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Engage The Customer

New product features, process improvements, and ideas on trends in the industry – customers have an ongoing conversation with Wolters Kluwer employees.

​Development Partners started in January 2012 as a small group of about 20 customers and has now grown to 90. They join Wolters Kluwer’s  CCH Canada for off-site meetings of one or two days, virtual meetings, and also take part in questionnaires. They work on specific exercises to help us develop product ideas that best meet their needs. The  TaxprepConnect product has been developed based on the input from this large group of customers that are all part of Public Practice firms. Members are accountants from large nationals to small office professionals. These customers assisted us in developing the product idea, finessing it. They also endorsed us when we presented the idea to the Canadian Revenue Agency for approval. It is really quite exciting for a software developer to have such an excellent and strong customer group supporting them from idea creation to execution.

CCH was founded as Commerce Clearing House in 1913, the year the U.S. federal income tax was created. CCH became part of Wolters Kluwer in 1996. Wolters Kluwer prides itself on the strong history of CCH and customers benefit from the rich insights and expertise that the products and services bring today and in the future.

A survey among the Development Partners gives insight into what our customer engagements mean for them.

List of Customers

1 Janet Foster - Partner, Collins Barrow, Carleton Place, Ontario
2 Debra Dowdell - Director of Operations, Trowbridge Professional Corporation, Toronto, Ontario
3 Michael Merpaw - Partner, Collins Barrow, Ottawa, Ontario
4 Todd Trowbridge - Partner, Trowbridge Professional Corporation, Toronto, Ontario
5 Richard Schaak - Managing Partner, Collins Barrow, Sudbury, Ontario
6 Darren J. Buma - Partner, KWB, Edmonton, Alberta
7 Dan Chun - President, Dan Chun Inc., Kelowna, British Columbia
8 Justin VanDyk - Senior Accountant, BVVL Chartered Accountants, Lethbridge, Alberta
9 Dino Micacchi - Partner, Micacchi Warnick & Company, Woodstock, Ontario
10 Brett Martin - Associate/IT Manager, Collins Barrow, Red Deer, Alberta
11 Ray Desjardins - Proprietor, Desjardins & Company Chartered Accountants, St. Paul, Alberta
12 Shmuli Wenger - Director of IT, Collins Barrow, Montreal, Québec
13 Olivier Beauregard - Fiscalist, Hardy Normand et associés, Anjou, Québec
14 Charles Landreville - CPA, Gatineau, Québec
15 Eric Bachand - Associé, fiscaliste, Lefaivre Labrèche Gagné, Saint-Constant, Québec
16 Richard Taschereau - CPA, Propriétaire, Plessisville, Québec
17 François Gosselin - Président, Gestion Franco Inc., Québec, Québec

What was your reason for joining Wolters Kluwer’s CCH Development Partners Group?

1 Janet Foster
[Feb 14, 2014 11:11 PM]
To be involved in helping our main software provider create a product that helps our office be more efficient and effective.

2 Debra Dowdell
[Feb 12, 2014 11:28 PM]
To be part of a dynamic group of accounting professionals and the CCH development team focused on bringing practical innovation to CCH products. 

3 Michael Merpaw 
[Feb 12, 2014 5:05 PM]
To have a voice in new products developed for our profession as well as have insight into future software development for our industry.

4 Todd Trowbridge
[Feb 12, 2014 4:33 PM]
We use CCH products almost exclusively and are therefore very interested in having input into future product development.

5 Richard Schaak
[Feb 12, 2014 4:02 PM]
I am a big believer that creative technology solutions can allow us to re-think how we do our work and in the process help to improve operational efficiencies. Being able to be a part of the development process is both exciting and productive.

6 Darren J. Buma
[Feb 12, 2014 3:53 PM]
Prior to being invited, I would try to submit a few items, sort of a ‘wish list’ after tax season. I found the development team would include most of these in the next version. This always impressed me. But probably the biggest attraction was the opportunity to participate in exciting new products and enhancements that make life easier for public accountants.

7 Dan Chun 
[Feb 11, 2014 8:16 PM ]
My main reason for joining Wolters Kluwer’s CCH Development Partners group was to have first-hand input in software development that directly affects our business. Far too often we receive surveys from software companies asking for our input and ratings on products – and we have no idea how this information is being used or if it is even being valued. As a member of this group I know that my comments/suggestions are being taken seriously by the management and executive team and that my input is valued as a member of this team.

8 Justin VanDyk
[Feb 11, 2014 2:21 PM]
I have been associated with the Development team before this group was set up and met some of the people in Sherbrooke. I found them to be excited about their work and about helping people.

9 Dino Micacchi
[Feb 10, 2014 1:08 PM]
CCH has always shown a strong commitment to listening to its customers and designing new applications based on our requirements. When Philippe asked if I would be interested in joining the group I felt it was a way for me to repay CCH for the top notch service they have provided our firm over the years.

10 Brett Martin
[Feb 9, 2014 6:07 PM]
I have been a Taxprep user since the mid-eighties and I’ve always had a great working relationship with the Taxprep /CCH management team. Management and support have always responded quickly to any questions or suggestions with respect to Taxprep and related projects. I’ve beta tested many CCH products over the years and, when I was invited to join the Development Partners Group, it seemed to be a natural fit for me.

11 Ray Desjardins
[Feb 9, 2014 5:53 PM]
I felt it would be beneficial to both of us as a partnership. We can let you know first-hand of our issues and frustrations and at the same time be able to help you develop the programs and create new ones by testing for you on our files and giving feedback from our firm on a real world scenario. It was well worth it when I look back. 

13 Olivier Beauregard
[Feb 10, 2014 6:56 PM]
To help Wolters Kluwer provide us with products that meet out requirements.

14 Charles Landreville
[Feb 10, 2014 2:48 PM]
To be on the lookout for innovations and to influence Wolters Kluwer, so it addresses our needs.

15 Eric Bachand
[Feb 9, 2014 6:27 PM]
To contribute to the development of high performance products for which I have a lot of interest.

As a member of the group, what is the number one benefit to you as a member?

1 Janet Foster
Seeing our suggestions come to life was so exciting. CCH was able to put our ideas into a product and make them even better than we imagined.

2 Debra Dowdell
Being able to review and contribute to the design improvement of new products.

3 Michael Merpaw
Being able to obtain enhancements to existing products and development of new products that are practical and useful to our firm. 

4 Todd Trowbridge
Collaborating with likeminded firms and becoming a more integrated with our primary software partner. 

5 Richard Schaak
Having prior knowledge of new software and understanding how the software could impact the firm.

6 Darren J. Buma
The primary benefit is to help direct the development efforts into areas that will produce technologies that truly solve problems that we live with day-to-day. As a customer, it’s very exciting to know that someone is listening to our problems and wanting to help as opposed to the more traditional model of building something that they think we want.

7 Dan Chun
It’s tough to select one. It really helps to know that the iSolutions team has a great skill level and interest in improving life for tax practitioners. I really get the impression that CCH is always looking for improvement and really listening to their users. I pick up great ideas and hopefully contribute a couple, too.

8 Justin VanDyk
My number one benefit to me as a member is having software being developed that can increase my profitability and efficiency in addition to being able to provide top notch services to my client base.

9 Dino Micacchi
I get to work with people who care about what they do and help them create something that benefits others.

10 Brett Martin
As a member of the Development Partners group, it gives me a chance to meet face to face with the leading thinkers in the Canadian accounting industry. I firmly believe that I get far more than I give as a member. After every meeting I come back to my office re-energized and with more new ideas about how to make our office more efficient and a better place to work.

11 Ray Desjardins
I feel this group allows me insight and input into the planning process at CCH and allows me to be on the leading edge of tax services I can offer to my clients. My membership gives me an opportunity to be a leader in my profession when it comes to taxation and office management practice. 

12 Shmuli Wenger
I have the relationship with the product managers and developers to be able to communicate freely and tell them my thoughts.

13 Olivier Beauregard
Provide input for the development of products that will be useful to us.

14 Charles Landreville
My reasons for becoming a member of the group have been fulfilled, but the no. 1 advantage is that I am among the firsts to experience my new Wolters Kluwer tools.

15 Eric Bachand
To be on the lookout for all of the new products and interact with people who are all there to try improve their performance and their way of doing things.

TaxprepConnect is a new CCH product developed through the Development Partners Group. What do you believe will be the advantages of deploying this product within your organization?

How will it functionally change your practice?

2 Debra Dowdell
We’re excited to see the efficiencies that can be part of our processing with TaxprepConnect as part of our system.

3 Michael Merpaw
The advantages of deploying this product will include a more efficient method of obtaining client specific information from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), having that information readily available in Taxprep for either comparing it to data already in existence or for adding missing data to Taxprep. It will change our practice in that our staff will now be able to make comparisons of tax slip data, carry forward data for all clients versus just those clients where we believe errors or omissions exist.

4 Todd Trowbridge
Massive time savings are expected through the use of this product as it continues to develop and expand capabilities. This should allow us to eventually have an additional check on the tax returns we prepare as well as easily import information that the client may not have provided allowing us to increase the level of client service.

5 Richard Schaak
This software will save our clients from costly penalties and interest if they have forgotten or lost information needed to complete their tax returns.

6 Darren J. Buma
We were asking our staff to do all of this manually in the past. It was very time consuming and error prone. This will allow us to efficiently produce a better quality product for our customers and avoid errors that are costly to correct, and embarrassing in our client relationship.

7 Dan Chun
I love this product. Capital gains history is one of the most confusing areas to create for new clients and this really simplifies the procedure. Historically we had all Notice of Assessments arrive at our office to be checked and forwarded to client. TaxprepConnect allows easy import and has freed up admin staff.

8 Justin VanDyk
TaxprepConnect is a feature of Wolters Kluwer’s Taxprep product. We have been involved with the testing and feedback from the very beginning. This product will be deployed, this tax season, across our entire organization and will ensure that our Taxprep file is accurate and up to date with very little input from staff. Even in limited testing we have found errors, both on the governments part and ours, and have been able to correct these errors with very little work. Clients may not see the benefit of this product first hand but I know they would be pleased to know that every year we confirm our numbers with the government with a push of a button! 

9 Dino Micacchi
I find that one of the gaps in most business is that of sharing knowledge and we are a knowledge-based industry. In order to capture the intellectual capital of our firm, there needs to be a source for someone to go to for information even if it’s just the starting point. It can create a more collaborative environment when people feel, that what they do matters.

10 Brett Martin
I believe that TaxprepConnect will allow us to prepare better tax returns for our clients as it will double-check our files to ensure that we are using the most up to date information available about our client’s tax situation.

11 Ray Desjardins
TaxprepConnect allows me to be proactive as opposed to reactive in tax return preparation. We used to spend a great deal of time correcting inaccurate tax carry forward information – either our errors or CRA’s errors. TaxprepConnect allows us to work with the most current up to date information automatically, without having to go seek it out in various places. Although Taxprep Connect was only available a few weeks last year, we still saw a significant reduction in the amount of assessment variances due to incorrect data input or carry-forward.

12 Shmuli Wenger
It will save us tremendous amount of time by being able to get the information without having to call or connect separately to the government web site.

13 Olivier Beauregard
The advantages: Time saving, minimizes typing errors during data input and adjustment requests.
Using TaxprepConnect translates into better efficiency of our internal resources and greatly simplifies the preparation of our clients’ personal tax returns.

14 Charles Landreville
TaxprepConnect is somewhat of an addition to CCH Scan. We have not used this product, because CCH Scan was providing us with enough self-confidence.

15 Eric Bachand
It allows us to quickly have reliable information.

16 Richard Taschereau
This product allows us to work more rapidly by incorporating generally reliable and up to date information into the client’s file. It prevents us from having to make long researches manually on government websites. In addition, the download of provincial slips allows us to reduce time spent on verifying files.

17 François Gosselin
Gain in productivity and especially in accuracy with regards to data entry. This product reduces the review time of many data items that are extracted directly, therefore a reduction in potential omissions.

Tell us about the networking and learning benefits derived from being a part of the Development Partners Group?

1 Janet Foster
The group is a diverse selection of our peers. It is an excellent opportunity to discuss best practices with a group that is willing and anxious to share.

2 Debra Dowdell
It’s a group of sharp, dedicated professionals who are part of the Group. Everyone contributes their time and experience to help create better products.

3 Michael Merpaw
Being part of the Development Partners Group has allowed us to build close relationships with CCH Canada’s senior people and given the size of our national cooperative we believe that our voice, our wishes are being heard and actioned by CCH senior management. It has also allowed us to network with other firms and share best practices.

4 Todd Trowbridge
We regularly share ideas and thoughts with other members of the group and learn about the challenges that other firms face to know that we are not alone in our issues.

5 Richard Schaak
We get to see how other firms use software differently than we do. This gives us insight into possible process improvements.

6 Darren J. Buma
There is comfort in knowing that others are challenged with the same problems, and that someone is working on solutions. Additionally, there has been a great amount of technology and process best practices that are outside the realm of Wolters Kluwer that have also been shared among the client members of the group.

7 Dan Chun
I learn something in every session and have had great feedback from other members of the group. My firm has made a few changes from experiences passed on by group members. Even some of the proposed projects have given us ideas that have improved my firm’s processes. 

8 Justin VanDyk
Being a part of the Group has been a very rewarding experience. Not only with providing personal input but with the connections I have established. Being able to talk to other accountants across the country has been invaluable, and I’m sure all in the group would agree. We bounce best practices off each other, learn, and provide a network of professionals in which we can go to with troubles and difficulties encountered – being able to find a solution that will work as it is likely another member of the group has encountered similar difficulties.

9 Dino Micacchi
I see people who care about what they do and that what they do matters. I see people explore ideas and begin to create things. I see energy in the room every time we meet. It is a small group but these are the right people to have.

10 Brett Martin
see my answer above

11 Ray Desjardins
I go into the Development Partners Group meetings with my own priorities and opinions relating to developments I would like to see. Listening to the input of the other partners brings out so many ideas I had never thought of and helps me to re-arrange my own priorities. 

12 Shmuli Wenger
The communication within the group is great. We are invited to participate in meetings and development projects. We also get to hear how the other development team members are using the software and their issues as well.

13 Olivier Beauregard
No direct advantage except for knowing that the problems we encounter are the same elsewhere. 

14 Charles Landreville
It allows us to know what our strength and weaknesses are as an office.

15 Eric Bachand
As a professional working alone, this group opens unknown horizons, therefore I acquire new knowledge.

How does the Development Partners Group influence your opinion of Wolters Kluwer?

1 Janet Foster
I feel like we now have an inside voice at CCH. I feel respected and appreciated by the CCH team. We have never had this opportunity with any other software provider so we are thrilled to be a part of the group.

2 Debra Dowdell
Being part of the Development Partners Group definitely helps me have a deeper, higher regard for the work and organization of Wolters Kluwer. I have been so impressed by the professionalism of the internal team. They have such a dedication and commitment to high level quality products and to making sure the products are designed for the needs of their clients. It’s been a pleasure to work with them.

3 Michael Merpaw
The Development Partners Group has made a significant influence on my opinion of Wolters Kluwer as being a very responsive partner to our business, genuinely caring about us as clients; that you have our firm’s best interest at heart in making us more efficient and innovative in how we deliver services to our clients.

4 Todd Trowbridge
Greatly augments our very important partnership with CCH by giving us a much more open relationship and advance view of products soon to come as well as provide input on new concepts.

5 Richard Schaak
I think that the company is very innovative and this initiative has confirmed to us that CCH is the software of choice for accounting firms in Canada.

6 Darren J. Buma
It is clear to me that this is a customer focused company. Years ago I told our sales representative that I needed a solution partner, not a software company. Wolters Kluwer is clearly positioning itself as that solutions partner.

7 Dan Chun
The Development Partners Group enhances my view of CCH’s commitment to advancing tax research and preparation. While I always appreciated that someone seemed to be listening to past suggestions, I had no idea how proactive the iSolutions team was in searching out new solutions. This is a great way to gather input from users.

8 Justin VanDyk
Being a Development Partners Group with Wolters Kluwer has greatly influenced my opinion of the company! All of it being positive! Knowing the executives and the product managers first hand and seeing the commitment to me through software and efficiencies has shown me that Wolters Kluwer genuinely cares about their customers and they will stop at nothing to provide me with the best software to help grow my business.

9 Dino Micacchi
It shows that Wolters Kluwer cares enough to understand the needs of the people they work with. It is not a push down system, it is collaboration.

10 Brett Martin
I have always believed that CCH is the industry leader in accounting software / systems. The Development Partners Group is proof of CCH’s commitment to maintain this leadership.

11 Ray Desjardins
If anything, the group reinforces the already positive opinion I had of Wolters Kluwer. I’ve always considered Taxprep to be the most accurate, professional and efficient tax preparation product available. What is new, however, is that I’m starting to appreciate that CCH / Taxprep is about much more than tax preparation – it’s about the entire planning, management and preparation process. Notwithstanding the branding around the name “Taxprep”, this group has made me recognize that Wolters Kluwer’s vision goes far beyond the “Prep” in Taxprep.

12 Shmuli Wenger
Definitely positive. The team from CCH is great from Doug, Philippe, Erik and the rest of the group.

13 Olivier Beauregard
Positively. They respond to our needs.

14 Charles Landreville
I’ve developed a sense of belonging to Wolters Kluwer and I am proud to be a member of the Development Partners Group.

15 Eric Bachand
This confirms that Wolters Kluwer is a business that goes over and beyond mass market products to offer very specialized products that, in my opinion, do not exist anywhere else.