QuickBooks vs. Sage 50 (Peachtree) Part I: History

Merrick Lawrenceon on November 14, 2016

QuickBooks was founded in 1983 by Scott Cook and Tom Proulx under a company named Intuit after the success of their first program, Quicken. Quicken was a company aimed to provide accounting computer software to simplify financial management for companies. Initially, QuickBooks attracted concerns from accounting professionals about the program’s lack of an audit trail and not conforming to traditional accounting rules. In response, Intuit developed programs which included audit trail capabilities as well as double entry accounting functions and other new features. The Basic and Pro versions of Quicken accounting software packages were developed in 2000, which were succeeded by the development of industry specific versions in 2003. These program additions took into consideration the workflow processes and terminology used in specific industries.

QuickBooks products are geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses and offer on-premise accounting applications. QuickBooks is the leader in accounting computer software for small businesses internationally with more than 80% retail market share and over 2 million users.

Peachtree (now Sage 50) accounting was originally founded in 1978 by Ben Dyer,Ron Roberts, Steve Mann, and John Hayes. The company expanded with its acquisition of Layered, an accounting program designed for use on the Macintosh personal computer from Apple. Sage 50’s products were included in the initial launch of the IBM personal computer, subsequently being acquired by Management Science America in June 1981. By 1984, InfoWorld unveiled that Peachtree was the world's seventh-largest microcomputer-software company, with sales of US$21.7 million in 1983.Peachtree was eventually acquired by current owner, the Sage Group in 1998 for US$145 million. Peachtree was the first business software introduced for microcomputers and the oldest microcomputer computer program for business in current use.

In 2013, Peachtreeaccounting changed its name to Sage 50, and with it came some interesting and innovative new features. Users no longer have to change accounting periods to reconcile accounts for previous periods. A new Insurance tab appears on the Vendor Record screen, while a new Set Multiple Records as Inactive screen simplifies the process of indicating which customers and vendors you are no longer expecting to transact business with. Waste-Free Check Printing allows users to print long remittances on plain paper, rather than sacrificing additional check forms just to generate additional stubs.

International users can now enter amounts with up to fourteen digits before the decimal and five digits after. Most small businesses would never need to enter such amounts, but certain currencies around the world often result in such large amounts, which previously couldn't be recorded as full amounts within the software. Sage 50 builds on the Business Intelligence feature introduced in Peachtree 2012, which gives businesses the ability to seamlessly analyze their accounting records in Microsoft Excel, as well as a new Sage E-Marketing service empowering users to launch social media campaigns from within the software.


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