Microsoft releases Small Business Manager 7.0

Microsoft has updated its small business accounting software, targeting customers who need an entry-level accounting package that...

Microsoft has updated its small business accounting software, targeting customers who need an entry-level accounting package that leaves them room to upgrade.

Small Business Manager 7.0 is an upgrade to a product first released in November last year. The latest release adds features that allow customers to manage inventory and purchase orders, in addition to the existing general ledger features in the previous product, said Karen Engel, lead product manager with Microsoft's Business Solutions division.

Microsoft Business Solutions offers a range of software and services including products it gained through the acquisitions of Great Plains Software and Navision. Small Business Manager 7.0 uses the same base technology as Microsoft's Great Plains financial software, but has a different "fit and finish", Engels said.

Another feature is that tasks started in Small Business Manager can be completed in Word and Excel. Customers can also link the software to Microsoft's online accounting service, bCentral.

A software development kit will be available to third-party accounting software makers so they can integrate their software.

Wayne Viener, chief executive officer of Groupfive., an accounting software integrator, agreed many customers in the middle market go underserved.

Small Business Manager 7.0 is available immediately through Microsoft partners and integrators. Prices range depending on the number of users and features purchased.

The basic suite for a single user costs $995 (£633), and $2,495 for up to five concurrent users. An upgrade and support package, called the Foundation Services Plan, is priced at $275 per year, and is required for the first year.

An add-on module for managing payroll is available for $500. Existing Small Business Manager customers can upgrade for free.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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