in Sage August 14, 2017
Sage 200C New Features #1
Sage have just released the latest version of Sage 200 - and as seems to be the norm these days have given it another re-branding - now being referred to as "Sage 200c Professional" (from "Sage 200 Extra" in 2016, and "Sage 200" in earlier years".
The "c" stands for connected - and follows a consistent theme across all of Sage's recent product launches. Although they aren't quite there with 200c Professional (this feature isn't scheduled for release until early) Sage have teamed up with Microsoft to integrate their products with Office 365.
The intention is to add the "Contact" (giving you the ability to view customer & supplier details & transactions from directly within Outlook) and "Capture" (giving you the ability to post transactions to Sage 200 via a picture of a receipt uploaded to OneDrive) features already included in Sage 50c to Sage 200c. Although we don't yet have a definite release date, both features are expected in early 2018.
A further theme being targeted by Sage recently is "administration automation", which leads on to the next of the new features in Sage 200C - bank feeds. Sage made a big play about this at the last Sage Summit - stressing how a huge percentage of most accounts/finance staff time was spent on admin rather than value adding tasks, and how achieving a shift in this balance could add real value to any business.
Bank Feeds is Sage's first pass at delivering on this aspiration.
In prior versions of Sage 200, e-banking reconciliations were of dubious value. They would involve downloading transactions from your bank onto a screen in Sage, but you'd still then have to manually reconcile those transactions as you would with a standard manual bank rec.
Bank feeds goes a step further - Sage 200c won't just download your bank transactions for you, it will now post them for you too - and reconcile it for you also.
You can set 'rules' to define exactly how Sage posts each payment, as follows:
- Supplier payments - so long as you've entered your supplier bank details into Sage, 200c will recognise the fact that it's a supplier payment & post it as a purchase ledger payment to that supplier for you (though it won't, currently, allocate that payment for you).
- Nominal payments - unlike supplier payments, sage won't be able to match the payment to a supplier account. Instead, you can create a number of bank feed 'rules' - essentially telling Sage 200c how to post each transaction. These rules can be based on the bank account number (i.e. post any payments made to account X as a nominal non-taxable payment to nominal code 7801), or else on the payment reference (i.e. post any payments made with the word "rent" in the reference as a nominal non-taxable payment to nominal code 7012).
Exactly how helpful is this new feature going to be? Hard to say. Personally, i like the more traditional e-banking method of deciding who to pay with the Sage 200 Payment Processing, and then passing details of these payments up to the bank; and am dubious about the usefulness of reversing the direction as Sage has done here. I don't personally have to reconcile a bank account each month though, so it's quite possible that the automation added here would make it all worth it.
For further information on both the new features added to Sage 200c Professional; and also new features planned for future releases; refer to Sage's development roadmap
Check back here next month for more Sage 200c Professional New Features.