It comes as little surprise that enhanced integration and bolstered security are among the key focuses for Thomson Reuters' GoSystem Tax ES this tax season. "Some firms have overseas operations and it is imperative that we offer [redaction of Personal Identifiable Information] to do business overseas," says David Bishop, director of GoSystem product management for Thomson Reuters.
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In fact, the redaction of PII in order to conform with IRS Reg. 7216 was among the most requested feature by GoSystem Tax ES users for the 2008 tax season. The regulation requires tax preparers to mask Social Security numbers in both the tax return software and source documents for returns accessed offshore.
GoSystem Tax ES and GoFileRoom ES will enable preparers to comply with the IRS disclosures and uses regulations that apply to tax return information occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2009.
Bishop notes that the company is also offering the capability for other types of redaction. For example, if a client doesn't want support personnel to see private information.
According to the company, it largely serves nine of the top 10 accounting firms in the country, major regional accounting firms, consolidators, firms with multiple sites and boutique firms with complex tax processing needs.
The ability to suit needs of such a practice is important to Ronald Hegt, senior tax partner at New York-based CPA firm Hays & Company LLP, who has been using GoSystem Tax since its inception and successfully meets the needs of his practice.
"We have a very sophisticated, high-end tax practice and I don't remember ever running into something they [GoSystem] couldn't handle," said Hegt, referring to such complex issues as complicated international tax issues and consolidated returns. "I find the whole product to be very intuitive and very user friendly."
Hegt, who completes during the season about 1,500 tax returns, many of which include high net worth clients and multi-state corporations, said he would like it to be easier to change the filing instructions that he sends to his tax clients.
Earlier this year, Thomson Reuters, created following the April acquisition of Reuters Group, launched the Enterprise Suite, which incorporates four applications that are now known as GoSystem Tax ES, GoFileRoom ES, Engagement ES and Practice ES.
The company is working to deepen integration with GoFileRoom ES so users can, for example, move back and forth between GoSystem Tax ES and GoFileRoom easily.
In August, the company announced the launch of a new utility called QuickLaunch. Using QuickLaunch, customers can query GoFileRoom ES documents from other applications, including those within Thomson Reuters' Enterprise Suite and CS Professional Suite, and competitors' products. When working in a core application, users can search documents without having to also launch GoFileRoom ES.
Thomson also launched FirmFlow, its workflow application, as a standalone package. It had previously been available only as a part of GoFileRoom. The system can monitor and track due dates, the engagement of status and view of staff workloads. Multioffice firms can also use the application to share and distribute engagement responsibilities. Thomson notes that FirmFlow can be used for practices areas other than tax preparation.
The company is also expanding support its of applications that utilize the use DIF, CSV and XML file formats for import into GoSystem, as well as expanding its Web services.
GOSYSTEM TAX ES
Phone: (800) 726-1040
Web site: http:// ES.ThomsonReuters.com
Federal 1040 Price (first year): Starting at $2,500 (includes 706, 709, 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120/1120S, 5500, and 990)
Renewal: Starting at $2,500 (includes 706, 709, 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120/1120S, 5500, and 990).
Online preparation professional users.
Online organizer: Available.
Multi-state processing: Unlimited number of states.
Support methods: Preparers can enter priority Service Request cases on RIA's Product Assistance Web site 24-hours a day. Toll-free telephone support is provided (expanded hours during busy season), along with fax and email support.
Tax season support hours: 8:30 am-9:30 pm, M-F; 9 am- 6 pm, Sat.; 10 am-5 pm, Sun.
Document management/storage: FileCabinet CS and GoFileRoom
Client portals: NetClient CS portals.
Internet capabilities Product is Internet based.
Online organizer: Available.
New for next year Fiduciary: Full support of federal electronic filing. Corporate: Adding e-File support for 1120F returns as mandated. XML aggregation with thirty-party vendors' international forms.