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CCH PLANS WORKFLOW APP

CCH will introduce this fall a platform, called Workstream that combines workflow and practice management features.

The system will monitor the progress of tax documents on their course through an accounting firm, says Mike Sabbatis, CEO of CCH Tax & Accounting. Previously, CCH had provided workflow through XCM Services. CCH will continue to offer XCM as an option. The workflow launch comes on the heels of the spring's introduction the IntelliConnect tax platform.

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MORNINGSTAR OUTLINES CUTS

Morningstar has implemented a number of expense controls, including dropping its 401(k) matching contributions, which had amounted to $6.6 million in 2008.

The company has almost eliminated most previously planned new hires, reduced sales commission expense, cut travel and entertainment expense and suspended salary increases.

GILMAN BUYS TAX PRACTICES

Gilman+Ciocia, which had focused on financial planning services, entered asset purchase agreements to acquire two tax preparation, accounting and financial planning practices.

The publicly held company said the purchase price is equal to a percentage of gross revenue generated from services generated during a one to four-year period. The agreement followed Gilman's report of revenue for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, which showed an $861,000 loss, up from $204,000 in red ink a year earlier. Revenue dropped to $9.9 million, down from $12.6 million.

TAX AND ACCOUNTING EARNINGS UP

The operating profit for the tax and accounting business of Thomson Reuters rose to $113 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up 27 percent from $89 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $281 million, up 13 percent from $248 million a year earlier. For the year, the group's operating profit rose to $219 million, an increase of 19 percent from $184 million in last year's corresponding period. Revenue for 2008 was $861 million, up 22 percent from $705 million for the prior year.

CCH TAX BIZ UP

CCH's Small Firm Services turned in double-digit growth for 2008 as its overall tax and legal business showed 3 percent organic growth.

Chief executive Nancy McKinstry did not break out numbers, but said the Small Firm Services results reflected ATX and TaxWise results. The purchase of Orrtax's Intellitax came too late to be included. However, the decline in the U.S. dollar pushed the division's 2008 revenue down to 879 million euros from 881 euros for 2007. TAL's operating margins improve to 25.4 percent, up from 22.4 percent.

INTUIT PAYROLL PICKS UP

Intuit's payroll business is taking market share away from processors ADP and Paychex, CEO Brad Smith told attendees at Morgan Stanley's Technology Conference last month.

Smith said the online payroll business is growing faster than anticipated and attributed the growth to the lower cost of Intuit's payroll software. And while noting that the charge volume for credit cards will get worse, he would not rule out getting into electronic or merchant processing.

ADVISOR REVENUE HELPS MORNING STAR

Revenue from its advisor segment rose to $127.6 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up 10.2 percent from $115.7 million the prior year, as Morningstar ended 2008 on a soft quarter.

Overall, revenue hit $502.5 million for 2008, up 15 percent from $435.1 million for 2007, while net income climbed 18.6 percent to $139.1 million, up from $117.3 million. Fourth-quarter earnings fell to $19.3 million from $20 million a year earlier. Fourth quarter revenue was $119.3 million, up from $118.1 million.

ADVENT INCOME JUMPS

Advent Software reported net income of $6.2 million for the year ended Dec. 31, up from $3.8 million for 2007.

Meanwhile, revenue for the year hit $74.4 million, up from $59.4 million the prior year. Advent noted that international revenue was 14 percent of revenue, up 1.3 percentage points from 2007. However, international revenue was flat in the fourth quarter. Despite the economy, the company's guidance for 2009 was for an increase of revenue of 6 to 10 percent.

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