In the mid 1970’s, four men by the names of Ben Dyer, Ron Roberts, Steve Mann, and John Hayes formed the Peachtree Software company. Ben Dyer was working as a manager at an Altair computer dealer called The Computer System Center when he was inspired to go into software publishing. They published their first program for the Altair in 1977.
In an effort to expand their operations, the fledgling business then purchased Layered Inc., which produced a top of the line accounting program for Steve Jobs’s then latest baby, the Macintosh. As the Macintosh enjoyed initial market success, Peachtree planned to use the software Layered Inc. published to break into that lucrative niche. They enjoyed even further mainstream success when their software was included with the IBM PC’s launch.
In June of 1981, the company was sold to an investment firm called the Management Science American for an undisclosed sum. Over the next two decades, the ownership of Peachtree changed hands several times. It was acquired for $145 million dollars by the Sage Group in 1998.
Today, it continues to operate under the Sage banner while producing the award-winning line of Peachtree accounting applications. It’s a complete software suite with products ranging from the entry-level Peachtree First to the fully-featured Peachtree Quantum.
Peachtree First, the farthest from the Peachtree Quantum in the product line-up, is usually the option recommended when all you need are basic accounting tools. While it has little extra features, what it can do, it does well. One step up in the software ladder is Peachtree Pro which includes some business management tools such as Microsoft Word and Excel integration.
Peachtree Complete and Peachtree Premium each add even more business management tools as well as advance options that allow them to integrate with even more third party software. The purchase of licenses for Complete and Premium also raise the number of allowed users from one to five. Premium is superior to Complete in that it has specialized industry specific variants like modules for NPOs and engineering firms. Peachtree Quantum, on the other hand, has every single feature of each Peachtree program as well as the multiple variants offered by the Premium option. In addition, it ups the user per license limit even more from five to a staggering forty.