Resource  2 December 2021

Sage 50 vs. Sage 200; when is it time to upgrade?

Sage 50 is the perfect accounting system for start-ups and small businesses to effectively manage their finances, however it is not a long-term solution for companies that have more complex business processes. So, how do you know if you’ve outgrown Sage 50 and what options are available?

Sage 50 vs Sage 200

Many small and medium-sized businesses rely on Sage 50 to meet their accounting and financial management needs, but as your business grows and evolves, you start to push the limits of Sage 50.

If you’re producing workaround Excel reports, spending too much time closing the books, or unable to access financial data remotely—these could all be signs that you need a new solution that can scale with your business, like Sage 200.

Here are 4 signs your business may have outgrown Sage 50:

1. You’re doing too much reporting in Excel

Sage 50 is great at financial statements and reports based on the chart of accounts but as your business demands grow, you need the agility to make decisions at a moment’s notice—and those decisions must be backed by accurate data in real-time.

Instead of trying to manipulate data in complicated spreadsheets, Sage 200 presents facts and figures in a meaningful way. You get critical insights when and where you need them, with tools that can provide powerful trend analysis and intuitive reporting.

2. Your close takes more than 10 days and you’re managing more than 2 entities

Sage 50 wasn’t built to handle the needs of organisations that have multiple business entities. New entities may feel like a new implementation, where customisations need to be reconfigured, the chart of accounts is rebuilt, and all the entities are siloed from each other. Inter-entity transactions then need to be manually keyed in to ensure the books are balanced, and consolidations take hours to days to complete because the data from all the entities must be exported and combined in Excel. This is definitely not the most efficient process!

With Sage 200 Professional, multi-company is supported across multi-currencies allowing you to manage your business effectively across multiple locations.

3. Your business is scaling but Sage 50 can’t keep up

As the number of users and transaction volumes grow, the performance of Sage 50 often begins to decline. As you add business units and expand into new markets and geographies—or even add entirely new lines of business—the burden on your finance department can quickly become overwhelming.

But it doesn’t need to be this way! Sage 200 comes with an advanced Financials module that simplifies your core accounting tasks and gives you confidence in the financial health of your company, allowing you to make smarter decisions to accelerate your business.

4. Manual processes have become standard operating procedure

It’s easy to lose days of productivity to manual processes like PO approvals, invoice generation, payment processing, and currency conversions. When your systems can’t communicate, often integrations are replaced by manual workarounds.

According to research by Sage, businesses spend an average of 120 working days a year on administrative tasks. That’s a huge amount of time that could be spent on what’s important – running your business.

Time is arguably the most important resource for a growing SME. By making some simple changes and moving from Sage 50 to Sage 200, you could save over 20 hours per week (Sage, 2021).

Time saved with Sage 200

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? Are you or your team over-reliant on Excel? Is Sage 50 struggling under the pressure of an increasing number of users and transactions? Is time being wasted on manual processes or awkward workarounds?

Are you confident Sage 50 can continue to meet your business needs in the coming weeks, months, or years? If the answer isn’t a resounding YES, then it’s worth exploring alternative solutions that can keep pace with the changes and growth of your business.

Explore the interactive video tour

Why migrate from Sage 50 to Sage 200?

Sage 200 is the logical step for businesses who are outgrowing Sage 50. Not only will you continue to benefit from the practical advice, solutions, expertise and insight that Sage offers, staying within the Sage product range ensures a smoother transition, both technically and from a user perspective.

Designed for SMEs looking to scale, Sage 200 offers better visibility and increased flexibility with additional industry-specific functionality including advanced stock management and manufacturing ERP.

Migrating from Sage 50 to Sage 200 helps you build a joined up, efficient business. By connecting all your departments from sales to customer services, and despatch to financials, you will benefit from better communication and streamlined processes which in turn leads to increased productivity and profitability.

Sage 50 vs. Sage 200; how do they compare?

Sage 50 is the perfect accounting system for start-ups and small businesses to effectively manage their finances, however it is not a long-term solution for companies that have more complex business processes.

Not only does Sage 200 have significantly more functionality across the whole business, but it also gives you the flexibility to customise your system with a range of modules to meet your exclusive requirements.

A unique feature of Sage 200 is that accredited Sage Business Partners can change and add to the system software, making it bespoke to your business needs.

So, how does the functionality compare?

Sage 50 problem

Sage 50 slows down due to high number of transactions and high user traffic.

Sage 200 solution

Sage 200 can process millions of transactions so there is no stalling or impact on speed.

No permission-based roles

Users are assigned roles which prevent or allow access to specific features within the Sage 200 system. Users can easily be added or removed from specific roles when required ensuring delegation of duties.

Limited visibility and control over financial periods

Sales and purchase ledgers can be opened and closed separately and can be separate to the accounting periods. If you want to manage your sales in four quarters rather than twelve months you can.

You have the option to create up to twenty different accounting periods, so 4-4-5 week accounting can be easily implemented.

Sage 50 does not have true lead to quote via CRM – Finance with bidirectional sync of information

Sage 200 integrates with Sage CRM which allows the two systems to be continually synchronised. Both systems will share customers, suppliers, orders, quotations, products and pricing information, minimising duplicate information.

Inefficient manual processes mean tasks take longer than necessary

Sage 200 offers the ability to automate manual, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks saving you valuable time.

Sage 50 has limited stock capabilities – no back-to-back ordering or multiple stock locations

Sage 200 allows you to manage stock from multiple locations and from multiple bins within those locations, giving you full control of your inventory in multiple warehouses or on the road.

Sage 200 also provides full serial and batch traceability which enables the management of stock by ‘sell by,’ ‘use by,’ and stock group. Up to 20 analysis codes can be allocated to stock transactions so all movements can be monitored and traced back for product recalls.

Integrations with 3rd party systems are limited

Through a wide range of compatible Sage 200 add-ons and integrations you can add features to ensure you get the most out of your system and a quicker ROI.

Reliance on spread sheets – means reporting is limited and inflexible

Produce detailed reports by region, sales representative, industry type, customer rating, account manager, partner and much more. Easily forecast and budget for customers, suppliers and projects.

Sage 200 comes with reporting in the familiar format of Excel—fully customisable, it allows you to filter, format, and formulate reports within a single click.

Lack of robust reporting and visibility to drive decision making

Effectively analyse critical business information and gain better visibility. Sage 200 offers powerful analytical tools to inform your decision-making and share business data widely across your organisation. The dashboards are also accessible online, so you can get remote access to any of your statistics.

What’s my next step?

If your Sage 50 software is holding you back don’t put off choosing an alternative solution. Using software designed for a smaller business can limit your financial visibility, slow down your decision making and add to your workload.

Book a personalised demo to discover how Sage 200 can benefit your business. One of our team of expert consultants will chat to you about your challenges and goals, and tailor a demonstration to your specific business needs.

If you’re unsure whether Sage 200 is the right next step you may find this resource helpful – How to choose the right ERP software for your growing business. This interactive guide will take you through each step of the selection process in detail, ensuring you have all the information you need to evaluate your options and make the right decision for your business.

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