DEXTER, Mich., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters recently hosted its 29th annual Thomson Reuters Users' Conference for Professional Tax and Accounting Firms - the longest running professional conference of its kind - welcoming more than 800 participants. Over four days, users attended approximately 70 workshops and were able to interact with well-known luminaries in the tax and accounting world and get the latest information on upcoming technological advances in their profession. In addition, they earned more than 13,000 cumulative hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit.
Jon Baron, president of Professional Software & Services for the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters, delivered the opening keynote address, emphasizing the need for professionals to embrace change. Baron described the level of change today as accelerating at an unprecedented pace, using several examples such as the shift to portable PCs - netbooks and notebooks, the growth of SaaS (Software as a Service) computing, texting and communications through social networks, and the exploding sales of smartphones. He also described powerful applications and enhancements Thomson Reuters has implemented, designed to help firms increase productivity and use technology as a strategic asset to manage change efficiently and profitably.
In encouraging firms to embrace change, Baron cited a series of megatrends are converging to drive change in every business and profession, including accounting. These include the global economy, evolving communication and collaboration tools, a mobile workforce, and the cornucopia of technical information available on a 24/7 basis. After describing the four computing eras through which we have already evolved: the mainframe era, the mini-computer era, the desktop era, the desktop web, he illustrated how we have arrived now on the cusp of the fifth era: the mobile web. A "New Normal" driven by the recent global recession, combined with these megatrends, are requiring firms with less to do more. Baron encouraged firms to embrace change and to look to it, along with the "tsunami" of digital natives in the new generation of workers, as an opportunity for growth and innovation for both firms and clients.
As businesses reevaluate, redesign, and refine practices and models to meet these challenges, Baron cited the efforts the company was taking to enable practitioners to serve more clients simultaneously, eliminate geographical boundaries, automate routine tasks, lower risk, provide wider access to information, and enable more people to work together, detailing a number of milestones accomplished, and introducing next-generation products designed to help users in this effort, including:
- Virtual Client Office, which allows firms to host mission-critical software for multiple clients via the client's NetClient CS® portal on the firm's website.
- Accounting CS(TM), the next generation of for accounting and client accounting software, based on .NET technology. The first modules - write-up and payroll - were released at the end of October, with other modules to follow in 2010. Among other capabilities, the software offers very efficient cross-client processing, and is a single code stream for both the firm and clients.
- The Staff Management module for Practice CS® which was introduced earlier in the year. This module provides additional functionality to the thousands of Practice CS users who rely on the system every day as the hub of their practice. and offers extensive capabilities for managing and tracking staff, assigning staff, tracking benefits, monitoring performance, and more.
- A series of smartphone mobile applications that will enable Practice CS and other Thomson Reuters applications to connect with mobile devices such as iPhones® and Blackberrys®.
- Several new features for the NetClient CS client portal solution, including the ability to automatically post client source documents to the client portal alongside tax returns, online client billing and payment collection, and many others.
- A new "Scan and Organize" feature for its Source Document Processing service. The Source document service has been available with "Scan and Fill" capabilities - bringing data to a 1040 return without data entry - for the past two years.
Baron emphasized that Thomson Reuters has always been a leader in technology innovation, noting several examples including the fact that more than 300,000 portals have been implemented by Thomson Reuters users. Led by the NetClient CS portal solution, introduced in 2001, users have implemented over 100,000 new portals in just the last sixteen months. He also announced that Thomson Reuters was celebrating the 11th anniversary of offering online (or SaaS) applications for the accounting profession, with more than 125,000 users of their online technology today.
"Tough economies separate the best from the rest, and the 'New Normal' and megatrends create opportunities for accounting firms and their clients," said Baron. He encouraged them to leave SALY - Same As Last Year - behind, stating that, "if you want to thrive and not just survive, use the tools available to maneuver the 'New Normal' and megatrends, embrace change to drive efficiencies, and upgrade staff and clients to better position your firm for growth. Be positive and be flexible."
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, scientific, healthcare and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs more than 50,000 people in more than 100 countries. For more information, go to ThomsonReuters.com.
The Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters is the leading provider of technology and information solutions, as well as integrated tax compliance software and services to accounting, tax, and corporate finance professionals in accounting firms, corporations, law firms, and government. Tax & Accounting includes the Professional Software & Services, Corporate Software & Services, and Research & Guidance business groups.
SOURCE Thomson Reuters