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CCH Sees Future in Mobile Devices

November 9, 2010

CCH is making a major push to move its tax and accounting research products to smart phones and e-readers.

The company released a slew of new products in the past year, more than any previous year in memory. The biggest success was the company’s IntelliConnect online research service, which attracted 188,000 users, up from 90,000 in the past year. CCH expects to have 210,000 by the end of the year.

The company is starting to move IntelliConnect to mobile devices, CCH president and CEO Mike Sabbatis said at a press conference Monday at the CCH Users Conference in Orlando. “We’re at the point now where it’s starting to take off,” he said. The company plans to enhance IntelliConnect early next year with features like grouped search results and alternative user interfaces.

The company launched its CCH Mobile product at the conference with a free trial offer. CCH Mobile brings IntelliConnect tax research information to RIM BlackBerry and Apple iPhone users (see CCH Offers Mobile Tax Research).

The company is also developing an iPad-targeted version, according to Betsy Weisman, director of the strategic initiatives organization, although the iPhone version already runs on the iPad. By mid-2011, she expects to have more premium content available on mobile devices. The company has also been hearing demand at the conference from many Android phone users and plans to develop a version for Google’s Droid system.

CCH also recently introduced eBook versions of some of its more popular tax and accounting references, including its U.S. Master Tax Guide, and now has 38 different titles available in eBook format.

“One of the Big Four firms we work with said, ‘We would like to get rid of all the books we have and go to this,’” said Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting CEO Kevin Robert.

The eBooks can be stored on laptops, desktops, iPads and iPhones (see CCH Puts Tax and Accounting Guides on eBooks).

“If your laptop crashes, you can come back online and you haven’t lost your library,” said channel manager Sarah Helvie.

The company has also been developing its Knowledge Coach software, which grew out of several separate products like Accounting Research Manager, combining audit guidance, research and workflow. “We had a lot of pieces in play for auditors,” said CCH accounting and audit solutions product management director Mike Ritchie.

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