For the past few years, the mantra in the mid-range has been that Best Software will soon own the market. Acquiring solid and reliable competitors and positioning its lineup well, Best has indeed made strong inroads.But it doesn't own the mid-range, and won't in the near term. This is not due to any failing on Best's part, but rather to the rich offerings and loyal customer bases of its competitors. Of the eight products reviewed in this year's round-up, four are in fact published by Best Software. But the competitors from AccTrak, Cougar Mountain, CYMA and Microsoft are strong in features and well-positioned in their own right.

Not featured, but also emerging as strong contenders in this segment, are the Enterprise Edition of QuickBooks from Intuit, and some exceptional online contenders like NetSuite.

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