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Sage — Peachtree by Sage Premium Accounting 2010

From the April 2009 Review of SMB Accounting Programs

Since purchasing Peachtree a few years back, Sage has continued to improve its core functionality while adding features and improvements not regularly found in small business accounting products. With an amazing array of flexibility, Peachtree offers small business owners and their accountants a wide range of products from the entry-level Peachtree First Accounting to Peachtree Quantum (which is designed for companies needing more than 10 users) to Peachtree Premium, which is designed for small business owners looking for a little more flexibility. Industry-specific versions of Peachtree are also available, with special versions for general business, nonprofits, manufacturing, construction and accountants. This makes Peachtree a terrific product that continues to improve with each subsequent product release. Due out in May, Peachtree 2010 will have an array of brand new features. Peachtree by Sage Premium Accounting costs $499 for a single-user system.

With all the new features, Peachtree continues to maintain its easy-to-navigate user interface. New company creation is aided by a wizard that allows you to choose from over 100 templates when selecting your company chart of accounts. Peachtree Navigation Centers make it easy to find what you’re looking for. Navigation centers are found to the left of Peachtree’s main screen and provide access to Business Status, Customers & Sales, Vendors & Purchases, Inventory & Services, Employees & Payroll, Banking, and Company.

Once you click on a navigation center, your options are updated on the main screen that features a flowchart of icons that provide access to user functions such as customers, quotes and proposals, sales invoices, vendors, purchase orders, inventory items, and assemblies. To the right of the flowchart are relevant lists that display current customers and balances in your customer and sales center, and inventory items in your inventory and services center. A list of frequently used reports and graphs are displayed, as well. All centers are completely customizable, with users able to choose shortcuts and other options to display in each navigation center. Data-entry screens are similar throughout, with lookup screens available for all necessary fields. Users are provided with numerous options at the top of the data-entry screen including the ability to email invoices, purchase orders or statements.

Peachtree Premium offers a solid core accounting set with GL, AR, AP and Payroll, along with a solid Inventory module that offers the ability to set up inventory items for assembly with support for up to 10 pricing levels. The Customer and Sales function allows you to track time and expense tickets and add them to employee timesheets for easy expense tracking and payment. A full-time audit trail is also offered. The Banking center allows bills to be paid electronically and provides good reconciliation options. More extensive system security is now available, including enhanced password security options with the ability to set passwords to expire within a predefined period of time.

Peachtree Premium offers more than 140 standard reports that are fully customizable. Reports are available from each navigation center as well as the reporting center. Accessing the reporting center allows you to click through a list of reporting options in each module. Available reports are listed alphabetically, with a report explanation found to the right of each report. Those with multiple business entities or locations can choose to print consolidated reports. All reports can be exported to Microsoft Word or Excel, or saved as a PDF. Reports, statements and invoices can also be emailed to recipients directly from the print screen.

New in Peachtree 2010 is the Customer Management Center, where you can create customizable dashboards and drilldown to detailed activity such as quotes, invoices, receipts and items sold. The program’s new Business Analytics option, powered by iLumen, allows you to compare your businesses performance to similar businesses. You’ll also be able to access key financial information instantly, including Gross Margin Percentage, Total Revenue and Days Sales Outstanding.

Peachtree easily integrates with Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel and Outlook. Peachtree can also import data from QuickBooks, and reports can be easily converted into PDF format. Peachtree integrates with numerous add-on products including Online Bill Paying, Time & Billing, Credit Card Services and an ACT Link for Peachtree. The company also offers a wide variety of third-party applications that are designed to integrate with the Peachtree family of products.

Peachtree’s Setup Guide assists new users with setting up customers, jobs, vendors, inventory, employees and chart of accounts. The new Peachtree Resource Center offers users a centralized location to access Peachtree services and products, training courses, whitepapers and marketing tools for your business. Two levels of product support provide email and telephone support. All new purchasers receive 30 days of free product support upon registration.

The flexibility of Peachtree products is one of its main selling points. Ranging from the entry-level Peachtree First to the powerful Peachtree Quantum, sole proprietors to thriving small business owners will find Peachtree a good fit. Peachtree is affordably priced for even the smallest business entity.