Moore Stephens Network Consolidates Tech Ops: The Moore Stephens North America network of accounting firms has consolidated the technology consulting practices of its member firms under one umbrella organization that, according to its leader, could someday resemble a national IT company.

The MS Technology Group includes technology organizations that are affiliated with eight of the approximately 35 accounting firms in Moore Stephens North America. The tech group has a total of 80 people, who handle business software products that include Best Software’s Peachtree and BusinessWorks, and Microsoft Business Solutions’ Dynamics, E-Enterprise, Small Business Manager and Attain.

The group’s first work will be to set standards, such as defining best practices and how individual firms should refer work to each other. The group could expand to help member companies share engagements and to collectively represent its members in dealings with vendors, according to the IT group’s point person, Thomas Orr. He is from the Watkins IT technology practice of Moore Stephens CPA firm member Watkins, Meegan, Drury & Co., of Bethesda, Md.

The other members are the IT groups that are affiliated with the following accounting firm members of Moore Stephens: Apple Inc., of Akron, Ohio; Asher & Co., in Philadelphia; Beene Garter, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Bonadio Group, in Rochester, N.Y.; and Potter & Co., of Louisville, Ky. Some Moore Stephens member firms with large technology practices have not joined the network’s IT group. They include Elliott Davis, of Greenville, S.C.

Intuit Adds Property Management Software Vendor: Intuit Inc. has acquired Management Reports Inc., a provider of business management software solutions for commercial and residential property managers. Intuit called its fourth key acquisition of fiscal 2002 another step in its "Right for My Business" strategy.

"This acquisition fits all three elements of our strategy - serving larger and more complex businesses, providing solutions beyond accounting and providing industry-specific solutions," said Intuit’s Steve Bennett. Its other acquisitions are OMware Inc., a provider of management solutions for construction companies, American Fundware, a developer of software for nonprofit organizations and CBS Payroll. Intuit also plans to acquire Eclipse Inc., which provides management solutions to wholesale durable goods distributors

Intuit noted that the $92 million MRI establishes it in the $400 million global property management software segment.

MRI will operate as a separate business unit and will continue to be based in Cleveland. The 21-year-old company supports more than 4,500 software installations worldwide, with end users ranging from owners and managers of smaller office, industrial, retail and residential properties to global real estate investors and insurance companies, Intuit said.

E-Partners Buys Southeast VAR/Developer: Reseller firm consolidator E-Partners has acquired 121 Micro, a Mississippi-based software reseller better known for its software development capabilities.

121 Micro, a developer of Web portal technologies leveraging the Microsoft .NET platform, is also a Microsoft Great Plains solutions provider and a reseller of Seibel Systems. The company is based near Jackson, Miss., and has operations in other Southeast markets including New Orleans and Birmingham, Ala.

'The addition of 121 Micro is evidence of our continued commitment to deliver the best technology solutions to our customers in the Southeast market and across North America,"said E-Partners chief executive David Dunnigan.

Randy Russell, founder and former chief executive of 121 Micro, joins E-Partners’ as senior vice president of market development.

The deal was announced at about the same time that E-Partners said it had secured an additional $10 million in funding from two of its venture capital backers, Texas Growth Fund and Austin Ventures, both of Austin, Texas.

Netledger Developing Advanced App: Internet-based Net-Ledger Inc. is developing an advanced accounting software that is designed for companies with complicated inventory/warehouse needs or with operations in more than one country.

NetLedger Advanced Accounting will feature a variety of new functions that include multi-currency transactions and reporting, enabling users to record and track transactions in the currency of foreign trading partners; multi-location inventory, which allows users to categorize entities, items and transactions by location; and advanced customization tools and custom records.

The product, which is scheduled for release in October, will be available for use as a stand-alone system or as an add-on to NetLedger’s core product, the Oracle Small Business Suite of hosted applications.

Advanced Accounting’s pricing will start at $3,500, NetLedger said.

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