Posts Tagged ‘ Sage ’

Sage 50 Accounts 2014 – New Features

Sage have now released their latest version of Sage 50 Accounts – they are focusing on making it much smoother and easier to process your VAT, as this is something which stresses out many small business owners.

What’s new in Sage 50 Accounts 2014?

  • Manage your stock with confidence
    Sage 50 Accounts 2014 gives you an up-to-date view of what you have and how profitable items are, and helps keep your customers happy by ensuring that you never run out of stock.
  • Foreign trading made easy
    Sage 50 Accounts 2014 makes it simple to trade and account in foreign currencies whilst keeping you compliant with legislation.
  • Manage charity donations with ease
    It’s now quick and easy for charities to record donations and upload gift aid returns straight to HMRC, and also to manage your gift aid thresholds and stay within your allowances.
  • Stay connected to your business
    Sage 50 Accounts Mobile gives you live management of your accounts on the move and allows you to create quotes without being in the office.
  • Improvements to File Maintenance and Data Check area
    You can now see details of your previous file maintenance check, and technical information is saved to help with troubleshooting.

New Sage File Maintenance

Sound Interesting ?

As a Sage Business Partner, we specialise in a range of services designed to help you to get the most from your Sage software and support your individual requirements. Get in touch via our website for more information.  Keep a look out for future posts highlighting the most useful changes.

Meanwhile, take a look at this short YouTube video which tells you more about why many small business owners choose Sage.

Sage 50 Accounts 2013 – more new features

Following on from my previous post, What’s New in Sage 50 Accounts 2013, where I gave a brief list of the new features in the software, and highlighted my two favourite features, Quick Tasks and Email settings, in this article I am going to expand on more of the new features which have made Sage 50 Accounts 2013 even easier to use and understand.

Company Configuration

Customise your Company

When I train a company new to using Sage Accounts, one of the first things I go through with them is the defaults that can be set up in the Settings menu, which make data input much easier in the long run.  This is something that self-taught Sage Accounts users who have bought the product without extra support or training often miss.

There is now a ‘customise your company’ option which can be run on first installing the software, or can be opened at any time from the Help Menu.   The facility has videos and instructions which take you through the many options available as well as ‘Setup Now’ options which take you straight to the relevant screens in the software.

Help Centre

Getting Help

When you buy Sage 50 you no longer get a manual – and to be honest – who reads the manual anyway?  Another part of the training I give is on using the Sage help system in order to remind yourself about tasks you have forgotten, or things you do infrequently, such as VAT returns and year end procedures.

You have always been able to use the F1 key to bring up help about the area you are currently in, and then search the help area for what you need, but now if you are on a machine connected to the internet, the F1 key will bring up a new Web Help screen, which has all the same great information held in the offline Help, but is now easier for Sage to keep right up to date.

These are just a couple more highlights of the new features in Sage 50 2013. If you want to find out about other changes, why not arrange a free demonstration of the new software – check out our Facebook page for informational videos which take you visually through the main new features.  Just call Alison or Paul on 01604 420 057.

Sage 50 Accounts 2013 – Update 1

The first Update for Sage 50 Accounts 2013 has been released.  You need to install this update if your version number is or  To find out what version your software is then go to Help -> About where your version number is displayed in the Program Details section.Image

If you are prompted by Sage at start up to download and install the update then please make sure Excel and any other Sage programs are exited first as having them open in the background can cause the update to not install properly.  We would recommend not installing the update when first asked, but entering the software as usual and doing a backup before restarting your Sage to install the update.

You can also manually download and install the update from the Sage Accounts Updates website.

If you have a multi user version of Sage then you need to run the update on all the machines, or any machines on the older version number will not be able to access the data.

Sage 50 Accounts 2013 – Update 1 fixes the following issues:

  •  Products – When negative stock is enabled, the average cost price may be calculated incorrectly.
  •  Clear Audit Trail – A fix for the current Clear Audit Trail process in the software.

If you have already run a Clear Audit Trail before installing Update 1 then you should contact Sage or your local reseller immediately as your data may have errors.

After the update your software will be version number

What’s New in Sage 50 Accounts 2013

Sage 50 Accounts 2013 is for growing and established businesses who need to take more control of their finances with department and budget analysis.  The software helps you stay in control of your cash flow and VAT, and track key business information.

In brief, the new features in version 2013 are:

  • New – user interface and language
  • New – company configuration
  • New – Help Centre
  • New – Quick Tasks
  • Simplified month end, year end and VAT return tasks
  • Improved reporting

As Sage users ourselves, we have been using the product for a couple of weeks now, and I want to highlight a couple of features which have really improved my experience with the software.

Quick Tasks in Sage 50 Accounts 2013

Quick Tasks

Quick Tasks help you to speed up your common processes, and also guide you to the next step in some specific processes.  The feature I really like is that you can highlight a variety of products in the Sage product window and with a couple of clicks create a Sales Order, Quotation or Invoice, or a Purchase Invoice .

Other areas which have been streamlined are common processes when using Sales and Purchase Orders, and processing Cash Sales.

Email Settings

Sage New Email Defaults

One of the most common requests I am getting at the moment is to set up invoices and statements so users can email them to customers instead of printing and posting them – thus saving on paper and postage.  If a company has several different invoice designs, this used to involve editing each layout in turn to customise the email settings.  Sage 50 Accounts 2013 have added  Email Default settings into the Settings Menu – so you can set up your email defaults once for each type of layout then choose which layouts to apply these changes to – thus removing the need to change the settings in each individual layout.

Also each Customer and Supplier record can now have 3 separate email addresses associated with each account, enabling orders, invoices and statements to each be sent to a different email address.  This could be done with the Addresses and Contacts option before, but that was long winded and could really slow down the running of your reports.

These are just a couple of highlights: if you want to find out about other changes then why not arrange a free demonstration of the new software – check out our Facebook page for informational videos which take you visually through the main new features.  Just call Alison or Paul on 01604 420 057.

Sage 50 Add-On – Invoice CSV Import

This is the fourth in my series of blog posts highlighting add-on products which tackle regularly requested extra functionality to improve your Sage 50 experience.

When companies start to use Sage 50 for their accounting, they quite often already have well established routines and systems for creating customer invoices, and it is not always appropriate to change their system in order to utilise Sage’s invoice-raising tools and templates.  If this is the case, you still need to move your invoices into Sage in order to keep a complete financial record, so a direct import of these invoices is often the best option, removing the need to re-key in large quantities of data, and also reducing the chance of user error.

The Sage 50 Invoice CSV Import tool allows you to import invoices into the Sage 50 invoice module from a CSV file.  This is different from the import options that comes as standard in Sage, as these just allow transactions to be imported into the ledgers, by-passing the invoice module totally.

The column headings in the CSV file are used to define the fields into which the data can be imported,  and multi line data can be imported into the Service Text field if required.  The CSV file contents are displayed before the import takes place, along with any error messages, to help with error checking and to ensure that you end up with a clean import.  New template CSV files can be created by selecting fields from a list of available field names, to help ease the set-up process.

The program works with Sage 50 versions 8 to 18 (2012) and costs £99 + VAT for a company-wide licence. If you want to take a look for yourself, request a free trial of the software.

To see the other posts in my Sage 50 Add On series, take a look at the posts tagged with Sage Add-On.

Logging Back into Sage after a problem

Sage User name already in use

I have had the same enquiry twice this week from customers.  Something has happened on their computer which has meant they had to exit Sage using Task Manager rather than closing the program fully, then on trying to log back in, they have had a ‘User name already in use’ message which threatens data problems.

This can be quite worrying if you do not expect the message: after all, data checks and corruption are the biggest source of worry for many Sage 50 and Sage Instant account users, especially those who have ever had to send their data off for repair.

When you log out of Sage normally, your name is taken off the current list of logged-in users, which can be seen in the User List in the View Menu. This is the case even in single-user systems where you don’t type a user name in to log in, and the Sage Manager Password is hidden from view: the default username is always Manager with no password unless you have changed the system yourself.

Sage User List

If your computer stops responding and you have to close Sage using the Task Manager, or if you have a power cut and your machine suddenly turns off, your name remains on this list.  In this case, you are faced with the user already in use message when you try to go back into Sage. You should click the Close Session button and you will then be logged in to Sage as usual.  If you know you were logged into Sage on that machine and there is a reason why you had to exit suddenly then you should not get data problems.  I would recommend, though, that you always do a data check in Sage after any such occurrence, just in case there is an underlying data issue causing your problems.

The warning is there to stop a second user in a multi-user environment from trying to log in with the same name that is being used on another machine.  If you do this, the first user will be kicked off the system, and if they are in a data entry screen they will lose whatever is in the current window.  If you try to log on to a second machine and get the warning, and there is a risk of logging someone out on another machine  then you should click Cancel and log in with an alternative username.

For more hints and tips about Good Housekeeping in Sage, and advice about the  Sage Manager Password  then see my previous blog posts.  And don’t panic when you have had a problem and need to log back into Sage: just follow the simple instructions above and you will be back doing your bookkeeping in no time at all.

Sage 50 Add-On – Payment Allocation

This is the third in my series of blog posts highlighting add-on products which tackle regularly requested extra functionality to improve your Sage 50 experience.

Do you ever have the problem when you run an age debtors report that there are customer accounts with a Nil Balance, but they still appear on the report?  This is due to payments or credit accounts not being allocated to one another, and will mean that if you do a clear audit trail after a year end these transactions will not be deleted.

I have a couple of clients who take Sage Pay payment in advance for products, then process the order when the products are available and produce the invoice once the goods have been despatched. This means the Receipt is entered into the accounts before the Invoice – and once the invoice is posted you have to remember go to the receive payment window and match the payment to the receipt.  This is both time consuming and easy to make a mistake.

The Adept Sage 50 Payment Allocation program will automatically match these payments for you, and also works on the purchase ledger.  There are options to match all accounts or only specified accounts; date criteria can be set, and options to ignore certain transaction types or to only process accounts with zero balances.

The program works with Sage 50 versions 8 to 18 (2012) and costs £99 + VAT for a company-wide licence. To take a look for yourself, request a free trial of the software.

To see the other posts in my Sage 50 Add-On series, take a look at the posts tagged with Sage Add-On

Sage Accounts – End of Life

Sage have confirmed that from 30 April 2014 they will no longer support customers using Sage 50 V2009 or Sage Instant V15. This does not mean that you can’t continue to use this software, but it does mean that you will no longer be able to have Sage Cover, and you may not be able to directly upgrade to the latest version automatically.

If you use these versions and would prefer the security of working with a currently supported Sage product after the end of life date, Sage have a couple of special offers available until 30th June 2012.

Please call Alison on 01604 420057 for pricing and details.

Remember, Silicon Bullet can often offer additional discounts on upgrades, so it is always worth calling for a quote. We will always at least match Sage Direct Sales prices but can offer a local service and really get to know your business and help apply your needs to the software.

For more information on Sage’ s Software Lifecycle policy, please get in touch.

Silicon Bullet Forever !

I have been thinking about how to support small business in a more effective way through the services Silicon Bullet offers, and one way is to offer services to a vertical market, which means we really understand how a particular sort of company or sole trader works, so that we can offer insight, help and support for clients.

One of these markets is Forever Living distributors.  I already do the regular bookkeeping for a distributor (Frances Woollard of Forever Your Success), and have helped another distributor in the past too.  The Forever Living business model encourages those signing up to set up their own business, and in the first instance distributors are self employed, but hopefully when the business grows they may wish to set up a limited company and even register for VAT as their income grows.  The responsibility of keeping accurate records of Sales and Expenses is on the distributor, so that they can fill out their tax return or year end accounts.

As a bookkeeper to several different types of business, the most challenging thing when I take on a new client, or train someone new in Sage or ACT! is actually understanding their business.  By offering my services to distributors as they set up their business, I can offer advice from a position of knowledge which means I am half way there already.

I use Forever Living products myself, and have done for a few years now.  The Aloe Vera products help me with my Arthritis, and also soothe the children’s eczema, and the Bee Pollen products ease the effects of Hayfever.  I have now taken the extra step which will really mean I can provide a unique service to Forever Living distributors in doing their accounts and bookkeeping – I have become a distributor myself.  This means I am really learning about how Forever Living works, and about the other products available – and I can offer my services with renewed confidence.

If you are interested in becoming part of an incredibly supportive team of Forever Living distributors and earning an extra income promoting great quality products, please get in touch with me via Twitter, Facebook, or our website, using the links at the top of the page.

Or if you are already involved with Forever Living but struggling with the financial side of your business, let me share my bookkeeping skills and advice with you.

Sage 50 Add-On – Back to Back Ordering

This is the second in my series of blog posts highlighting add-on products which tackle regularly requested extra functionality to improve your Sage 50 experience.

Many companies don’t keep stock of the items they sell, but take orders but then arrange for the goods to be shipped direct to the customer when an order is received.  I had a request to allow a sales order to be taken in Sage, but then to create a purchase order from it to send to the supplier, with pertinent information transferred from the sales order to the purchase order.  Creating these purchase orders manually can cause room for errors and feels like duplication.

The Adept Back to Back Ordering program allows you to select from a list of sales orders or sales invoices and create the purchase orders needed to satisfy the customer’s requirements.  The customer’s delivery address is carried over seamlessly and then the sales order or invoice is marked as ‘processed’, to prevent attempts to process the same order twice.

This prevents the need for manual duplication and keying in errors, and if a product is always purchased from the same supplier you can indicate this, with the preferred suppliers being listed on product codes.

The program works with Sage 50 Pro and Financial Controller versions 8 to 18 (2012) and costs £199 + VAT for a company-wide license. To take a look for yourself then request a free trial of the software.


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