First introduced in the late 1970s and early 1980s, microcomputer-based accounting has long been the Rodney Dangerfield of applications - often getting little respect. Some accountants and their clients have been somewhat dismissive of these packages, considering them "starter" accounting systems - good to get a client computerized and familiarized with the benefits and requirements of an in-house system, but ultimately just a stop on the way to a real application. While there are numerous clients that eventually will want to upgrade, the majority of entry-level accounting packages provide clients with a robust feature set and capabilities that will help them meet regulatory requirements and provide the information that they need to run their businesses better.

In fact, as is the case with many applications developed to run on small computers, some of these entry-level accounting applications are so feature-rich that they far outstrip the expertise of their users, with a multitude of reports and analysis tools that will, in many instances, never get used.

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