Microsoft has produced new accounting software aimed at small businesses.

Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting is designed to give small businesses software that provides for double-entry accounting, which keeps track of both a company's income and expenses to ensure accountability for all parts of the business, said Steve Guggenheimer, VP of small business for Microsoft.

Forty percent of small businesses do not use software specifically designed for accounting, according to Guggenheimer. He said Microsoft saw an opportunity to serve those customers with a product targeted to their needs. However, the new product faces an entrenched leader in the small-business accounting market: Intuit's QuickBooks.

Small Business Accounting gives customers the ability to do basic accounting functions, such as recording customer transactions, and manage sales and other financial documents. The product also includes third-party services from Microsoft partners such as JPMorgan, Deluxe and Automatic Data Processing to allow customers to sign up for those companies' services from within the product.

Microsoft also will launch a new version of Office that includes Small Business Accounting, called Office Small Business Management Edition. The product integrates accounting functionality with Microsoft's office productivity suite, so customers can perform accounting functions from within Office itself, Guggenheimer said.

"It allows accounting to be used as an overall way you manage the business," he said. "It integrates with how you would do sales, do quotes, send out offers in a seamless way, which is what people care about."

Both new accounting products will be available from today. It costs $179, with a $30 rebate at launch. Office Small Business Management Edition costs $499 with a rebate of $100 at launch.