Monday, January 07, 2008

Free Accounts software from Microsoft

It is not often that Microsoft gives out something for free but a version of their accounts program Office Accounting Express 2008 is available from them for download at Office Accounts downloads
It is a cut down version of their Office Accounting Professional 2008 which retails at a very competitive £149. So if you are fed up shelling out to Sage this is something you should considor.
The Pro version is multiuser, multicurrency, and MS SQL ready.

List of Features



Core Accounting (Nominal ledger, Sales Ledger, Purchase Ledger, invoicing, purchase invoice payment and banking) ✔ ✔
Integration with Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook ✔ ✔
Integration with add-on Payroll and e-Payment services* ✔ ✔
Visit the Resource Centre to get help with common questions ✔ ✔
Generate VAT returns ✔ ✔
Over 40 additional reports
Multiuser access (peer to peer or over Small Business Server network)
Job costing and department tracking
Stock tracking and valuation
Customisable company dashboard
Sales Orders
Purchase Orders
Cash Flow Forecasting
Recurring documents
Late payment charges
Run on SQL Server 2005 Standard, Workgroup or Enterprise edition
Foreign currency support
*Additional fees apply.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

E-commerce - A guide for UK business managers

So you have a brilliant product and you want to sell online to take advantage of what is still the fastest growing marketplace in the world? Where do you start? What do you need?

Well the good news is that you only need a website that is capable of showing off your product and enabling the customer to order and pay for the goods. You also need a way of telling people that your website is open for business.

A well designed website on a good platform will have search engine optimisation capability built in.
Before you even design the website you should be considering how you will be promoting the site. If you feel that a highly interactive Flash site is what you want then forget about SEO work and concentrate on offline advertising and pay per click advertising.

A shopping cart website has a database behind it which holds the product information, customer information and order and payment information. It usually generates the product pages on the fly reflecting stock levels, price changes, delivery information. This means the website is a dynamic one. For example Product A is not selling so you decide to lower the price. The backend of the shopping cart site, ( The admin area) will allow you to change the price of it and immediately when a customer visits the Product A page the price shown will be your new lower price.
The admin side of your new web shop is an important component. It should be very easy to add new product and pictures and easy to edit existing product.

How secure is your shop? You will have to make sure customer details are not available to spammers and other con artists. A secure area on your website should be used for encrypting their details as they send them.

This guide will start with the basics of Domain registration and Hosting requirements. Then we will look at Shopping Cart platforms, Security, Payment processing, and delivery options.
The final parts will look at search engine optimisation, internet marketing and website promotion.