SOURCE: Sage Software

October 18, 2005 10:10 ET

Sage Software to Launch New Simply Accounting - Accountants' Edition and Initiatives for Canadian Accountants

#1 Accountant-Recommended Software Line for Small Businesses to Expand; Introducing Programs to Better Serve Accountants and Their Clients

RICHMOND, BC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 18, 2005 -- Sage Software today announced that it will expand its Simply Accounting by Sage product line, introducing a new Accountants' Edition with the launch of its 2006 product releases later this fall. Sage Software also announced unlimited(1) access to priority support for the company's Simply Accounting Business Partners, as well as the expansion of the Sage Software Accountants Network (SSAN) into Canada.

The new Simply Accounting - Accountants' Edition, will enable accountants to more effectively support their clients who use Simply Accounting. Accountants can install Simply Accounting - Accountants' Edition 2006 on their computer and support clients that are using any version of Simply Accounting 2006 - Basic, Pro, or Premium. In addition to being able to open, add, edit, and create data for any of the products in the 2006 line, the Accountants' Edition includes other tools for accountants, enabling them to synchronize year-end entries with their clients' data files, so that clients can continue working on their books without interruption.

"Simply Accounting is Canada's number one small business accounting program, used by more than 400,000 Canadian small businesses, nearly double those using QuickBooks," said Laurie Schultz, General Manager, Simply Accounting. "In our surveys of the accounting community, accountants tell us that Simply Accounting brings them more clients than QuickBooks, and that Simply Accounting clients are more than two times more valuable to them than QuickBooks clients(2). The enhancements we have made to the Simply Accounting 2006 product line and our partner program will save accountants time and money and help them serve their own clients even more effectively."

Along with the new Accountants' Edition, the company is now offering unlimited(1) access to priority support for all members of the Simply Accounting Partner Programs, and has expanded its dedicated partner team to accommodate the needs of Canada's largest accountant program. The partner team will focus primarily on providing training for accountants on Simply Accounting as well as on broader practice management issues, communication with the channel, and additional partner support.

In addition to expanding in size, the team is also expanding in scope, as the Sage Software Accountants Network arrives in Canada. Current Simply Accounting partners will automatically be granted membership in the Sage Software Accountants Network to receive valuable software, discounts and marketing guides specifically designed to assist professional accountants. The arrival of the Accountants Network will provide a single voice across all of Sage Software's Canadian products including Sage Accpac and Sage BusinessVision.

As the small business accounting product most recommended by accountants in Canada(2), Simply Accounting is recognized consistently by Canadian accountants for its strong accounting integrity. Unlike QuickBooks, which enables 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, mis-managed data, and the potential added costs of data cleanup.

Sage Software's investment in the accountant community goes beyond its current, growing partner organization, reaching out to assist future accountants as well. Through the company's education program, Sage Software has provided free Simply Accounting software to over 2,100 educational institutions - including almost 800 schools across Canada in the past year alone.

"Our relationship with the Canadian accountant community is vitally important to us," said Marilyn Harmidarow CGA, Accountant Relations Director, Canada. "Our commitment isn't just to our current partners, but to newly trained accounting professionals as well, giving them the tools they need for effective client management both now and in the future."

Pricing and Availability

Simply Accounting - Accountants' Edition will be available later this fall from Sage Software, as part of the Simply Accounting by Sage 2006 product line. For more information on the Simply Accounting Partner Program or Simply Accounting, please visit: www.simplyaccounting.com

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 www.sagesoftware.com/moreinfo or call (866) 308-2378.

(1) Customer support specialists reserve the right to limit calls to one hour or one incident.

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

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