PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT NEWS

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AICPA OPENS IT SITE The American Institution of CPAs has established an Information Technology Web site that is designed to provide information to holders of its Certified Information Technology Professional credential and to CPAs who are interested in technology in general.

Located at www.aicpa.org/infotech, the section also provides information for the organization's IT Section members. Information is provided in five core areas: resources, community, events, membership, and products.

COLUMBUS IT RAISES CAPITAL

Partner Insights

Columbus IT Partner, a Microsoft reseller based in Denmark, has raised about $5.8 million through a rights offering available overseas only.

Shareholders were given the right to purchase two shares at roughly 52 cents for each three shares they owned. Consolidated Holdings A/S, the company's largest shareholder, is underwriting the offering.

MBS PUSHES VERTICALS

Microsoft is going to push its accounting software resellers towards a greater vertical focus, according to Orlando Ayala, COO of Microsoft Business Solutions.

Ayala, interviewed at Microsoft's Convergence conference in March, says that verticialization will help reduce the competition MBS VARs often face from other MBS resellers. Tools for the vertical effort include Web-based systems such as Partner ChannelBuilder to help resellers collaborate, Solution Finder to help customers locate applications, and vertical lead distribution for participating VARs.

INTACCT OFFERS OUTSOURCING

Online software provider Intacct is offering outsourced technology services to the clients of accounting firms, while providing CPAs with what it says is a revenue-making opportunity.

Called Accounting Outsourcer in a Box, the program lets firms outsource a applications that they might otherwise deliver to clients. The system is designed to let the firms concentrate on services with which firms are more comfortable. Participating CPA firms pay $20,000 annually for the platform, although Intuit is reducing that by $5,000 as a promotion. "We revenue-share for every client that comes aboard to the platform," says CEO Robert Jurkowski.

BEST OFFERS MARKETING PROGRAM

Best Software has launched its Direct Mail on Demand program to help them develop customized direct mail campaigns for the company's mid-market software packages.

Resellers can utilize an online system to customize, produce, and deliver customized direct mail campaigns. Using tools available via the the Best Software Channel Web site, VARs can select from professionally designed cards and letters, customize the appearance, and choose prospect mailing lists.

EXACT HONORS VARS

Exact Software cited Inspired Solutions, an Atlanta-based reseller, for the most new sites in the last year, at its reseller conference in March, as the vendor handed out a number of awards.

Algorithm, based in Mansfield, Ohio, received the Top Sales Award, while Xonitek Systems of Binghamton, N.Y., took home the Most e-Synergy Sites Award and the Most e-Synergy Sales Award. Accounting Software Solutions of Solon, Ohio, was named Growth Partner of the Year and received the Outstanding Service Award.

TREY LOSSES CONTINUE

Trey Industries, which owns Livingston, N.J.-based SWK, an Accpac reseller, reported that it lost $2.4 million for the year ended December 31, with nearly $2 million in operating losses.

Trey spun out of iVoice last year and picked up SWK during the same period. The company also acquired Business Tech Solutions Group, a BusinessWorks reseller. Trey had $1.7 million in revenue for 2004, entirely from the two purchased VARs.

AICPA ASKS E-FILE DELAY

The American Institute of CPAs has asked for a one-year delay in mandated electronic filing for corporations with assets greater than $50 million and tax-exempt organizations with more than $100 million in assets.

The requirement is scheduled to take effect in January, while those with more than $10 million in assets are scheduled to face the same rule in January 2007. Deborah J. Pflieger, former chair of the AICPA's Practice and Procedure Committee, told the Internal Revenue Service that companies need more lead time.

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