TAX & FINANCIAL PLANNING NEWS

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CCH PLANS FOR GLOBAL PLATFORM CCH Tax and Accounting is engaged in a multi-year rollout for a global platform that is being implemented by its parent, Wolters Kluwer, which is based in the Netherlands.

The platform, already being rolled out in Europe, will not be fully implemented in this country until 2007, says Kevin Robert, president of the CCH unit. The platform will provide functionality based on a portal approach in which different subscribers get different views. "It will allow us to leverage a lot of the content we have globally," says Robert.

INTUIT PRO TAX NUMBERS UP

Partner Insights

Intuit, which had seen competition cut into its professional tax software market, has reported that it had 106,000 users of its ProSeries and Lacerte systems for the year ended July 31, up from 97,000 a year earlier.

The company says that sales of its new ProSeries Basic and ProSeries Express products contributed to the rise. Intuit reported revenue of $2.04 billion for fiscal 2005, up 13 percent from $1.8 billion a year earlier. Professional tax revenue of $265 million was 5 percent higher than the prior year. Net income for the most recently ended year was $381.6 million, up from $317 million in 2004.

IMMEDIATECH RESELLERS TO STAY

Creative Solutions will continue to use a reseller channel to distribute the GoFileRoom document manage- ment system, following its purchase of Immediatech.

CSI has not previously used resellers, while Immediatech actively recruited accounting firms to sell the Web-based system to end users. Jack LaRue, CSI's vice president of marketing, says that his company will study the way its new acquisition works.

MORNINGSTAR EARNINGS JUMP

Morningstar, the Chicago-based financial software company, saw its revenue climb to $9.5 million for the second quarter ended June 30, up sharply from $1.3 million in earnings a year earlier.

First-quarter revenue was $56.2 million, up from $43.2 million in last year's corresponding period. Revenue from its advisor segment, largely from sales of AdvisorWorkstation Enterprise, reached $18.8 million, up from $15.7 million. The division's operating income hit $4.9 million, up from just under $4 million a year earlier.

INTUIT BUYS AGGREGATION TECHNOLOGY

Intuit has acquired TekPortal, a data aggregation technology, from Teknowledge for $7 million.

The purchase includes one OFX patent pending and licenses to each of Teknowledge's current patents. The TekPortal product development team is joining Intuit. End users have utilized TekPortal to aggregate images and financial data. The OFX product links aggregated data to Microsoft Money and Intuit's Quicken. There is also an ACH Transfer module.

SMARTPROS SHOWS MIXED RESULTS

SmartPros, which markets CPE material to the tax and accounting community, saw its net income for the second quarter ended June 30 drop by 4 per cent as a rise in the cost of revenue outstripped revenue gains.

Second-quarter earnings fell to $174,119, down from $181,576 a year earlier. Meanwhile, revenue rose to $2.7 million, up 14 percent from $2.4 million in last year's corresponding period.

ADP, CCH LINK

ADP Small Business Services has reached an agreement with CCH Tax and Accounting to provide a newsletter for accountants that will contain CCH content.

The agreement expands on an existing relation-ship between the companies, which will produce the newsletter called Accountant Focus to feature articles about new tax legislation, and regulatory developments, along with tax planning and compliance.

TAX FRANCHISORS RING UP GAINS

TAX FRANCHISORS RING UP GAINS
Year ended April 30
Company
2005
2004
Percent Change
H&R Block
$4.42B
$4.25B
+4
Jackson Hewitt
232.5M
205.6M
+13.1
Liberty Tax
51.0M
42.2M
+20.9

Liberty Tax had the largest percentage revenue growth as three tax franchisors reported results for fiscal 2005. However, H&R Block is still far larger than its competitors. Liberty Tax results reflect the operations of its parent, JHT Tax Inc.

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