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Marketing Made Easy for Accountants

Many accountants wouldn't know good marketing if it bit them in the balance sheet. To help these numbers guys spread the word, Pleasanton, Calif.-based ACCPAC International Inc., a subsidiary of Computer Associates , today announced a Web-based service designed to help accounting firms market themselves.

Dubbed the Hands-Free Marketing Program, because it is intended to require little effort from accounting firms, the service is available to members of the ACCPAC Online PASS program.

PASS, which stands for Professional Accountant Subscription Service, is designed to allow accounting firms to operate as virtual ASPs. The firm can expand its professional services offerings to include Web-based accounting applications. The applications as well as the hosting infrastructure and application provisioning are provided by ACCPAC on a private-label basis. (See Virtual ASPs Get Real.)

With the ACCPAC Hands-Free Marketing Program, PASS partners create and process direct mail campaigns in minutes, according to ACCPAC. "ACCPAC's relationship with accounting firms is all about partnership. CPAs tell us that one of the things they like least and need most is great marketing," said Bill Copeland, ACCPAC vice president of Strategic Accounting Alliances.

The Hands-Free Marketing Program is accessible by the accounting firm through a series of Web-based screens. For example, to send a seminar invitation, the accountant first logs onto the ACCPAC Hands-Free site. Dozens of existing templates, complete with copy and design, are available to choose from. Next, the accountant uploads his mailing list (for prospecting the accountant can order a mailing list on the site), reviews the price quote and approves the mailing. The mailing is completed, printed and mailed in just 48 hours, according to ACCPAC.

The marketing content is designed specifically for accountants, according to ACCPAC, and includes accounting-focused booklets, tax reminders and business planning seminars. The program is subsidized by ACCPAC for PASS partners, resulting in costs below market rates, according to ACCPAC.


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