Tag: Peachtree/Sage 50

Sticker Shock Awaits Sage 50/Peachtree Payroll Service Users

By David Ringstrom, CPA


The 2014 version of Sage 50, formerly known as Peachtree Accounting, is available for purchase now. As a result, certain users who rely on the payroll subscription are going to experience sticker shock in the near future. Historically, you could purchase a Sage 50/Peachtree Accounting product and pay an additional fee for the annual payroll service that makes it easy to calculate withholding taxes. As long as your accounting software was one of the three most recent versions, the annual payroll service typically cost around $300/year. Such users are about to see their annual costs increase by a factor of two, three, or even more. 


For several years, Sage has offered an optional Business Care program that entitled users to priority support and automatic program upgrades. This program is now mandatory if you want to process payroll in the software. The Sage Business Care program is being offered at three levels:
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
The Silver plan offers unlimited support, annual product upgrades, and the Business Intelligence feature that allows you to analyze your accounting data in Microsoft Excel. However, if you wish to process payroll within Sage 50, you must sign up for the Gold or Platinum programs. The Gold program allows you to process payroll for up to fifty users, while the Platinum program offers unlimited payroll as well as priority access to a dedicated support team that offers appointment scheduling.
Business Care is an annual subscription, which means that rather than buying the software and sitting out a couple of upgrade cycles, you must continue your Business Care subscription year after year in order to process payroll in Sage 50.


Sage doesn't disclose pricing for the Gold or Platinum programs on its website, because the pricing varies based on which version of Peachtree/Sage 50 you're currently using and the number of simultaneous users you require. In general, the first year of business care will be at a higher price, with savings each year for annual consecutive renewals. As a point of reference, a Silver Business Care subscription for a three-user license for Peachtree Complete Accounting is $669/year. This doesn't include payroll, so it means your ongoing annual expense will likely be at least $800/year, year-in, year-out, as opposed to the $300 or so that you could formerly pay to add a payroll subscription.


Keep in mind that at present a Business Care subscription isn't required if you process payroll through a third-party provider or by other means. However, the days of paying once for software that you then use for years are slowly fading into history. This is evidenced by Sage's behavior as well as Microsoft's recent Office365 subscription program that offers the Office 2013 suite for $99/year.


Accountants who have at least one fee-paying client can subscribe to the Sage Accountant's Network to get discounted access to Sage software and the annual payroll service. For everyone else, Sage is offering substantial discounts on the first year of Business Care through April 29, 2013.


 A previous version of this article first appeared on www.accountingweb.com .
About the author:

David H. Ringstrom, CPA heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm providing training and consulting services nationwide. Contact David at david@acctadv.com  or follow him on Twitter. David speaks at conferences about Microsoft Excel, and presents webcasts for several CPE providers, including AccountingWEB partner CPE Link

Sage 50/Peachtree Software Updates

You can download the latest service packs, also known as bug fixes, for Sage 50/Peachtree products from the Sage 50 web site. If you're using a Peachtree product, select the Sage 50 version that matches your Peachtree product. For instance, Peachtree Complete users would click the link for Sage 50 Complete. From there you'll see choices for the Peachtree service packs.

Quickly e-mail invoices

You can e-mail invoices directly from the Sales & Invoicing screen of Peachtree 2004 or later by clicking on the E-Mail button. This automatically generates an e-mail prefilled with your customer's e-mail address. The invoice is attached to the e-mail in PDF format.

Default Customer Credit Limit

Some versions of Peachtree Accounting have a default credit limit of $5,000 for customers. To increase this for all customers, choose Maintain, Default Information, Customers, and modify the credit limit amount.

Bank Reconciliation Find Button

If you're using Peachtree 2004 or later, the Bank Reconciliation screen offers a Find button. This makes it easy to locate that one last check that you can't seem to find on the list if you have many transactions on the reconciliation screen.

Customize your Aged Receivables Report

When running an aged receivables report in Peachtree, the date automatically defaults to the last day of the month. This can give you a false reading on your overdue invoices. To create a custom aged receivables report that will default to the current day choose Reports, Accounts Receivables, then Aged Receivables. Click the Preview button, and then click the drop down box next to Date and select Today. Click OK to display the report on the screen. To make this change permanent, click Save and assign a name to your report.

PeaTransaction Date Trap

Whenever you're operating in an accounting period different from the current calendar month, the date in the transaction screens defaults to the first date of the active accounting period. When your accounting period matches the calendar month, the date will default to today's date. Keep in mind that you can always override the transaction date as needed.

Aged Receivables/Payables Report Date

By default, the Aged Receivables and Aged Payables reports default to the last day of the current accounting period. To overcome this, select the aging report via the Reports menu, and the click the Preview button. Change the Date to Today, and then click OK. Once your report appears, click the Save button and assign a unique name, such as My Aged Receivables.

Printing Shortcut

The keyboard shortcut Ctrl-P enables you to print invoices or checks without having to click the Print button on the toolbar of the transaction screen.

Use a Network Switch instead of a Hub

In the newsgroups, Jon Goldberg noticed a number of people having similar Peachtree network problems to his own, problems that could not be solved by Peachtree tech support's standard answers. This includes “lock table full” errors that persist after reboots and deleting the .lck files, “*.dat” file errors in the middle of a session, Error Number 35 in the middle of a session, and so forth. A Peachtree tech confirmed for him what he believed all along regarding Peachtree – it is designed for a single user, not a network, and any sort of network congestion will cause it to quit ungracefully, possibly resulting in database corruption. Moreover, Peachtree appears to have some sort of broadcasting mechanism that causes certain network configurations to create artificial network congestion, slowing down Peachtree and occasionally causing the above mentioned errors. In his case, the solution is to buy a network switch for about $100 to replace his hub. This eliminated his network problems, but also provided a significant speed boost to Peachtree over the network as well.

Additional State Withholdings for Employees

Need to set up additional state withholdings for an employee? It's not nearly as easy as simply entering the amount in the Additional Withholdings field on the Maintain Employees screen. Read PeachFact #33521 on the Peachtree web site to learn more.

Input Shortcut

You can press F5 to save or post a transaction, instead of having to click the Save or Post button on the toolbar of Peachtree Accounting's transaction screens.

Controlling Spell Check Options

A built-in spell checker was introduced with Peachtree 2004. You control this feature by choosing Options, Global, and then click on the Spell Checking tab.

How to Close Your Fiscal Year While Preserving Prior Year Data

We're pleased to offer a 9 page Instant Answer with step by step instructions, including screen shots. This document explains how to make an archive copy of your existing Peachtree company, and then safely close your fiscal year. The cost is only $9.95.

Using Templates to Print a Custom Form (Part 2 of 2)

You can also streamline printing custom forms in Peachtree, such as specialized customer invoices. To do so, click the Template button the toolbar and then assign a template ID, such as Special Invoice. Select the Always Print Using a Specific Form checkbox, and then select the form to associate with the template from the drop-down. You can select the custom template at any time by choosing it from the menu after you click the Template button.