* CSI ACQUIRES ACCOUNTWARE LINE: Tax and accounting software provider Creative Solutions Inc. has acquired the tax software line of Cincinnati-based Accountware for undisclosed terms. CSI said that it would extend an array of incentives, including price protection at Accountware renewal rates and training options, to Accountware's existing customers to transition to CSI's proprietary UltraTax CS products.

Creative Solutions also said that they've designed an Accountware client data conversion, including federal data for 1120, 1120S and 1065 returns, as well as Ohio, Ohio cities and Ohio personal property return data.

"We are working very closely with Accountware executives and software engineers to ensure that the transition from Accountware to UltraTax CS is as smooth as possible," said CSI president and chief executive Jon Baron.

* BLACKBAUD REPORTS Q1 EARNINGS: Spurred by double-digit spikes in service and subscription revenues, nonprofit software vendor Blackbaud Inc. posted first-quarter profits of $10.9 million for the period ended March 31, versus net income of $4 million for the year-ago quarter.

The company said that first-period revenues rose 19 percent, to $37.3 million, versus the same period for fiscal 2004.

License revenue rose 27 percent, to $6.5 million, while revenue from services and subscriptions rose 20 percent, to $11.4 million, and 17 percent, to $18.4 million, respectively.

"The fact that we delivered our second-highest quarterly revenue growth rate in the past two years is a direct result of the investments we have made in research and development and the expansion of our key account sales force," said Blackbaud chief executive Robert J. Sywolski.

* MICROSOFT NAMES LIDDELL AS CFO: Microsoft Corp. has named Chris Liddell as its chief financial officer, replacing long-time executive John Connors, who left the company March 31. Liddell most recently served as the CFO at forest products company International Paper. Prior to that, he served as chief executive officer of Carter Holt Harvey, New Zealand's second-largest listed company. As CFO, Liddell will be responsible for leading the worldwide finance organization and will have responsibility for accounting and reporting, strategic planning and analysis, treasury, tax, audit, and investor relations.

After 16 years with the company, including five as CFO, Connors in January announced his retirement from Microsoft to become a partner at a Seattle-area venture capital firm.

* PAYCYCLE RAISES $8.5M IN FINANCING: Online payroll services provider PayCycle Inc. said that it has secured an $8.5 million round of funding from a consortium of venture capital firms and company chief executive Jim Heeger.

The recent cash infusion was led by DCM-Doll Capital Management, a VC firm specializing in technology companies, as well as previous PayCycle investors August Capital, Conning Capital Partners, Total Technology Ventures and Irwin Ventures. PayCycle said that the proceeds would be earmarked toward acquisition efforts. Since its founding in 1999, PayCycle has raised $29.3 million in venture funding.

* NETSUITE TO RELEASE NEW CRM APPLICATION: Online business applications provider NetSuite plans to unveil a new customer relationship management application in June.

The new CRM+ module will focus on every customer, from prospective buyers to repeat customers, by capturing and storing details on purchases. An eCRM feature is also included within the CRM+ software, allowing for Web site hosting and analytics, customer portals, partner portals and partner management. By incorporating the corporate Web site into the selling process, this CRM module can pull a number of details about a prospective customer for sales personnel.

Once a customer has made a purchase, the eCRM tool allows the client to see their outstanding quotes and to re-order products and services through the self-service portal. Also, a partner self-service portal incorporates lead sharing and registration, enabling partners to see which leads turned into sales.

NetSuite CRM+ is available at $129 per month per user, and includes order management, upsell/cross-sell, project tracking, partner management and basic Web hosting. Additional functionality, such as incentive management, an advanced site builder, and Web analytics, is available for $199 a month.

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