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Free Microsoft Add-in Aims To Help Small Retailers

Microsoft is shipping a free software add-in designed to enable retailers to transfer point-of-sale data, such as transactions and purchase orders, directly into their financial management software.

The add-in works with Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006 and either Microsoft Point of Sale or Microsoft Retail Management System to let small-business retailers integrate point-of-sale information from retail systems into Microsoft’s financial management software in order to more easily run financial reports, according to a company statement released Thursday.

This is just Microsoft’s latest push in an effort to renew its focus on small business that Microsoft launched in late summer. (See, “Microsoft Works to Sharpen its Small Business Focus,” Sept. 20.) The aim is to smoothly link point-of-sale data with back-end accounting systems in small business environments that above all lack the IT budgets and resources of larger competitors.

In its statement, Microsoft quoted an IHL Consulting Group study that found “of 1.34 million U.S. retail companies, an estimated 99 percent have fewer than 10 stores, with 96 percent being single-store retailers.”

The add-in, developed with EVT Solutions, a Microsoft Certified Retail Management System Partner, is available from the Microsoft Download Center.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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