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What is a good synonym for the phrase turn to used to mean the firm intent to do an action after having completed a previous action such as in these examples?

He completed the reports then turned to the accounts.

We've discussed the vacation - now let's turn to the salaries.

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I do not understand the significance of "the firm intent" in the question. There is no such implication in either "turn to" or any of the suggested alternatives - it's only indicated by "let's" in the second example. –  FumbleFingers Sep 6 '11 at 11:54
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4 Answers

I would suggest: move on to, proceed to, go on to, or the very common switch to.

He completed the reports then moved on to the accounts

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  1. He completed the reports then took up the accounts.
    We've discussed the vacation - now let's take up the salaries.

  2. He completed the reports then started on / got to the accounts.
    We've discussed the vacation - now let's start on / get to the salaries.

  3. He completed the reports then attended to the accounts.
    We've discussed the vacation - now let's attend to the salaries.

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+1 for 'Attended to'. Also 'turned his attention to'. –  5arx Sep 6 '11 at 12:53
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You might tackle the next activity, if you mean to go at a difficult task with gusto:

He completed the reports, then tackled the accounts.
We've discussed the vacation—now let's tackle the salaries.

You might also address or focus on the next thing. Or, to more strongly show that you've moved from one task and started another, you could set about discussing the salaries or apply yourself to reconciling the accounts.

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How about a simple "We've discussed X and now let's discuss Y"?

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