Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nonvisual Access to Peachtree Complete Accounting


For some time, many blind people have been searching for an
"accessible" accounting package that would work well with screen
access technology for the blind. I cannot count the number of times
I have had to tell someone that for all practical purposes, there
was no really good way to use a business-oriented accounting package
(such as Quick books) with JAWS for Windows. At best, I have had to
recommend nonvisually-accessible financial programs that were more
appropriate for the home user.

I am pleased to tell you that a company called Virtual Vision
Technologies has developed JAWS scripts for the Peachtree Complete
Accounting system. Although this is not a solution for people using
Quick Books, this can be a solution for that small business person
who needs a well-reputed and powerful commercial accounting program
and who needs to use that program with JAWS for Windows. The
complete package--that is, JAWS scripts and the Peachtree Complete
Accounting program--is available from Scripts for JAWS. Quoting
from the Scripts for JAWS home page:

"With Jaws Scripts for Peachtree, the two best solutions available
for the visually impaired are united: Jaws and Peachtree! This means
that everything from simply maintaining your own personal checkbook
through running your own business (of virtually any sort or size) is
now open to you! Even becoming an accountant yourself is now accessible!"

There is a lot of promise here and, I admit, no real-world
experience. I myself have not had a chance to evaluate this
offering. Nevertheless, given what I know about Virtual Vision
Technologies, I am optimistic that an extremely viable solution
exists here and for only $169 (i.e., $100 for Peachtree Complete
Accounting and $69 for the JAWS scripts--an introductory price) at that.

One of the challenges that has made nonvisual access even more
difficult is that once extensive scripting has been done for a
specific version of an accounting program, the scripting falls apart
when the next version is released. When I raised this issue with
the folks who developed the Peachtree Complete Accounting scripts
for JAWS, this is the response I received:

"allow me to point out one great thing right off the top: Peachtree
(unlike other applications such as QuickBooks) has no constant
requirement to upgrade. Thousands upon thousands (actually,
literally millions) of Peachtree users never upgrade. Peachtree
Complete Accounting is and will be available for purchase for years
to come. For example, PCA 2006 is still widely available. Real
users of accounting applications rarely upgrade unless there is a
business need to do so. Compare to QuickBooks; which requires at
least one upgrade every other year. This very stability issue to
which you point is perhaps the primary reason Peachtree was chosen
(to be scripted)."

If you want to learn more about Peachtree Complete Accounting and
the JAWS scripts that have been developed for this software, point
your browser to

Best regards,

Curtis Chong

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