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Microsoft Offers Free Accounting Software

Microsoft has released Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007, a free (as in beer) accounting product for small businesses. Accounting Express also has a pay counterpart, Accounting Professional, for a $149 Anytime Upgrade, and there are various add-ons users can buy, including ADP payroll ($169/year, $60/year for electronic filing), credit card processing ($9.95/month), PayPal payment processing ($9.95/month) and Equifax credit reports ($4.95 and up).

Accounting Express is designed to make it easier for businesses to manage their finances, and with the free price, the smallest of businesses can easilly move up from doing this stuff in notebooks. Certainly, small websites that sell random little things will want to use this rather than, uh, nothing.

Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007, financial management software is designed for millions of starting businesses and home based businesses that currently use pen & paper or spreadsheets to run their business. It provides a single place to manage the company’s business finances with the familiar look and feel of Microsoft Office system programs.

Accounting Express imports from Excel (as well as Quickbooks and Microsoft Money), meaning Microsoft wants users to move from products Microsoft makes money off of, to a more effective and free product. Microsoft hopes those users will be so happy with their new software that they will want to move up to the pay version, and, if they don’t, well, they’ll at least be grateful that they aren’t using a spreadsheet to manage their business.

It doesn’t hurt that it integrates with lots of other Microsoft Office products.

The key differences between the free and pay versions:

  • Express has 20 financial reports, Professional has more than 60
  • Professional has advanced accounting, including cash flow forecasting, an actionable company dashboard, multiple price levels, purchase orders, inventory tracking, multicurrency support, a fixed asset manager, 1099 reports, Excel-based manual payroll, integration with Microsoft Retail Point of Sale, and multi-user functionality

Accounting Express is designed to replace Microsoft Small Business Accounting 2006, and owners of that product can upgrade for $99. Microsoft has been releasing a lot of these Express editions, all of which are great ways to bring more users into the fold, users who might not want to plunk down a bunch of cash to get used to a product, but might be giving a lot of money to Microsoft in the future.

October 30th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Office, Applications, General | 3 comments