warehouse locations, and easily transferred
between locations. Reporting has been enhanced with additional reports provided, and
the ability to combine the same report from
different companies essentially allows you to
set your client’s divisions or locations up as
separate companies and consolidate them
when necessary. With optional software, you
can directly access a client’s underlying database and use the data in ODBC-compliant
applications such as report writers.
With the Accountant’s Version of Enterprise Solutions, you can work with two open
company files at the same time. This allows
you to do some sophisticated analysis and
comparisons. And when multiple staff members are logged on simultaneously, they can
send messages to each other using an integrated instant messaging feature.
While many of the mid-range accounting
packages we tested are really designed to be
installed and configured by a reseller, QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions was a breeze to
install, and with a prior version of QuickBooks Premier on the test system, we were
able to open the existing file, have Enterprise
Solutions update it for the different file system, and be off and running.
Sweetening the pot, the price of Enterprise
Solutions has come down over the last several
years. The 30-user edition is priced at $8,000,
while the 10-user version is $5,000. Advanced
Inventory is an option that adds a $699 yearly
fee to the mix.
That’s pretty much a bargain if the software will meet your client’s requirements.
And QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 11.0
can be purchased directly from Intuit, though
this vendor has a very attractive accountant’s
program if you want to get more directly involved in the purchase.
FROM PAGE 27
Open Systems Inc.
Open Systems has been selling software since
before the days of PCs. Traverse is Open Systems’ Windows accounting system and the
new Version 11 is almost completely rewritten
from the previous one. The client now runs
under Microsoft .Net, while the server portion
requires Microsoft SQL server 2008 R2.
Unlike some of the other mid-range ac-
counting systems that are designed to strad-
dle the needs of small and midsized busi-
nesses, Traverse is a mid-range application
system and makes no apologies for it. It is
pretty much infinitely scalable, compliments
of the SQL Server 2008 R2 foundation, and
could very easily be used by a smaller enter-
Sage North America
When it comes to accounting software, Sage
reminds us a lot of the iPhone. Regardless of
the size of your clients, or the complexity of
their needs, Sage has “an app for that.” Sage
has accounting solutions for pretty much
any company size or complexity in the SMB
market, and many of their high-end products
are popular with enterprise-size companies
Business Works is one of those accounting systems that has been around a very long
time. Originally acquired from Manzanita
Software years ago, it was actually the first
accounting system specifically developed for
Windows. Over the years, it has changed considerably, and is currently a solid modular
system for companies with up to 45 concurrent users.
Along with the system manager, which is
required, Business Works modules encompass GL, AP, AR, OE, job cost, payroll, cash
management, integration with Microsoft Office, and a link to Sage’s Act! CRM software.
The software can also integrate with Crystal
Reports and F9 Report Writer if your client
needs to generate an ad hoc or specially formatted report. There are a wide variety of
standard reports through the entire system,
and these can be extensively customized
with the included custom report writer and
spreadsheet creator. Navigation is simple,
and you or your client can create shortcuts
for frequently used options or tasks. You can
also specify tasks to be launched at start-up,
which is useful when your client has a staff
member assigned to a single task such as order entry.
Like many accounting applications aimed
at the mid-market, Business Works 2011 is not
a retail product. It’s only available through a
reseller, who will also provide installation,
configuration and support. But we had no
trouble whatsoever in installing it ourselves.
Business Works uses Pervasive SQL as its database foundation, and installed and configured it automatically.
Business Works 2011 is a mature product,
so new features for this release are relatively
minor, increasing ease of use for many data
entry tasks, faster searches in applications
like payroll and purchase orders, and faster
and easier creation of new reports from existing templates.
And if Business Works 2011 isn’t going to
work for a particular client, Sage gives you
and your client a basketful of other accounting systems to choose from.
Sage North America
When it comes to off-the-shelf accounting
software, Peachtree Accounting may not
boast as many users as QuickBooks, but its
share of the market is nothing to be ashamed
of. And, as with QuickBooks, Peachtree users
often find themselves in the position of needing to step up to a mid-range product.
Peachtree has taken essentially the same
approach with Quantum as Intuit did with
QB Enterprise Solutions. The interface is very
close to Peachtree Premium Accounting, as is
the feature set. Premium Accounting’s concurrent number of active users tops out at
five. Quantum uses a different database foundation, Pervasive SQL, which both speeds up
transaction processing times when there are
a large number of transactions happening,
and ups the user limit to 40, which will probably be the underlying cause for that greatly
increased number of transactions.
That’s 10 more users than QuickBooks
Enterprise Solutions offers, a situation that
is sure to be remedied in the near future. At
this user level ( 30 to 40 users), both Intuit
and Sage provide feature-rich offerings that
will be usable by midsized companies (up to
about 50 to 75 employees), or as a divisional
accounting system that flows into an enterprise system like SAP.
Quantum is slightly more expensive than
Enterprise Solutions (the 30-user Enterprise
Solutions is $8,000, while the 30-user Quantum is $10,150), but it’s more likely that the
decision to go with Quantum, rather than Enterprise Solutions, will be made on the basis
of a user’s current accounting system, how
much flexibility they need in inventory costing methods, and if they want Crystal Reports
and/or easy integration with Sage’s Act!
As with QBES, Peachtree Quantum can
be self-installed by you or your client. It will
upgrade an existing version of Peachtree Premium Accounting in place if it exists, making
the step up a very simple chore.
If you’re starting from scratch, the software
doesn’t require a dedicated IT professional to
install and configure. The Pervasive SQL database is installed and configured during the
install phase, which keeps you from having to
wrestle with SQL set-up and configuration,
which is very often a difficult task.
The application automatically installs
and configures the Pervasive SQL database
(which is a special version configured specifically for Quantum). This eliminates the
complex configuration that is sometimes
necessary when using an application based
on SQL. Quantum comes on three discs. The
first is the accounting system, the second installs Crystal Reports 2008 if desired (
Quantum can be used without installing Crystal
Reports), and a third disc contains training
videos, a nice touch.
Peachtree Quantum is a good choice
for your clients who already use Peachtree
Premium Accounting and are bumping up
against the product’s limitations. It’s also a
good first choice for a company that already
has five or so staff that will need to access the
different system components. AT