Microsoft offers some of the most comprehensive small-business applications in the industry. Within its well-established Office series, the company has added a few new features to the 2006 version of its Small Business Accounting program.
When users first load Accounting 2006, they will see an easy-to-use "start-up" feature that asks for information, accounts, payrolls, and other financial numbers. From there, the application does the rest -- organizing data into documents, graphs, and tables for quick access.
While this year's version is not entirely different from previous iterations, the engine behind the program has new modifications. Automatic Data Processing, a payroll specialist, is now integrated in Accounting 2006 and offers users complete payroll services within Microsoft's program. Of course, there is a subscription fee for this service, but buyers might end up saving money in the long run by not paying for outside payroll services.
One of the more convenient features of Accounting 2006 is its ability to share data that is readable in Excel, Word, and other Office applications. This proves especially useful with the added Cash Flow Management tool, which projects revenues and sales in the form of graphs and spreadsheets.
With dozens of accounting programs available, Accounting 2006 is a good deal at $179. Although not as customizable as the reports generated in Money or Quicken, Microsoft's application separates itself from the rest with its streamlined Office integration that allows users to share data easily. Best of all, anyone who can use Word can run Accounting 2006, whereas some of the other accounting applications require a bit more expertise.