in Sage December 6, 2017
We've already gone through a host of new features in the latest release of Sage 200c in past articles - including:
This time we'll focus on new features relating to suppliers & purchasing - Rapid Purchase Invoice Entry & Purchase Requisitions.
Rapid Purchase Invoice Entry
This is another new feature that has been added directly as a result of customer feedback - being one of the most commonly requested features received from end users over the past several years. We've found it's been particularly requested by those who have upgraded from Sage 50 Accounts.
Entering Purchase Invoices in Sage 200c has historically been a slow process - with invoices having to be entered one at a time. You select customer; enter date, reference, and values; then enter nominal posting split - Save, and repeat. When entering one or two invoices this doesn't seem like much of a chore, and as volumes increase it really does become a laborious process.
There add-on products related to purchase invoice entry - such as Draycir Spindle Document Capture, which we use ourselves - but these have primarily been focused around letting the user enter more information about the invoice (i.e. scanning & attaching a copy of the invoice), rather than speeding up the job of data entry.
One of Sage's main themes with this release of 200c is "automating admin" - and while Rapid Purchase Invoice entry doesn't quite go as far as "automating", it definitely speeds things up.
You now have a "Rapid Invoice" option in the Purchase Ledger, which gives you the ability to enter purchase invoices for multiple lines and trading accounts in grid format rather than having to enter individually.
Lastly, they have also "squeezed in" two other commonly requested features in the Rapid Purchase Invoice form - auto check for duplicates (check all invoices in the batch for duplicate entries), and Sage 50 style function key shortcuts.
Sage 200c has always had relative powerful Purchase Order Authorisation functionality, which would work as follows:
- A simple authorisation hierarchy could be set, based on the value of the order.
- If entering an order above an authorisation threshold, Sage would allow the user to create the order, but it wouldn't then be possible to process it further until it had been authorised.
- Authorisers would receive an email with details of the PO awaiting authorisation, containing a link to a web portal where they could authorise (or reject) the order.
- On authorisation, order could then be processed as normal.
On first review therefore, it did seem like a fairly complete PO authorisation routine. In practice however, most found the fact that a PO number was allocated prior to the PO being authorised was a major flaw. I.e. the system did nothing to mitigate the risk of someone giving out a PO number over the phone, and that then being taken as authorised by the supplier.
Previously this 'control gap' could only be filled by implementing Sicon WAP (which to be fair does much more than just fill this gap - it's a very powerful system in itself which allows the creation of a much more detailed authorisation hierarchy.
With this version of Sage 200c however, Sage have addressed the situation themselves by adding a "Purchase Requisitions" routine. This essentially has the same authorisation capability as PO Authorisations has (including email notifications, web portal for authorisation, etc.), but crucially moves this to the requisition stage - such that the PO can't even be generated (and user can't get a PO number) until the requisition has been approved.
New Features Launching Soon
The above - along with previous articles - largely covers the new features added into Sage 200c Professional v2017 that are really worth talking about.
Thankfully Sage aren't finished with improvements yet though, and have listed the following features as "coming soon" - which we hope to mean will be included in the next release. We'll let you know as & when we know more.
- Check budgets - check against existing commitments when raising a PO.
- Budget history - allows you to record more than one budget. I.e. essentially should allow re-forecasting.
- Microsoft OneDrive integration.
- Capture contacts for cost centres & departments - providing you with the ability to enter contact name, phone number & email details against cost centres & departments.