Peachtree Accounting Software

Quicken is fine for managing your personal checkbook, but when you get into business finances you really need something more robust to handle the many issues involved. Normally most home business people go either with Peachtree or QuickBooks.

I tried Peachtree when they had an offer to get a rebate off the full amount of the purchase price for the full version. So this wasn't the 'basic' version - it was the full fledged accounting software. I have to say, even though I've used accounting packages for many, many years and was both married to an accounting major as well as am currently dating (for the past 8 years) an accounting/management person, I had a lot of issues with this package.

First, the setup process, while they try to be helpful, is really poorly arranged. All of the basic tasks that I wanted to do while setting up my business were either not there or done in a very convoluted manner. I read the whole, thick manual and used the online help and even so, it could not do what I needed it to do.

One of my big reasons for buying Peachtree was to bring organization to my many accounts. I have 2 bank accounts, 4 credit cards and 2 PayPal accounts. Each one offers an easy download of information, to bring into a home accounting package. Peachtree would NOT allow this import of monthly data, and I was furious after 6 solid hours of trying to get it to work. I finally had to find this information out on a user's forum on the web, where they were still complaining about the issue in January 2005. This is pretty amazing, that in 2005 a small business financial application cannot import monthly financial data. There is NO way I'm entering all of those items by hand myself!

Since I had just registered it, I looked on the website for my 30 days free technical support. The pages talking about the support did not give me a phone number! They said it was on my registration email - but it was not. Finally I called the 800 number listed, for customer service. After a long hold time, they told me I had to call in on the *normal* call line - i.e. the toll charge one. I said it was pretty ridiculous for me to pay high mid-day toll fees to get my "free" support and they agreed to transfer me. I got transfered and spent 1/2 hour on hold. That would have been a big phone bill to start - but then the person who picked up said they couldn't help me but thought it *could* be done if I brought down a CSV file (comma separated), then imported it into Excel, then did some work on it and then brought that resulting file in. She said she'd transfer me. I spent *another* half hour on hold before I gave up and called it quits. My "free" technical support would have resulted in a nasty, time-consuming workaround and a very large phone bill.

Maybe if Peachtree catches up with modern day technology someday they would be worth it, but I can't imagine spending hours and hours entering by hand what is already available in electronic format. That makes no sense to me. I barely have enough hours in the day as it is - I need my accounting package to be easy to use, and *help* me in my tasks :)

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