• OHIO SOCIETY CHAIRMAN-ELECT BECOMES SYSTRUST CEO: Michael A. Dickson, chairman-elect of the Ohio Society of CPAs, has been elected president and chief executive of SysTrust Service Corp., the manager of a technology systems audit service developed by the American Institute of CPAs.Dickson is a founder of the Columbus, Ohio-based technology consulting company, Business Technology Group, and previously was partner-in-charge of Crowe Chizek’s Systems Consulting Group, also in Columbus.

    Through SysTrust, CPAs independently assess and evaluate information technology systems to provide assurance of the systems’ ability to operate without material error or failure during a specified period. The AICPA had no information on the number of SysTrust engagements that completed or underway.

  • PEOPLES CHOICE ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE LINKS WITH TAXWORKS: Laser Systems’ TaxWorks tax preparation software is now available integrated with Peoples Choice accounting software by Choice Technologies under a marketing alliance between the two firms.The integration provides "fast and easy transfer of data from the accounting system into the tax software, eliminating manual data entry," said Spencer, Iowa-based Choice Technologies.

    The combination makes the companies more competitive with Intuit, whose professional products groups includes the Lacerte and Pro Series tax prep lines and the former Tax and Accounting Software Corp., a developer of tax prep and accounting software products.

  • OPEN SYSTEMS NOT EXPECTING BIG RESULTS FROM HOSTING: Accounting software vendor Open Systems has made its Traverse solution available in an Internet-hosted platform, but it doesn’t expect big sales from it."It’s been successful and proven to be a nice option to offer," sales vice president Paul Lundquist said of the hosting arrangement, which was launched in January. "But we don’t think too many people in the middle market want to have their accounting software hosted."

    He further said that he does not expect the hosted solution to be a big money maker for Open Systems or its resellers, but added, "we want to make this available as another option for customers to consider." The company’s hosting program enables Traverse users to elect to have all of their hardware, communications, security devices and information technology skills provided for them by a data center.

  • ACCPAC ENHANCES SIMPLY ACCOUNTING: Accpac International has enhanced its Simply Accounting product line to be more competitive with low-end market leader QuickBooks.New features include a built-in free payroll function, full-time audit trail capability and an enhanced inventory module that includes the ability to inform manufacturing industry users of the raw materials that are needed to fill new orders.

    The line is also priced competitively Accpac said. Simply Accounting 9.0, which competes with the basic QuickBooks product, retails for $39.99, and Simply Accounting Pro, which goes against QuickBooks Pro, is $89.99.

    Simply Accounting is sold at retail stores and directly from Accpac. The vendor also has a consultants program designed for accountants who want to advise their customers on the package. For more information on the consultants program, visit www.simplyaccounting.com.

  • INTAACT, NETLEDGER BEEF UP ONLINE OFFERINGS: San Mateo, Calif.-based NetLedger enhanced its Oracle Small Business Suite product by adding an Executive Dashboard Web page that posts real-time key business information, such as sales, cash levels, receivables and payables of its client companies. Executives of Net-Ledger’s customer-companies can access the data on the Web site or have it e-mailed to them from the Dashboard set-up.Los Gatos, Calif.-based Intacct added an M-Console feature that, it said, provides multiple location end users with "a single accounting system to support, manage and control all their accounting and financial processes in real-time throughout their organizations." Like NetLedger’s new application, M-Console also enables users to view the status of their companies from any Internet-connected computer.

    Both companies began as Web-hosted financial management software applications, but have since added multiple features tailored for small and midsized company end users and their accountants. NetLedger now also offers integrated sales and service, Web presence and employee management applications, and Intacct’s system includes an audit application developed by Big Five firm Deloitte & Touche.

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