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Signs You Have Outgrown Sage 50

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September 5, 2022

Many small-medium sized businesses use Sage 50 for their accounting and financial management. It is a reliable desktop accounting solution with a very loyal customer base. Many businesses will never need another financial management solution, but when a business grows then the limitations of Sage 50 might start to show.

Consider the following questions:


  • Do I create 40%+ of my reports in Microsoft Excel?
  • Am I managing 2+ entities?
  • Does it take more than 10 days to close the books?
  • Do I have issues accessing the system remotely?
  • Are the processes unscalable and error-prone?


If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, you may be at a point where Sage 50 is no longer enough for you. Sage 50 is built for 50 users and up to 1.5 million transactions, while Sage 200 allows up to 200 users and 9 million transactions.

With that in mind, here are 7 top signs that you have outgrown Sage 50.


1. You are using Excel for too much of your reporting


Sage 50’s base reporting is great for things like financial statements based on the chart of accounts. But when your needs become more complex, you may find yourself having to move outside Sage 50 to use Excel for your reporting.

This makes real-time visibility unavailable, and certain workarounds can even cause issues with data quality. Lacking the ability to create calculated fields, financial and non-financial data cannot be combined to visualise key metrics. You are at the tipping point if 40%+ of your reporting is done in Excel.


2. It takes too long to close


Closes can be lengthy with Sage 50 because it takes time to investigate anomalies and exceptions, recalculate things manually and reconcile bank statements. A growing business often adds multiple legal entities, and they all require their own set of books. This can cause the close time to become even longer, and Sage 50 was not designed to accommodate this.

If it is taking you 10+ days to close the books or you have 2+ entities to manage, you may have outgrown Sage 50.


3. You can’t integrate with other important systems


Most businesses have several other systems that must be integrated with accounting and finance. Integrations with Sage 50 can be expensive and difficult to establish, and things can go wrong. As such, many smaller businesses decide not to integrate systems, opting instead for more manual workloads like rekeying data.

If you are manually entering lots of data that could otherwise be automated by a more advanced system, the move from Sage 50 to Sage 200 sounds like a smart one.


4. You need remote access to your systems


With a growing emphasis on remote and flexible working, people need to be able to access your systems from anywhere. As an on-premises system, Sage 50 does not meet this need effectively enough, meaning people need to be in the office or set up an expensive remote access server.

Sage 200 is based on cloud functionality so remote access is provided by default. If you are having to visit the office unnecessarily, or everything is slow and frustrating when you work from home, it may be time to upgrade from Sage 50.


5. You are relying on manual processes that are error-prone and unscalable


Manually carrying out financial processes notoriously leads to errors. What’s more, these processes cannot scale up as you grow, so they become more time-consuming and potentially even more error-prone. Without automation for things like invoice generation, PO approvals, currency conversions and payment processing, productivity can take a major dip.

If you are carrying out a lot of manual processes, particularly AR and AP, then perhaps Sage 50 is no longer providing the functionality you need and Sage 200 could streamline your processes.


6. System crashes and data corruption have become commonplace


As a business expands, so does the amount of data it works with. Like any software, Sage 50 will show signs of fatigue when the data it is working with is more than it was designed for. This is very problematic for accounts and could even lead to loss of critical data if the problem is not addressed.

If Sage 50 is not designed to process the amount of data you are now working with, it is important to upgrade to a more advanced Sage product like Sage 200.


7. The software is struggling to keep up with your rate of expansion


Sage 50 may have been instrumental in the early development of your business, but as you grow it may drop off the pace. Adding new business units and expanding into new markets are exciting processes, but it may feel like your accounting software is actually holding you back.

If you are now handling different tax jurisdictions, currencies, regulatory frameworks and more, Sage 50 is not going to be enough to handle your needs.


Migrating from Sage 50 to Sage 200


One of the most common migration paths a business takes is to move from Sage 50 to Sage 200. It can seem daunting and expensive to migrate all your data onto a new system, and you will need to consider things like:


  • Data migration costs
  • Training the team
  • The time to bring back the efficiency of daily/monthly accounting routines


However, in the long term, this is an investment that will save you time and money. The upgrade is a considerably more powerful finance solution that will allow you to bring in automation and do away with those laborious and troublesome workarounds.

There are various advantages to Sage 200 for growing businesses, including cloud access, multi-company accommodation, multi-location management and powerful, customisable reporting. The migration is actually very straightforward with a built-in migration tool in Sage 200 that facilitates your choice of the following:


  • Record only importing
  • Record and opening balance only importing
  • Full transactional migration


You can learn more about the move from Sage 50 to Sage 200 in our article Migrating from Sage 50 to Sage 200 – A Beginners Guide.

If you would like to explore whether Sage 200 is the right solution for your organisation, it’s important to speak with an expert who can help you understand what exactly Sage 200 can do for your business. If your business is growing and you think you’ve outgrown Sage 50, persevering with it could hamper your growth.It could be much more prudent to see what Sage 200 could offer instead.



Why choose Eventura to help deliver your Sage 200 project?


With two decades of Sage deployments under our belt, we are experts in delivering robust Sage 200 solutions that are meticulously designed to suit your specific business needs. We take a full 360-degree view of your business, and help you identify all of your requirements.

Our team of expert business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff will guide you through your Sage 200 project from conception, through to deployment and ongoing support.

If you would like to speak with one of our Sage 200 experts, you can request a free call back here.

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