MICROSOFT OFFERS OFFICE ACCOUNTING EXPRESS FOR FREE: In its latest attempt to become a player in the accounting software space, Microsoft had released a free, stripped-down version of its software, targeting small businesses that are late adopters and rely on pencil and paper or Excel for their bookkeeping needs.Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007 integrates with other Microsoft Office software and will be included in the Small Business, Professional and Office Ultimate versions of Microsoft Office 2007. While using the free version of Express, users are periodically offered an upgrade to other products in Microsoft's recently retooled accounting suite, including Office Accounting Professional 2007, which is set for release early next year with a price tag of $149.

The program is able to create invoices, quotes, receipts and customizable reports, as well as handling expense tracking, payroll and tax processing, credit reporting, online sales and monitoring employee time. Office Accounting Express can also import data from Intuit QuickBooks, Microsoft Money and Microsoft Office Excel, and use Office Live to share information with an outside accountant. Office Accounting Express 2007 also links to third parties that offer additional fee-based services, including ADP for payroll, eBay for online sales, Equifax for credit checks and PayPal for online payments.

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