Microsoft Responds to Rise in Hispanic Small-Business Ownership


REDMOND, Wash., March 18 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Meeting the needs of a diverse marketplace, Microsoft Corp. has launched a bilingual Spanish-English version of Office Accounting Express 2008 and Office Accounting Professional 2008 in the United States, providing bilingual functionality for the growing Hispanic small-business community. Over the next 10 years, Hispanic-owned businesses will be the fastest-growing component of the business end-user market in the United States, and their rate of growth is projected to be almost three times that of overall U.S. firms.(1)

“Small businesses recognize that managing their finances is a vital task that can be overwhelming,” said Jose Pinero, director of Diversity and Multicultural Marketing for Microsoft. “Products such as Office Accounting 2008 help small businesses by offering easy, affordable and comprehensive solutions to effectively perform everyday financial tasks in both Spanish and English.”

Office Accounting Express 2008 in Spanish is completely free and is designed to help sole proprietors, startups and home-based businesses manage everyday financial tasks such as tracking income and expenses, sending quotes and invoices, and running reports. The software integrates with additional third-party services, which will enable businesses to harness the power of the Internet to sell products online on eBay, send invoices and receive payments electronically, process payroll, run credit reports, work with their accountant, and more — all from within their accounting application.

“We operate everything with Office Accounting Express,” said Arturo Vela, owner of Visible Salon, a company dedicated to the sales and marketing of beauty products. “We make payments to salons and invoice the distributor in New York; we control our warehouse inventory and manage our balance sheet. It’s impressive that Microsoft offers this software for no cost at all.”

Office Accounting Professional is an even more robust solution for more established businesses and is available for an estimated retail price of $199.95 (U.S.).(2) Both editions are available for download in English (http://www.ideawins.com) and Spanish (http://www.ideawins.com/espanol) in the United States.

According to recent studies, by 2010, there are expected to be 3.2 million Hispanic firms generating $465 billion in revenues.(3) Hispanic-owned firms are continuing to grow at higher rates than the average U.S. firms, and they are expecting higher growth in revenue and labor force than non-Hispanic firms.(4) Demographic trends point to an even greater Hispanic business presence in the future.

“We know that the U.S. small-business market is very diverse, and we want to make sure that Office Accounting 2008 meets the needs of all small businesses in the U.S. That is why we now offer the product in Spanish to help the over 2 million Hispanic small businesses based in the U.S.,”(5) Pinero said.

More than 2 million people downloaded Office Accounting 2007 last year, and the feedback provided by these customers helped influence the 2008 version. Office Accounting 2008 offers many innovative features to help manage a small business:

— Easy to learn and use
— Works just like Word, Excel and Outlook
— Get started in minutes with wizards that import data
— Sell on eBay in minutes directly from Office Accounting

— Save time managing everyday tasks
— Share and reuse data across Word, Excel and Outlook
— Manage customers and vendors, employees and inventory
— Pay bills, track expenses, send invoices and bank online

— Get a complete view of the business
— Run customizable reports to keep track of business development
— See all important data in one glance with the Digital Dashboard
— Get reminders of important deadlines, pending bills and overdue invoices

(1) Latino-Business Barometer United States, 2005, RDA Global
(2) Estimated retail price. Prices vary by reseller.
(3) Small Business Administration, HispanTelligence, 2004
(4) Latino-Business Barometer United States, 2005, RDA Global
(5) U.S. Census Bureau, 2005

Soure: PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE



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