Microsoft and the AICPA Deliver Technology Advisor Program for CPAs

PHOENIX, June 3, 1997 — The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), in conjunction with Microsoft Corp., today announced at The Partners’ Conference the Technology Advisor Program. The program is designed to help CPAs consult with their clients on technology solutions to business problems. It provides the foundation to build a business systems consulting practice – including Microsoft® products, training and technical support – and is available immediately through the AICPA.

The Technology Advisor Program is a component of the AICPA’s No. 1 strategic initiative: to help CPAs meet the challenges of today’s rapidly changing business climate. The program is designed to help CPAs expand their technology consulting practices.

“This program is a critical element in our continuing charter to enlist CPAs to become the premier information professionals for the new business age – providing timely, relevant and targeted information and expanding beyond traditional tax and audit work,” said Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the AICPA. “The alliance we forged with Microsoft eight months ago is one of the AICPA’s most valued strategic relationships, and the Technology Advisor Program will be an important building block in the foundation of many of our members’ consulting practices.”

Small Businesses Need a Trusted Business Adviser

The CPA profession is experiencing competitive challenges brought by the rapidly changing business environment. At the same time, CPA firm clients, particularly small businesses, are in need of an expanded source of trusted business and technology advice. By participating in the Technology Advisor Program, CPAs can demonstrate technical competency to complement their business acumen.

“While large American businesses have been turning to consultants in the Big Six for years, small businesses have not had a consistent, comparable source to turn to,” said Matt Davis, accounting industry marketing manager at Microsoft. “Our hope is that with The Partners’ Conference and the Technology Advisor Program, we are helping to build a new class of consultants for American small businesses. We refer to it as ‘re-engineering for the masses’ and look forward to having other technology and business experts participate in this program in the near future.”

Great Plains Software Inc. is also announcing its intent to participate in the Technology Advisor Program, and additional vendors are expected to follow.

Program Elements and Pricing

The AICPA will offer a Certificate of Educational Achievement (CEA) to participants who successfully complete the curriculum and the Microsoft Certified Professional exam.

The Technology Advisor Program will contain the following elements:

  • Microsoft products. The Windows NT® Server network operating system version 4.0; Microsoft Exchange Server; Microsoft SQL Server
    ™6.5; the Windows NT Workstation operating system 4.0; the Windows® 95 operating system; Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0; Office 97, Professional Edition with the Bookshelf® CD-ROM reference library; Publisher 97; and Microsoft Small Business Financial Manager

  • Microsoft services. Technical support, the Networking Essentials tutorial, the “America at Work” video seminar series, two-day applications training

The program, available through the AICPA, will have an introductory price of $849. Participants will also be offered discounted rates toward Microsoft classes on operating systems and applications. Training will be delivered through the AICPA and Productivity Point International (PPI).

In its first year, The Partners’ Conference is the largest national conference for CPA firm partners and managing partners, gathering over 1,000 attendees representing every state, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The three-day event was designed to answer these questions: Why is business systems consulting the most promising field of opportunity for CPA firms? And how can CPA firms establish their own consulting practices? The Technology Advisor Program allows CPA firms to take the first step toward building a technology consulting practice that will bring them profitably into the 21st century.

For more information on the Technology Advisor Program, AICPA members can call (800) 862-4272.

The AICPA is the national professional organization of CPAs with more than 331,000 members in public practice, business and industry, government and education.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows NT, Windows and Bookshelf are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors : If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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