Archive for February, 2012

Sage 50 Payroll for the tax year 2012/13

Today I took the new feature course for Sage 50 Payroll for the tax year 2012/13. Instead of calling it Sage 50 Payroll 2012 or Version 18 , they are changing the name to try to make it more obvious which tax year the software is for.  I will be sitting the exam as soon as it is released in early March.

I summarise the new features here: if you would like to know more or see a demonstration of Sage 50 Payroll then please do get in touch.

New Features for Sage 50 Payroll

  • Pre Installation Checklist – if there is any reason why Sage Payroll should not run on your machine, the checklist will highlight this for you. This might happen if you have run out of disk space or have insufficient processing speeds.
  • The user interface has been cleaned up and quite a few of the wizards and forms have been updated to make them easier to use.  Some screens were very busy, with lots of confusing options – these have now been cleaned up without reducing their functionality. The Multi Company tasks area has particularly improved.
  • The support homepage has been added in a similar way to Sage 50 Accounts 2012, which should really help with troubleshooting problems if they occur.
  • Sage 50 Payroll Standard now has import options that were previously only available if you had Sage 50 Payroll Professional. This opens up huge possibilities for improving data import from other sources.
  • The software is ready for the legislation updates that are in the pipeline for the next 3-4 years. Regarding the PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) scheme, which involves sending live data to the HMRC through the year, e-submissions options are being added.  Also the Workplace Pension Reforms which are being phased in over the next 4 years will require much administration with records being kept for employees opting  out and regular reviews, so extra check boxes and areas are being added to help you manage these changes.
  • Salary Sacrifice is being expanded to allow for other schemes apart from just the pension option.  For example, if you participate in the cycle to work scheme or childcare voucher schemes these can now be added and appear on payslips and managed through the new payroll.
  • Sage 50 Payroll and Sage 50 HR can now be synchronised automatically rather than relying on manual intervention from the user.  The old way of linking the two products will still be available but  additional options are now available too.
  • Accountants had requested certain reports to be available as standard rather than having to download them from Sage and install them manually – these have now been added, and in Sage 50 payroll Professional, P32 and P35 client/accountant authorisation reports are now available too.
  • When producing P60s you can now produce a test print so you can check your stationery all lines up correctly, or even send the P60 directly to email if your employees have agreed to this option (Check boxes in each employee record allow you to record the acceptance of email documentation, which was already in the previous versions).

It looks like Sage have reacted to requests from users in bringing in the new features, and they are also thinking ahead to try to help us through the complex new legislation changes being brought in by the HMRC.  I hope you have found this summary of new features useful.

Sage 50 2012 Accounts Mobile on iPad

Sage have now released Sage 50 Accounts Mobile for the iPad. You can download the app through the Apple app store.

The app gives you the flexibility to investigate and view your Sage Accounts data when you are away from your office, and is already available for iPhone and Blackberry.  The Android application is still under development: this is the one we at Silicon Bullet are keenly waiting, for being Android phone users.


Sage 50 Accounts Mobile

The app allows you to look at your customers, suppliers, finance and product and pricing areas of Sage, and is free to download and use with your Sage 50 Accounts 2012 software. Also there is no limit to how many people in your business can download and use the app.

Data is securely encrypted and the app is easy to use, with an intuitive interface. To see what users think of the Mobile app then take a look at this short YouTube video.

If you require any assistance in setting up the mobile apps for your business then please do get in touch via

Sage Data Check – Budget is Negative

If you are using Sage correctly,  you should be running regular Sage Data Checks each time you have been in the system doing any data entry – you are always prompted to do this check each time you close the software – and my previous post on Good Housekeeping in Sage Accounts explains why.

A common query from my clients who are in their 2nd or subsequent year of using Sage accounts is “why am I getting’ the Warning Budget is Negative’ when I do my Sage data check?”

As part of the year end routine you have the option of using your current year actual figures as budgets for your new year, and you can enter a percentage change to be applied globally to these figures at this time.  This is not an option which can be skipped.

Sage Year End Options

If you had a negative balance in one of these accounts at the end of the year, which could be perfectly valid, then the budget will also become negative for the following year.  This then results in the warning in the Sage Data Check.

If you do not use budgets and want to get rid of this warning, then you can go to the nominal ledger record for the relevant code and manually edit the budgets to zero.

If you have found this blog useful and would like to read other hints and tips for Sage users, then please take a look at other posts tagged with Sage Tips.

ACT 2012 and Sage 50 Accounting Integration

I have this week started to use a lovely new PC, and so have had to install all my software from scratch.  Having used ACT! 2011 previously with the Sage and Accounts linked in the ‘old’ way I thought I would now take the plunge and add the new Accounting Integration facilities to my Sage 2012 and ACT! 2012.

Setting up Accounting Integration in ACT

Unfortunately I fell at the first hurdle in ACT!  The new system links with SData from Sage, and ACT could not see my Sage data in order to link the software.  Researching the problem further it turned out that the problem was caused by the way we originally set up our Sage link to the data on our network.  This would not be a problem for single user Sage on one PC.

When we first linked to our data on the server Sage best practice was to use mapped drive letters to refer to where the data was stored.

k:\siliconbullet\Sage Data\Company000\accdata

In more recent versions of Sage 50, you are now advised to use UNC  (universal naming convention) file paths

\\servername\share name\siliconbullet\Sage Data\Company000\accdata

By changing the way the data is referred to in the COMPANY file (give us a call if you need help in doing this – the file can be saved in different places depending on the operating system you use) the SData Settings in Sage 50 could then find my data, so that ACT could then connect to it.

Sage 50 SData Settings

If you are in Sage 50 2012 you can find out what sort of file path your data is using by going to Help >About and in the Program details area the data directory will be displayed in one of the two ways listed above.

To find out more about the options for linking your two pieces of software then please get in touch.

Sage Instant Accounts 2012

Sage Instant Accounts 2012

What is Sage Instant Accounts?

Sage Instant Accounts is the UK’s most recommended accounts software. It’s simple to use with the right training, and designed to help you manage your money, including VAT, end of year accounts and invoicing and management reports, as quickly and easily as possible.

What’s new in Sage Instant Accounts 2012?

The latest version of Sage Instant Accounts is even more straightforward and easy to use, so businesses can spend more time focusing on their core business.

Here are some of the new features, and their benefits:

NEW - Lock Date

You can set a ‘lock date’, which means you’ll be warned or prevented from posting into periods where the month end has been run and accounts produced, so you are more likely to get your accounts right first time and will experience fewer date errors.

NEW - Quick Search

With the new quick search option, you have the ability to explore large data sets quickly as an alternative to building queries using the current approach. This means that you’ll save precious time and be more efficient when running simple searches from within a ledger.  This has proved very popular in Sage 50 2012 since its release last August.

NEW - Quick Print

The new quick print option means you can set default layouts and printers for your invoices, quotations, sales orders and purchase orders. This way, you’ll know they’re always using the correct layouts, and you’re freed up to use your time productively on other business matters.

EASY to upgrade

Making the move to Sage Instant Accounts 2012 is simple. You can seamlessly transfer all of your settings, favourite links and report layouts, making the whole process straightforward and ensuring you can start from where you left off.

NOTE:  You cannot install a separate copy of Sage Instant Accounts 2012 on the same PC as Sage 50 Accounts 2012. This is because Sage 50 Accounts 2012 and Sage Instant Accounts 2012 are created from the same code and, therefore, share the same version number.

For hints and tips on using Sage software, take a look at previous posts on the Silicon Bullet blog.  For new software or upgrade prices, email

Google Search for problems in Sage

I seem to be getting a large number of search engine hits on my new Sage blog – so I thought I should use these common search criteria to decide on what subjects I should write about in the future.

If you have found my blog through a Google search, and you have a particular query that has not been answered by my existing blog posts – then please leave me a comment with your question and I will choose the most popular queries for future blog posts.

If you have found my blog by Googling for ‘How to use a Silicon Bullet’ then I am sorry, I can’t help with that; but I am sure there are other sites that can!Image


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