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NetLedger: It's Not Just for Accounting Anymore

Nov 29, 2000, 21:38 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Newcomb)

By Kevin Newcomb

Small business service provider NetLedger Inc. announced Wednesday (Nov 29) the unveiling of NetLedger 5.0, allowing small businesses to leap from online accounting to a full range of e-commerce capabilities, including operating an online store.

"This is the most significant enhancement to the service since we started it in August 1999," NetLedger founder and CEO Evan Goldberg told ASP News. "It moves us much closer to our vision of a single small business management center on the Internet."

The highlight of NetLedger 5.0 is the online commerce extension. Building on their existing product information in NetLedger, users can load item images, run specials, publish company and store information, publish email forms for customer interaction and integrate shopping cart and checkout processes. Everything feeds directly into NetLedger's sales order feature for order processing and customer billing. Because of the tight integration between accounting and online commerce, inventory levels will be automatically adjusted with each sale, and store transactions will be immediately reflected in users' NetLedger accounts.

"NetLedger has had a consistent vision from its founding in 1998: provide an integrated, powerful, easy-to-use system to run a small business, giving it the tools it needs to succeed in the Internet economy" Goldberg said. "The addition of online commerce capabilities is a major step towards a complete solution, and it will be followed quickly by other major enhancements."

Additional features new to NetLedger 5.0 include improved inventory management, the ability to create custom fields on records and individual lines of a transaction, reconciliation enhancements, the ability to lock transactions before a date specified by an administrator or accountant, job tracking and reporting enhancements. NetLedger 5.0 also offers one-click conversion of QuickBooks data into NetLedger.

"We use the products we build to run our own business, so we get hands-on experience," Goldberg said. "We also get feedback from users to see what additions they would like to see."

The monthly fee for NetLedger 5.0 remains the same: $4.95 per month per user with one free access seat given to the subscriber's accountant. The new online commerce feature costs $49.95 per month for an unlimited number of users. The introductory fee for this feature will be $29.95 per month for an unlimited number of users through the end of the year. There is no additional cost associated with the other upgrades.

NetLedger's addition of e-commerce features in its 5.0 version marks the latest of many milestone achievements the company has reached since its launch in August 1999. In just over a year, NetLedger has established a rapidly-growing customer base, released five major upgrades of the NetLedger service, expanded internationally with NetLedger Canada, and implemented significant alliances with partners such as Yahoo!, ADP and Oracle.

Companies such as Paytrust, OfficeMax, OneCore.com and Stamps.com are just a few of the many other companies to integrate NetLedger with their services, providing their customers with additional benefits. NetLedger has also secured several dozen co-branding and distribution partnerships in the past year. Most recently, NetLedger has partnered with broadband-application service provider, C3Communications to bring high speed Internet connection to ASP users.

NetLedger also launched a consolidated datacenter backed by technologies from Oracle, VA Linux and Network Appliance. The data center has established NetLedger as one of the world's largest Oracle deployments on Linux.

Starting with web-based accounting as a core, NetLedger turns the small business accounting system into a powerful e-business tool. This tool delivers capabilities including online commerce, expense reporting, online customer ordering, online credit card processing, payroll and employee, customer and supplier remote access.

"In the next couple of versions, you'll see things like front office and HR functions -- things that go beyond the core of accounting that we started with, but use the same data," Goldberg said.

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