INTUIT BEEFS UP QUICKBOOKSIntuit has upgraded QuickBooks with a new client data review tool and other features for accountants to help their small business clients.

The client data review tool in QuickBooks Premier Accountant 2009 streamlines the tasks involved in reviewing, troubleshooting and correcting a client's QuickBooks data. It includes one-click journal entry. For accounts receivable, it offers auto-apply matching

The Intuit Statement Writer feature provides a budget-to-actual statement and allows users to roll up accounts. The software can also produce Excel spreadsheets, and allows users to save templates and reformat fonts. In addition, the latest version provides online banking features and a smart renaming feature that automatically renames expenses. The software can also produce a company snapshot of account balances.

QuickBooks now supports multiple currencies and downloads the latest exchange rates. It also processes international wire transfers and drafts.

QuickBooks Premier Accountant 2009 costs $399. For more information, visit www.quickbooks.com.

COLLABORATION TOOLS RISE

A recent wave of collaboration solutions such as Google Apps - and a number of Microsoft offerings like Office SharePoint Server, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Microsoft Office Live and Groove - have allowed firms to maximize efficiency and risk management, while boosting productivity. "Some managing partners have not embraced technology the way [they need to]," said Will Fleenor of consulting concern K2 Enterprises, who led a breakout session on collaboration products at the Accountants Technology Conference in Las Vegas. "Sometimes age factors into it. Other times, they're just not involved in the process."

For smaller businesses and firms, the available collaboration tools include products like Egnyte, a provider of automated hosted file management services.

Web-based meeting tools have also seen a dramatic rise in users, said Fleenor, who also told attendees about virtual portability apps such as MojoPac, which transforms iPods, USB flash drives, portable hard drives, USB-enabled cell phones, and even digital cameras into portable computing environments.

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