Like all areas of the software industry, accounting and financial management programs are subject to constant upgrades and changes that seemingly come at lightning speed.

Accounting technology has expanded and no longer refers solely to financials. The migration from accounting software to enterprise resource planning systems—which integrate accounting with distribution, manufacturing, electronic commerce, and other applications—is happening quickly. International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that through 2002, the enterprise market share for accounting software will amount to more than $1 billion.

But that figure doesn’t discount the billions of dollars small and mid-size firms will spend on software packages to help them automate and Web-enable their accounting functions. And many of those companies need help finding the right solution.

“They’re looking for systems that lend themselves to flexibility and integration,” said Craig Downing, assistant vice president for product management with ACCPAC International, Inc., a Pleasanton, CA-based provider of financial accounting and business management software solutions for small and midsize enterprises. “The good news is on the ongoing maintenance side. The burden of keeping the system up and running, with most of the applications, the databases are very low-maintenance.”

For the IT pro who is charged with the purchase of a suite of financial applications, TechRepublic offers a guide to choosing an accounting software package. This guide includes a vendor directory, a checklist to keep handy when talking with sales reps, and list of resources on the financial software market. Download it here.
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