Category: Modules


Sage 200 2016 SP2

Sage 200 2016 SP2 has been out for a while now.

One key issue that impacted users in Sage 200 2016 were the restrictions on Accounts which were placed ‘On Hold’.

There is an issue with entering Memo’s and also it is not possible to allocate transactions.

SP2 fixed the Memo issue. It didn’t fix the allocations but after I did some communicating with Sage support they did a great job and there is actually a Hotfix now available.

It still isn’t possible to import transactions which is something else we have come up against, however my opinion on this is that for Invoices in particular it is probably working by design. I would be interested to know other people’s thoughts on this.

Sage 200 Extra and Sage 200 Extra Online 2016 have now been released. If you are considering updating or want further information send your details to sagemarketing@smithcooper.co.uk

Whilst it is not, perhaps, as drastic an update as the 2015 version, which had a whole change to the UI amongst other features. The 2016 version has some game changing additions with new integrations for payments.

There are also some nice additions from the wish lists and a new connector which integrates Sage 200 to stand alone Sage CRM (not Sage 200 CRM).

Below are some details of what’s new!

Sage Integrated Payments (SIPS)

Integration with Sage Payments allows for an easier and secure way to pay suppliers.

A Sage Payments account is a virtual wallet (e-wallet) similar to PayPal. You can add funds to your Sage Payments account and then use this to make payments directly from Sage 200.

NB. A Sage Payments account is required

Bank Feeds

Sage 200 is now able to use the Yodlee bank feed. This gathers information from your bank, and downloads bank transaction details for display in Sage 200 so you can match them to transactions in Sage 200, or create new transactions.

When you confirm the transactions as matched they are flagged ready for your next bank reconciliation.

NB. Subscription to Bank feeds is required.

Sage Pay – Get Paid Faster

Sage 200 now includes the Sage Pay ‘Get Paid Faster’ functionality.

If you are using Sage Pay, you can use the ‘Pay Now’ button on your layouts such as invoices, statements and chase letters that you send as PDF files by email.

When your customer opens the PDF attachment they can click the ‘Pay Now’ button to make a payment straight away through Sage Pay.

Commitment reporting

Commitment reporting allows you report on purchase orders as a committed cost before the order has been received or invoiced.

This makes it easier to view actual costs and committed costs to establish committed spend.

Report Category budget grouping

It is now possible to hold a budget against a reporting category which offers much more flexibility in assigning and reporting on budget areas.

New Bank Reconciliation screen

A new bank reconciliation screen has been introduced with a split screen view separating matched and unmatched transactions. This brings the functionality in line with that of Sage 50 and presents the information in a clearer way.

Create Return from Order

The ability to create a Sales Return from an existing Sales Order has been eagerly awaited for many versions gone by. It’s finally happened!

You can select a Sales Order then select ‘New Return from order’ which will populate the Return details.

Within the Sales Return screen you can also select Copy Order and the Return screen will be populated with the return data based on the selected Sales Order.

It makes it much quicker to enter a return and removes the need to re-key information but be aware there is no link created, it just copies the information.

Predictive text in Rapid Order Entry

On the Rapid Order Entry, predictive text is now available to filter the selection list of available stock items as the item is typed.

Override Negative Stock option (Rapid Order Entry)

When raising a Sales Order via Rapid Order Entry, it is now possible allow the stock to go in to a negative allocation if the required quantity is not available.

The Product Group now has a flag ‘Can over allocate stock’.

Stock Analysis Codes

Stock records have been extended to include 20 Analysis Codes. Report Categories still exist, but the analysis codes allow for further analysis in line with SOP/POP/ It is also possible to import these when importing item records.

Support for Barcodes

Stock records have been extended to include a Barcode. These can be imported as part of the Stock Item Import.

Limited Price Bands

My particular favourite!

New Price Bands can be created as ‘Limited’, allowing the customer to select which Stock items they want to add to a Price Band, rather than all stock items being added.

Time Limited Price Lists

Price Bands can be created as Limited or Universal.

Limited Price Bands can be flagged as Active and/or have ‘From’ and ‘To’ dates assigned.

This is great for promotional pricing.

API

An API has been included to offer better flexibility for development and integration to Sage 200 Extra.

CRM

A New connector integrates Sage 200 with Sage CRM. This allows data to be input in ‘real time’ reducing the synchronisation requirements.

Importantly what this will also allow is for upgrades of 200 and CRM to be run separately. This should hopefully make the upgrade requirements easier and more affordable.

 

**As with all new releases compatibility has been removed with for older versions of related Operating systems and linked applications.

Most noticeably is the removal of Citrix Xenapp.

Yesterday finally saw the release of the much-anticipated Service Pack 2 for Sage 200 Extra 2015.

One of the key items as part of this is the support of Windows 10 operating system.

There are lots of fixes and some additions as detailed in this document released with the update –

Reports

There are some New Reports to be aware of which are not installed automatically as well as Layout updates too. Check these out with your BP. The introduction of the SOP Profitability reports which include Returns and Credit Notes will be music to some people’s ears, although if you needed this previously you have probably had the report written already.

There also some nice Stock reports, offering different views of Sales by Customer, Product Group and Monthly Sales etc.

Summary Screens

My particular favourite addition in this service pack is the added drill down functionality to the Summary screens. Previously a great visual aid (and Sage Sales Persons dream!) they were not altogether complete from a ‘day to day’ point of view. However we are now able to drill all the way down to the transactional items which makes them much more beneficial as an analysis tool.

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Totals)

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Totals)

 

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Drill down to Customers)

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Drill down to Customers)

 

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Drill down to Transactions)

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Drill down to Transactions)

Installation

Service Pack 2 can be applied to sites running either the Base version of Sage 200 Extra 2015 (all SP1 updates are included) or sites with Sage 200 Extra 2015 Service Pack 1.

As with Service Pack 1 there are two installation files:

  • Sage200v2015SP2ClientPrerequisites.exe
  • Sage200v2015SP2.msp

On client machines, both files must be run in the order listed above.

Sage200v2015SP2ClientPrerequisites.exe checks the client files to ensure the correct registry keys are present on the machine.

Sage 200v2015SP2.msp updates Sage 200 Extra.

NB. On a server, you only need to install the Sage 200v2015SP2.msp file.

As ever this Sage 200 Extra 2015 SP2 Installation and Release Notes document gives all the information needed to install the service pack.

 

I have hit this issue on my last couple of installations where the Core components fail to install when accessing Sage 200 2015 System Administrator. Sage have identified this as being an issue which relates to virtual environments (which both of my examples were).

When you access System Administration for the first time after install, various messages appear throughout the initialisation, including those referring to the core components and the building of models. You may notice the system freeze during this.

The issue relates to the available resource on the machine. Clearly the virtual environment must meet the minimum System Requirements for Sage 200 2015. For standard single-server environments, this requires at least a dual-core processor and 4GB of RAM.

Interestingly for my examples the servers should have been fine, however the memory was set to be Dynamically allocated and for some reason was remaining below 4GB. Once this was changed to a Static amount, well above the minimum, the core components installed correctly.

There is a Known issue (5924) which is fixed in Service Pack 1 for Sage 200 2013 R2 where the details of held journals, which were created from Journal Templates, are lost if more than one journal has been held.

NB. there was a hotfix for this originally but this is now rolled up into SP1.

In the core Project Accounting module it is possible to create project Statuses and specify whether costs can be entered for a status.

When entering Timesheets in the standard system you are not able to select a project with a status that does not allow costs (as you would expect). However if entering timesheets via WTE, you are able to select a project even if it has a status that does not allow costs.

This was reported in 2011 SP5 originally, and is still not fixed within 2015.

Its been billed as the most important update in years and I have to say, I do not think users will be disappointed. Here are some details of the new features within Sage 200 2015 which was officially released at the end of February.

Look and Feel
Whilst the basis is familiar to current Sage 200 users, the screens and menus have changed in appearance giving a more modern design. Many of the changes are designed to make it easier for users to navigate Sage 200 and find/access what they want.

Look 1

Homepage

List View

List View

Look 3

Redesigned Process Maps

The 2015 design is much more intuitive.  A really nice feature is the frequently accessed page where the system remembers the functions you have used the most, so there is a quick way of getting back to them. What’s even more impressive is it remembers by day. So if you access something on a Friday, the next Friday it will be in your recently accessed.

Frequently used

Frequently used

It is now possible to use a search function on the menu allowing you to search for a menu item and the menu is filtered by items containing the word searched.

Menu Search

Menu Search

Custom colour settings can be applied and you are able to make each dataset/company you work in a different colour to make it more obvious which one you are working in.

Homepage and Favourites still exist whilst being more easily managed. Favourites can be added with one click, and can be arranged in folders, easily renamed and re-ordered.

Fixed Assets
After years without one  a simple Fixed Asset register is now included within the Financials modules for Sage 200. This is a welcomed introduction allowing you to set up, depreciate, dispose and delete assets.

Excel Reporting
Excel Reporting gives you more choice over how you can produce the reports you want. The important thing to note here, and I am not sure how I feel about it, is that some Excel reports are provided free while others are available if you subscribe to Excel Reporting. You are able to preview reports within the program to see what you would get in subscription packages.

Excel reports

Excel reports

Excel Reporting 2

Summery Screens
New Graphical Workspaces give a great visual representation of certain KPI’s. The Graphs also allow a drill down function to gain more specific answers.

Summaries 1 Summaries 2

Summaries 3

Other Improvements/changes

  • The Logon speed has significantly increased and you will struggle to find time to make a coffee before it has opened. Joking aside this is a major improvement.
  • There is a completely new ‘list view’ that does away with the older-style list views of the previous Sage 200 versions. These new list views include improved searching and filtering methods, and mixes the function of workspaces with the easier to read layout of the old list view.
    • List views can be opened up in a separate form/window. With a scroll bar!
    • Totals have been added to quickly show the cumulative values of selected records.
  • Workspaces also run more quickly, and also make better use of screen space.
  • Enquiry Screens have returned (I know they could be added to the menu manually in 2013) so the normal forms can be accessed of the menus as per 2011.
  • Project Accounting now includes the much requested Work in Progress (WIP) function which accrues for part-delivered project work. This is automatically posted to and reversed from the balance sheet as projects complete. This means costs can be posted to the same period as revenue to ensure true project profitability is shown in financial reports.
  • Increased narrative length
  • Ability to edit manual nominal journals so that you can amend references or narrative.
  • Functionality to properly account for the VAT legislation changes for early settlement discount. If you deal with a lot of settlement discounts you must upgrade for this alone.
  • Support for SQL 2014 is now included.
  • Ideas Hub this gives an easier route to offering Sage ideas of what changes you would like to see. It also gives you the opportunity to join a Sage 200 community, and hopefully this will offer an increased source of information and communication for users of Sage 200 (hopefully not turning people away from Talking Sage 200!!!!).

I am nothing but positive about Sage 200 2015. A number of the key issues have been rectified and it is definitely the most updated and improved release since the move to a SQL database.

I have come across a couple of issues relating to Emailing documents from Sage 200.

At one of my sites recently users were using had a mixture of Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013. I had configured all layouts for email set up to use MAPI as the Mail provider.

The first issue this brought up was for every email Sage tried to send, an Outlook security warning would pop up.

Outlook security message

Outlook security message

This is not so bad for users if one or two emails are being sent, but imagine how this is for a batch of 100+ statements!

This issue is actually caused by a Microsoft Outlook update that is designed to prevent security breaches and is not a Sage problem. The update effectively removes the ‘Send e-mails automatically’ feature from within Format > E-mail and this can’t easily be corrected. For further information, refer to Microsoft article 262634 at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=262634

NB. In Outlook 2000 and 2003 the security update is installed separately, however it is built into Outlook 2007 and above. For Outlook 2013, there are Programmatic Access security settings which are generally controlled at a Group level. These should be enabled.

In Sage 200 2013 and above, this issue doesn’t occur if the report or layout has the Mail Provider set to Outlook instead of MAPI.

Having changed the Mail provider to Outlook on the layouts at my site, this identified another issue but this time for users of Outlook 2013. With the Mail Provider set as Outlook, when attempting to Email a document, a message appeared to advise that the Sage200Desktop.exe has stopped working.

StoppedWorking

Sage200Desktop.exe has stopped working error

The Problem Details section gives more information (???????):

Problem signature:

Problem Event Name: APPCRASH

Application Name: Sage200Desktop.exe

Application Version: 17.300.14086.3

Application Timestamp: 5334325b

Fault Module Name: StackHash_17c0

Fault Module Version: 6.3.9600.17630

Fault Module Timestamp: 54b0d74f

Exception Code: c0000374

Exception Offset: PCH_0F_FROM_ntdll+0x0003CC2C OS

Version:6.3.9600.2.0.0.16.7

Locale ID:2057

Additional Information 1: 17c0

Additional Information 2: 17c083e57d5c8adee4818c4ba7d6ebbb

Additional Information 3: 643b

Additional Information 4: 643b2a225326ecea5e5cb96f62ab3b6e

Troubleshooting detected that although this issue occurs for Outlook 2013, it only occurs when using Windows 8/8.1 or Server 2012/2012R2. Windows 7 machines were fine.

This is a known issue with the Sage report designer (so impacts Sage 50 and payroll also). The problem I had for my site was the resolution is to switch the layout Mail Provider to MAPI……..!

NB. The Sage200Desktop.exe has stopped working error can also occur when the Mail Provider is MAPI and Outlook is closed when attempting to Email the document.

My options for this site were:

Solution 1
Upgrade all users to Outlook 2013 and set all layouts to use MAPI.

Solution 2
Keep layouts as MAPI but for Outlook 2010 users download ‘Click Yes’ http://www.contextmagic.com/express-clickyes/

Solution 3
Sell the customer Spindle Professional

Following on from my Early Settlement Discount post, Sage have now released the Service Packs for Sage 200 2011 and 2013 (NOT 2013 R2).

As suggested previously these only serve to be a temporary solution to the legislation change for Early Settlement Discounts and will still require you to process manual transactions in order to correct your VAT postings.

Here are the Sage documents released with the Service packs for more information about the required work around:

Sage 200 2011 Issues Fixed – Service Pack 7

Sage 200 2013 Issues Fixed (On Premise) – Service Pack 2

You will note the service packs can be installed straight away and there is a new parameter to enable the changes.

THIS NEW PARAMETER CANNOT BE DISABLED ONCE SELECTED, SO DO NOT ENABLE UNTIL REQUIRED.

I think you will agree the work around isn’t the simplest and, particularly if you process a lot of Early Settlement Discounts, you really need to arrange an upgrade to the New 2015 version once it is released, as this will have full functional ability to deal with the legislation change.

The Service Pack for 2013 R2 is due to be released on Friday 06th March 2015. Functionally this will be the same as the changes to 2011 and 2013.

Remember, if you are on any version below 2011, you have no option but to upgrade as NO service packs are to be released.

On 01 April 2015, the legislation when raising or receiving a VAT invoice including early settlement discount will change. The change affects you as a supplier who offers early settlement, and/or as a customer who receives early settlement discount, where an invoice is issued.

For the current legislation, up to 31 March 2015, suppliers who offer early settlement discounts are permitted to account for and include the VAT due on the discounted price on their invoice, even if the full price (i.e. the undiscounted amount) is what is eventually paid. Customers who are offered an early settlement discount are only able to recover the VAT stated on the invoice even if they do not pay within the settlement days permitted.

From the 01 April 2015, suppliers must account for VAT on the amount they actually receive and customers may recover the amount of VAT that is actually paid to the supplier. Because of these changes Sage are releasing updates for Sage 200 however you must be aware how this impacts your version of Sage 200.

Sage 200 2015 will be fully compliant with the new legislation when it is released (end of February). It will also make it easier to process in accordance with the new guidelines. It includes two elements – compliance and usability. Sage therefore recommend that all Sage 200 sites which are affected by this legislation change upgrade their software to Sage 200 2015 as soon as possible.

Some older versions of Sage 200 will have a Service Pack released to assist with the changes however this relates strictly to the point of compliance only. Sites which have installed the relevant update will be able to continue printing compliant invoices.

Sage and indeed my recommendation for Sage 200 2011, 2013 and 2013 R2 sites is to upgrade to Sage 200 2015 as these versions will be less efficient and more prone to human error. That is unless the site has a very limited number of accounts where Early Settlement Discount is effective.

There will be no updates made available for Sage 200 2009 or Sage 200 2010. All sites on one of these versions, that are affected by Early Settlement Discount, should upgrade their software to reduce the amount of manual changes.