Personal computers revolutionized a lot of things, including the way that bookkeeping and accounting is performed. Before the Apple //, TRS-80, and IBM PC, bookkeeping was a manual process, and general ledgers were, for the most part, exactly that — large hard-covered binders containing T-Account paper with manual entries. Sure, computers were being used for accounting, but with the buy-in costing tens of thousands of dollars on the low end, the average small business or accounting firm could at best afford an accounting machine such as those sold by NCR and Burroughs.
You can still spend thousands or even millions of dollars on accounting software and the equipment to run it on, and numerous companies do. But this is for mid-market or enterprise class software, not software suitable for your SMB clients. Software offerings from BPI Software, long gone, DacEasy, and Peachtree (both now Sage companies) changed the accounting software landscape forever.
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