Microsoft Unveils Accountants' Network: Microsoft Corp. has launched the Microsoft Professional Accountants' Network to offer training and technical support on its upcoming Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006 application.Program participants will have free business-critical and installation support on the SBA application. Another support program is also available for $300 a year; it includes five free incident calls for accountants outside the two free support services, 10 free licenses for SBA and 10 free licenses for Microsoft Office Small Business Management Edition 2006, software with SBA embedded into Microsoft Office.

As an incentive to join the program, Microsoft is giving away a pre-release version of Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006, the stand-alone version of the small business financial software, which is due out in September.

Other program benefits include 24 hours of continuing professional education credits and three hours of online lab training on SBA, as well as online resources such as newsletters, news groups, tips and tricks, and a directory of other accountants in the network.

Seminars with K2 Enterprises and J. Carlton Collins will also be available to accountants in the new network; however, pricing for those seminars isn't set by Microsoft.

More information on the program is available at www.microsoft.com/accountants.

Net@Work Acquires AECC: Net@Work, a provider of business software and a Best reseller, has acquired New York-area competitor American European Consulting Company Inc., a Best Premiere Accpac provider. Terms were not disclosed.

"We bought them for their talent," explained Alex Solomon, cofounder of Net@Work. "They were one of the best out there; we actually lost to them a few times. They are also committed to customer service - something very lacking in this industry."

As former competing Best partners, Solomon hopes the AECC acquisition will make Net@Work the largest Best Select partner in the U.S.

The buyout will increase Net@Work's size to around 60 employees and its customer base by 30 percent.

Sandy Needham, founder and principal of AECC, will stay on at Net@Work in a management role in the client care group.

- Lisa Spinelli

Best Software Reveals Upgraded FAS Product: Best Software, a business applications provider, unveiled its latest FAS application in late May.

According to the company, Version 2.0 of Best's FAS Construction in Progress Accounting provides better control for small and midsized businesses over their capital budgets and capital asset accounting processes.

Enhancements with the 2.0 version include improved security and more detailed reporting for tracking projects. Fixed assets can be automatically transferred to Best's FAS Asset Accounting software and users can import an invoice and assign it to an asset later.

The new FAS Construction application also includes a new import wizard with flexibility to import purchase orders or invoice data across multiple projects; a Project Snapshot that reveals the exact status of projects with graphs and charts; multiple levels of tracking and built-in reports; and the ability to manage unlimited projects of any type or size.

FAS Construction in Progress Accounting and FAS Asset Accounting are part of Best Software's FAS line of fixed asset management products, which also includes FAS Asset Inventory, FAS Report Writer, FAS Nonprofit and FAS Gov.

FAS Construction in Progress Accounting Version 2.0 starts at $2,035 for a single-user license. Support and maintenance services are additional.

Money Tree Software Upgrades Total System: Financial software provider Money Tree Software has upgraded its proprietary Total Planning System, adding a Quick Entry Wizard to the tool.

The addition, available in both desktop and Web versions, is comprised of 14 screens, which describe the required input to end users.

Fully functional versions of the Total Planning System with the new Quick Entry Wizard are available for download from www.moneytree.com/downloads.htm.

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