly only recently been schooled on how incredibly complex the tax code really has become, I’d have to say that any tool that is going to help you and your clients with compliance and related questions in a given state is a good thing. Wolters Kluwer, which has long been known for its tax research tools, is now packaging what appears to be a best of their best, from forms to topics, history, scenarios and regardless of my feelings on infographics ... it has those, too, for those who prefer them.

News: Fujitsu Announces New ScanSnap Capabilities

Fujitsu now has new capabilities for its ScanSnap Cloud feature for iX Series models. ScanSnap Cloud, first introduced in June 2016, is a free app that delivers scanned data directly to users’ preferred cloud services without the need for a computer or mobile device.

The new upgrades enable users to create searchable PDFs of their scanned documents and send them to their chosen repository; allow ScanSnap customers to “scan” important documents on their smartphones; and additional integrations including QuickBooks Online and Concur Expense.

Views: There’s not a ton to say here. If you’re familiar with ScanSnap and use it for creating and ultimately sending/storing digital documents for you and your clients, this effectively expands their cloud-based capabilities. And, hey, those proposed integrations don’t sound like a bad deal either.

News: FloQast Offers New Close Analytics Solution, Enhanced Internal Controls

FloQast Inc., a provider of accountant-centric close management software, has released its new Close Analytics solution, a separately licensed module that helps accounting organizations uncover bottlenecks in their month-end closes and identify trends to streamline and better manage the process. Close Analytics analyzes numerous month-over-month close metrics to help organizations better understand the historical performance of their close process. It helps identify holes in the process, such as which deadlines are consistently missed, what close items are submitted late and by whom, and assesses trends in average time it takes to close.

In addition to unveiling the new Close Analytics solution, FloQast announced new user roles and permissions for its flagship close management software that aid organizations in enforcing and managing internal controls to address and meet compliance requirements, such as Sarbanes-Oxley. The new System Administrator, Manager, Workflow User and Auditor roles complement existing Administrator and User ones. They provide granular access privileges, thereby enabling organizations to enforce strict segregation of duties amongst those involved in the close process, whether it be individuals from departments, such as finance and accounting or IT, or external organizations, such as auditors. Close Analytics is generally available and licensed separately on a per user basis. 

Views: So really, unless you’re involved in any degree of close management, this will not likely be of any interest or impact on you or your clients. But, many accountants and accounting departments are indeed and it’s a very detailed and potentially cumbersome and error-prone process. All FloQast is trying to do here is ease the burden, allow for more roles and permissions so that you and your clients, and departments at your clients can work on it ... hopefully making the process that much smoother and more accurate.

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