Thomson Elite Extends Market Lead with 19 New Clients
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 19, 2003--
Company Expands Presence in International, Legal and PSA Markets with 19 New Contracts for the Elite Financial and Practice Management System, Including First Elite Billback Customer
Thomson Elite, part of The Thomson Corporation (TSX:TOC)(NYSE:TOC) and a worldwide provider of business software to professional services firms, today announced 19 new signings for the Elite financial and practice management system since the end of the first quarter, representing further expansion in the professional services and international markets, as well as its first contract for Elite Billback. This brings Elite's total number of new clients for 2003 to 35.
Thomson Elite's strategy of expanding its presence in international markets continues to succeed, with nearly half of the company's newest clients coming from international sales, including Kelvin Chia Partnership in Singapore, Simpson & Marwick WS in Scotland and Farris Management Ltd. in Canada.
Recent sales also include the first contract for Elite Billback, the company's new, integrated cost recovery solution. Wisconsin-based law firm Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, which has just completed its implementation of the Elite financial and practice management system, is now in the process of implementing Billback.
"Many factors entered into our decision to switch from our previous vendor to the Elite system. Primarily, we were looking for a high level of module integration and to increase efficiency through one-time entry of data, across the many departments of our firm. Thomson Elite's financial stability and its broad and established user base were both important considerations as well," said Andrew Bednall, chief financial officer for Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek. "We have completed the five-month implementation process, which involved rolling out 20 Elite financial and practice management applications, and we're now closing our first month with Elite and preparing to implement Elite Billback. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of both the Elite project team and the firm project team that we are in this position within the timeframe assigned. It was truly a superior combined team effort."
While progressing in the international and non-legal professional services markets, Elite continues to extend its lead in the legal industry with key wins in the San Francisco area. Hanson, Bridgett, Vlahos & Rudy, LLP, ranked 17th on the San Francisco Business Times Top 25 Law Firms list, selected the Elite financial management system based on a wide range of criteria. With the signing of this contract, Thomson Elite is now the financial and practice management system provider for 11 of the top 25 law firms in San Francisco.
"The Elite system was the overwhelming choice of our firm's accounting and risk management staff, who felt that the functionality and usability of the system far surpassed that of Elite's nearest competitor, and that the features of the Elite system would save time and increase accuracy. In addition, I invited members of our Management Committee as well as secretaries and other users to a demo of the system and reactions were favorable at all levels," said Carolyn Hammerberg, executive director and chief financial officer for Hanson, Bridgett, Vlahos & Rudy, LLP. "While taking the preferences of our users into account, I also considered a wider range of variables that included Thomson Elite's financial strength and ability to continually improve the capabilities of the system based on user input. At the 2002 Elite user conference, I was impressed at the quality of information being disseminated and the enthusiasm of the attendees at most sessions and events. I spoke with a number of users and asked countless questions, and was impressed by their level of satisfaction with the Elite system."
Elite is making significant inroads as the financial and practice management system provider for a wide range of professional services firms. Beers & Cutler, a Washington D.C.-based CPA and consulting firm that serves law firms and other businesses, was looking for a system that provided the robust accounting and reporting it needed while accommodating its unique needs.
"As a CPA firm that provides audit, tax and consulting services to many law firm clients, we have had the opportunity to work with Thomson Elite on a number of projects over the past few years and continue to do so," said Bill O'Connell, senior consultant for Beers & Cutler's law firm services group. "When it came time to implement a new accounting and billing system for our own internal use, we looked at several different vendors. In our grading and evaluation process, the Elite system consistently ranked higher in the areas we consider essential to run our business. Elite also provides the flexibility we need for our firm."
About Thomson Elite
Thomson Elite is a leading provider of integrated practice and financial management systems for professional service firms worldwide. Aligned with West as part of the Thomson Legal & Regulatory Market Group, Thomson Elite is a premier provider of financial and practice management systems to the legal industry and to other professional service markets, including accounting, engineering, marketing services, and management and IT consulting. More than one-third of the top 1,000 US law firms, more than one-half of the top 100 US law firms, and 30 of the top 100 UK law firms use Elite's practice management systems. Eight of the top 20 US accounting firms also use the Elite system. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Thomson Elite was named a top-ten software developer by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2002 for the second consecutive year. The company was also ranked among the Deloitte and Touche Fast 50 technology growth companies and was named to the Forbes 200 Best Small Companies list in 2002. Elite employs more than 400 professionals and has offices worldwide including Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Sydney and London. For more information, visit www.elite.com.
About West and The Thomson Corporation
Headquartered in Eagan, Minn., West is the foremost provider of integrated information solutions to the U.S. legal market. West is a business within The Thomson Corporation and was formed when West Publishing and Thomson Legal Publishing merged in June 1996. The Thomson Corporation (www.thomson.com), with 2002 revenues of $7.8 billion, is a global leader in providing integrated information solutions to business and professional customers. The Corporation's common shares are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges (TSX: TOC; NYSE: TOC).
CONTACT: West, a Thomson business