The difference between Sage 50 and Sage 200

A growing number of businesses I come into contact with are unknowingly being restricted by Sage 50′s abilities.

I’d like to stress that I’m in no way setting out to discredit the importance of Sage 50 as I think it’s an excellent product for start-up business, but unfortunately, it simply isn’t a future proof solution for growing business.

In this report I’ve summarised the main the limitations experienced with Sage 50.

1, License limitations

Sage 50 uses a basic Sage proprietary database and, according to a recent announcement by Sage, future versions of Sage 50 will not be switching to Microsoft SQL as reported. This will limit businesses to a maximum of six system users (recommended by Sage), as well as the levels of data storaged within the software application. But, most concerning is the issue with the database locking, restricting employees from performing multiple activity at the same time.

Sage 200 utilises the very latest Microsoft SQL Server database technology which has been tested to over 100 users and offers an unlimited sized database. Enabling your workforce to be productive 100% of the time.

2, Transaction limitations

The need to frequently archive data and slow system speeds is a classic sign that you’re at the limits of Sage 50.

This has many effects on your business. Firstly, it’s restricting your reporting capabilities. Secondly, a slow system means restricting employee productivity. E.g. employees will seek alternative tools to complete tasks, such as Microsoft Excel which is naturally located outside of your main database and thus counterproductive.

3, Inability to process foreign currency transactions

Sage 50 wasn’t designed to deal with multi-currency transactions. A workaround is to use different bank accounts for foreign currencies but this is time consuming process.

Sage 200 allows you to pay, receive any invoice in any currency and, unlike Sage 50, Sage 200 does not require separate bank accounts for each foreign currency.

4, Lack of reports and business analysis

The ability to report accurately is fundamental to every business. Analysing business performance, predicting customer trends, maximising profits and addressing problems before they happen isn’t an option with Sage 50.

Sage 200 provides users with powerful drill-down functionality across the entire system. Providing quick and easy access to data and allowing users to create their own reports. But even more that that if the standard reporting functionality with Sage 200 isn’t powerful enough for you, then Sage 200 Business Intelligence (BI) module provides business with grater reporting capabilities and business analysis.

5, Inability to close an accounting period after month end

The inability to close an accounting period in Sage 50 once month ends been completed is a common complaint as it often leads to keying errors, and time wasting tracking down items posted in the wrong period.

With Sage 200, managers can open, close and define the length of each accounting period neutralising the possibility of entering information in the wrong accounting period. Sage 200 allows periods to be closed individually by Sales, Purchase, Nominal, Stock and Cashbook.

6, Restrictive cost centres and departments

With only a single level nominal ledger structure, Sage 50 keeps things simple. However, business in today’s tough economy must be able to report and analyse income and expenditure by multi-levels within the chart of accounts.

Sage 200’s nominal ledger features a multi-level structure allowing rapid cost centre and departmental breakdown. This gives you complete flexibility when tracking budgets and producing profit and loss reports by product, sales region or even individual departments. Sage 200’s nominal ledger also simplifies VAT management whilst providing comprehensive analysis of VAT

7, Single stock valuation

Sage 50’s stock functionality is simple but very limited. By not allowing you to have multiple units of measure for a single stock item your restricted by the inability to report accurately on sales figures.

Sage 200 provides a huge amount of flexibility allowing the creation of multiple warehouses and attachment of stock items directly to them. Also, warehouses can be divided into two levels, allowing bins and racking shelves to be recorded.

8, Limited sales order processing

Sage 200 sales order processing functionally is vastly superior compared with Sage 50. Sales orders in Sage 200 can be generated automatically by using back to back purchase order functionality. Users may also elect to have goods delivered direct to the customer, directly into stock or allocated straight to an order. Read the rest of this entry »


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