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App Watch on Wolters Kluwer, Gusto and Justworks

Sep 27th 2017
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Good day, once again, App Watchers. Apologies for the hiatus, but we are back with some of the latest information (and insights) on accounting-related applications and services.

This week we’ll explore a new integration between CCH SureTax and Microsoft Dynamics 365; an R&D tax credit service from Gusto; and an accountant partner program from Justworks.

As ever, before we dive in, a few words about App Watch. As a community site for accounting professionals, posting press releases and “news blurbs” aren’t really a part of our plan. However, you all should have some sense of what is being offered to you, the accounting professional, as well as what it could mean for you and your clients.

This column is and will never be paid for, or meant to be promotional in any way. We simply want to inform you on some of the latest products and services that you use, or may choose to use, in your professional lives and your work with clients. We’ll also try to provide you with useful insight about them. So, all housekeeping aside, here’s what’s new:

News: Wolters Kluwer Releases CCH SureTax Integrations for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting’s CCH SureTax sales-and use tax platform now integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations, as well as Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV. These integrations allow users to take advantage of CCH SureTax platform’s real-time sales tax calculation that enables corporate customers to manage business risk and workflow efficiency.

CCH SureTax is a single-source platform combining sales tax information with an intuitive user interface to provide corporate sales-and-use tax departments with an efficient and precise method to manage indirect tax calculations. The Wolters Kluwer content that powers CCH SureTax covers many industries including retail, manufacturing, construction, food, restaurants, communications, and energy.

The development of these integrations means Microsoft customers can choose a sales tax solution that provides required accuracy and efficiency while being confident it will work seamlessly with their chosen solution.

Views: For those who have followed this column, you are well-versed in my views about integrations. In short, there’s long been a battle between “best of breed” and the suite approach, and whatever you choose, you still need proper integrations that actually work in order to provide the best value to you customers. Wolters Kluwer, through its CCH line, has historically opted for the suite approach, but that doesn’t mean integrations aren’t important. Far from it, this latest one is no exception. Now, as for importance for you and your clients, this one is leaning more toward those who serve the middle market and up, given the integrations with the Dynamics family. So, unless you do, or plan to, this news probably doesn’t mean all that much to you.

News: Gusto Launches Real Time R&D Tax Credit Service

Gusto has launched a new service within its payroll, benefits, and HR platform to help small businesses instantly reap the rewards of the Federal R&D Tax Credit, allowing qualified companies to receive up to $250,000 in credit per fiscal year to offset costs for research and development. Until now, businesses had to wait until the end of each quarter to receive a refund, but with Gusto’s new Real Time R&D Tax Credit service, businesses can deduct the credit from their payroll immediately — paying less in taxes throughout the quarter and keeping the money. Accountants can go to to learn more.

Views: Some of you may recall Gusto when they were Zen Payroll and since then have been looking to evolve their offerings in the realm of payroll and HR for your small business clients. This latest news focuses around the nagging issue of the R&D Tax Credit so it comes at a good time, particularly for your clients who could benefit from this credit while it exists. That said, this is more relevant to accountants who actually do payroll on behalf of their clients, or have interest in recommending any to their small businesses.

The fact is, numerous small business owners are missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars because they either don’t know this credit exists or their payroll provider is not prepared to support it. All Gusto wants to do with this news is build awareness that the R&D tax credit can be applied to payroll tax, thereby making it available to a huge number small businesses it wasn’t available to before.

News: Justworks Rolls Out Accountant Partner Program

Justworks has unveiled a partner program for accounting, legal and consulting professionals to offer complementary payroll, HR compliance and benefits solutions to their clients. Justworks educates its partners on the benefits of a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), including how it can help manage the complexities of their customers’ business operations.

Partners will have access to free whitepapers, industry reports, eBooks and other tools that can help their customers start and run their business. Justworks enables partners to provide ongoing support with administrative access to the Justworks platform so they can continue to be involved in their customers’ bookkeeping, payroll and reporting.

Justworks Partner Program participants receive perks and special pricing for new members they enroll on the Justworks platform. Accountants, lawyers, consultants and other service providers with small business customers can participate in the program and learn more at

Views: Just as I’ve expressed my views on numerous occasions about integrations, I’ve also opined about partner programs aimed at accountants. Basically, on the surface they seem great. Company ‘x’ wants to utilize accountants as a feeder source of business and will offer benefits or incentives to them for recommending their product to clients. Or, in other cases, said company will offer incentives for actually using their product or service, for the direct benefit of the firm itself or their work with clients.

End of the day, these programs only really work if they deliver on their promise to really be a “partner” to firms and not just an afterthought or “channel.” After all, a colleague of mine once said, “no accountant ever lost their job by not recommending enough software or services.” Justworks is a company that really is only just gaining a foothold into the accountant space, playing in their interest in being more than just a compliance officer and evolving their role as advisor of all things financial and business related, HR and benefits included. Let’s hope this program does just that.

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