Saturday, October 31, 2009

Microsoft’s Halloween Trick

After providing the technology world with a potential treat earlier this month with the debut of Windows 7, Microsoft closed out the month with a pretty slick trick for their Office Accounting users. According to an e-mail that I got early Friday morning, Microsoft will be discontinuing their Office Accounting product on November 16th of the coming month. This only gives many OA 2009 customers a few days to move their files to another small business accounting software title and that can be quite an expensive and labor intensive task. For me, however I can’t say that I did not see the writing on the wall especially since they stopped selling their MS Money product earlier this year.

Microsoft will still offer support for their product as per the support guide lines in their policy. Add on services that came along with Office Accounting (EBay, Equifax credit profile, tax mappings, and online banking) will be discontinued by December 15th, 2009. For many small business owners this change could be an indication that the time to look into another way of performing your accounting function is in order. There are other small businesses off the shelf software titles that can be used; however there is still the issue of yearly upgrades, costly “advisors” to help you setup the software, and the risk of downtime during the transition and bug fixes. Another option would be to use an online-based, on-demand accounting system that works collaboratively with your accountant. Either way, if you are a small business that uses Microsoft’s Office Accounting product your days are limited. Happy Halloween!!

B. N. S.

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