This application demands Windows 2000 SP3 or XP SP2 on a system with 256MB of RAM (512MB is recommended), but Mac users are out of luck. Installation took about 10 minutes in our tests on Windows XP. We found the setup wizard handy, but exporting data from other programs demanded more attention than starting with a blank slate.
It takes less time to find information in Peachtree 2007 than it does in last year's edition, and the use of lists is vastly better. The Customers & Sales, Vendors & Purchases, and other modules, for instance, display scrollable customer lists that would have taken several mouse clicks to find in version 2006. With Peachtree 2007, you click the View Detailed List link in the upper-right corner, and a complete list of records (for example, Employees) pops up in a separate window. Searches are easier too, thanks to a handy search box near the top of the screen.
Peachtree 2007 offers better integration with Microsoft Excel, although QuickBooks still has the edge in this area. You can now export reports to Excel that retain their Peachtree layout, specific formulas, autofiltering, and other features. Peachtree also synchronizes your contacts with Microsoft Outlook. What's missing is a wizard for importing data directly from Excel, which QuickBooks offers. Then again, Peachtree tops QuickBooks at inventory management. For instance, it does a better job of presenting reports of fast-selling and slow-selling items. We also like the Internal Accounting Review to help avoid trouble with the IRS at tax time, and the ability to lock prior reporting periods.
Priced at $270, Complete Accounting is the midrange offering in the Peachtree family. Taking a step down, the $170 Peachtree Pro version lacks the Business Status Center, online banking, bill-pay, Outlook integration, and other features. The $70 Peachtree First is for mom-and-pop shops that need a simple bookkeeper without password security, payroll and tax tools, and so on. At the high end, the $500 Peachtree Premium provides advanced reporting, archiving, billing, and inventory tools not found in Complete. Sage Software also offers a bundle of industry-specific Premium versions of Peachtree 2007, which include those for nonprofits, construction, accounting, manufacturing, and distribution.
You'll get a trifling 30 days of free support once you register Peachtree 2007. After that, fees for help are steep, and they can easily double the cost of the software. Online resources include a knowledge base and live chat, but you'll have to pay to use them. To start, the PeachCare plan for a single user will set you back a whopping $229, with 60 minutes of contact with a support specialist included and phone support available only on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET. Under PeachCare, each e-mail query you make deducts 10 minutes from your 60 minute total balance. The $329 Freedom Support plan offers more if you expect to have a lot of questions, with 12 months of unlimited phone or e-mail support. E-mail assistance guarantees a four-business-hour turnaround time.
With its dramatically improved interface and navigational tools, Peachtree Complete Accounting 2007 is a fine upgrade for longtime users. The Business Status Center may be too busy for some tastes, but you can easily customize it by removing a table or a graph. However, while we welcome the changes to Peachtree 2007, they're not stunning enough to merit the time-consuming process of migrating from a rival program. For example, if you're a devotee of QuickBooks, which recently underwent a significant overhaul, we recommend that you stick with that program.