Sage 50 US Edition (formerly Peachtree) is probably the second most popular entry-level accounting options for smaller businesses in the US and often the most recommended choice by professional accountants due to its strict adherence to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) which prevent non-accounting users from doing things that they shouldn’t in respect to accounting for their business.
Sage 50 c US is the new brand (c meaning cloud) representing the next generation of entry-level accounting software sold as a monthly subscription. The product is available in three editions: Pro (1 user) starting at $21/month; Premium (1-5 users) starting at $24/month; and Quantum (up to 40 users) starting at $99/month. Note that Sage 50 US Quantum 2017 is also available for purchase from authorized resellers starting at $800 (1-5 users) up to $5,400 (15-40 users). Quantum is squarely aimed at companies outgrowing lower-end systems that are not quite ready for an SMB ERP system and as an alternative to Intuit’s QuickBooks Enterprise product.
Sage 50 US has always had relatively strong inventory management and sales order features making it one of the more popular options for smaller wholesale distributors and manufacturers. It also has a nice project/job management system used by small contractors, construction companies, and professional service firms.
Misys Manufacturing offers a complete suite of Sage-endorsed manufacturing applications that integrate with Sage 50 Quantum. In our opinion – this is probably the most affordable and best value for an ERP system based on an entry-level accounting application anywhere in the market.
As a leading product in the market, there are dozens of third party products available to integrate and extend Sage 50 US to do a lot more than what it was designed to do out of the box.
Peachtree Software is most likely the earliest entry-level accounting systems in the world tracing its roots to 1976 as part of The Computer SystemCenter, an early Altair 8800 microcomputer dealer. The company acquired Layered in 1990. Layered provided accounting programs for Apple’s Macintosh computers which was later marketed as Peachtree Accounting for Macintosh. The Layered products included Insight Expert Accounting and atOnce!. Peachtree was included in the initial launch of the first IBM PCs in 1981. By 1984, Peachtree was the seventh largest microcomputer (PC) software company generating nearly $22 million in revenue.
Peachtree Software advertisement in InfoWorld (11/29/1982). Source:Wikipedia
Peachtree was acquired and sold many times in it’s history including the 1981 acquisition by Management Science America (MSA) and Automatic Data Processing (ADP) in 1994. Interestingly, ADP also owned OneWrite Plus, another early accounting application for DOS and later for Windows. An aside – OneWrite appears to be the product everyone wanted (or nobody wanted). Great American Software (owned by Live Free or Die Software Ltd.) was founded sometime around 1984 and was the original developer of OneWrite Plus. The company and product were acquired in 1991 by Meca Software and sold again to New England Business Systems, Inc. (NEBS) in 1993. Peachtree Software (owned by ADP at the time) acquired OneWrite Plus from NEBS in 1996. OneWrite Plus ended up with Sage in 1999 when Sage acquired Peachtree from ADP. OneWrite Plus was officially discontinued in 2006.
But back to Peachtree – Sage Group acquired Peachtree in 1999 (other online sources incorrectly state this was in 1998) and changed the product name to Sage 50 US in 2012. The product line was adding 100,000 new customers annually during that time period according to news reports.
Sage offered industry-specific versions of Sage 50 for a few years but these are no longer available and much of the industry-specific functionality has been moved into the Quantum product offering.
Sage 50, while historically a desktop application, is moving toward the cloud. Sage announced Sage Drive in 2016 allowing Sage 50 US customers to access Sage 50 online albeit limited to one user at a time. They are working toward expanding online access and we fully expect Sage to have a multi-user version of Sage 50 US available soon.