Proprietary tax research platforms continue to grow despite the availability of free searches and materials over the Internet, with all the major publishers of Internet-based research reporting growth.

While the needs of many tax preparers begin with just a simple tax manual, many feel the need to research deeper into a complex tax topic - and some are finding that they require more than one research platform.

That's one reason BNA has made its content "platform-agnostic," available not only on its own platform, the BNA Tax & Accounting Center, but also on the offerings of Thomson Reuters' Checkpoint, CCH's IntelliConnect and ARM, and LexisNexis' Tax Center.

BNA is probably best known for its tax Portfolios, first published more than 50 years ago and recognized as a well-established source for understanding a tax transaction or topic. "Our mission continues to be to create the most valuable content possible for our customers," said BNA president Greg McCaffery. "A customer's platform of choice should not be an obstacle to getting BNA's essential information. Combining their own proprietary content with BNA's makes their research platforms truly a one-stop resource."

As more and more practitioners do their research online, BNA was challenged with the issue that many practitioners who used both the BNA Portfolios and other publishers' material in print wanted to access all of their tax research material on a single online service. Based on customer feedback, BNA concluded that offering its content on competitors' platforms might offer a solution.

The BNA content offered varies by platform. On IntelliConnect, Checkpoint and LexisNexis' Tax Center for example, content offered includes: U.S. Income Portfolios; Estates Gifts & Trusts Portfolios; Foreign Income Portfolios; Accounting Policy & Practice Portfolios (also available on CCH's ARM Platform); State Tax Portfolios; Compensation Planning Portfolios; Real Estate Portfolios; Transfer Pricing Portfolios; IRS Practice Adviser; State Tax Research Digest; Daily Tax Report; Transfer Pricing Report; and other reports and journals.

BNA is also available with Intuit's Lacerte and ProSeries tax preparation packages. This offering, ProLine Tax Research, combines practical guidance and sample client letters drawn from BNA's Tax Practice Library, plus a wide array of state and federal primary source material. BNA's flagship Portfolios and Daily Tax Report are not part of this offering.

In addition, BNA said that it feeds content to other publishers' research platforms on a daily basis, and it is fully integrated into their platforms. Users can search the respective publisher's content and BNA's together and leverage the features and functions of the respective platform.

Primary source content is dependent on the subscription with the platform publisher. Citations in the BNA analysis link directly to the Tax Code, regulations, and other primary source material on these platforms.

"BNA determines prices and bills customers directly on the CCH IntelliConnect and ARM platforms and the Checkpoint platform," said Rick Montella, BNA's vice president for strategic resources. "Intuit and LexisNexis do the pricing and billing for our offerings available through them. Our policy is that where we set the price, we make sure it's the same price that subscribers would get if they subscribed on the BNA platform. Even our sales rep compensation is the same, so that what we're doing is in the best interest of our customers."

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