SOURCE: Sage Software

November 01, 2005 10:46 ET

Simply Accounting by Sage 2006 Launches in Canada

#1 Selling Bilingual Accounting Software for Small Businesses to Expand Core Product Line, Adding Dozens of New Features for More Effective Business Management

RICHMOND, BC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 1, 2005 -- Sage Software announced today that the 2006 versions of its market-leading Simply Accounting by Sage product line: Simply Accounting Basic, Simply Accounting Pro, Simply Accounting Premium, as well as a new Accountants' Edition, are shipping this week for Canadian small businesses. Simply Accounting has been the number one selling small business accounting software in Canada annually for more than a decade, and held 57 percent market share in September, 2005(1).

"At retail today, over two thirds of all accounting software is purchased at the entry level, and we remain committed to serving this part of the market with Simply Accounting Basic for $149 -- a fully featured accounting product including payroll(2)," said Laurie Schultz, General Manager, Simply Accounting, Sage Software. "We have been equally focused on providing our current customers with more of the features they need. With our 2006 line-up we're introducing more than 40 new features and enhancements and providing our Pro and Premium customers two-user licenses for the price of one to support their data sharing needs. Our goal is to provide the best family of accounting software on the market at the best value."

New features and enhancements in Simply Accounting 2006 are a direct result of consultations and on-site visits with customers and partners. Accounting integrity is ensured through a full-time audit trail supported by all Simply Accounting 2006 products. In addition, the software meets the new image-ready cheque standard by the Canadian Payments Association(3). The software is the only English/French bilingual small business accounting option on the market to meet the needs of Canadian users.

Starting with the Basic level product, usability changes have been made throughout to simplify and streamline the product. An improved user interface, additional wizards for common tasks, and enhancements to payroll will improve workflow for customers.

Simply Accounting Pro, targeted for growing businesses that need multiple user access and other specialized functions around service and inventory, has been further upgraded. Simply Accounting Pro has powered up data search capabilities, enabling customers to quickly and easily find exactly what is needed. Also new is detailed project budgeting and the ability to synchronize Simply Accounting customer and vendor lists with ACT! by Sage Contact and Customer Manager(4).

Designed for larger businesses that may run multiple companies or need more in-depth reporting and analysis, Simply Accounting Premium customers will benefit from all the new features in the Pro version with the added ability to store, transfer and track inventory in multiple locations -- a feature normally found only in mid-market applications costing thousands more. Premium customers also will enjoy improved financial historical reporting and company consolidation capabilities.

"Sage Software has produced a strong upgrade in Simply Accounting 2006, and they've made their commitment to supporting small businesses very clear by continuing to add important features to all levels of the product, including Basic," said Alan Salmon, President of Salmon & Associates and Vice President of Canadian Operations for K2 Enterprises. "The combination of strong product and service plus up-front pricing makes Simply Accounting 2006 an attractive choice."

Sage Software also continues to invest in the Accountant channel. At almost 6,000 active partners in Canada, the Sage Software Accountants Network has almost twice as many accountant recommenders than any other competitive program in Canada. With the new Simply Accounting -- Accountants' Edition, partners will no longer need to install each edition of Simply Accounting in order to work with client files. Instead, they can install Simply Accounting -- Accountants' Edition 2006 on their computer and support clients who are using any version of Simply Accounting 2006 -- Basic, Pro, or Premium. The Accountants' Edition also includes tools that enable accountants to synchronize year-end entries with their clients' data files, so that clients can continue working on their books without interruption.

Recommended by 72 percent of accountants as Canada's most reliable accounting software for small businesses(5), Simply Accounting is recognized consistently for its strong accounting integrity. Unlike QuickBooks, which allows users to turn off the audit trail that tracks changes to accounting entries, the Simply Accounting full-time Audit Trail and security features help ensure accounting integrity for small businesses, reducing the opportunity for fraud, mismanaged data, and the potential added costs of data cleanup.

Pricing and Availability

Simply Accounting by Sage 2006 is currently shipping from Sage Software and is available at Canadian retailers nationwide. Simply Accounting Basic retails for $149, Simply Accounting Pro, 2-user license is $219 after rebates(6), 6-user $599 after rebates(6); Simply Accounting Premium 2-user license is $399 after rebates(6), 6-user $899 after rebates(6). For more information on the Simply Accounting Partner Program or Simply Accounting, please visit:

About Sage Software (formerly Best Software)

Sage Software offers leading business management software and services that support the needs, challenges and dreams of more than 2.4 million small and mid-sized business customers in North America. Its parent company, The Sage Group plc (LSE: SGE.L), supports 4.5 million customers worldwide. For more than 25 years, Sage Software has delivered easy-to-use, scalable and customizable software for accounting, customer relationship management, human resources, time tracking and the specialized needs of accounting practices and the construction, distribution, manufacturing, nonprofit and real estate industries.

For more information, please visit the Web site at or call (866) 308-2378.

(1) Per ACNeilson, September 2005

(2) Additional fees apply for cheques, payroll tax updates, automatic payroll tax calculations and direct deposit.

(3) Simply Accounting Easy Align cheques conform to the new Canadian Payments Association (CPA) standard for image-ready cheques, which goes into effect December 31, 2006. Additional fees apply.

(4) Requires ACT! 2005 or 2006.

(5) Based on an independent survey of over 150 accountants who work with small business clients, conducted in Canada in July 2005.

(6) Mail-in rebates are for upgrading customers, and those switching from a competitive product.

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