Posts Tagged ‘Sage 50’

Sage annual upgrades for Sage 50

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

For a number of years Sage have released a new version of Sage 50 every summer.  Each new version is chargeable (unless you have Sagecover Extra) and this can be a cause of, shall we say, disquiet for some users.

Some users, and their advisers, see the annual upgrades as evidence that Sage don’t listen to their customers.  For example eleansa  commenting on an Accounting Web blog says

If Sage really listened to its customers, who include my clients, then they would stop producing so many “upgrades” and merely enhance existing versions under their already expensive annual maintenance contracts.

Yet stripping this down to essentials, it is only a request for Sage to provide more for less, and so just another price discussion between a supplier and its customers.  My concern is how much discernment Sage exercise, not how many customers they listen to!

This “disquiet” is fundamentally unfounded.  The annual upgrades are optional, and Sage continue to support Sage 50 for a good number of years after their release.  For example Sage 50 version 11 will be supported until the end of April 2011, so by the time that support is withdrawn it will have been out for the best part of 7 years.

Sage 50 users can, then, take a pragmatic view of each new version.  The two obvious questions are:

  • Are the additional features of value to my business?
  • Does staying current reduce my IT risk?

We are relatively cautious.  For example our Sage 50 support team’s default recommendation is that clients wait until the first service pack  is released before implementing a new Sage 50 version.  Indeed, except for busy and sophisticated users, we tend to advise against annual upgrades.  Not on cost grounds, but because change without significant benefits bring risks.

BDE in administration, Sage support alternatives

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Sage Business Partner BDE Group went into administration in late May, leaving many clients scrabbling around for alternative support arrangements.

Protronics offers Sage 50, Sage Line 100 and Sage 200 support, and will honour the balance of BDE support contracts free of charge.  Please just mention BDE when you contact us.

Apologies for the plug, blogs aren’t really the place for them.  BDE’s demise was unfortunate of course, but there are lessons to be learnt from it:

  • Make sure you have access and rights to any software customisations that you’ve paid for, so that they can be maintained even if the supplier goes out of business
  • Big isn’t always better.  In the Sage reseller world in particular some of the larger resellers have grown by acquisition.  Acquisitions have to be financed, and often that will in turn leave the acquirer vulnerable.
  • Decide what’s important to you from your provider of support.  The rational choices are: a small team which knows your business well and which you know and like; a larger team where you have certainty of rapid access, but at the expense of familiarity.
  • If your supplier fails, don’t rely on Sage’s recommendation.  You’re more likely to be offered a favoured Sage Business Partner than one that has been specifically selected for compatability with your organisation.

Sage 50 online VAT Submissions

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Perhaps not news that will dislodge Michael Jackson from the front pages this week, but online VAT submissions are on their way.  Indeed they will be compulsory from April 2010 if your turnover is above £100 000.

HMRC are already accepting and actively encouraging online submissions, and Sage 50 2008 and 2009 are on their list of compatible software for doing so automatically.  Sage 200 does not currently have an e-submissions feature, but can of course be used to generate the relevant figures, which can then be keyed in to an online submission form.

HMRC extol the virtues of online submission, promoting it as a quick, efficient, accurate and reliable way to make your return since there is no postal system in the way, there are built-in data validation routines.  Somewhat oversold perhaps?  At least with Sage 50 the submission is automatic so you should be able to grab all the modest time savings on offer. (more…)