TurboTax Deluxe 2008 ( Federal + State)
TurboTax 2008 is the most expensive tax app on the market, but it's also fast, complete, and straightforward. If finishing quickly is your goal, the extra cost is worth it. If you anticipate wanting live help support, look into TaxCut.
Intuit QuickBooks Accounting Pro Edition 2009
Intuit QuickBooks Premier 2009 keeps the program's well-designed, intuitive interface, while adding a few new features. It's a worthy upgrade for people serious about online banking, and it remains the best accounting program for small business owners. However, Intuit should be more generous with customer support, particularly for setup issues.
H&R Block TaxCut Home & Business + Federal + State 2007
H&R Block TaxCut is relatively affordable and well-designed tax-prep software, although we found TurboTax's interview to be more direct and thorough.
Intuit TurboTax 2007 Deluxe
It's not perfect, but if you're brave enough to manage your own taxes, then TurboTax 2007 is Intuit's best tax application yet.
Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe 2008
Once again, we don't find this upgrade necessary, although some might come to rely upon the new Insights views of finances, and uber-organized users can link transactions to images of checks and receipts.
QuickBooks 2008 Simple Start Plus Pack
QuickBooks Premier 2008 remains the top small-business accounting program. Its guidance for novices is top-notch, and it comes in a variety of editions tailored for specific industries. Version 2008 isn't an essential upgrade for QuickBooks 2007 users, but it's a good buy for users of earlier versions, and for anyone new to accounting software.
TurboTax Home & Business 2006
With its cogent, easy-to-understand interview and clean design, Intuit TurboTax 2006 remains one of the top tax-prep programs out there. However, it's pricier than H&R Block's TaxCut, which is the better bargain.
TaxCut Premium + State 2006
For do-it-yourself tax preparers, H&R Block TaxCut Premium 2006 is a solid buy. TaxCut is a breeze to learn and notably less expensive than archrival TurboTax Premier.
QuickBooks Premier 2007
Despite its lean list of improvements, QuickBooks 2007 remains a terrific small-business accounting package. Longtime QuickBooks users who haven't already upgraded to QuickBooks 2006 should leap to 2007 instead.
Microsoft Money 2007 Premium
If you're using an earlier version of Microsoft Money, the 2007 updates may not tempt you to upgrade, unless the latest version's new budgeting abilities fit your needs.