Is Sage 200 Cloud better than Sage 50 Cloud? It has more features, but does that mean it’s the right choice for your business? Before we look at what each has to offer and try to answer that question, let’s get a bit of background.
What is Sage?
Sage is a business solution software designed to bring all of a businesses essential functions together under one roof. Not only is this more cost-effective than using different systems for different business functions, but it’s also easier to manage and ensures a greater level of accuracy.
Although there is much similar software out there, Sage is a recognised industry leader. They provide software for over one-third of FTSE 100 companies, and 54% of UK businesses use Sage for payroll.
We will look at two of Sage’s core products, Sage 50cloud and Sage 200cloud, each targeting different-sized businesses.
Benefits of Sage 50cloud
Sage 50cloud, aimed at small businesses with up to 50 employees (the clue is in the name). It’s an accounting package that provides all the things you would expect to need, to keep track of your business’s financials. Three versions are available; Sage 50 Essentials, Sage 50 Standard and Sage 50 Professional.
Most notably, the Sage 50 Professional version includes the ability to issue sales and purchase orders. It has better stock control and can handle multiple currencies out of the box.
The solution is on-premise and therefore installed on the desktop. It is, however, connected to the cloud through its integration with Microsoft Office 365, meaning that business data can be accessed from anywhere and is backed up and secure at all times.
It’s a powerful piece of software. However, many companies outgrow it as they increase in size. Sage 50, designed for a maximum of 1.5 million transactions, seems big until you consider Sage 200’s 9 million.
Another reason many businesses outgrow Sage 50cloud is its limited reporting functions. A growing business accumulates more and more data, and analysis and reporting tools are essential. Without these in place, it’s hard to make strategic business decisions quickly and confidently.
There are several add-ons available for Sage 50cloud, which will give businesses more functionality, but ultimately the software has a shelf life if your business is growing.
Benefits of Sage 200cloud
Sage 200cloud, designed for businesses with up to 200 employees, provides all of the standard features Sage 50cloud offers and many additional tools. Sage 200cloud, being able to handle 9 million transactions, means that it’s unlikely your businesses will outgrow it quickly.
There are two versions available; Sage 200 Standard and Sage 200 Professional. Standard is entirely cloud-based, whereas Professional is cloud-connected, with the actual apps installed on a desktop. Professional has additional features too including;
- Mobile Excel Reporting.
- Project Accounting.
- Bill of Materials.
A valued addition in Sage200 is a customer relationship management tool (CRM). Businesses gain a 360-degree view of their customers, allowing them to automate marketing, see support issues, orders, and lifetime value of their customers whilst also identifying new prospects to nurture.
CRM tools started life as databases in the 1980s and have developed into sophisticated pieces of software since. CRMs aggregate customer data from various business channels so businesses can improve customer experience, service, and retention. This capability in Sage 200cloud is a big incentive for companies to make a move from Sage 50cloud.
Where Sage 50 falls behind in terms of reporting and analysis, Sage 200 has it covered. Its Business Intelligence tool (BI) offers in-depth data analysis from supporting reporting and informed business decisions. The Sage 200 Business Intelligence module comes free with Financials and features the following;
- Create and configure custom reports.
- Eighty-two(82) pre-built reports are covering all areas of a business.
- Integration with Microsoft Excel.
- Aggregate data from multiple companies.
- Combine tables and charts into convenient dashboards.
- Instant access to data even on the go.
- Drag and drop functionality.
The Sage BI and CRM tools are potentially the most significant pull for businesses. For a business to thrive, it needs to manage its customers and access in-depth analytics and reporting. These are the main areas where Sage50 can’t deliver and why many businesses end up outgrowing it.
Another benefit is that Sage developers can customise Sage 200 to suit a specific business need by writing custom modules, forms, data-integrations and more. On top of this Sage 200 already integrates extremely well with a large number of industry-specific software and e-commerce platforms.
Which Sage accounts version is right for me?
It can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing business solution software. Even once you have selected a software vendor, you then need to decide which version. Ultimately, it comes down to what is best for your businesses needs, but here are the basics for Sage. Hopefully, the above pointers will help you too.
If your business is relatively small, you don’t require advanced reporting and customer management, and then Sage 50cloud might be the right fit. Despite its lack of features compared with Sage 200cloud, it’s still a powerful kit that can meet most core and smaller business needs.
On the other hand, if your business is experiencing growth and your current systems struggle to keep up, Sage 200cloud would be a better choice. Its scalability means it will grow with your business, ensuring you aren’t soon in the same position again further down the line.
As Sage partners, we have helped countless businesses choose solutions that are right for them. We can advise, deliver the deployment and even provide on-going support with our expert managed IT services.
If you would like to speak to a member of our Sage team, you can request a free callback here.