CCH Axcess™ Financial Prep helps firms with their business tax preparation.
Tax & AccountingDecember 14, 2020

Cloud Trial Balance Software – 3 Efficiency Gains


Over the last decade, technology has helped the accounting profession gain efficiency in every aspect of personal tax preparation. Until now, fewer tools existed to help automate the preparation of business tax returns. Consequently, many firms express frustration with:

  • The manual work involved in grouping trial balance accounts and assigning tax codes
  • The tedious steps required to create financial statements
  • An inability to access client financial statements anytime and anywhere
  • Having to perform duplicate processes or data entry to manage clients in more than one solution

With this in mind, Wolters Kluwer designed CCH Axcess™ Financial Prep to help firms gain efficiency in their business tax preparation. It’s an industry-first solution for quickly producing accurate cloud trial balances in preparation engagements. As can be seen in this video, CCH Axcess Financial Prep delivers both time and cost savings. As a result, firms gain efficiency through three areas:

  • First, cloud technology
  • Second, trial balance
  • Third, software integration


Easy implementation and anywhere access with cloud technology

Because CCH Axcess Financial Prep is a true cloud application, there’s no installation required for CCH Axcess customers. For non-CCH Axcess customers, only one install instance is required. Therefore, firms can adopt it at any time and then use it to enjoy a more efficient–and profitable–tax season immediately. Wolters Kluwer maintains secure cloud storage, eliminating firm infrastructure costs, software updates, and server maintenance. Consequently, data storage costs less in the cloud. Additionally, because it is a cloud-based technology, CCH Axcess Financial Prep can be used securely, at any time from any location. This is helpful when members of your team need to work from home or visit a client’s office.

Accurate, automated cloud trial balances

CCH Axcess Financial Prep instantly produces accurate cloud trial balances for business tax returns. To begin with, upload your client’s data, and your financials and lead sheets automatically create for you. Additionally, as you import client data, machine learning attempts to match the accounts and make intelligent groupings for tax returns and financial statements. After that, simply make your adjustments and send balances to CCH Axcess™ Tax. By automating what are normally manual, time-intensive steps to create a trial balance, CCH Axcess Financial Prep frees up staff to make better decisions on the data itself. As a result, you can spend more time building stronger client relationships by delivering the highest quality service possible.

Easier team collaboration is a key benefit of CCH Axcess Financial Prep and one of the ways it delivers better efficiency. Whereas most on-premise software solutions require teams to coordinate who can work on a return or use a check-in/check-out feature, CCH Axcess Financial Prep data resides in a common cloud database. Therefore, it allows multiple, simultaneous users within the same engagement, providing for greater productivity. Moreover, staff can see changes made by others in real-time, giving them confidence they are working on the most current cloud trial balance and reports at all times. It’s a seamless workflow that empowers collaboration.

“I would say an average tax return, if the trial balance was good, would take 45 minutes in Engagement. Now, it probably takes 15 minutes with Financial Prep.”

Jason and Bernie Ackerman, BNA CPAs & Advisors

Integration with QuickBooks Online, Xero, and CCH Axcess Tax

Often firms face their most time-consuming task when trying to get client data for business tax preparation. As a matter of fact, many firms follow a manual workflow of exporting client QuickBooks data, reworking it in a spreadsheet, and then importing into tax software. This process presents a struggle, to say nothing of being prone to data entry errors.

CCH Axcess Financial Prep dramatically boosts efficiency by offering end-to-end integration throughout your tax preparation workflow. First, import client data directly from QuickBooks Online and Xero. Because Financial Prep is part of the CCH Axcess common platform, it already has your client list and your staff login credentials. After your trial balance is ready, it’s linked directly to CCH Axcess Tax.

Dynamic views of tax summary reports, financial statements and lead sheets further increase efficiencies. Export the financial statements, trial balance, tax summary report and more to markup and annotate your supporting workpapers.

“By utilizing cloud software, all that tax accounting clean-up work that you used to have to wait to do at year end goes away. Before, you couldn’t get your QuickBooks file until March, and then you worked on it and spent half the time cleaning it up just to get a tax return. Now, with the integration between QuickBooks Online and CCH Axcess Financial Prep, you can do all that cleanup work before tax season so that during tax season all you are really doing is a couple of loan adjustments and depreciation … and that goes right into CCH Axcess Tax. Hello! Way less hours needed during tax season! To me, that’s the best part of working in the cloud, and being connected to your customer all year long.”

Jody Padar, CPA, CEO and Principal, New Vision CPA Group

Cloud trial balance moves firms one step closer to a “no touch tax return”

With direct imports of client data and automation to reduce manual steps like groupings and classifying accounts, CCH Axcess Financial Prep offers many ways to gain efficiency. By making it easier and faster to produce a cloud trial balance, this solution can help firms maintain prepare business taxes profitably and deliver better client service. For an overview of CCH Axcess Financial Prep, watch this video.

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