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Software from accounting to Web page design.

Managing a small business can be difficult–especially if you can only afford a handful of employees. Although software can’t completely replace the IT professionals, accountants, and sales reps, at least you’ll be able to do their jobs just as well, and without screaming.

One of the best ways to network your Macs is with DAVE 4, by Thursby Software. While DAVE utilizes the standard TCP/IP protocol instead of AppleTalk, it was made for Macs and improves upon Jaguar’s SMB capabilities. But you can also share your files and printers with that lone employee who insists on using a PC, since DAVE supports Microsoft browsing like WINS. Meant for 5 users and priced at $522.99, Dave is compatible with OS 9 and up.

In this age of major accounting blunders, you’ll want sound financial management software like QuickBooks Pro Edition 5 for Macs from Intuit Software. Redesigned for OS X, it is now easier to customize invoices and financial statements, or even find them when the file names slip your mind. Manage your cash and credit card transactions or create orders, estimates and receipts. QuickBooks, compatible with OS 9, is $295.95; the upgrade runs $179.95 and will update old QuickBooks files automatically.

Keynote 1 from Applesoft, is the new alternative to those clichéd PowerPoint presentations that lack charisma and panache. Keynote features a plethora of sleek themes and slide show layouts that will wow your clients–or you can design your own. Create charts, tables, cinematic animations and use eye-catching typography. Or import your existing PowerPoint and Excel data right into Keynote templates. Keynote boasts amazing graphics, thanks to OpenGL, Quartz Extreme, Aqua and QuickTime compatibility. Priced at $99, Keynote only works with OS X.

With CorelDraw Suite 11 from Corel, you can still design the look of your business homepage, even if someone else is developing and managing it. The whole package includes CorelDRAW II for illustration and web graphics, Photo-Paint II for editing, and Corel R.A.V.E. 2 for animation. Each application features new tools, ranging from red-eye removal in photo editing to animated text. And with new image-slicing capability, your large graphics can be quickly uploaded to your page by breaking files into smaller parts. Best of all, you can move between all three applications easily, since they share a common interface. Upgrade for $199, or buy new for $429; Suite is for OS X and higher.

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