Despite another year of red ink, executives at CPA2Biz, the online marketing portal of the American Institute of CPAs, maintained optimism that the site's new features and a rising user base will keep the vehicle cash-flow positive, a trend that eventually will lead to profitability.

"We intend to remain cash positive," CPA2Biz chief executive Erik Asgeirsson told attendees at the institute's Fall Meeting of Council, here. "For Fiscal Year 2004, we have EBIDTA of $1.5 million."

Citing a $4 million depreciation expense, CPA2Biz posted a loss of $3.1 million for fiscal 2004.

"At Spring Council, we told you we were going to be coming out with a redesign of the home page and we've delivered on that," said Asgeirsson.

Last week, the site unveiled an upgrade that features an enhanced home page and conference area, as well as new ordering capabilities and log-in options, among other improvements.

Asgeirsson told attendees that the portal now has 200,000 users and offers some 1,000 products. He said that online sales for the second quarter hit $2.96 million, up from $2.33 million for the year-ago period.

Asgeirsson also said that, since the Spring council meeting, an additional 5,000 firms have enrolled in the portal's Business Solutions Program, which features vendor partnerships with Paychex and Chase offering payroll services and banking services, respectively, bringing the total number of firms enrolled in the program to 10,500.

However, CPA2Biz also accrued an additional $10 million in net asset losses, boosting that figure to a total of $101.2 million in red ink since its inception.

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