Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More on Office Accounting 2007

I did a lot of searching and reading last night about the new product and finally downloaded a copy of Office Accounting Express. Here are some of the articles I found:
  1. Review: Microsoft's New Office Powerhouse: Office Accounting 2007 (CRN)
  2. Review: Intuit, Microsoft Accounting Add Web Services (PC World)
  3. Microsoft tries to lure 'mom and pop' companies (CNET -- lots of comments on this one)
  4. Microsoft offers free small-business software (InfoWorld)
  5. Office Accounting 2007 - Democratizing Software for Smaller Businesses (Smallbiztech)
  6. Microsoft introduces a new freebie (ZDNet)
  7. The official press release from Microsoft
  8. Ideawins.com -- a site put up by Microsoft explaining the product
There is a lot here to absorb before commenting further. One thing that was raised in a comment was the fact that you could not use Express if you are already using SBA 2006, which I find odd. I haven't tested it, so I do not know if that is truly the case. One anonymous commenter said he tested it, so if anyone else can also attest to that, please leave a comment.

Monday, October 30, 2006

MAJOR Microsoft Announcement!!

Wow, this accounting war is really escalating... Microsoft just announced a FREE version of a new lower-end version of SBA (now called Office Accounting). The new version called Office Accounting Express seems to have most of the same features you find in the Pro product with the exception of less reports and some more "advanced" accounting features. See their website at Ideawins.com for the details.

Also, when I say FREE, I mean FREE forever. You can download and start using it right away. Get it here.

I'll be doing some searching around this morning to find out more information about this. I'll post updates as I have them.

What a morning!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Great article on the SBA 2007 Beta

Kathy Yakal from PC magazine reviewed the first version of Small Business Accounting and now she's done it again for 2007. Here are a couple of interesting quotes from the article:

"I found Office Accounting 2007's Office-like interface to be more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing than the QuickBooks interface. Each program area (such as Customers and Banking) is represented by a tab, which opens a related menu and flow chart for navigation."
This is an interesting note. Wasn't the whole point of the Quickbooks redesign to make the navigation easier? Apparently Kathy likes it broken out as it is in Small Business Accounting.

"The program's greatest selling point, however, is its tight connection with with eBay and PayPal. You can create, list, and track your items in Office Accounting, and then import sales information. You can also import PayPal sales information into Office Accounting. The feature, facilitated by step-by-step instructions (which make the potentially convoluted process less complex), is best suited for power sellers, but should also prove helpful to anyone who already uses eBay or PayPal. This feature worked well in my testing."

I couldn't agree more on this point. I really like the eBay feature and only wish I had a real need to use it. Perhaps I need to start yet another side business.

"Microsoft's Office Accounting 2007 beta is a vast improvement over last year's edition. It should prove an effective tool for small businesses that don't have large-scale inventory requirements, and for those users who want to track eBay and PayPal transactions better. I'm interested in seeing what fine-tuning Microsoft does—adding more reports and support for more banks, for example—between now and the app's final release date, and whether this already very good app becomes a great one."

It'll be interesting to see what the rest of the community thinks of the improvements. I've said a few times before that I really think that Microsoft is on to something here. One thing is for sure, both with SBA and QB: they are both adding more and more features that have some online aspects to them. Both the SBA - eBay/Paypal work and the QB - Google work are adding new dimensions to accounting software. I wonder how long before Peachtree follows suit.