Category: Financials


This week saw the release of the Spring Enhancements edition for Sage 200.

Sage 200c has now become Sage 200cloud. Previously the C stood for connected but for whatever reason Sage 200cloud is now the name (until the next name change!). This is still an “On Premise” / Locally installed solution.

Anyway, down to real business and what new features are there included?

Hide and Restrict Nominal Accounts

There is now the ability to hide a Nominal Account. This prevents it from being visible within Nominal Selection drop downs.

Against Amend Nominal Account you can simply select the Active Status.

The system does not check if there is a balance or recent transactions. Anything waiting to be posted will still be updated and any balances are still accounted for within the P & L or Balance Sheet.

The Hide function is enabled by a new Nominal Ledger Setting “Restrict account selection to existing and active accounts”

If this setting is enabled (and I love this!) then only Nominal Account Combinations which exist can be specified against a transaction. Previously it has been possible to code a transaction to an account which does not exist. But this will prevent that from happening.

Hide Bank Accounts

It is also possible to Amend Bank Account Details and set an active status.

Hide Combined Budgets

You may wish to hide a combined nominal budget if it is no longer being used or maybe you have created a new budget which isnt ready to be used yet.

This removes the budget from lookup lists used for entering purchase requisitions, and helps prevent the budget being selected by mistake

Auto Refresh List Views

The automatic refresh functionality applies to Commercial List Views only (currently):

  • Sales Order Processing
  • Purchase Order Processing
  • Stock
  • Invoicing
  • Price Book

There is an Auto Refresh tick box at the top of the list view which must be selected to get the lists to refresh automatically.

Create Pro Forma for Prospect

It has been possible for a long time to be able to enter a Quote for a Prospect account. This is now possible for Pro Forma Invoices using the same Prospect account.

This works similarly to the Quote, and when converting a Pro Forma you can either select a Customer or Create a New Customer using the details entered against the Pro Forma.

Convert Quote to Pro Forma

There is a new option within Quotations which allows a Quotation to be converted to a Pro Forma Invoice. Once the Pro Forma is generated it is used in the same way as before and can be converted to a Sales Order.

GDPR

No software, and Sage 200 included, will make you GDPR compliant. Sage 200 now has 3 new reports to help you review your data to make a decision about whether you need to be holding data.

GDPR Contact Check report is within ASM > System Utilities > General Data Protection Regulation. This allows you to search for a contact across multiple Modules.

There are reports in Sales and Purchase Ledgers to identify customers and suppliers that have not been traded with for a period of time.

Sales Ledger > Reports > Account Analysis > Customers With No Transactions From.

Purchase Ledger > Reports > Account Analysis > Suppliers With No Transactions From.

 

 

 

 

 

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As part of the Sage 200c release last summer, Sage announced their intention to release more regular feature updates, rather than Annual releases followed by multiple service packs.

Following up the successful summer release, which saw the much requested features such as an Invoicing Module and Hiding Customer/Supplier accounts, this week saw the release of the Sage 200c Winter 2017 Enhancement.

This release introduces the meaning of ‘c’ in Sage 200c and that is Connected (not cloud!!!)

There are further enhancements to the Sage Bank Feeds function, with the introduction of ‘Rules’. So if there are common transactions which are not picked up until the point of bank reconciliation you can set rules so the Bank feeds will post these automatically, instead of you having to manually identify and enter them.

There are further improvements to Office 365 integration, with Sage contact. This is in the form of an App/plugin for Office 365 which allows users to view key account information from within Outlook. This includes Balance, Credit Limit, recent transactions, memo’s. My personal opinion is “the jury’s out” on this one. It sounds great, but in reality I am not sure how much it will be used. Possibly the key is how much further Sage take it for future phases of development.

Document storage functionality has been introduced to effectively allow the automated archive of a document, as a .PDF, to a specified location at the point of it being Printed or Emailed. The storage location can be a designated place on the server or, further connecting to Office 365, One Drive. The negative for this is that Sage haven’t made it available to ALL layout types. In particular, it isn’t available for Remittance Advices (which I would have hoped for as there is no re-print option for these).

Budget functionality has seen more enhancements, following on from the summer release. You are now able to specify an Original budget and a Revised budget.

Checks are available within POP Authorisation to ensure the budget is not breached without permission. Validation reports are available if an authoriser decides not to authorise (although the standard ones will need some tweaking to add more detail such as the Item details).

There are a number of fixes as part of this release, these are detailed on the Sage website, follow the link below.

Sage 200c – Fixed Issues

 

 

In line with the theme for much of Sage 200c new features, a long-requested feature by users was a way of “Inactivating” a customer (or supplier) account. Generally, this is because the customer / supplier is no longer traded with, but the account history makes it difficult to archive and purge transactions to get to a position where the account can be deleted (without effecting other account history)

The Amend Account Status screen (Sales Ledger > Sales Accounts > Amend Account Status) has two new fields, so not only allows you to place an account ‘On Hold’ but also to change its Active status to Hidden, and specify a reason.

Accounts Status

The ‘On Hold’ functionality is the same as in previous versions, so you can tick the box to suspend an account and stop new transactions from being entered for it.

The active status is designed for an account which you do not want to use on a more permanent basis. For example, if an account is no longer trading. By selecting ‘Hidden’ this removes the account from the Customer/Supplier list accordingly and prevents the account from being selected for transactions in error.

NB. You can hide an account at any time, even if it still has a balance so care should be taken before deciding about if to hide it.

If a user hides an account in error, you can still choose the account from the ‘Account Status’ screen and set its Active status back to ‘Active’.

How to view ‘Hidden’ accounts

  • Customer (or Supplier) Account Enquiry – Hidden accounts are included on the look up list for this screen. So, you can view the account details of any hidden account.
  • Accounts Not Activereport – New reports have been added to the Sales and Purchase Ledger (Reports > Account Analysis) so you can print a list of hidden accounts.
  • List of Accountsand Account Details reports (Reports > Account Analysis) – You can choose whether to include hidden accounts on these reports.

Viewing ‘Reasons’ for hidden accounts

A new report called Accounts Not Active has been created and can be found in the Reports > Account Analysis area for the Purchase and Sales Ledgers. These reports display the ‘Reasons’ field from the Account Status screens.

New transactions on hidden accounts

Transactions that can be accessed without selecting a customer account can still be processed against hidden accounts. That is:

  • If the account has outstanding invoices or sales orders, these can still be selected and processed from the Invoicing and Sales order lists.
  • Direct debits / standing orders can still be processed.

You should check these transactions as part of your process to make an account ‘Hidden’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been roughly three months now since the release of Sage 200c. As we are beginning to roll this out for new and existing sites, I looking closely at the new features, how they work and user opinions.

There were a number of new features based on user requests for improved functionality and also bringing in features familiar to Sage 50 users. The first feature we will look at is the new functionality for adding Purchase Invoices, Rapid Purchase Entry.

No features around entering Purchase Invoices have been removed/replaced but Sage 200c introduces a Rapid Purchase Invoice entry screen. This is like the batch entry function within Sage 50 and brings a quicker way of entering multiple purchase invoices into Sage 200. Each invoice is entered on a separate line of a grid based form, and you can enter multiple invoices for different suppliers.

The screen is designed in such a way that it not only allows users to enter multiple invoices quickly (rather than saving after each one), but also to add information into the screen quickly too. This is helped by the grid format (rather than moving to different fields and sections) and Hot Keys which give users a quick way of doing things such as copying information from a cell above, deleting a line or calculating the Net value (if you only know the Gross).

Attached here is a step by step guide which you can download Sage 200c – Rapid Purchase Entry

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.

 

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.

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.

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.