Microsoft Office Accounting 2008

Microsoft has been in the small business accounting for quite some time; originally they expanded Money to have capabilities they hoped would attract small business into the empire, but that didn’t really go very far.  Then they acquired two separate companies… the later of which (Great Plains) was successful before Microsoft acquired them and has continues as “Microsoft Dynamics” into the new millennium.

The Great Plains derived software was a little too serious for small businesses, so Microsoft was still left without much of an entry in that market.

So leveraging off the “Office” branding they created a line of small business software that built on existing technology.

Microsoft Office Accounting 2008 (the current version) is available in both a Professional, and an Express version.  If you’re looking to manage a really small business, don’t need multi users, don’t need your database on a separate machine… then the Express (FREE) version may well be all you need.  However at a street price of less than $80 (full version) and competitive upgrade programs available, the Professional version is attractively priced, so even if you just want to be able to store your data in a massive SQL Server running on the other side of the world, and run the client software in a virtual machine — it’s not going to break the bank.

I haven’t looked at the Professional version, but the Express version comes with some pretty low-rent templates for all your forms; the good news is you use Word to customize them, and it’s fairly straight forward if you’ve ever done mail-merge (or anything involving macros and/or fields) to reproduce the invoice from your previous accounting software (or improve on it).

Microsoft Office Accounting