Peachtree 2006 – New & Improved Usability and Features

Every year, many software vendors release new versions of their products and it’s exciting to see what new features are included. Existing customers get to see many (all or some) of the features they have wanted in the new versions and new customers can compare the latest software to the competitive offerings they may be considering.
Peachtree 2006 is here.
Daneen Heislitz, Director, Product Marketing, Accounting Solutions, Sage Software told me that Peachtree’s customers have chosen it for three main reasons:
1) Businesses and their accountants like the data integrity that Peachtree provides
2) The security features embedded in Peachtree and
3) Peachtree does real ‘accounting’ and not simply keeping tracking of money
As businesses are increasingly asked to ensure the integrity of their finances, and keep strict audit controls, Peachtree’s embedded “big business” controls, for small businesses are welcome.
Interestingly enough, Intuit’s strategy is different in that it touts the simplicity of its software and how it is hiding or at least making easier many of the “accounting” functions of it’s product and targeting those businesses. Sage’s Peachtree is targeting those businesses who WANT an accounting focus.
Third Party Applications
Sage continues to grow its recently established, “third Party add-On” program, which allows programmers to create applications for Peachtree products. This is a POWERFUL initiative that has shown success with Intuit and of course Microsoft. Sage only has the capacity to develop a certain number of vertical and add-on solutions for Peachtree. But by leveraging the power of independent software developers applications for Peachtree are limitless. Having a broad range of add-on applications for a core product strengthens the brand and gives customers more of a reason to buy and remain loyal to it.
Peachtree Overview
Peachtree’s general software, includes Peachtree by Sage Premium Accounting 2006, Complete Accounting 2006, Accounting 2006 and First Accounting 2006. These versions offer varying degrees of complexity and features for businesses of different sizes, which would have different needs.
For example, First Accounting is geared toward the smallest businesses and does not include features such as time and billing or the newly launched bill pay service. Peachtree Premium Accounting includes these and many other features.
New features in Peachtree (not all features are available in all versions) include:
– better designed forms, which have a more professional look
– online banking so you don’t spend hours reconciling your banking records with your bank, Peachtree’s online banking feature can automatically do much of the hard work for you
– bill pay – no more writing/typing out checks and putting them in the mail; instead, from within Peachtree you can schedule and send payments to vendors electronically
– internal accounting review – this tool takes a look at 15 different customer data points to alert you to errors or suspicious activity
– and more
. The suggested retail price for Peachtree Premium Accounting 2006 is $499.99, Peachtree Complete Accounting 2006 is $299.99, Peachtree Accounting 2006 is $199.99 and Peachtree First Accounting 2006 is $99.99. The Multi-User Value Pack of Peachtree Complete retails for $699.99, while the Peachtree Premium Accounting 2005 Multi-User Value Pack can be ordered direct from Best Software for $999.99
Vertical Applications
Sage has released new versions of Peachtree for two new vertical markets: Non-Profits and Construction. These two new vertical solutions, join the existing vertical applications for distribution, manufacturing, real estate and accounting professionals.
Offering vertical solutions, specific to various industries is so important as the construction, distribution, manufacturing, nonprofit and accounting industries all have very specific financial management needs.
Managing the finances of a non-profit business is challenging and the new Peachtree Premium Accounting for Nonprofits 2006, in addition to the core features available in the Peachtree 2006 Accounting line, includes:
o Unified Chart of Accounts to allow for the quick and reliable translation of financial statements into categories required by the IRS Form 990.
o United Way based chart of accounts in Peachtree Premium Accounting for Nonprofits complies with the United Way accepted range of account numbers for the reports they require.
o Industry Specific Financial Statements, such as Statement of Revenues and Expenditures, Budgeted Statement of Revenues and Expenditures and a Statement of Financial Position to make it easy for nonprofits to demonstrate sound financial management, even when multiple funds and encumbrances are involved.
The construction industry is run by many small businesses, and these owners need special tools for their industry. In Peachtree Premium Account for Construction 2006, the Job Cost integration tool tracks cost and revenue information down to the finest detail for every job, enabling construction companies to compare the job estimate versus actual cost, helping them to more closely manage the overall financial health of their company. The new Job Work-in-Progress report offers contractors the ability to see which jobs are generating revenue and which ones are not. This report is a key indicator of a contractor’s financial position and necessary to obtain bonding and loans, and will enable small contractors to report on critical numbers quickly, when they need them.
Additional features in Peachtree Premium Accounting for Construction include:
o Track Subcontractor Insurance: For easier vendor management, users can now store subcontractor company name, policy number, policy limit and expiration dates. Peachtree will even notify the contractor when they try to enter a transaction with a vendor who has an expired policy.
o Apply Labor Burden to Jobs: Peachtree Premium Accounting for Construction 2006 easily allows the contractor to apply a labor overhead rate factoring in taxes, insurance, benefits and more, and assign it by job or company wide to accurately determine job profitability.
o Progress Billing: For improved cash flow, Peachtree allows invoices to be created based on the job’s current progress, streamlining the process and allowing builders to bill clients throughout the building cycle. Billing can be calculated on either a percentage based on the total estimated job revenue, percentage completed or percentage based on the job proposal.
o Calculate and Apply Retainage: Retainage tells the contractor exactly how much their customers are holding back from them, and how much they should be holding back from their subcontractors. Peachtree Premium Accounting for Construction 2006 calculates retainage for companies using accrual-based accounting based on a user-defined percentage, lists retainage on invoices, credit memos and customer statements, and even enters it on vendor invoices.