Service disruption hits Thomson Reuters platforms

Users of Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting’s Virtual Office CS and GoFileRoom solutions experienced an outage on Jan. 11, 2020, continuing until at least Jan. 13. Thomas Reuters confirmed that its software had experienced service disruption, but did not not specify why.

According to the company, Thomson became aware of a “technical issue” with the aforementioned platforms on Jan. 11, 2020. “Our teams have worked around the clock over the last few days to restore availability for all customers,” a spokesperson said.

By the start of business on Monday, Jan. 13, Thomson stated it had restored GoFileRoom to full functionality. A customer told Accounting Today that the company had handled the outage “poorly,” having only sent one email on Monday after the disruption had been noticed by customers. However, it is normal for software companies to remain tight-lipped during an interruption to online software service to prevent misinformation and also to control unknown variables in case there was a data breach. Thomson has given no indication that there was a data breach.

By midday Monday, Thomson stated, the “vast majority” of Virtual Office customers were able to use the application. Full service resumed for the few remaining Virtual Office customers late Monday night.

“We know how frustrating this situation has been for our customers who rely on these applications,” a spokesperson from Thomson Reuters said. “We sincerely regret the disruption to our service. Our focus is, as always, on ensuring full functionality and consistent support throughout the remainder of this busy tax season and beyond. Our engineers continue to work diligently to reinforce the resilience and reliability of our systems and help mitigate future issues.”

Virtual Office CS is a cloud-based suite of accounting applications, and GoFileRoom is a document storage solution. Both products are used by tax professionals, which makes the timing of the service disruption troubling to accountants preparing for tax season.

While Thomson has given no indication of foul play in this service interruption, Wolters Kluwer's CCH platforms, as well as cloud hosting providers Insynq, Cetrom and Cloud9 Real Time were all victims of cyberattacks over the past year.

If Virtual Office CS and GoFileRoom customers would like to share their experience, please contact technology editor Ranica Arrowsmith at ranica.arrowsmith@sourcemedia.com.

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