Karen Abramson, Wolters KluwerCCH has worked to fix and eliminate software and service problems identified a year ago by users, Karen Abramson, CEO of Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting, said this week. And after more than a year at the company, Abramson outlined four problems areas to attendees at the company's CCH Connections User Conference 2013 as she used her keynote to focus on issues and their resolution.

Among the issues was a multitude of sales reps calling on the same firms for different products, delivering applications that were announced on time, cutting down hold times on the telephone during tax season and providing better availability and uptime on its online applications.

The company's response to these issues come as CCH has a management team in place, including the recent naming of Teresa Mackintosh as CEO of CCH Tax and Accounting, and the departure of some well-known members of the team that has dealt with CCH's CPA customers.

Abramson says the company addressed the sales force issue through a reorganization. Previously, "You saw seven different sales people at a different time that were trying to sell product to you," Abramson said. Now, firms have one CCH sales contact for the entire product suite

The company also significantly increased the availability of Global fx. That included investing heavily in secure systems that are highly available. The improved level of availability adds up to one full day during a year, Abramson commented.

She said practitioners also complained both about the amount of time they were on hold during tax season and the knowledge level of support reps. Abramson characterized users' comments this way: "You keep us waiting on the phone too long" and when they reached reps "They can't answer the question we wait and are passed on to somebody else."

"We had a bit of a rocky time at the beginning of tax season," Abramson admitted. However she continued that CCH went from an average of 8.5-minutes hold time at the beginning of the 2013 tax season to 2.5 minutes at the end, which she said is the industry average.

The company did not have time to provide the longer training it wanted to adopt for 2013. However, she said CCH's full-time tech support staff is now 25 percent larger than the prior year and reps are receiving 200 hours of training, compared to the previous requirement of 160 hours.

Abramson also noted the company's ability to deliver "the long-awaited CCH Axcess." Axcess is the web-based suite introduced this year, a line former known as the next generation product. Abramson credited Mackintosh with getting that effort moving and out the door.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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