• DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES IN DEMAND: In what may present new consulting opportunities for accounting firms, the content and document management services market will grow by about 40 percent per year, to $24.4 billion in 2006, according to technology industry analysts International Data Corp.
      "Even the best firms struggle to manage the avalanche of employee, customer and supplier content across multiple media," said IDC research manager Ellen Julian. She noted that business consultants "are developing robust content and document services practices to help their customers formulate a strategy for managing the influx of content from all sources."
      And the market is not limited to the Fortune 500. Vendors, who recently rolled out document management systems targeting the small and midsized business market, include financial management application service provider Intacct Corp.
      Factors driving document management services include businesses’ new requirements for upgraded search and navigation, and paperwork elimination initiatives, Framingham, Mass.-based IDC said. Its findings are in the study. "Content and Document Management Service Market Forecast, 2001-2006."
  • K2 MODERATES ON MICROVISION’S INDUSTRY PORTAL: K2 Enterprises, a technology consulting group whose members are often featured speakers at accounting industry conferences, has agreed to moderate online discussion groups on www. AccountantsWorld.com, the accounting industry portal developed by tax preparation software vendor Micro Vision Software.
      K2 chief executive Val Steed will moderate a new discussion group on tax prep software, and executive vice president Randy Johnston will oversee an established group on accounting software. "Moderating these discussion groups provides K2 with another forum," Steed said.
  • VENDOR REMOVES MACOLA FROM NAME: Exact Macola, the company known as Macola until it was acquired by Dutch-based Exact Software in 2001, has changed its name again - this time to Exact Software North America.
      "Our new company name and operations expansion support Exact’s commitment to the North American marketplace and strengthen our worldwide marketing and product strategies," said Exact Software North America president Bruce A. Hollinger.
      He also said that the name change is consistent with other Exact divisions, such as Exact Software Poland and Exact Software Austria. The North American name has been changed in conjunction with Exact Software’s launch of a worldwide campaign to increase its global presence.
  • ACCOUNTMATE ADDS MANUFACTURING MANAGEMENT: Accounting software vendor Accountmate Software has added manufacturing management capabilities to its flagship Visual Accountmate line by forming an alliance with manufacturing management systems specialist Everest Manufacturing Software.
      The two vendors have already created a link for AccountMate and Everest’s technology that yields what they call "a seamlessly integrated business management and manufacturing solution." The alliance also provides Everest with the selling power of AccountMate’s approximately 3,000 partner-resellers, many of whom are either accountants or are affiliated with accounting firms.
      The resellers gain access to important technology as Accountmate estimates that more than 40 percent of its customers are in the manufacturing sector. Everest’s solutions track and manage the manufacturing production cycle from the receipt of raw materials, through the production process to finished goods. Its products cover the following manufacturing sectors: discreet, make to order, make to stock, light assembly and process.
  • BANK OPENS SMALL BIZ PORTAL SIMILAR TO CPA2BIZ: Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp has opened a small business services Internet portal whose strategy is similar to the CPA2Biz accounting industry portal.
      Like CPA2biz, U.S. Bancorp’s U.S. Bank Small Business Center portal, www.usbank.com/smallbusinesscenter, is offering small businesses access to Internet-based tools and services that include electronic-commerce enabling programs, such as Web site design. The U.S. Bank site also provides updated news and stock quotes, links to financial tools and advice for small businesses on topics that are relevant to their day-to-day operations, such as managing cash flow.
      One of the major differences between the two portals is that CPA2Biz’s strategy calls for reaching business through CPAs, while the U.S. corp venture delivers its services directly to businesses that visit the site. Also, CPA2Biz distributes the AICPAs’ products and services.

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