Microsoft Embraces Accountants
Smart Move and Moving on Intuit

Scheduled for U.S. availability in September 2005, Office Small Business Accounting 2006 will be available in a standalone edition or as part of Microsoft Office Small Business Management Edition 2006.
Over the years, Microsoft has courted a huge following of developers to feed its need for software for Windows and Office. It has also courted a large following of technology consultants/partners and value added providers to ensure that customers can have support and installation services for Windows and Office.
The third group that it will now reach out to is accountants to focus on the SMB market. Accountants are one of the most trusted advisors (by choice or force) for SMBs. Intuit and Best Software know this and have reached out to them for years, now Microsoft will start its own Microsoft(R) Professional Accountants’ Network. The network will provide comprehensive benefits including training, technical support and professional networking opportunities.
Based on the insight the company heard, the network will provide significant benefits for accountants, including these:
— Support. Accountants will have access to software and support that can
help them easily use technology so they can stay focused on serving
their clients and grow their business. For example, they will receive
five calls and will have direct and quick access when they call
Microsoft Support to get direct access to people who know the product.
— Training. Microsoft also will provide a wealth of training
opportunities to familiarize accountants with Microsoft solutions.
These will include 24 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE)
credits and three hours of online lab training on Office Small Business
Accounting 2006. Microsoft understands that the accounting community
needs some time to learn about the new products, so in collaboration
with K2 Enterprises and J. Carlton Collins, leaders in providing
software and technology seminars and training to certified public
accountants (CPAs), it will sponsor selected CPE courses promoted by
local CPA societies.
— Resources. Microsoft will provide a dedicated Web portal to house
customized information for accountants on a variety of topics. These
will include product information, newsletters, information on customer
referrals and marketing tools, including templates and an online
directory listing.
Microsoft Office Small Business Management Edition 2006 is designed to give owners and managers of small companies a complete view of their business — from sales and marketing to financial, personnel and customer relationship processes — in the familiar, easy-to-use Office environment. It includes Microsoft Office Outlook(R) 2003 with Business Contact Manager Update as well as the new Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006. In addition, it will include Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel(R) 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint(R) 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 and Microsoft Office Access 2003. Get more information on this here.