[IMGCAP(1)]Much like the prospect of snowy-weather here in New York, this past week wasn't all that heavy with news, though it was insightful with useful thoughts on cloud data, low-level accounting products and examples on how CPA firms are using social media. And did I mention our Top New Products of 2013 are here?

In terms of news I thought we had a nice even flavoring of an expanded product here, an accountant program enhancement there and a VAR on the rise -- in Texas anyway.

Sage and NetSuite partner SWK Technologies has expanded further into Texas through acquiring the Sage accounts of Software Generarion -- a smallish Sage Pro VAR from the area. The move basically allows SWK to gain a greater foothold in Texas and help migrate Sage Pro customers to X3 and possibly some other products since Pro is going to be sunset. We mentioned just a couple of weeks ago that SWK had bought the Sage 100 and 500 accounts of another Texas VAR, but we're also expecting the firm will make other acquisition news as the weeks go on.

On the vendor side, we have Sage itself adding to its one and only cloud product, Sage One as it now boasts direct payment and invoicing features through the integration of PayPal and its own Sage Payments. Some may say Sage One has some catching up to do with its feature set as compared to other cloud-based, entry-level accounting products on the market, but I suspect Sage is already working on more features for the product. In terns of marketing, it is getting Sage One out there in the brick and mortar world as its already been seen in Staples, not far from Sage 50 on the shelf. 

Speaking of cloud accounting, Intacct has apparently enhanced its accountants program but is being somewhat secretive about the specifics. From what we can gather, there is new pricing and aspects of the program that correspond to a firm's client size and will ultimately make it easier and more desirable to join. We'll be glad to share if more details come out. The program seems to be getting some attention though, with 75 firms signing on in 2012.

Aside from news I'm encouraging everyone to check out some of the new insights that have been shared with us. One feature I think you will find quite useful is finding out more about how accounting firms can take advantage of data in the cloud, specifically to aid their clients and appear more knowledgeable about a client's or their industry's financial trends. This is all apart of a larger trend of forward-thinking accountants expanding their client service offerings through the use of available data and tools to extract that data for use as a client service. Who says accountants can only look backwards? Business intelligence may have gone through its fits and starts in establishing a hold in the accounting community, but I daresay its day has come.


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