FUNDWARE UNVEILS VERSION 7.30: Nonprofit and governmental accounting software maker FundWare has rolled out the latest version of its software - a new general ledger with a three-dimensional account structure.

The FundWare v. 7.30 general ledger includes the transactional part of the account number used on every ledger entry, and categories and groupings of a financial nature that facilitate reporting. Also included are user-defined fields that track financial or non-financial information such as grant-ending dates or the number of clients served.

The three-dimensional structure means that users only need to work with the set of numbers that are necessary to the task at hand, not the entire account number. For example, when entering a project or function number, clients can use the transactional component of the account number, and the general ledger will make note of any corresponding groupings or user-defined fields for reporting or analysis.

Other enhancements include a new journal entry grid, which can also be set by the user, and improved inquiry features that help drill down to supporting data and allow the creation of instant reports on particular items.

FundWare is available in two versions. FundWare Pro serves smaller organizations with eight or fewer users, while FundWare Enterprise is designed for larger organizations. Both versions offer over 15 modules, including general ledger, project/grant, accounts payable, purchasing, payroll, budget preparation, allocation management, fixed assets and bank reconciliation. Modules start at $1,500 and go up to $2,500.

- Carly Lombardo-Bohach

SOLUTION STRATEGISTS, EAGLE CONSULTING GROUP TO MERGE: Metro New York area accounting software consulting firms Solution Strategists Inc. and Eagle Consulting Group have merged to form Solution Strategists LLC.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ownership will be retained by Eagle Consulting Group founder Debra Ellis and by Solution Strategists' Arthur E. Nathan, Joan A. Nathan and Robert Herman.

Cranford, N.J.-based Solution Strategists is one of the largest Best Software partners, with over 550 clients. The new entity specializes in the Best Software family of products, including MAS 90, MAS 200, MAS 500, SalesLogix, ACT!, Accpac, Abra HR, FAS, MIP not-for-profit software and BusinessWorks.

"Debra and I have known each other for many years and have always had a great working relationship," said Art Nathan, president and founder of Solution Strategists. "The most important values we share are our ethical standards, dedicated professional staff and our commitment to our clients."

"I believe that our clients will benefit from the additional product and service offerings, as well as the expertise of our expanded staff," said Ellis. "We are very pleased that together, we will be able to provide a broader range of solutions."

Eagle Consulting Group is based in New York. Both locations will be moving into larger facilities within the month, including a hands-on training facility in the New Jersey office.

SURVEY FINDS IT EXECS UNAWARE OF SOX COMPLIANCE RESPONSIBILITIES: An astounding 93 percent of chief information officers and other senior information technology executives are unaware of their IT control assessment responsibilities under Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404, according to Obian Inc. That means that a significant number of companies could fail their 2004 corporate governance audit, according to the software maker, which interviewed 286 CIOs and senior corporate IT executives.

"We've found many executives who think they're sufficiently compliant, but they're not," said John Logan, Obian founder and president. Logan said that many executives incorrectly think that by merely identifying and assessing the risk and control activities of their corporations' financial reporting systems - as they did to meet the deadline for Section 302 compliance - they'll meet the requirements of Section 404.

"Most corporate IT executives remain in the dark about their full responsibilities, even at this late stage, placing their companies at serious risk for failure," said Logan. "In fact, under the guidelines, if a company's CIO does not understand Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 requirements, that alone demonstrates a deficiency in the control system."

The deadline for the majority of public companies to comply with Section 404 is Dec. 31, 2004.

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