Microsoft Strategically Reaches Out to Accountants

Every small business might not have a computer consultant but just about every small business has an accountant. Microsoft, and many other vendors, know this and know that they are influencers in many of the purchasing decisions in their small business clients.
In order to get closer to this important constituency Microsoft announces that Accounting Professionals can officially sign up for the Microsoft Professional Accountants Network (MPAN).
A big incentive for Microsoft to create MPAN is because of the release of Microsoft’s Small Business Accounting 2006. Accountants are going to be aggressively courted by Microsoft, Intuit and Sage.
MPAN is designed specifically for accounting professionals to help them expand their √?“book of business√?” and support their critical role in helping small business clients meet their financial management needs.
Designed with extensive feedback from accounting professionals and industry experts, accounting professionals can sign up today to achieve the following benefits:
* 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 growing their businesses. They can receive five calls and will have direct and quick access to people who know the product when they call Microsoft Support.
* Training √?— Microsoft will provide a wealth of training opportunities to familiarize accountants with Microsoft solutions. These will include 27 hours of CPE credits with 24 hours of self-paced training and three hours of online lab training on the product. In addition, Microsoft will sponsor selected CPA 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.
MPAN is being launched in conjunction with Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006, which will be available in the fall (both as a stand alone product and as part of Microsoft Office Small Business Management Edition 2006). Small Business Accounting, designed for businesses with fewer than 25 employees, brings the ease of use of Office to accounting. It includes core accounting, inventory management, quotes, sales orders, invoices, purchase order processing, employee management, job tracking, banking and financial reporting.
Throughout the summer Microsoft is offering accounting professionals a special pre-release version of Small Business Accounting to evaluate and introduce to their clients.