AUSTRALIAN VENDOR SEEKS U.S. RESELLERS: Accounting software developer Acctrak 21 is recruiting United States accounting professionals as resellers of its products, that are designed for small and midsized businesses. Acctrak is based in Melbourne, Australia, with a U.S. office in Santa Clara, Calif. Its flagship product is an online, real-time accounting and business intelligence software with 32-bit processing. The U.S. and Australia are among 15 countries where it is in use.

In the recruitment drive, AccTrak21 is giving away free five-user versions. For further information, visit the Web site:

NAVISION IN ALLIANCE WITH IBM: Following through on a promise to find new ways to reach the middle-market, accounting and enterprise software developer Navision has formed an alliance with hardware giant IBM to market integrated electronic business solutions.

Navision’s 'Attain’ business application suite is being integrated and co-marketed with IBM’s 'eServer’ server line. Both companies also said they will promote the integrated packages to their respective channels.

"IBM commands a strong position in the global small and midsized business market with its IBM eServer product line," said Navision president, Jesper Balser. "IBM and Navision make a perfect match and our joint initiatives will bring new benefits to our partners and customers."

BLACKBAUD LAUNCHES NEWSLETTER FOR NONPROFITS AND CONSULTANTS: Nonprofit industry software developer Blackbaud has launched an electronic newsletter with news and advice regarding nonprofit industry financial management.

"Nonprofit Fiscal Fitness" is available at no charge to anyone interested in nonprofit financial management. To view it, visit

The monthly publication is being rolled out in conjunction with Blackbaud’s latest product release, the 'Financial Edge’ accounting information system for nonprofits. The e-newsletter will focus on current issues and trends and provide tips and resources to help nonprofits and their service providers.

MICROSOFT PLANNING ANOTHER CRM TOOL: Microsoft Corp. plans to develop a customer relationship management software designed for use by small and midsized businesses and for integration with accounting software by its Microsoft/Great Plains Business Solutions group. The ÔMicrosoft Customer Relationship Management’ product will compete with Saleslogix and ACT CRM products, which are owned by MS/GP’s middle-market business software rival Best Software.

The product, to be sold through resellers, is expected to be delivered in North America in the fourth quarter and become available outside of North America in the first quarter of 2003, MS/GP said. It will be a sold as a stand-alone, in addition to its integration with the accounting products.

Earlier MS/GP CRM products include Customer Manager, located on Microsoft’s bCentral Internet site, Microsoft Great Plains eEnterprise Field Service, Microsoft Great Plains Solomon Field Service and Great Plains Siebel Front Office.

AICPA WANTS TO TAKE WEBTRUST OFFLINE: The American Institute of CPAs wants brick and mortar businesses to turn to CPAs for advice on privacy issues, and is forming a task force to extend its WebTrust Web site assurance program.

The institute said the task force would highlight solutions to help CPAs advise organizations on many issues related to privacy, including the risks of not having a good privacy policy. It is made up of Big Five and smaller public accounting firms, industry members and academics.

"This is not just another assurance product," said Task Force member Brian Tretick, a principal with Ernst & Young. He said the effort is designed to "develop some standard goals for privacy across businesses" versus the current "patchwork of legal and regulatory and common practices."

ONLINE FRAUD TOTALS $700 MILLION: Online fraud losses for business are 19 times greater than offline thefts, according to a report from technology industry analysts Gartner Group.

To fight back, consumers are starting to adopt new credit card protection systems to identify and authenticate purchases. "After years of missteps, the credit card companies have finally got it right with their consumer authentication technology. Consumers are willing to adopt the easy-to-use password-based applications," said Avivah Litan, vice president and research director at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner.

A Gartner report found that credit card companies are not yet willing to convince merchants to adopt the new system by lowering merchant fees.

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