Free Essay

Quickbooks vs. Peachtree

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By ferniegirl
Words 1304
Pages 6
With the plethora of entry-level accounting software available on the market Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro and Sage’s Peachtree Pro are still two of the most popular accounting software specially designed for the needs of small businesses. Both provide excellent solutions to many of the accounting challenges faced by small businesses that use double entry accounting. QuickBooks Pro and Peachtree Pro are promoted as software designed for users with little or no accounting knowledge. Although very similar, there are key elements that differentiate one from the other. For the small business owner ease-of-use, efficiency, security, systems compatibility and operability, vendor support, options to expand and upgrade, and cost feasibility are essential criteria that need to be met.

Software Comparison

QuickBooks Pro is easy to use and offers the user help in setting up the company, selecting a chart of accounts, and recording transactions in the proper place. Functions are grouped to help direct the user to what is available in a particular category. The menus are simple to understand and offer the user representational icons for what they want to do. For example, a check looks like a check and so on. The homepage offers the user easy navigation through shortcuts allowing information to be pulled in different ways.

Like QuickBooks Pro, Peachtree Pro has a user-friendly interface. Peachtree Pro, on the other hand, is slightly more complicated to use and may require some knowledge of accounting. For example, the program requires period segmentation, which can be seen as a pro or a con. The need to change accounting periods forces the user to address transactions needed to close the month. Peachtree Pro does allow the user to make transactions in periods other than the current one, but the user is warned that the transaction is in another period. This can be valuable for preventing mistakes.

Although either software can export data, one of Peachtree Pro’s best features is its database and ability to export data, allow the user to manipulate the data in another software and then re-import it. This allows adjusting entries to be imported from Excel, a function that gives Peachtree Pro an edge over QuickBooks Pro limited ability to only import lists. Intuit does offer additional add-ons that can be purchased to improve the functionality of importing and exporting into the software.

Neither software can be customized to be industry specific but Peachtree Pro does offer small businesses the option of customizing their dashboard. With QuickBooks Pro the user is limited to the pre-structured layout. Furthermore, Peachtree Pro offers Job Costing and Forecasting functions as well as the option to customize reports.

Peachtree Pro may be a better option for any non-service industry as it has stronger inventory capabilities than QuickBooks Pro. QuickBooks Pro is limited to costing inventory using the Average Costing Method. Peachtree Pro allows offers the user the option to choose between the Average Costing Method, FIFO or Specific-Unit costing.

Security and Controls

Peachtree Pro offers built-in accounting controls with its “always-on” audit trail with no option to turn it off. This provides users with a record of every transaction. In contrast, QuickBooks Pro provides the option to turn off control features allowing the user to make changes or deleting transactions at will, increasing the opportunity for fraudulent activity. In addition, Peachtree Pro will scan data for accounting errors and questionable entries. It also offers users the option of setting up alerts. For example, if a credit limit is set for a customer and an order is processed that will exceed the credit limit an e-mail alert will be sent to the credit manager.

System security is stronger with Peachtree Pro than QuickBooks Pro. Peachtree Pro allows the user to customize their login set up. Passwords can be set up with an expiration date, requiring a password change after that date and previous passwords cannot be repeated. The system can also be set up to lockout a user after a certain number of unsuccessful login attempts.

Web - Based Options

As accessing software over the web is slowly becoming the norm Intuit has kept pace with technology and offers an online version of QuickBooks Pro. The user can sign in and work on their books wherever they have web access. Although the online version is a scaled down version of what is available for desktops, Intuit is continuously making modifications to expand the online capabilities. In addition, QuickBooks can be used in conjunction with online banking and web-based e-mail accounts such as Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail. One deterrent to using QuickBooks’ web-based option is its inability to offer a secure data back-up plan. At this time, Peachtree Pro does not offer an online version.

Hardware/Operating System Requirements

The recommended system configuration, for a single user, differs slightly between QuickBooks Pro and Peachtree Pro with Peachtree having smaller requirements. Peachtree Pro requires only 1 GHz Intel Pentium III and 512 MB of RAM while QuickBooks Pro’s minimum requirement is at least 2.4 GHz Intel Pentium III and 2 GB of RAM.

Both QuickBooks Pro and Peachtree Pro are available for PC’s or Macintosh and require Windows® XP SP3, Windows Vista® SP1 or Windows® 7 Home Professional or higher, and Internet Explorer 7.0. Both also require at least high color SVGA video that supports 1024x768 resolution. Should the user like to use any of the online features or services available Internet access is required with at minimum requirement of a 56 Kbps modem.

Peachtree requires only 1 GB of disk space for installation, whereas QuickBooks Pro requires 2.5 GB. Peachtree does demand more when it comes to drives, requiring a DVD-ROM drive whereas QuickBooks Pro only requires a CD-ROM drive.

Integration/Compatibility Requirements

Both QuickBooks Pro and Peachtree Pro offer integrations to Excel, Outlook, and Word requiring Microsoft Excel, Outlook, and Word 2003, 2007, or 2010. Both also require printers supported by Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7. Any in-product demos are required to be supported by Macromedia® Flash™ Player which can be downloaded from the Internet. Peachtree Pro does require Adobe® Reader® 9.0, a more advanced version of the 6.0 required by QuickBooks Pro.

Vendor Stability & Support

Both Intuit and Sage have a strong reputation for being leaders in their fields. Users can have the peace of mind knowing that once they purchase one of their products they will be provided with vendor support and have access to endless amounts of information shared by other users. For users who are not technically inclined or accounting savvy both Intuit and Sage offer users support with software installation and usage, as well as answers to questions on accounting procedures. Support can be accessed on their websites, through e-mail, live chat or telephone. Direct support is offered to users under warranty only. Everyone, regardless of warranty, has access to their “community” discussion forums. Intuit simplifies troubleshooting for QuickBooks products by providing navigation to solutions through icons.

Conclusion

QuickBooks Pro is ideal for small businesses looking for basic software that is straight forward, easy to use and need only to keep track of their data and transactions. Peachtree Pro is a business solution to small companies and offers more than simplified accounting software. Overall, Peachtree Pro is a more complete package to begin with. With small systems requirements and comparable costs to QuickBooks Pro, Peachtree Pro offers more “bang for the buck” with its bookkeeping capabilities and customizable options. This reduces the need for costly add-ons and allows the user to get more out of an out of the box accounting program. Choosing between QuickBooks Pro and Peachtree Pro is really a matter of looking at the users needs and how the accounting software is to be utilized.

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