Category: Project Accounting


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.

 

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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 am a bit late posting about this. But at the beginning of April Sage 200 2013 R2 was released.

This isn’t a simple Service Pack, and should be treated as a “New Release”. The key thing here is the introduction of some new features, as well as bug fixes and roll up of fixes from Sage 200 2013 SP1. That said this is the only version of Sage 200 2013 that will now be shipped.

The issues fixed are documented in Sage 200 2013 R2 Release Notes released by Sage.

Please also be aware of updates to the ‘Deployment and installation Guide’ and the ‘System Requirements’.

Part of this release see the introduction of functionality which allows you to analyse Stock Item Sales Order Lines, to Projects. This is quite exciting for me, as I was actually involved in the first workshop at Sage Newcastle, to brain storm how this would work. So to see it come to life some 4 may be even 5 years later is brilliant.

 

Ctayts

 

 

I have recently come across a problem within Project accounting. I found this problem in V2010, although I believe it still occurs in v2011.   Below are some details about how the site is set up. Fortunately it is quite a simple project structure!!  

They have 2 Project Item Types: MATERIALS and INVOICE

MATERIALS is set to only display COSTS and have the following Default Nominal Codes:                                                                                                                                                                         Exp. = 410115  000  400  and Rev. = 310100  OT0  300

INVOICE is set to only display CHARGING and have the following Default Nominal Codes:                                                                                                                                                            Exp. = 410101  000  400  and Rev. = 310100  WA0  300

 

The following Project Items within MATERIALS are used:

CHEA     Nominal = 410116  000  400

CLAB      Nominal = 410101  000  400

CMAT    Nominal = 410115  000  400

The following Project Items within INVOICE are used:

SHEA     Nominal = 310100  WA0  300

SLAB      Nominal = 310100  IS0  300

SMAT    Nominal = 310100 OT0  300

 

All projects use the structure of:

Project

           CHEA

CLAB

CMAT

SHEA

SLAB

SMAT

The scenario which occurs is that when a project is created; a Nominal code for one of the Project Items is incorrect (i.e. it is not the default set on the Project Item record). If the Nominal code is amended and the project saved; when you go back into the Project record the Nominal Code of another Project item is automatically amended, and is incorrect.

The Project Item that is amended seems to be relevant to its position in the structure. For e.g. using the project structure above: If the initial project item, that was wrong, was SHEA; then the amended one would be CHEA. So the first Revenue Item updates the first Cost Item. This is still the case on a test I did where I swapped SHEA and SMAT around. This time CHEA was wrong initially and updated SMAT.

The Nominal codes that items are amended to, are the ones that are hidden due to the Display settings of the Project Item Type. So, CHEA has a hidden revenue code of 310100  DA0  300, which is what SHEA is amended to. SHEA has a hidden expense nominal code of 410101  000  400 which is what CHEA is being amended to.

I haven’t seen any logic in which type of Project Item is incorrect first. The majority of my tests have been the INVOICE items, but occasionally the MATERIAL ones can be.

The impact this problem has is that the wrong Nominal codes have been posted to. So the user has to make sure they check the nominal code for each transaction.

I have logged the issue with Sage, and the Bug No. is 4289 with a Severity 2.

They have struggled to replicate entirely, however I have created the same problems within the Demo Data.

The good news is that there is a work around which Sage have come up with. If Project Item Types are amended so that all the display settings are enabled (Costs and Charges), then the correct Nominal Codes are used. Obviously the downside to this is that it fails to distinguish between Cost and Revenue Project Items; which is the recommended way to create Project Items.

I hope this all makes sense and doesn’t confuse you. But if you use Project accounting check the Nominal Codes are correct.