Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007 is a financial management software created for just starting out businesses and home-based businesses that currently use old mannerisms to run their business such as pens, calculators and spreadsheets.
In an interview with eWEEK, Rajat Taneja, general manager of Microsofts Small Business Applications and Services organization, said that it was time for small businesses to move onto new and improved business management solutions.
"Microsofts approach is to give small businesses a financial management tool with the combination of a software plus services model which provides them with an onramp to the Internet economy to manage daily financial tasks more efficiently and grow their business online," Taneja said.
Accounting Express 2007 features ways for small businesses to record and sell merchandise, keep track of inventory, take payments and run credit reports.
Business owners can also access and share their financial data with their accountants online using Microsoft Office Live integrated services.
"Office Accounting Express 2007 provides small businesses with the tools they need to save time, reduce errors, and avoid double entry," Taneja said in the same interview.
"By offering Account Express 2007 for free, Microsoft is eliminating the barrier to entry that many small businesses often face and allowing them to take advantage of a variety of online services to grow and manage their business."
Accounting Express 2007 also lets users construct quotes, invoices and receipts to go along with the ability to write checks, follow expenses and patch up online back accounts.
"The familiar look and feel of the Microsoft Office interface will help small-business owners more easily navigate their everyday financial tasks," Taneja said in a company statement.
Microsoft reports that the combination of Office Accounting Express 2007 and third-part integrated premium online services will allow small businesses to use the Internet to run most of their business operations right from their accounting application.
"With Office Accounting Express 2007, small-business owners will enjoy the capabilities of ramping up the Internet in an efficient manner that is integrated with their accounting solution, taking away the pain and potential mistakes of double-entry bookkeeping and creating an easier way to manage significant revenue and marketing opportunities," Taneja said in the same Q&A with Press Pass.
Microsoft also announced the availability of Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2007, the follow up to Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006.
This product is business management software for small businesses that have needs such as inventory management, multicurrency invoicing, multiuser access and fixed asset management.
Office Accounting Professional 2007 features business dashboard functionality, a cash flow management tool, purchase and sale orders, job costing, financial reports and the ability to connect to Microsoft Dynamics Point-of-Sale systems.
"According to 2005 data from AMI partners, there are approximately 20 million small and home-based businesses," Taneja said in the same company statement.
"They have various obstacles to using accounting software, such as the cost or fear of technology. We want to help eliminate those barriers by giving business owners an easy-to-use yet comprehensive solution that can help them be more efficient, manage their customer base and grow their business."
With both products, Taneja told eWEEK that he would like them to combine to help bring productivity to small businesses.
"Microsoft is taking a holistic approach with both products by providing a software and service model to make small businesses more efficient and service their clients and customers better," Taneja said.
Office Accounting Express 2007 is available for download at Microsofts "IdeaWins" Web site.
Office Professional 2007 will be available in retail stores in early 2007 for an estimated retail price of $149.