Microsoft to Train SMB Accountants

Microsoft said Monday that it plans to launch a training and support program for accounting professionals who serve the small-business market.

The program, called the Microsoft Professional Accountants Network, will give members access to a prerelease version of the new Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006 package. The early peek is designed to let them evaluate the suite individually and potentially introduce it to their clients.

Those attending the 2005 New Jersey Accounting, Business & Technology Show in Secaucus, N.J., Tuesday and Wednesday can sign up to receive a free, prerelease version of the software.

Microsoft Corp. plans to attend similar shows in the United States over the next few months, allowing accounting professionals to sign up to receive the prerelease software.

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Scheduled for availability in September 2005, Office Small Business Accounting 2006 will be available in a stand-alone edition at an estimated retail price of $200 or as part of Microsoft Office Small Business Management Edition 2006. Pricing has not yet been finalized but will be announced soon for both solutions.

Payroll services, developed by ADP Small Business Services in collaboration with Microsoft, will be available as an optional add-on to Small Business Accounting 2006. There will be two tiers of payroll services, ADP Payroll and ADP Total Payroll, which will integrate payroll processing tools with Small Business Accounting 2006.

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