Sales taxes, which used to just be an annoyance at the register, are now poised to annoy you at work, too, with the onrushing final implementation date of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project. This has sparked a great deal of interest in sales and use taxes, one result of which is CCH's new, a destination site for professionals with an interest in this area.

The site offers a number of resources, including a sales tax FAQ and an overview of sales taxation that's ideal for newcomers to the field; a monthly newsletter of the latest news and changes to tax rates, gathered by CCH's expert analysts and researchers; and a number of focused solutions and databases. Among these are the Customer Exemptions Smart Chart for telecommunications companies, and the ZIPsales Database and Lookup for Restaurants. CCH plans to add more features, to make the source on sales and use taxes for everyone from tax pros and authorities to giant retailers and mom-and-pop storefronts.

Price: Contact vendor.

CCH Tax and Accounting

ProSystem fx Outsource

For users who have made, or are considering, the jump to international outsourcing of tax returns, CCH has expanded its ProSystem fx Outsource solution to accept business and nonprofit returns, along with the individual and fiduciary returns it already handles. The new forms available are the 990, 1065, 1120 and 1120S. CCH claims that the service can cut tax preparation costs by as much as 50 or 60 percent, and frees local staff for higher-value, higher-productivity tasks.

Price: Contact vendor.

CCH Tax and Accounting

ProVantage 7.1

The latest release of the ProVantage time and billing/practice management software, Version 7.1, includes a number of feature enhancements, including a variety of enhanced reports and, in particular, the addition of new imaging functionality. With the purchase of an imaging license, users can scan, store, annotate and retrieve accounting documentation, such as invoices, checks, bank records and more. ProVantage Imaging is available within four of the software's accounting modules - accounts payable and receivable, costs, and billing.

Price: Starts at $2,500 for five professionals (minimum).

ProVantage Software

(800) 843-2188

Scientific marketing

More so than most business disciplines, marketing is a slippery mix of art and science. For those who want to up science's share of that combination, Swiss company MarketingStat has released an updated version of its Marketing Manager for Excel, or MM4XL. Designed to foster "scientific business management," MM4XL is an add-on to Excel that creates a comprehensive analytical toolbox to help marketers extract more strategic information from market data. In addition to the analytical and graphical powers already included in the software, the latest release of MM4XL includes Quality Manager, a feature that lets users perform extensive quality analyses of a wide range of business processes.

The program runs in five different languages - English, Spanish, French, German and Italian - and a free 21-day trial copy is available for download on MarketingStat's Web site.

Price: Starts at $1,237. Single-user, multi-user and educational licenses available.

MarketingStat GmbH

(41 61) 401-6055

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