Peachtree Unveils 2006 Release

Monday Jun 13th 2005 by Dan Muse
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The newest installment of the small business accounting program adds online bill paying, a way to find common accounting mistakes and more reports. Peachtree also rolls out new versions designed for construction companies and nonprofits.

While QuickBooks is regarded as the standard in small business accounting software and the yet-to-be-released Microsoft Small Business Accounting is getting headlines, Peachtree Accounting (now owned by Sage Software) has built up a pretty good following of its own over the past 25 years.

Peachtree 2006 rolls out 20 new features designed to simplify, control and expand accounting functions according to Daneen Heislitz, director of product marketing, at Sage Software.

Under the simplifying theme, Peachtree 2006 now includes online banking, allowing you to download bank statements directly into your accounting software. Heislitz said 300 banks are lined up at launch.

Heislitz said the new version of Peachtree Accounting also offers auto-complete capabilities based on past entries, which can help eliminate data entry and errors. The new version also makes easier it run reports and access information with a single click, Peachtree claims.

One of the more interesting new features in Peachtree 2006 is the Internal Accounting Review capability. It's built to help give small business owners more control by running 15 checks at any time on their Peachtree data. The review process looks for common accounting mistakes and suspicious transactions such as duplicate entries and cash receipts that do not debit the correct General Ledger account. The feature can save you both time and accounting fees down the road, Heislitz said.

In an effort to provide greater control over cash flow, the company has also added Peachtree Bill Pay, an electronic bill payment service offered through a partnership with Metavante Corp. that allows you to pay bills directly from your accounting program.

The 2006 release now includes enhanced reporting capabilities for better business management, including five new reports designed to let you better manage accounts receivable, accounts payable, assemblies, transactions and invoices. Better assembly and sub-assembly reports, for example, are important to manufacturers, Heislitz said, because they take into account the cost to manufacture a product based on smaller products.

Peachtree also announced the addition of two new vertical editions: Peachtree Premium Accounting for Construction 2006 and Peachtree Premium Accounting for Nonprofits 2006.

Heislitz said that the construction version makes it easier to track subcontractors' insurance and retainage (i.e., how much you owe on a job and how much is owed to you), so "you can bill along the way," she said. It also helps construction companies know what their margins need to be to make a profit. The new version also offers work-in-progress reporting and operational reports (based on industry-specific Crystal Reports, Peachtree said).

While nonprofit organizations need to operate as efficiently as any business, they also have some needs that are different from for-profits operations. "Donors are key," Heislitz said, "you need to be able to track them and report back to them." The new version also includes a chart of accounts based on the United Way. And, because nonprofits rely so heavily on volunteers, Peachtree Premium Accounting for Nonprofits 2006 adds specialized wizards, instructional demos and guided tours.

The two newest vertical edition join Peachtree's offerings for manufacturing, distribution and accounting.

Peachtree accounting is aimed at companies ranging from one or two employees to 50 employees. The various editions are priced as follows:

  • Peachtree First Accounting 2006: $99.99
  • Peachtree Accounting 2006: $199.99
  • Peachtree Complete Accounting 2006: $299.99
  • Peachtree Premium Accounting 2006: $499.99

Multi-user versions are also available.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking & Communications Channel and ServerWatch.

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