Thomson's focus was on Onvio, the new cloud suite, which the company admits will take years to roll out. But around meal tables, far more discussion centered on CSA.
There are still 3,000 firms using CSA, down from a peak of about 15,000, according to product manager Louie Calvin. Thomson is making a lot of noise to remind the users that it will retire CSA on June 1, 2017. Currently, the company is moving about 350 firms a month to Accounting CS and the number still using the older product has come down dramatically from the number of users on January 1.
CSA "has grown dated. It is built on the Access database," says Calvin, and he notes that when there is data corruption, it bogs down. CSA was built to move the company into Windows. It was not designed for an era of email and the Internet. It is also less efficient. "CSA was a client-by-client approach," Calvin says. Accounting CS utilizes more global processing, including the ability to print more jobs simultaneously.
Users, of course, are concerned with the process of converting client files from one system to another. "We are assisting them with the transition," says Calvin. "We are doing one-off communications, giving them goals and training."
Accounting CS has had a major impact in one area—payroll. With CSA, few firms were providing payroll services of any size. With Accounting CS, that has changed. Calvin estimates there are at least 200 firms running more than 200 payrolls. That simply did happen with the older product.