INTUIT REFINES ITS SMALL BUSINESS STRATEGYIntuit has said that it will begin offering new online services for small businesses using QuickBooks software as part of its "Connected Services" strategy.

The company plans to provide its own services, in addition to services from partners, and will also provide tools that let users connect to each other within Intuit's small business network. As part of its switch to the Connected Services strategy, Intuit announced in June that it was trimming 7 percent of its workforce.

Part of the strategy involves improving services such as Intuit Payroll and Merchant Services that connect to QuickBooks. Third-party developers will also be able to create services for QuickBooks users with the QuickBase Development Environment that Intuit began testing last April. The QuickBooks Online accounting service is already being used by more than 130,000 small businesses to connect to their accounting information remotely, according to the company. The service is now available for the Apple iPhone, and Intuit intends to soon make it accessible to RIM BlackBerry users.

Intuit is also connecting accountants with each other through its recently introduced Accountant Work Exchange service to help them find other qualified accountants who can help with workloads. It also has a service called JumpUp that allows small businesses to connect with each other.

UBCC ADDS FEATURES TO PAYROLL AND WRITE-UP

Universal Business Computing Co. has enhanced its payroll and write-up software with the ability to print special and foreign character sets, and has doubled the amount of reporting fields from 500 to 1,000.

New features allow users to print out more types of characters besides alphabetic and numeric characters. The impetus behind the new features was a customer's client that changed its name to include two firm names with a dot separating the names, and the customer requested the ability to include the dot on the client's printed checks, according to UBCC president Ken Garen.

OPEN SYSTEMS RELEASES OSAS CONTRACTORS' JOB COST

Business and accounting software provider Open Systems Inc. has released OSAS Contractors' Job Cost Version 7.52, an application designed for contractors requiring labor, material and overhead cost breakdowns; certified payroll; and a choice of billing formats.

In addition to the CJC application, the upgrade includes the OSAS 7.52 versions of Banking for electronic banking needs; Enhanced Payroll Tax Reporting for printing or electronically filing state and federal reports; Info-Alert for automated alerts; and OSAS Web B2B, an Internet interface to OSAS data.

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