Deciding to get out of the accounting business, the Office Accounting product will be discontinued on November 16, 2009. All of the features that are on-line for that program will disappear soon after.

This includes the Office Accounting Express 2009 program, which I’m told by an accountant in the family, works well for the small business user – and apparently will have utility after the on-line features go away.

The news cam from ZDNet this morning –

Starting November 16, Microsoft is ending distribution and sales of its Microsoft Office Accounting product. Company officials began notifying customers of the decision on October 30.

All Microsoft Office Accounting products in the UK and North America are affected by the decision, including Office Accounting Express, Office Accounting Standard, Office Accounting Professional, Office Accounting Professional Plus, Office Accounting 3-user and Small Business Accounting.

Here’s the back story as to why, according to a statement e-mailed to me by a company spokesperson:

“After evaluating the product over the past few years we have determined that other Microsoft offerings such as free templates in the Office system used with Excel and the Dynamics product are able to meet our customers’ needs. The Office Small Business web site has links to free templates for small businesses, such as invoices, expenses, time sheets, budgets and more and Microsoft’s Small Business Center is also a great resource for small businesses.”

Microsoft officials said that existing Office Accounting customers will get five years of mainstream, free support and five years of extended, paid support. Those who recently bought the product can return it for a refund within 30 days of purchase. (Details on how to return the activation key are here.)

The add-on services that are part of Office Accounting, including online sales from eBay and credit profile from Equifax, will no longer be available after December 15, 2009. The credit-card-processing services and service allowing users to order compatible checks and forms are still going to be available, however. In addition, according to a Frequently Asked Questions document on Microsoft’s Web site, “your customers will still be able to pay emailed invoices directly through PayPal.”

The article continues that full program customers  in the U.K. will get continuing support from a company named Mamut. The fate of U.S. customers is not so clear – Mary-Jo Foley gave an update stating this, and it seems to show that Office accounting isn’t as popular here as in the U.K.

It is somewhat strange this would be taken so quickly after a second service package was released, but no one ever accused Microsoft of logical thought.


Office accounting Express 2009 is still downloadable from here.

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