From XU Magazine, 
Issue 37

This is the next-generation in tax and accounting research

Wolters Kluwer launch CCH iKnowConnect

Xero User Magazine sat down with Sarah Ingram from Wolters Kluwer to learn more about CCH iKnowConnect.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Q: Tell us about yourself and your role at Wolters Kluwer?

A: My role is defined by a clear mission to optimise the user experience when using Wolters Kluwer research solutions. I do this by providing efficient access to accurate and up-to-date information. My goal for the customer is straightforward yet impactful - minimise search time and maximise productivity. This approach is driven by a deep understanding of the challenges faced by professionals in the field.

This includes the product development of our new CCH iKnowConnect platform, a powerful and intuitive research platform designed to meet the needs of tax, accounting, bookkeeper, and legal professionals across Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.

Q: How do customers influence and shape Wolters Kluwer solutions?

A: Customers play a pivotal role in shaping Wolters Kluwer solutions and customer feedback is a key component of our development process. Through a continuous and rigorous customer feedback process, customers provide us with insights into their needs and wants which are invaluable in driving product development forward.

Through surveys, user forums, and direct interactions, Wolters Kluwer actively seeks input from our customer base. This feedback loop enables us to understand pain points, identify emerging trends, and pinpoint areas for improvement.

Myself and my team at Wolters Kluwer carefully analyse this feedback to inform product enhancements and new feature development.

In addition to gathering feedback, Wolters Kluwer actively involves its customers in the testing of prototypes. This collaborative process allows for a hands-on evaluation of potential solutions, ensuring that they align seamlessly with the practical requirements of Tax, Accounting, Bookkeeper, and Legal professionals in the field.

This iterative approach ensures that solutions are not only technologically advanced but also directly address the practical needs of our customer community.

In essence, the customers act as co-creators, influencing the direction and evolution of Wolters Kluwer products and solutions. Their experiences and insights serve as the compass guiding the company towards delivering tools that truly resonate with professionals.

Q: What is contextual inquiry?

A: Contextual inquiry is a crucial component of Wolters Kluwer user-centered design approach. This qualitative research method involves observing and engaging with users in their natural work environments, providing invaluable insights into their behaviours and needs. By employing contextual inquiry, the product innovation team gains a deep understanding of a user’s research workflow. This method allows us to identify pain points, uncover workflow intricacies, and ultimately refine our research product to better serve the user.

Q: What are the biggest pain points you hear from accountants and bookkeepers and how do you tackle these challenges?

A: Navigating the intricacies of tax, accounting and bookkeeping matters often proves to be a time-consuming endeavor for users. While Google Search offers a straightforward approach with its intuitive interface and rapid results, professionals recognise that there are instances when precision becomes paramount. In scenarios where accuracy is non-negotiable and the stakes are high, specialised platforms like CCH iKnowConnect step in to fill the void.

CCH iKnowConnect seamlessly combines the simplicity of a Google-like search experience with the assurance that every piece of information has undergone rigorous scrutiny and verification. This platform serves as a bridge between convenience and certainty, affording professionals the optimal blend of user-friendly accessibility and trustworthy, accurate knowledge in their pursuit of excellence.

Staying abreast of the ceaselessly shifting terrain of tax laws and regulations presents a formidable hurdle. The consequences of non-compliance are weighty, underscoring the critical importance of staying informed and up-to-date. This is where CCH iKnowConnect steps in as an invaluable ally. By offering real-time updates and comprehensive resources, it ensures that professionals are equipped with the latest information, reducing the risk of non-compliance and providing peace of mind in an ever-evolving regulatory environment. Additionally, you can have these crucial news and announcements conveniently delivered to your inbox, further streamlining your access to vital updates.

A significant challenge faced by junior professionals in the field is knowing how to initiate a research task and identifying the right keywords. To bridge this gap, CCH iKnowConnect has Topic Pages. These pages serve as a launchpad, providing a structured approach to understanding a given topic. By highlighting key legislation, seminal cases, and offering direct links to expert commentary and practical tools junior professionals can embark on their research journeys with confidence and clarity. This feature not only streamlines the process but also nurtures a deeper comprehension of complex matters, fostering growth and proficiency within the profession.

Q: What are your favourite features of CCH iKnowConnect and why?

A: The 360-degree view of legislation in CCH iKnowConnect is the platform’s most outstanding feature. This innovative function provides users with a complete perspective. It allows those who prefer to commence their research via legislation to directly access commentary, cases, and specific details related to that section of an Act.

This transformative capability has proven to be a game-changer, benefiting all users of the platform. It enables professionals to delve deeply into legal texts, resulting in a thorough understanding of the regulatory landscape and a more streamlined research process than ever before. With this feature, CCH iKnowConnect sets a new standard in delivering a seamless and comprehensive research experience.

Q: What’s coming in the future?

A: Wolters Kluwer is committed to delivering innovative solutions driven by an intricate blend of data, domain knowledge and AI – working together with our customers to ensure we are providing valuable solutions that align with their workflow. We have leveraged advanced technologies, such as predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence for several years within our solutions and continuing to apply advanced technologies such as Generative AI, and other forms of Artificial Intelligence, remains a key focus area in the development of our solutions. These capabilities are a supplement to our deep domain expertise.  

In a significant stride forward, Wolters Kluwer is presently engaged in the development of a generative AI research assistant. Leveraging the extensive library of Wolters Kluwer’s knowledge, this cutting-edge tool is designed to deliver direct, accurate answers to user questions. With the new research assistant, the process of obtaining reliable information is poised to become even more efficient and seamless. Stay tuned for this groundbreaking advancement in the realm of tax, accounting, and legal research.

Why leave it there?

To learn more about CCH iKnowConnect, join the live introductory showcase on 15th November

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