"It will fundamentally change the ways professionals practice," says Teresa Mackintosh, CCH Software EVP and general manager. Axcess is not aimed at one particular size firm, she continues. In the CCH test of the new line, "We have firms of all sizes using it from sole practitioners all the way up to national firms."
Key to the suite is a centralized database and common services drawn upon by all elements of the suite: Tax, Portal, Document, Practice and Workstream. All these modules exist in the ProSystem suite but have been rewritten for the cloud environment. Within the Axcess suite, all functions can be handled through one dashboard with setup permissions handled through an administration module. Despite being a cloud product, Axcess modules will be sold via licenses, not subscriptions.
CCH has had a line of SaaS products. At a minimum, use of the Axcess name makes it easier to sort out discussions about the desk-top and cloud products. The prior nomenclature had the Internet products as the ProSystem fx Suite (SaaS).
CCH has also made the suite open to third-party developers. "We have an SDK [software development kit] where we have exposed a lot of areas where they can write to it," Mackintosh says. Given the need to move data from the desktop to the cloud platform, CCH will provide assistance in helping firms make the change. "We have an implementation team set up," she continues.
Also new is Mackintosh's title. A long-time Thomson executive and manager, she joined CCH in April 2012 as EVP and general manager of the Tax Business unit. But in January, the company brought together its applications for tax and accounting, audit and workflow into the newly created Software unit.