* QUICKBOOKS LOWERS PRICING, READIES FOR SBA: As Intuit's QuickBooks girds for its largest competitive challenge to date - Microsoft's Small Business Accounting - it has lowered the prices for its QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Pro accounting software applications by $100.QuickBooks Premier will now be priced at $399.95 and QuickBooks Pro at $199.95. Simple Start will remain at $99.95.

QuickBooks representative Charles Var said that the new pricing is relatively the same as last year, considering that QuickBooks is no longer offering rebates on the above-mentioned products. Var stated that customer feedback showed that rebates were regarded as confusing and undesirable, whereas the lower prices were viewed more favorably.

QuickBooks' prices have dropped as Microsoft released its long-awaited Small Business Accounting 2006, an application priced at $179, with a $30 mail-in rebate.

QuickBooks also announced that it would discontinue the long-standing accounting software for start-up businesses, QuickBooks Basic. The product has been in QuickBooks' line-up since the software company's inception 13 years ago. Var explained that QuickBooks Simple Start, first offered last year, is essentially the same program as Basic but features an easier-to-navigate user interface.

* DELOITTE CONSULTING ACQUIRES TCI: Deloitte Consulting, the consulting arm of the Big Four firm, has acquired Cresskill, N.J.-based Technology Consultants Inc., a provider of benchmarking and advisory services to the insurance industry. Terms were not disclosed. Deloitte said that it would fold TCi into its insurance practice unit.

As part of the transaction, TCi's staff and leadership, including managing directors Jack Tyniec and John Johnsen, have joined Deloitte Consulting.

Operating under the brand TCi Consulting & Research, the 16-year-old TCi's industry survey is used by large insurance companies to benchmark expenses for information technology and operations. Following the close of the deal, TCi will continue to offer its flagship benchmarking surveys, as well as customized reports for participating clients.

* I.B.I.S ACQUIRES INFOVISION'S MBS UNIT: I.B.I.S. Inc., a Norcross, Ga.-based Microsoft reseller, has acquired the Microsoft Business Solutions practice of Charlotte, N.C.-based InfoVision. Terms were not disclosed. After integrating the InfoVision MBS consultants and transitioning the customer base, I.B.I.S. will open an office in Charlotte to provide a local presence. Founded in 1989, I.B.I.S. is a full-service consultancy providing business solutions related to Microsoft Business Solutions' ERP and CRM application systems, as well as custom application development, Microsoft infrastructure products, and managed services for network and business applications.

* SERENIC ADDS BEACON SOLUTIONS TO RESELLER RANKS: Serenic Corp., a publisher of financial and nonprofit software, said that Beacon Solutions LLV has become a certified partner. Beacon Solutions was formed by the January 2005 merger of Jackson, Mich.-based Gaynier Consulting, and Export, Pa.-based EMK Inc. Both are veteran resellers of Fundware, but the combined Beacon Solutions will now rep Serenic Navigator as the fund accounting solution for nonprofits and government agencies. Beacon Solutions currently maintains dual headquarters in Michigan and Pennsylvania. It provides fund accounting solutions to the human services, religious governance, Native American government, social services and local/county government sectors.

* BLACKBAUD ACQUIRES U.K. DONOR SOLUTION: Nonprofit software publisher Blackbaud Inc. acquired ScanStore Ltd., a document management and image retrieval company based in Staplehurst, Kent, U.K. Financial terms were not disclosed. ScanStore's product helps U.K. nonprofits manage the indexing, storage and retrieval of donor declarations that are required to make gift aid claims to the Inland Revenue that are associated with charitable contributions.

Blackbaud said that it would market the ScanStore solution within the U.K. both as a separate offering and as part of its integrated suite of fundraising and gift management solutions.

ScanStore will be suitable for existing users of The Raiser's Edge - the company's flagship fundraising product - and for charities using other fundraising systems and databases.

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