Checkpoint is Thomson Reuters’ flagship research product for tax attorneys and accountancy firms. Having nearly 100% penetration into the Fortune 500, Checkpoint works by allowing a tax or accountancy professional to enter a research question and then select and search target publications for the answer. Checkpoint generates a list of relevant citations that may help the lawyer or accountant reach the best possible conclusion.

Early in 2011, thought leaders at TR were envisioning a new breed of research tool—one that would go far beyond simply providing a list of citations, but which would, instead, provide business analytics, leading professionals to the governing statute or opinion, given specifics about the case in question. While TR had a choice of a wide range of rules engines and decision management platforms for the new tool, the publishing giant chose HotDocs.

The new product, dubbed Interactive Decision Tools on Checkpoint, covers a wide range of tax and accountancy issues and takes advantage of HotDocs’ powerful logic core and processing engine to lead professionals through a veritable maze of legal issues to arrive at accurate conclusions, all in a fraction of the time and expense it used to take.

So why did Thomson Reuters choose HotDocs for this application? It almost certainly had to do with the publisher’s requirement for ultra-sophisticated interviews (sequences of interactive data-gathering forms), a functionality in which HotDocs is unparalleled. HotDocs forms allow complex, point-of-entry answer validation; powerful, answer-specific resources; and the ability to access deep artificial intelligence and decision management platforms when necessary.

Beyond merely leading a knowledge worker to correct conclusions, TR wanted the application to actually generate relevant documentation, such as opinions and letters of explanation, which, of course, is a more conventional application of HotDocs.

By the way, Interactive Decision Tools on Checkpoint was recently named Top New Research Product by Accounting Today.