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MBS SLASHES LOSS Microsoft Business Solutions cut its operating loss by 62 percent on a 16 percent increase in revenue as the accounting software unit posted its best results under Microsoft.

MBS lost $12 million for the first quarter ended September 30, down from $31 million in last year's corresponding quarter. Revenue rose to $181 million, up from $156 million a year ago, above the company's guidance. The company said that software revenue rose by 18 percent, but cited no specific products.

SAGE SETS CRM STRATEGY

Partner Insights

Sage Ltd., the English parent of Sage Software, has decided to break its country-by-country approach to marketing software in favor of a global strategy for Customer Relationship Management.

Sage has named David Batt general manager of global CRM to put together an organization whose size has not yet been determined. The CRM products to be offered worldwide are Act, SalesLogix, and SageCRM.com (formerly Accpac CRM.com). "Sage is organized as a holding company with decentralized Applications because accounting regulations vary from country to country. CRM is not bound by the same governance," Batt said.

BIZFINITY LICENSING SOURCE CODE

Bizfinity, an online accounting service that emerged during the dot-com era, is offering to license its source code.

The change in direction was revealed in a press release on the company's Web site, www.bizfinity. com. It was the first announcement of any kind in more than two years. Bizfinity said that its software would no longer be sold direct. Interested parties can offer the Web-based system at regional, national, and international levels, but must bring the code base up to date with the latest versions of Java, 4th Dimension, and Oracle.

EXACT PICKS UP VANGUARD

Exact Software has acquired Vanguard Solutions Group, the company that makes Exact's analytical product, Business Analytics.

Vanguard will be operated as a division of Exact Software North America, whose operations include the Macola, JobBoss, Max, and Alliance MFG divisions. Vanguard president and CEO Anthony Balio remains with the unit.

SAGE MOVES BONGIOVANNI

Sage Software has transferred Mike Bongiovanni, formerly senior vice president of sales for Accpac, to work with its channel development team.

Bongiovanni will work with Taylor Macdonald, executive vice president of channel and sales operations in the Mid-Market Division, to help resellers build their businesses.

BLACKBAUD NET RISES SLIGHTLY

Blackbaud, the Charleston, S.C.-based provider of nonprofit software, saw earnings rise by 1.3 percent on an 18 percent increase in revenue for the third quarter ended September 30.

Net income reached $7.7 million, up from $7.6 million in last year's corresponding period. Third quarter revenue of $43.1 million compared to $36.4 million a year earlier. License revenue increased by 17 percent to $7.3 million, services revenue by 19 percent to $14.5 million, and maintenance and subscriptions revenue by 17 percent to $20 million over the year-earlier results.

EXACT EXPANDS IN SPAIN

Exact Software says it will set up three new subsidiaries in Spain, which will increase its presence in that country to six offices.

Offices will be opened in Bilbao in the Basque country, Seville in Andalusia, and Vigo in Galicia. Exact will hold majority interest in the three subsidiaries, with the rest of the shares held by local investors.

EPICOR NET UP 43 PERCENT

Epicor Software, based in Irvine, Calif., reported net income of $9 million for the third quarter ended September 30, a 43 percent increase from $6.3 million a year earlier.

Revenue for the most recently ended quarter rose to $70.1 million, up 13 percent from $62.2 million. License fees rose by 19 percent, consulting revenue was up 15 percent, and maintenance and other revenue rose 9 percent.

SERENIC LOSES $47,000

Serenic Corp., the Edmonton, Alberta-based company that markets the Serenic Navigator not-for-profit accounting software line, lost about $47,000 as sales rose by 141 percent for the three months ended August 31.

The loss widened from about $17,500 in red ink last year. Revenue rose to $1.8 million from $741,000 a year earlier. The Canadian company acquired Serenic Software in July 2004 and the sales growth reflected that operation's addition to results.

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