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Peachtree: The Other Small Business Management Software Application


With Intuit claiming a retail market share of 85 percent or higher in the small business accounting software market (according to and, many accountants and clients assume that QuickBooks has a monopoly over the small business accounting space. Although some clients may find that QuickBooks meets their accounting software needs, practitioners should also have a basic knowledge of other applications that might better match the needs of their clients. Such applications include QuickBooks, Peachtree by Sage, Simply Accounting by Sage, ThomsonReuters’ Client Bookkeeping Solution, Intacct Small Business, MYOB, and many others. You can read more about many of the available small business accounting products in The CPA Technology Advisor’s reviews of on-premise ( and SaaS-based (see pages XX-XX of this issue or visit small business accounting systems

Figure 1 – Peachtree’s Business Status Report

As CPATA columnist Doug Sleeter indicated in his first column in 2004 (, Intuit has done an outstanding job of marketing their software directly to end users. QuickBooks is an excellent product and can be an effective business management tool, but it cannot meet the business management needs of every business. Most accountants are at least aware of Peachtree, but they know very little about the product’s features and strengths. In fact, it’s likely that some users may have not used Peachtree since the product discontinued its DOS-based accounting software. If you haven’t looked at Peachtree lately, you should know that it’s a very strong product for businesses from the entry level through the lower end of the mid-market segment. Some of the application’s key strengths include the following:

Strong general ledger

Strong job costing

Outstanding speed and performance

Scalable up to five users in Peachtree Complete and Peachtree Premium, and up to 40 named users in Peachtree Quantum

Strong reporting (report editor, ODBC support, alerts, business analytics, and dashboards)

Workflow tracking and order process workflow in Peachtree Quantum

Peachtree Quantum manufacturing edition includes an integrated MISys’ manufacturing information solution.

Integration with ACT! by Sage

Add-on products and services such as payroll, payment processing and credit card services, from Sage as well as numerous third parties.

Figure 2 – Editing Reports in Peachtree Quantum 2010

Excellent inventory management, including support for valuation using FIFO, LIFO, weighted average cost and specific identification.

Figure 3 – Peachtree supports numerous inventory valuation methods,

While no business management package is always the best fit for every organization, Peachtree is an excellent fit for many businesses, including the following:

Companies who manufacture or distribute products, and need strong inventory handling capabilities.

Organizations that need robust reporting capabilities, including support for multiple budgets, modifiable operational and financial reports.

Owners who require more sophisticated custom reports created using Crystal Reports for Peachtree (included with Peachtree Quantum Accountants Edition).

Contract services organizations that bill for time and out-of-pocket expenses.

Managers who would like to budget and report in periods that do not coincide with calendar months (e.g., 4-4-5 or 52-53 week accounting periods).

Organizations that need to prepare consolidated financial statements or work with two companies open simultaneously.

Sage also offers two programs for accountants and partners who would like to sell, install, and consult with clients on Peachtree: The Sage Accountants Network (SAN) and the Peachtree Certified Consultant Program.

The SAN ( Premier Advisor Program is a program designed for accountants who do some software consulting. SAN membership for Peachtree offers practitioners many software and support benefits without requiring them to resell products to clients. These include:

A five-user version of Peachtree Quantum Accountants Edition for your firm’s internal use, along with an included subscription to the U.S. payroll tax tables for the period of your membership.

Unlimited U.S.-based technical support for Peachtree.

Access to online training courses and four self-study training guides (Basic, Forms and Financials, Advanced, and Using Crystal Reports with Peachtree).

Concierge member service from the Sage Accountants Network support team on a dedicated phone line – 866-565-2726.

The option to extend your SAN membership to include not-for-resale versions of other Sage products, including ACT! by Sage, Sage MAS 90 Extended Enterprise Suite, Timeslips by Sage, Sage FAS Fixed Assets, Sage MIP Fund Accounting, Sage Accpac Extended Enterprise Suite, and many more.

Product discounts for you and your clients.

The Sage Certified Consultant Program for Peachtree is designed for consultants who are committed to selling and supporting the Peachtree product line in the role of a value added reseller (VAR). Members are required to pass a certification exam, take training courses, and attend annual conferences. Certain levels of this VAR program require consultants to meet annual product sales quotas to maintain their certification levels.

In exchange for these additional investments, Sage provides program members with higher margins on software purchases, access to earn co-op marketing funds, marketing support, customizable sales literature, unlimited access to Freedom Support, and unlimited access to a partner advocate for one-stop issue resolution. Certified Consultants also receive not for resale (NFR) versions of ACT! by Sage, Timeslips by Sage, and Peachtree Quantum by Sage for their internal use.

I’m looking forward to discussing more about Peachtree, Peachtree Quantum, and related applications in future columns. Some of the topics we will discuss include workflow management in Peachtree Quantum, business intelligence and dashboarding solutions, exchanging data with clients, special product versions and add-on solutions for vertical industries, payroll and payment services, e-commerce, and document management options. I would love to receive your questions about best practices for working with Peachtree, data interchange with tax software and write-up applications, as well as tips, tricks, and workarounds for future columns. n

Brian Tankersley is a Knoxville, Tennessee CPA and consultant whose practice is focused on technology consulting and training for accountants. Brian is a nationally recognized speaker with K2 Enterprises (, and blogs on accounting technology at Comments, suggestions, and errata are always welcome, and should be e-mailed to