The Peachtree Insider | AUGUST 2009
An Inside Look at Peachtree and Your Business
Previous Poll Results
InSIde ThIS ISSue
What do you most need more of
in your business?
Peachtree Business Analytics – powered by iLumen
Did you know there’s a valuable analytics tool that can tell you
34% New customers
how your business compares with other businesses in your area
or industry? And did you know you may already have access to
this service…for free?
How To: Set the Default Inventory Item Class
12% Time off
Inventory item class cannot be changed once an item is used,
so avoid later problems by setting the class default today.
Tip of the Month:
Resolve a common error when exporting a report to Excel
Do you use Microsoft Excel 2007? Do you get an error message
when exporting from Peachtree? There’s an easy way to fix it.
The Employer Corner:
“Where Did the Time Go?” 10 Critical Steps for Successful
Time Management – Brought to you by HR411.com
Employee productivity and efficiency depends largely on
expectations and environment. Here are ten ways you can set
the stage for better time management.
Bonus! Top Five Summer Reads
You may not want to bring these to the beach, but here is a short list
of ideas for mixing business with your pleasure reading this summer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to your questions about reports, installing updates and
accessing your Peachtree data remotely.
Sign Up for The Peachtree Insider
Become an official subscriber and get
valuable tips and info to support your
Join the Peachtree Community!
Get answers and advice from the thousands of
members of the Peachtree Online Community. Join
in the discussion at http://community.peachtree.com
The Peachtree Insider
FeATUre ArTIcLe: Peachtree Business Analytics – powered by iLumen
by Matt Russell, Peachtree Product Manager
Have you ever wondered if you are growing as fast as similar companies
in your industry? Or how your margins this month compare to the same
month last year? Or how your cash collections are doing compared with
other companies in your area? Peachtree Business Analytics is a new
financial analysis and industry benchmarking service provided by iLumen,
Inc. that helps you answer these questions and more by enabling you to
quickly assess your company’s overall financial condition and see how
you compare with similar companies in your specific industry, geographic
region or size range.
After applying your peer group criteria, any differences between your
Business Analytics is a free service available to all Peachtree 2008, 2009
company and your peer group’s averages will display in the Variance
and 2010 customers. Peachtree 2008 and 2009 customers can access
column. The Rating column provides a quick and simple way to gauge
the Business Analytics download at www.peachtree.com/lp/business-
your company’s performance for the given metric.
analytics2008_2009. Peachtree 2010 customers can access the feature
directly in Peachtree under the Analysis menu. After registering for
Business Analytics, Peachtree will automatically upload your anonymous
financial data to the iLumen network. Within 24 – 48 hours, the data is
converted into industry standard reporting categories and aggregated by
peer group for analysis purposes.
PERFoRMANCE METRICS AvAILABLE
Business Analytics provides a variety of financial metrics to measure
your company’s profitability, liquidity and operating efficiencies. Each of
the metrics below are very useful for measuring your company’s ability
to generate profit, how effective your company is at using its assets, how
extensively you are relying on borrowed funds, and your ability to meet all
You can also click on the chart icon located to the left of any of the
financial obligations. Reviewing the metrics on a regular basis will provide
metrics to see a graph illustrating the comparison between your company
you with valuable insight into your company’s performance by revealing
and your industry.
areas of financial strength and weakness.
With five years of financial information available, you can easily monitor
• Cash from Ops / Revenue (%)
• EBITDA %
the movement of your business over time and quickly determine if your
• Receivable Turns
• Return on Assets
company’s performance is improving, remaining stable, or declining. The
• Days Sales Outstanding
• Return on Equity
Trend Analysis tab offers three types of period views: Annual, Quarterly
• Collections / Revenues (%)
• Asset Turnover (Sales / Assets)
and Monthly. The Annual and Quarterly views display the
• Days on Hand Inventory
corresponding periods, variance, percent changes, and performance
• Days Payable
ratings. The Monthly view offers a more detailed picture of your trends.
• Days in Cash
With the Monthly view, you can compare Current Year-to-Date (YTD) vs.
• Gross Margin %
Previous Year’s YTD; Current Period vs. the Same Period Last Year; and
FINANCING AND CREDIT
• Operating Expenses / Revenue (%)
Rolling 12 Months vs. Last Fiscal Year.
• Current Ratio
• Sales and Marketing / Revenue (%)
• Quick Ratio
• Operating Margin %
• Liabilities / Equity
• Net Margin % (after tax)
RECoMMENDATIoNS AND PARTNER SoLUTIoNS
• Debt Ratio
• Payroll and Benefits / Revenues (%)
Peachtree Business Analytics also presents specific recommendations
• Debt Coverage Ratio
based on how your current performance compares against prior years
• Funded Debt / EBITDA
and your specific industry. These recommendations cover areas such as
business growth, reducing expenses, increasing cash flow, and reducing
The default Financial Category column displays all metric categories with
employee benefit costs. Business Analytics also provides access to a
one metric from the category listed beneath the category name. Click a
number of partner solution providers to help improve your performance in
category name to drill down and see all metrics in that category.
these areas. Current solutions include:
• FTRANS for increasing cash flow through Accounts Receivable financing
• CrossCheck for a business valuation report
Using the Business Analytics Performance Monitor, you can measure
• Clear Payments for automated deposit
your company’s financial performance against averages from your
• Peachtree Payroll for automated payroll processing
specific industry. Using the metrics described above, you can quickly
• Experian for business credit solutions
isolate any variations between your company and your industry peers.
• Lasership for discount shipping solutions
You can start with the high-level industry sector you selected when
• Liazon for reducing healthcare cost
registering for Business Analytics and then drill-down into any one of over
• Lanlogic for hosted IT solutions
500 detailed classifications for a more precise comparison. You can also
• Framework IT for business continuity planning
further refine your peer group by selecting your geographic location and
your company size. To edit your peer group industry profile for
comparisons, click the Edit link beside the Peer Group Industry heading.
Comment on this article
The Peachtree Insider
HOW TO: Set the default Inventory Item Class
TIP OF THe mOnTH: Resolve a Common error
When exporting a Report to excel
If you’ve ever set up an Inventory Item, perhaps you’ve noticed the Item
If you have Excel 2007 installed and are exporting a Peachtree report
Class field. Or worse, maybe you haven’t. Our Certified Consultants and
to an existing Excel workbook file with an .xls file type (Excel 2003), you
Customer Support reps have heard from countless customers who, after
may receive an error message. This is especially common when selecting
creating and using inventory items, realized the Item Class setting was
the “Add a new worksheet to an existing workbook” option shown here.
wrong. You can’t change this setting after the item has been used, but in
Peachtree 2010 there is a way to make sure this field is correct when you
enter new items.
On the Inventory Item Defaults window, there’s a new setting called
“Default Item Class.” Leave this field blank if you create a variety of
different types of items. This way, you’ll be forced to think about the
setting when a new item is created. Since Item Class is a required
field, you cannot save an item without first selecting the class.
If you create only one type of item, you can use this setting to streamline
the setup process. For example, a service-only business could set the
Default Item Class to “Service” so each time a new item is entered,
the Item Class is already set. Or if your business deals mostly with
serialized items, you could use “Serialized Stock” as the default.
You can access the Inventory
Luckily, there is an easy solution! Open the workbook file in Excel 2007
Item Defaults window via the
and save the file as a standard Excel 2007 Workbook .xlsx type of file.
Maintain menu (Maintain >
Default Information >
Now, when you browse for files from the “Copy Report to Excel” window
Inventory Items) or by clicking
in Peachtree, you can simply select the file with the new extension and
the link next to the Item Class
click “OK”. Now that the file has been converted to the same version of
field on the Maintain Inventory
Excel, this should resolve the conflict and eliminate the error.
Comment on this article
Comment on this article
ToP CoMMUNITy DISCUSSIoNS
Here are the most popular discussions on the Peachtree Online Community over the past month:
1. Resolving “You cannot open this company right now…” message
2. Resolving “Peachtree Cannot Connect to the Database” message
3. Set an empty ship-to address as the default
4. Peachtree 2009 does not open completely
5. Resolving “The user you entered is already logged into Peachtree” message
Tune in to the new Peachtree channel on youTube
Watch videos about real Peachtree users as well as previews of new Peachtree 2010
features. While you’re there, sign in and subscribe so you’ll know when new videos are added.
view Peachtree’s channel
The Peachtree Insider
THe emPLOYer cOrner: “Where did the Time Go?” 10 Critical Steps for Successful Time Management
Eight hours: it may seem like enough time to get through the day’s
5. Prioritizing. Once lists have been created, sit down with your
projects, but how much of that time do employees really spend working?
employees to help them prioritize the tasks. Tasks should be ranked in
While every workday has distractions, some employees invite distractions
order of importance. And remember to be flexible in setting priorities.
upon themselves by internet surfing, taking extended breaks or chatting
As the day or week progresses, priorities may need to be reassigned.
with coworkers. But, not all time wasting is intentional. Poor planning,
unclear expectations, or an inability to prioritize are also common culprits
6. Consider times of peak performance. We all perform best at
of time inefficiency.
different times in the day. For some of us it is early in the morning, for
others it is late at night. Managers should encourage their employees
Poor time management can cause missed deadlines, shoddy
to consider when they have the most energy and remind them to focus
quality work, and unnecessary stress - not to mention the fact that, for
on bigger or more important projects during that time.
the company, time wasted is money wasted. To ensure your
employees are maximizing their workday, managers need to help by
7. Avoid procrastination. To avoid procrastination have your employees
setting clear expectations, assisting employees in planning and
break a large project into smaller parts. Breaking the project down into
prioritizing their day, and providing guidance if needed. Below are 10
manageable parts makes it less intimidating. And when the project is
tips for doing just that:
not so overwhelming, employees are less likely to avoid waiting until
the last minute to complete it.
1. Set clear expectations. Time wasters are often unclear about what
is expected of them and instead of asking for clarification they spend
8. Manage interruptions. The more employees realize that interruptions
their time loafing around - certainly not the most efficient use of time!
are inevitable, the better they can manage their day. Remind
To be sure everyone is on the same page, anytime a new project is
employees to allow time for unexpected interruptions in order to still
assigned, sit down with the employee to discuss the goals of the
project and specifically what needs to get done in order for it to be
9. Control communications. Set guidelines regarding how employees
are to handle incoming phone calls and email messages. For example,
2. Set short-term goals. Employees can become overwhelmed when
if they are working on a particularly important project or have a tight
only focusing on the big picture or end result. To help alleviate some
deadline they are trying to meet, is it acceptable to let their voice mail
of the anxiety and allow your employees to concentrate on the here
pick up incoming calls? If so, let employees know that they should
and now, set “mini” goals. Short-term goals are often more motivating
check voice mail at set intervals to make sure they did not miss any
because they allow employees to celebrate little successes along
10. Make the best use of all available time. Encourage employees to
3. Encourage employees to ask for help. Employees may be
make the best use of all their available time, this includes commuting
reluctant to ask for help, fearing they will come across as
time. Whether employees are driving or taking mass transit, they can
incompetent or misguided. It’s best to always have an open-door
still spend commuting time planning their day, setting priorities, and
policy so employees feel comfortable coming to you with questions,
thinking through project goals.
comments or even suggestions. Doing so will ensure employees
understand project objectives and get the help they need to meet
Employees with good time management skills are productive, often
experience less stress and anxiety about their work, and make fewer
mistakes. By setting achievable goals, appropriately prioritizing projects,
4. Planning. Train your employees to plan their time efficiently.
and successfully managing interruptions, your employees will be able to
Encourage employees to keep daily, weekly and monthly task lists
make better use of their time. Don’t let your employees think to
and to update the list as they complete each task.
themselves, “where did the time go?”
Join the Webinar!
Performance Management Questions?
Learn how to get the most out of your
HR411.com offers unlimited email support
employees with the HR411.com FREE
from our team of certified HR experts for only
Webinar: North by Performance
$19.95/mo. Any HR or compliance question,
Management: Your road map to getting the most out of your
anytime we’ve got you covered. Protect your business, you can’t
employees without making the trip miserable. Reserve your
afford not too. Visit: http://hr411.com/qa/email-support.php or call
seat today by visiting www.hr411.com/webinars.
us toll-free 1 (888) 694-7411 for details.
Comment on this article
The Peachtree Insider
BOnUS! Top Five Summer Reads
FreqUenTLY ASked qUeSTIOnS
by Shari Williams, Peachtree Product Manager
When it comes to summer reading materials, your first choice is probably
Q: Can you explain how contact names are associated with shipping
that easyreading beach novel rather than a business book. Then there’s
addresses in Peachtree 2010?
the endless list of business blogs and white papers nagging at your
A: The new “Multiple Contacts” feature of Peachtree 2010 allows you
conscience. You know you should read them, but how to choose? And
to keep virtually unlimited contacts for each of your 20 shipping
addresses and your billing address. Take a look at this recent blog
make them as interesting as a novel, please.
post by Peachtree Product Manager Jared Smith, which explains
exactly how to use this new feature.
Here’s a list of five favorites; a nice variety of blogs, newsletters and
magazines that you can work into your reading list and still have time for
Q: After printing long Peachtree reports, like Sales History or Items
the “beach reads.” If you’re worried about getting sand in the pages, we
Sold to Customers, is there an easy way to find the largest value
give you several reading options from Web links to audio books.
in a column?
A: First, print your report to Excel. Enter the following formula into
1. Fortune Small Business magazine (www.fsb.com)
an empty cell not located within the column being searched:
This magazine has a nice variety of articles about businesses and their
=MATCH(MAX(A:A),A:A,0) When you replace “A” with the column
owners. One of the most interesting is the business makeover. Each
letter, this formula will return the row number of the largest value in
month a qualifying small business gets free advice from three experts
in their field – marketing, finance, branding – whatever that particular
business needs most.
Q: How can I locate and manually install a Peachtree Service
Release or Tax Update?
2. Entrepreneur magazine (www.entrepreneur.com)
A: If the Service Release or Tax Updates does not start automatically
You’re not alone. Read about the latest small business trends and be
after being downloaded from within Peachtree, you can browse to
inspired by stories of featured entrepreneurs; entrepreneurs who have
the location of the downloaded file and execute it manually. The file
found creative ways to overcome challenges; some of the same
automatically downloads into an Updates folder located in your
challenges you face.
datapath (usually located off of your network or local program file
directory: \Program Files\Sage Software\Peachtree\Company).
Close Peachtree and all other applications.
3. FutureNow blogs and newsletter (www.grokdotcom.com)
Sign up for the weekly newsletter, packed with practical tips for optimizing
1. Browse to the Updates folder located in your Datapath directory.
your Web site. This group backs up their information with test results so
2. Double-click the latest Service Release or Tax Update.
you can depend on their advice. Lessons learned here will help with your
3. Once the update is completed, open your Peachtree company
offline marketing efforts, too.
and go to Help, About Peachtree Accounting to verify that the
4. WebInkNow.com (www.webinknow.com)
Read the blog, watch a video, download free e-books, buy the hard
Note: You may have multiple Service Releases and Tax Updates
copies, subscribe to the newsletter or even attend a seminar; everything
located in your Updates folder. You should always install the latest
you need to know about online marketing is right here.
Service Release or Tax Update available for your product.
5. Small Business Television (www.sbtv.com)
Q: I would like to access my Peachtree data remotely. How can I
Technically, not a “read,” this is the first television network on the web
A: There are three supported ways to access your data remotely: (1)
devoted 100 percent to the small business market. You’ll find the latest
Peachtree Remote Access; (2) Peachtree Web Accounting; and (3)
news and articles covering a range of topics from management to money
Peachtree Remote Access lets you securely access your office
6. Bonus! All Business (www.allbusiness.com)
computer and all your network resources from any Internet connection.
This site has a variety of articles and blogs about starting, growing and
With this solution, you can run Peachtree and other programs on your
selling your business. There’s such a good selection of content and
office computer, process payroll, run reports, and print on your office
expert advice that you’re sure to find something of interest.
computer from any place you can connect to the internet.
There you have it. This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to
Peachtree Web Accounting lets you upload key accounting information
from your office PC to a secure Web site, where it can be remotely
start. As promised, here are three resources where you can download,
accessed for printing reports and entering transactions.
purchase or rent audio books, a great way to spend car time, whether it’s
an office commute or a trip to the beach.
Terminal Services (or “Remote Desktop Services” in Windows Server
2008) is a Microsoft feature included in some of the server versions
1. Audible.com (www.audible.com)
of Windows. It allows remote users to access data from a remote site,
2. SimplyAudiobooks (http://playaway.simplyaudiobooks.com)
and requires a computer to be set up specifically as a terminal
3. Your local library.
services server. Terminal Services is supported for Peachtree
Premium Accounting and higher.
Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Comment on this article
Comment on this article