ARMANINO MCKENNA ABSORBS RESELLER: Armanino McKenna, a large California-based CPA firm, has acquired Thibault Associates Inc., an independent reseller of hardware and software in northern California. The merger would create an IT consulting practice of more than 40 professionals. The majority of TAI's employees, mostly based in the East Bay area of San Francisco, will transition to Armanino McKenna's headquarters in San Ramon, Calif.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This is our third merger in 2005, and we want the market to know that we are making a strategic commitment to offering a broader depth of services to our clients," said Armanino McKenna managing partner Andy Armanino, in a statement. The firm will continue to target clients in the mid- to large-market corporate segments.

The combined group will be certified by providers such as Microsoft, Best Software, Hewlett Packard, Cisco, Citrix and others. Armanino McKenna said that the merger will have three major benefits for the firm's clients, including expansion of the Microsoft Business Solutions practice; increased capabilities for network design, hardware installation and IT security; and increased programming skills for Web-based projects.

SAGE ROLLS OUT TIMESLIPS 2006: Sage Software recently launched Timeslips 2006, a package that includes several new features in the program that are designed to help small and midsized businesses save time and increase their ability to complete billable activities.

New customer-requested features include the ability to reprint partially paid or unpaid bills in one step and export the reports to a formatted Microsoft Excel file. Also on the reporting side, the report listing has been enhanced to include previews of standard reports within Timeslips, and the program can now generate interactive reports, allowing users to drill down to reporting data in order to streamline information reconciliation.

Timeslips 2006 has a suggested retail price of $450, and multi-user versions are available directly from Sage for either $800 (up to five users), or $1,450 (up to 10 users). More information is available at www.timeslips.com.

OPEN SYSTEMS RELEASES TRAVERSE 10.2: Accounting software provider Open Systems Inc. announced the release of Version 10.2 of its proprietary Traverse solution.

The new version includes a pair of new modules: Distribution Requirements Planning and Customer Relationship Management.

DRP helps balance future supply and demand with forecasting, scheduling and meeting sales goals, as well as market demand. Meanwhile, the CRM function is integrated with Traverse accounting and MS Outlook.

The new version also offers multicurrency features, enhancements to the Inventory and Service Director applications, and a new "digital dashboard."

For more information on Open Systems, go to www.osas.com.

CA HIRES SUN MICROSYSTEMS VET AS AUDIT HEAD: Software manufacturer Computer Associates International Inc. has hired Marc Loupé, formerly a vice president of finance with Sun Microsystems, as a senior vice president and internal audit head.

Loupé will be responsible for overseeing all of CA's internal audit and risk management functions, including assessing the adequacy of the internal controls associated with the company's financial, operational and information technology activities. He will report to the audit and compliance committee of CA's board of directors, as well as executive vice president, corporate secretary and general counsel Kenneth V. Handal.

Loupé is a 17-year veteran of Sun Microsystems, where he was vice president of finance for the company's product groups and led the organization's efforts to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Prior to that role, he held various senior-level financial and operational assignments, including vice president of finance for worldwide sales, vice president of finance and staff operations for software products, and director of internal audit. He was a member of the company's executive financial management group for the past decade.

The Securities and Exchange Commission unearthed improper accounting methods used at CA between 1998 and 2000, eventually leading the company to restate $2.2 billion in revenue.

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