FROM THE DESK OF SHANE CONCEPCION
Summer has arrived early to the Seattle area for a change. We have had many “nice” days so far this year. Summer is a time of celebration – weddings, graduations, Independence Day, fairs, picnics, and boating season. There is another item to highlight as a reason to celebrate. This summer, we will reach the two year mark since Manatron was acquired by Thomson Reuters. Our business units in the Government segment of Tax & Accounting have realized many accomplishments and milestones since that time. We would not have the success we are experiencing today if it was not for all of our loyal, dedicated, and valued clients. I extend my deepest gratitude to you all. Further, I feel very fortunate that I get to work among such a talented group of colleagues, all completely dedicated to their jobs. They all continually collaborate and innovate with our client needs at the forefront of those processes.
I am pleased to report that Thomson Reuters was present at the WA Assessor and Treasurer conferences in June. We also plan to attend OSACA’s Summer Work Session in Portland this August. These meetings/conferences are unique opportunities for us to interact fluidly with our valued clients and also network with our industry partners. For those of you able to make it to San Diego this September, our annual Thomson Reuters User Group Conference will be another opportunity to have easy access to a number of our Government Unit staff in one location. The educational sessions are worth their weight in gold. And the Ascend User Group will hold its 16th annual meeting, if you can believe that! I hope many of you can make it.
WASHINGTON LEVY SUMMIT
By Shane Concepcion
Greetings Customers!Shane has asked me to provide you with a few words regarding our business development efforts in the Northwest. This is my first article in our core market customer newsletter and maybe it should be titled “62 and Counting!”…keep reading and you will see why.
For our customers in Washington State, I am a new name and face. Although I have been working for several years with those of you in a number of western states, I recently took over responsibility for the state of Washington. I have had the opportunity to meet many of our Washington State customers and look forward to meeting all of you, especially at the Washington State Assessor and Treasurer conferences in June. With our acquisition of TerraScan we now have 23 of the 39 counties in Washington as Thomson Reuters customers. I will be working to identify a potential Aumentum launch customer in Washington which could come from one of our existing clients, or possibly from a new county that may select Aumentum. This was the blueprint for Oregon, where several new counties selected Aumentum, which is currently being implemented in the state, ultimately creating an optional migration path opportunity to Aumentum for our legacy technology customers in Oregon. Aumentum is now deployed in over 20 US states, and with our many years of experience in Washington, the Evergreen state is well positioned for a future with Aumentum! Please keep in mind that our current customers will have the option to migrate to Aumentum after it is deployed and proven in the state when they see the business value of doing so. There are no plans to discontinue support for Ascend or Terra Scan customers for many years to come.
In Oregon, we continue to have the good fortune of adding new counties to our growing list of Thomson Reuters customers. Just recently, one more Oregon county has provided us with notification that they have selected Aumentum and received Commissioner approval to begin the contracting phase. This will bring the total number of counties in Oregon that are either existing Ascend/ProVal customers, or in the midst of projects implementing Aumentum, to 15 jurisdictions. That means that eight new counties in Oregon have committed to Thomson Reuters in just the last two years! In terms of sheer number of parcels, we will be serving well over half of the state of Oregon with four out of the five largest counties having selected Thomson Reuters.
Thanks to a reputation of outstanding operations and client support by Shane and his team, an industry leading focus on the latest technology developments, and an optional future migration path to Aumentum for our legacy technology customers, Thomson Reuters has emerged as the one partner that can support the A&T needs of jurisdictions in the Pacific Northwest, now and well into the future. In just the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, we are now up to 62 counties that have come to depend on Thomson Reuters! We value all of you as our customers and we look forward to many more years of partnership; and I’ll be working hard to identify customer number 63!
Bob Tenace, Sales Executive
By Daniel Kelley
We have another successful Ascend migration from Informix to SQL Server to report. This time Klickitat WA has been added to the ranks of counties who are enjoying the extra benefits and enhanced performance of Ascend on SQL Server. While we are ironing out some custom process issues, all else has gone well. To date this brings the total number of Ascend counties running SQL Server platforms to 19!
Speaking of SQL Server customers…Wasco County, OR will round out our SQL customers to 20 this summer. They have recently been unleashed on their fourth and final trial conversion Ascend database. Go live is on track for July 8th. In the meantime they are busy finalizing conversion audits while getting Proval data ready for the roll this fall. Just in Time Training (JITT) is coming up end of June and the users are excited to dig into the new system!
Senior Technical Consultant
I have worked for Thomson Reuters in Bellevue, Washington since January 2000. After spending four years in public accounting, I was ready for the private industry and I found ASIX which produced a tremendously well designed software product for property tax administration. I was first hired as a business analyst to implement Ascend back in the ASIX days and I have remained focused on supporting and implementing Ascend with a diverse and amazing customer base. ASIX was purchased by Manatron in 2005 and Manatron was purchased by Thomson Reuters in 2011.
Currently, Thomson Reuters, Tax & Accounting, Government Unit is where I reside as a Senior Technical Consultant. Besides my current position, I am also project manager for an Ascend implementation – Wasco County, Oregon. Prior to joining ASIX, I spent four years in public accounting, within the tax practice at Ernst & Young (San Francisco) and Arthur Andersen (Seattle). I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, emphasis in Accounting from Seattle University.
I live with my wife in Lakewood, Washington where we are raising 4 teenagers and a very loving Great Dane. We live a fast paced life and enjoy everything about it. When time permits, traveling, golf, and a serious game of poker are all very enjoyable.
SIGMA BUSINESS UNIT UPDATE
By John Wagner
In the Sigma system, there have been several enhancements in the last six months. The most significant was the addition of the Related Parcel Tracking tab on the Parcel screen in Data Management. The table shown on this tab allows the user to keep track of which related parcels need to be reviewed. In conjunction with this enhancement, Owner Name and Situs Address were added to the Related Parcels table on the first Parcel tab, along with a check box to allow the user to easily select parcels for tracking.
Another new feature is the addition of user-defined range edits for date fields. The Low and High Values entered on the Table/Column List screen will be applied to the year portion of the date. If the High Value is left blank or set to zero, then the current calendar year will be used as the upper value. This has been implemented in DMT, Transaction Processor, and Re-Edit.
Finally, several enhancements have been added to the Parcel List program:
• The display of Notes is now optional.
• The IDs for Related Parcels are now displayed.
• The photo note is now displayed.
• A parcel-based page number has been added to the report.
THOMSON REUTERS VOLUNTEER FOCUS
Thomson Reuters has a rich focus on volunteer spirit across the company. In fact, all of our employees have the option to take a paid volunteer day away from work. Thomson Reuters also has a charitable match for employee donations. One of our Ascend Product Engineers, Shiv Kumar, recently spent a day doing just that. His target organization, WATCH D.O.G.S. ® (Dads of Great Students), is an innovative father involvement,
1) To provide positive role models for the students.
2) To provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.
Shiv performed a variety of tasks on his volunteer day including monitoring the school entrance, assisting with unloading and loading of buses and cars, helping in the classroom with the teacher’s guidance, conducting fire/lockdown/bad weather drill, coordinating outdoor activities for kids, and participating in Teacher Appreciation activities.
It is so gratifying to see our dedicated employees pursue outside interests and perform valuable community service in the process. Stay tuned for more Volunteer Spotlights in future editions.