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Microsoft Corporation and the AICPA have joined together to present a conference for partners of CPA firms to give them the motivation and the tools to move to a higher level of computer and technology consulting. Microsoft sees CPAs as an important advisor to small
businesses and other entities, and therefore an important player in communicating to that market the benefits to be derived from a greater use of technology.

The conference will be held in Phoenix, Arizona on June 1-3, 1997. While the conference fee of $795 is not insignificant, with Microsoft involved, the program will be more than your typical CPA-type conference. Broadway trained producers have been engaged to help with the presentations. Mary Chapin Carpenter is scheduled to perform at the evening barbecue gala.

The program speakers include
James Burke, host of the Learning Channel's "Connections"; Don Tapscott author of The Digital Economy and Paradigm Shift; Microsoft CFO Michael Brown; and AICPA president Barry Melancon.

The program is not designed for the technocrats of firms, but rather the partners who make decisions as to the direction in which their firms are headed. Microsoft would like to inspire and motivate those leaders to have their firms begin seriously
to consult and advise on technology issues.

AICPA president Barry Melancon will announce at the conference a new specialty credential, tied to computer consulting, that CPAs can obtain which will demonstrate to the marketplace their competence in this area.

Partners interested in attending should contact their State Society office or call 1 (800) 282-5988 for Microsoft's information line on the conference.

This clearly is an opportunity worth exploring. *

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