Years ago, buying decisions for accounting firms were pretty easy. For example, the tax research service and tax prep software that the firm purchased were usually those that the managing partner liked because he or she was familiar with it. Not much deep analysis went into that decision.

Purchases no longer are so simple. Now with customer relations management, the need for remote access, a desire to go paperless, and the need for programs to talk with each other, not to mention security, disaster recovery, and hardware concerns, a committee normally has to be formed for these purchases.

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