Microsoft has released an Office Accounting 2007 package that is free, no strings attached. Sure, now that I just purchased QuickBooks!
I just downloaded it (333MB) and am installing. Estimates that it will take approximately 997 MB of space (Microsoft alright!) I am installing on a Windows XP Pro Service Pack 2 machine with 512 MB of RAM (virtual machine in vmware).
The install went smoothly, and it places itself into the Office Start Menu group. It allows you to import data from Microsoft Money and QuickBooks which was a nice surprise.
It also offers PayPal and Equifax integration along with ADP Payroll integration which seems very mature for a new product. I have not tested these plug-ins, but did install them and plan to investigate further.
The user interface is very Office 2007 themed and seems responsive although install and the creation of the company data file seemed to take a while. Once up and running everything was smooth and was a cozy reminder of QuickBooks during most operations. Everything allowed me to create customers, products, services, etc on the fly.
When I tried to email an invoice it told me it requires MS Word which tells me that it attaches the invoice as a Word document rather than a PDF which is not my first choice… It does not look like it allows attachments as PDF’s as an option.
I could not figure out how to receive payment via paypal, but that may be due to the fact that I do not have Word installed. I will have to try this out later on a different machine, along with trying to import my QuickBooks file.
It looks to have pretty decent integration with eBay for selling online as well. I did not test these features but did notice their presence.
For a first version product, I would say Microsoft hit the mark and provided way more than I expected out of a free product.
Will I switch from QuickBooks? I will have to give it the 10 day test, more likely a month test with something like this, and find out.
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