In addition to those products that made it onto Accounting Today's Top 100 Products list, our editors have chosen a strong crop of contenders that bear consideration.Here are some of the products to watch in 2007.
* Accounting Policy & Practice Series (BNA Tax and Accounting): This service is designed for financial accountants and their advisors to help them better understand accounting rules and standards with plain-English, in-depth analysis, and to help them learn how to apply the rules and standards with detailed examples and sample journal entries. The service includes Portfolios (treatise-like pieces that offer in-depth analysis), the Accounting Policy & Practice Report (a biweekly report on the latest from standard-setters), and special reports on emerging hot topics.
* Alere Accounting (TIW Technology): Alere Accounting is an accounting package aimed at companies that have outgrown their original software, but still want ease of use and convenient, efficient processes - to say nothing of automatic period closings. The latest version includes new drop-shipping capabilities and enhanced reports.
* BizBench (Gerke & Associates): BizBench is a financial benchmarking resource that enables CPAs and other financial professionals to perform automated industry-specific benchmarking for clients. The BizBench report is a comprehensive analysis of the benchmark findings, written in a client-friendly style. Specific features include an executive summary of diagnosed strengths, weaknesses and preparer's comments; Citrix and Terminal Services compatibility; DuPont model analysis; discussion ideas for improving performance in areas that are diagnosed as relatively weak; an Analytical Procedures Report; and Z-Score Analysis. The exclusive Back Calculation feature for "what-if" modeling helps identify improvement goals, based on desired improvement in industry percentile rankings.
* CCH@Hand (CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business): CCH@Hand integrates right into the professional's workflow to let users search, view and retrieve results from any Microsoft Office application without leaving their document, e-mail or browser. CCH@Hand also allows users to link from any recognized citation within a Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook document to the full-text, history and/or related explanations. The new CCH@Hand desktop console also allows users to search the Web (Google search), key industry Web sites, their desktop and their full CCH subscription all at the same time.
* Direct Deposit Plus and EZStub (National Payment Corp.): National Payment offers specialized programs for payroll professionals that include unlimited file processing, client marketing support and discount pricing. National Payment's Direct Deposit Plus and EZStub paperless paystubs solutions are compatible with virtually any accounting software, and are integrated with over a dozen current popular accounting packages.
* QuickBooks Online Edition (Intuit Inc.): QuickBooks Online Edition is a Web-based management tool for small businesses and accountants. It protects data by performing automatic back-ups and storing the information on firewall-protected servers, utilizing a password-protected login and the highest encryption technology available, and offers a wide selection of accounting tools. It now includes Online Payroll, which is fully integrated with the product.
* Peachtree Quantum (Sage Software Inc.): Peachtree Quantum was introduced this year as the top of the line for Sage's Peachtree small business accounting line. It supports 10 named users, up from five for other Peachtree products, in order to offer growing businesses an upgrade path. Its database enables fast access to data for look-ups, searches and reports, and makes it easy to manage large transaction volumes related to inventory and groups of customers, vendors and employees. It also includes industry-specific functionality.
* PlanGuru (PlanGuru): The PlanGuru Professional Edition is designed to give accounting firms a faster and easier way to prepare forecasts, projections and budgets. It can create an automatically integrated set of prospective financial statements, including the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow for up to five years. PlanGuru also offers specialized projection methods for items such as trade receivables and payables, notes payable and lines of credit. Plus, it automatically computes 20 financial ratios and break-even analysis. The PlanGuru Consultant Edition is also available for firms that want a more complete set of business planning tools. The PlanGuru Business Analyzer is an-add on module to either edition that prepares business analysis reports.
* ProSeries Express Edition (Intuit Inc.): Intuit's ProSeries Express Edition is built specifically for high-volume tax preparers who want to complete lots of returns (particularly 1040s) faster and serve even more clients, and whose clients demand a selection of refund anticipation loan and refund transfer options.
* ProSeries Basic Edition (Intuit Inc.): Intuit's ProSeries Basic Edition is designed for the seasonal tax preparer who generally completes an average of 100 returns or less. It provides a step-by-step guide to help preparers easily and accurately complete simple tax returns. The Final Review feature ensures accuracy by scanning returns for missed deductions, errors, etc., and the Printing Customization feature prepares professional-looking printed returns.
* TaxAlmanac.org (Intuit Inc.): TaxAlmanac.org is a wiki-based research site designed to help professional accountants share information, ideas, knowledge and best practices about tax laws. Because anybody can update TaxAlmanac at anytime, members can harness the power of the community. Who better to edit and share knowledge about taxes than tax professionals who file millions of returns per year?
* TaxWise Client Write-Up (CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business): TaxWise Client Write-Up lets accounting professionals prepare a full spectrum of financial statements and reports. Data can be imported from QuickBooks, Peachtree and other programs, and easily exported to TaxWise tax compliance programs. Client Write-Up includes an integrated after-the-fact payroll system and an integrated bank reconciliation system, and generates reports and statements in the HTML and PDF formats.
* V-Tax (Petz Enterprises): V-Tax is an online professional tax software solution designed specifically for service bureaus and multi-office companies. With one of the most complete sets of federal and state forms available online, in addition to a built-in verification feature to help eliminate rejects, V-Tax makes e-filing federal and state returns a simple process that does not require any formal training.
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