Nikki Bruce of Softext Ltd explains what’s new in Sage 50cloud Accounts version 27.
From 5 October 2020, Sage Version 27 was made available to all customers, new and existing. With some of the biggest changes to the software in recent years such as the inclusion of the Custom Alert feature and improvements to user management tools now is the best time to plan your upgrade.
Here I’ll discuss some of the biggest changes coming to Sage 50 Accounts software in the latest version release.
Company process improvements
In previous versions of Sage Accounts software, the steps for creating a new company were not always easy to follow. Therefore, based on feedback from customers, Sage has now streamlined this process in the latest version.
The menu will now display just four simple, clear options for adding a new company or linking to an existing company.
Another addition to note is the ability to search for companies – a particularly useful feature for accountants working with multiple organisations.
Again, for version 27 Sage have taken into account feedback from their customers and added one of the most requested features – Custom Alerts. These alerts will be available to use in customers, suppliers and products and can be set to appear as a pop-up or a reminder with a text box to include the required information. For example, this new feature will be useful for including notes such as preferred delivery addresses for customers, or reminders that orders must be approved by a certain member of staff before placing an order with suppliers.
Custom Alerts can be set to appear when invoicing, creating purchase orders, creating quotes, and producing sales orders.
Alternatively, the new alert feature can also be used in the products area to notify users when products are coming to the end of the line with no future stock available, or as a way to link to similar products that staff can recommend to your customers.
Users will also have the ability to temporarily disable alerts or to delete them altogether once they are no longer needed.
User management improvements
Previously known as ‘Access Rights’, the new user management feature lets you easily control who has access to your data and how much access they have. As access is defined at the point of creating for each user, you can ensure that users only see data that they need to perform their roles.
If you have a third-party accountant or bookkeeper with remote data access, using user management you can grant them the ability to create other accountant or bookkeeper users when necessary.
User management also allows you to grant remote access without having to log into Sage Drive separately so you can manage all connected and non-connected users and advisors from directly within Sage 50 Accounts.
In Sage version 27 you will also be able to see all users and any active sessions.
You’ll also be able to access Sage ID from within the user screen and for added security, you can make it a requirement that new users must change their password upon logging in for the first time.
There are currently three separate processes for Cloud services each requiring a different ID, these processes are: Sage Drive, Bank Feeds, and Invoice Payments. With version 27 these processes will merge into a single Sage ID with only one ID required to set up all three cloud services. It will also be possible to merge existing IDs into one single ID for existing users.
Anyone wishing to use the improved connected services will need to upgrade to Sage v27 after March 2021 – this includes both new users and existing users. For new users, Sage have created new menus to simplify the onboarding process, making it easier to create a single Sage ID and utilise features such as remote data access, data sharing, and managing remote users.
It is also easier to retrieve forgotten encryption passwords should any of your users forget them. Under the settings tab, users can scroll down to ‘Remote Data Access Settings’ where they will see an option to show password/passphrase.
Sage version 27 also includes the ability to pause and resume syncing on Sage Drive. This is particularly useful for accountants and bookkeepers who only need to access the data each month or every quarter – they can simply choose to sync the data only when they need it.
In Sage version 27, accountants can also set up Sage Drive as a main site using Client Manager.
This allows the accountant to host the client data themselves and gives them more freedom in allowing accountants within their practice to work remotely.
If you’re not already using Sage Drive, it’s worth taking the time to get set up and see how it can enhance your Sage 50 Accounts software. Sage Drive improves the accessibility of your Sage data whilst retaining all the benefits and features of your desktop software. You can access your data anywhere with an internet connection and allow for continuous data syncing for accuracy across all platforms. With Sage v27 and Sage Drive you can also retrieve forgotten passwords and pause data syncing when necessary, as well as granting real-time access to your data for your accountant or bookkeeper.
Sage version 27 will see some older ‘legacy’ features being retired or reinvented, this is based on analysis from Sage users showing that these features are rarely used. The features that will no longer be available from Sage v27 onwards include Task Manager, Nominal Graphs, Dashboards, Phone Dialer, Process Maps, and Configuration XMLs.
Also, as discussed above, some integral features are also changing. The Management Centre will switch to User Management with improved features and functionality, and support for Bank Feeds and Sage Drive will be withdrawn for Sage versions below v24.2.
• If you are using an older version of Sage now is the perfect time to upgrade. Visit https://softext.co.uk/