By Robert Bates, CPA
Sage Software has added features to its Peachtree 2006 Accounting package in order to compete with the market leader, QuickBooks, for small business customers, The software is available in four versions-from an entery lavel solution for start-ups to a comprehensive solution for more mature businesses. The basic version includes the standard modules: GL, AP, and AR, PR, inventory, time and billing, job costing and fixed asset management are available in the higher-end versions.
A key new feature of the peachtree line is how it updates reports (Rapid Access Report) like balance sheets-without needing to refresh. The saves a step when cutting checks, printing invoices or changing inventory items. For example. Switch back and forth from the checks cutting screen to the payable aging report without refreshing after every transaction.
Other features include: built-in Crystal Report(exclusively in the Peachtree Premier Accounting version), auto-complete text fields, storage for up to 20 addresses for each customer and vendor and a duplicate reference number warning. Also new is an internal accounting review running up to 15 reviews for un-authorized transactions and common mistakes and on line bank reconciliation.
Another upgrade is the full payroll module through peachtree Payroll Tax Update Service. The software includes direct deposit, credit card processing and authorization(no machine needed) and automatic entries directly in to the program. Other helpful features are the ACT! Link, integration with UPS (additional fees apply, subject to UPS terms and condition), peachtree Bill pay service (additional fees apply), Company consolidation wizard and the new online banking.
Inventory features (Peachtree Complete Accounting version and higher) are extensive, such as building and un-building kits, user-defined attributes for inventory items and the ability to reserve stock from purchase orders and sales orders.
The program offers more than 140 reports plus Crystal reports forms and financial statements, and everything can be downloaded to Microsoft Office (MS) Excel or e-mailed as a PDF file. Through MS Word, sent out “mass mail” items like invoices and sales announcenments.
Peachtree offers four versions of the Accounting Pack-age, from basic advanced. The application also available in robust, industry-specific version: manufacturing, non-profit, distribution and construction.
Third-party add-ons are powerfull, including:
- Ascent- a field service solution providing appointment-setting and maps
- BUilderMT- scheduling software for the construction industry,
- Wizard- a barcode add-on,
- Bridge-an EDI solution and
- AccuPOS-allowing retailers to use a cash-register friendly program with remote transfer for end-of-day sales batch at off-site locations.
With Peachtree, start working immediately. Just minutes after installing the software, helpful features appear making it easy to hit the ground running.
Using the Custom Forms Designer with its updated look and formatting, create professional, print-shop quality forms on plain paper with a company logo or other special designs.
Download product updates from the Peachtree Web site: upgrades are available based on the software version and the number of licensed users.
Peachtree offers user support including the online peachtree knowledge center, three pre-purchased support plans and support on a pay-per-call basic that is available Monday through Friday, 8.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. EST. Strongly consider a support plan if you or your clients are new to Peachtree Accounting software so you can call with questions as you go.
What differentiates the Peachtree Line from competitors are its consolidation wizard, Crystal Reports, ACT! And other third-party, add-on capabilities. With that in mind, Peachtree users may prefer to stay current with application upgrades rather than convert to another brand of software.