Before the advent of the personal computer, computerizing a business' accounting was a daunting experience, costing thousands of dollars just for the software component. Many companies hired a team of programmers to either customize a "turnkey" system of hardware and software to their specific requirements, or to write their own accounting applications.All that changed when the first PCs hit the market.

Not far behind were the first affordable computerized accounting systems, such as the long-gone BPI Accounting. Most of the software companies from those days have also vanished, with the notable exception of Retail Sciences, the Atlanta storefront that morphed into Peachtree Software. Also still around from the early days is DacEasy Accounting; both of these now belong to accounting software giant Sage Software.

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