It's like accounting software with training wheels. Intuit, publisher of Quicken and Turbotax, has just released a dumbed-down version of its business-bookkeeping software, Quickbooks, for the 9 million American small-business owners who are still using pencils and shoeboxes. Quickbooks Simple Start sells for $100, sets itself up in seconds and offers small-business owners the invoicing, expense-tracking and money-management information they need--all without overexposing them to terms like "depreciable asset."

The software doesn't include the payroll, online-banking or inventory features that can be found in the more full-bodied Quick-books versions that have been around for years. But the files it creates integrate with the rest of the Quickbooks line so users can graduate to higher levels or turn their records over to an accountant without anyone's having to rekey data.

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