LEXISNEXIS ACQUIRES TIME MATTERS AND BILLING MATTERS: Legal, news and business information services provider LexisNexis has taken another step forward in its legal and accounting services strategy through the purchase of Time Matters and Billing Matters — the practice management workflow and time and billing software of Cary, N.C.-based Data.TXT Corp.

LexisNexis and Data.TXT have had a business relationship since January 2001, when LexisNexis became a licensed reseller of its own-branded version of Time Matters. Data.TXT and its products are now part of LexisNexis’ North American Emerging and Legal Markets division. The business will continue to operate from Data.TXT’s Cary headquarters. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

While the purchase has legal profession ramifications, the accounting profession is also being targeted. “We’d like to integrate some research relevant to the accounting community into the products. We are also looking to add more accounting and payroll functionality in the future,” said Tim Payne, vice president of practice management systems at LexisNexis.


INTUIT TAPS SMITH TO HEAD CONSUMER TAX BUSINESS: Accounting software maker Intuit Inc. has tapped Brad Smith to head up the company’s consumer tax business.

Smith replaces Intuit president Steve Bennett, who held the post temporarily after the departure of Tom Allanson. Allanson, who had been with Intuit since April 2002, left the company in January to pursue other interests as Intuit was gearing up for the tax season.

The move comes only a few months after Smith was selected to head Accountant Central, one of two recently created Professional Accounting Solutions divisions. Accountant Central is the unit responsible for driving Intuit’s overall accounting strategy, while the Pro Tax group encompasses the tax compliance software units — Pro Series and Lacerte.

In addition, Jill Ward, who also leads the company’s vertical business management solutions, has taken over Smith’s duties as head of Accountant Central.


BEST’S TIMESHEET PRO INTEGRATES WITH MAS 500: Best Software’s TimeSheet Professional time management product now links with its MAS 500 project accounting product. The integration was designed to improve the deployment of project and task schedules to team members for better time management, as well as to provide the ability to track cost, time and materials for large-scale projects, and to improve project management operations.

In addition, MAS 500 now integrates with Abra, Best’s HR and payroll package. Other key features available in the MAS 500 and TimeSheet Professional integration include automated billing and expense reimbursement; a streamlined workflow approval process with e-mail notification; a range of customer-requested report templates; and integration with Palm devices.


XBRL PANEL NAMES NEW CHAIR, VICE CHAIRS: XBRL International, the nonprofit consortium of companies that is developing the XBRL business reporting language, has elected Kurt Ramin, commercial director of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation in London, as chair of its steering committee.

Ramin, who previously served as vice chair of the XBRL committee, until recently was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He spent 10 years in PwC’s New York office working in their capital markets practice. As chair, he succeeds Walter Hamscher, president of the consultancy firm Standard Advantage, a co-author of the XBRL spec and a consultant to PwC.

Elected as vice chairs were Paul Penler, a principal with the Ernst & Young Innovative Solutions Group, and Hugh Wallis, a software architect at Hyperion Solutions. Penler, a representative of XBRL U.S., has served on the International Steering Committee for a year and a half, and on its U.S. counterpart for two years. Wallis currently serves as chair of the XBRL Specification Group, which recently released version 2.1.

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