Time is money, especially during the start-up stage. So anything that minimizes time entrepreneurs have to allocate to bookkeeping and other behind-the-scene tasks is a plus.

Intuit's (NASDAQ:INTU) QuickBooks 2008 assists small-business owners in several ways. First, the new QuickBooks Coach walks a user past the setup process, teaching tasks such as creating invoices and paying workers.

The most recent edition also allows users to keep track of billable time from Microsoft Outlook calendar appointments, e-mails, and tasks, and then transfer that information into the add-on QuickBooks Time Tracker Service.

Lastly, new features allow service companies, like accounting firms, to view unbilled time and expenses from one screen and create invoices with a single click of the mouse.

QuickBooks 2008 starts at $199.95 and can be purchased from Intuit at www.quickbooks.com or from retailers such as Amazon.com, Circuit City, and Costco.

In Search of the Perfect Credit Card

Small-business owners looking for a quick and easy way to find money-saving credit card offers may have a friend in CreditCardClients.com

The site's new Business Savings Agent is a free service that culls through hundreds of credit-card offers to find the top 10 savers for a particular business. Business owners enter basic information about their credit-card usage and then receive the 10 recommendations almost immediately.

"The Business Savings Agent breaks down the complexity of credit-card offers, and is a free, user-friendly resource for managing small business debt," said CreditCardClients.com president Ziv Yirmiyahu.

To learn more about the service, visit www.creditcardclients.com/business-savings-agent.

A Vault for Your E-mail

Keeping classified and confidential e-mails secure is essential for any business, but many small businesses don't have the resources to run their own e-mail server. Instead, these businesses often outsource this delicate information to an Internet Service Provider.

But Cerritos, Calif.-based Plustek is giving owners another option with this week's release of the MultiServer MFA 1000S, priced specifically for small and midsize companies. This model is also designed to require minimal upkeep.

The company's entry-level server costs $1,199, including all software and licenses, while the upgraded version with 750GB HD/1GB RAM runs $1,499.

For more information, visit www.plustek.com/product/server_mfa1000s.asp.