With each subsequent release, Peachtree Accounting reinforces its popularity with accountants and small business owners alike. Always a favorite for the small business owner, Peachtree continues to make annual improvements to its already solid product, gaining more satisfied customers in the process. Sage Peachtree Premium Accounting for Construction 2011, designed for small construction and contractor companies, is a good example of what makes this software so popular for so many.
Basic System Functions
Sage Peachtree Premium Accounting for Construction 2011 contains all of the features and functionality found in Peachtree Accounting products along with construction-specific features designed specifically for this specialized industry. Easily customizable, users can design the interface to suit their particular needs. Peachtree uses navigation centers throughout the product, with the centers displayed to the right and the main screen updated to reflect the center chosen. Data-entry screens are arranged in logical sequence and contain numerous function tabs throughout, enabling users to easily navigate through the data-entry screens.
The Business Status page displays up to eight separate views of relevant company-specific financial data including Account Balances, Revenue YTD, Aged AP and Aged AR. Each view can be arranged as desired. All Peachtree products from the 2010 edition forward are designed to work with Windows Vista and Windows 7, as well as Windows XP. 4.75
Core Accounting Capabilities
Flexibility is important to small business owners, and Peachtree allows users to find the GL chart of accounts to suit their need, while also offering the capability of adding, deleting or editing accounts as needed. The GL offers an electronic payment option as well as an excellent series of analysis tools designed to keep small business owners up-to-date on all aspects of their business. Another handy feature is the Internal Accounting review, which flags potential posting errors. A solid AP function offers the usual features such as paying bills, processing credits, and offering time and expense tracking. The AR feature processes customer quotes, offers customized proposals, and handles processing of both sales orders and invoices.
Peachtree offers several different add-on options for payroll, depending on business needs and number of employees. Along with core accounting functions, Peachtree also contains solid inventory functionality, as well as add-ons for bill-paying, remote access and ACT! for Peachtree.
Peachtree also contains an excellent audit trail, which tracks data transactions in detail including date, time, action and amount of each transaction. In 2011, user security is tighter than ever, with three levels of use: no use, selected use or full use. Security has also been expanded to the modular level, with specific tasks within each module being restricted or available for access as needed. 4.5
Peachtree allows users to easily enter both estimated expenses and estimated revenue. Estimated costs can be entered directly into each job or in each phase as needed. Users also have access to the Estimates history, which details any changes that have been made to the original estimated costs.
The Job List allows access to any job already set up in Peachtree, displaying the job ID, description, supervisor, customer, and start and projected completion dates. From the screen, users can also view jobs, job phases, change orders and customers. Jobs can be easily tracked by cost codes, phases or customer change orders. Change order information can be entered in any job that has prior estimates entered. For efficiency, an approval date and the name of the employee approving the changes can be added.
Peachtree easily tracks customer, vendor and employee information. Clicking on the View option or clicking on one of the tasks to the left of the screen reveals a summary of information. Sub-contractors can be set up as a vendor type and tracked accordingly. Expense accounts can be entered for each sub-contractor and insurance information entered and tracked, as well.
The inventory and services function allows for viewing all inventory items. Users can also add custom tracking information or view item history as well as all paid and unpaid purchase orders. Job Ledgers or Job Retainage reports can also be printed. When entering inventory, users can also choose an appropriate class and corresponding cost code for more efficient tracking. 3.75
Reporting & Management Tools
Peachtree’s construction product offers a solid selection of job costing reports, including the Job Ledger (displays all transactions applied to a particular job) and the Job Profitability report (shows all job activity along with actual expenses and revenues). The Work in Progress report provides vital details about the progress of each job including estimated revenue and expenses, along with actual and dollar amount that each job is under/over.
Peachtree offers a series of templates designed to simplify communications. Templates are available for customer letters, quotes, sales orders and invoices. For easier communication from the field, Peachtree also offers an optional Remote Access add-on that provides system access from anywhere with a high-speed Internet connection. 4
All files imported or exported must be in comma-separated ASCII (CSV) format. Users can also convert QuickBooks data into Peachtree. A long list of add-on modules designed to integrate with Peachtree products are also available and can be viewed in detail on the vendor’s website. 4.25
All Peachtree products contain a comprehensive Help function that guides users through everything from basic system setup through entering data into the system. The ‘What’s New in Peachtree’ feature provides a list of new features and functions found within that version. ‘Show Me How To’ is an excellent Help too, as well, containing short tutorials on frequently used system functions. New for 2011 is the Setup Advisor that provides help as users set up and enter new records.
Peachtree offers links to all service releases on their website, which can be downloaded at any time. Also invaluable is the Peachtree Knowledgebase, which contains FAQs with detailed answers. A customer service chat is also available for users at no cost. Currently, there are three levels of support available: Monthly Support, Freedom Support and Peachtree Business Care. All support plans offer both phone and email support, live chat and website support access. 5
Summary & Pricing
Sage Peachtree Premium Accounting for Construction 2011 costs $499.99 for a single-user system, and $1,199.99 for a five-user version. An excellent accounting product on its own, Peachtree Construction is an ideal match for small construction companies and contractors looking to get and keep a handle on their business.
2010 Overall Rating 4.5
See inside July 2010
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