What is Sage 200?
Sage 200 (Sage 200cloud) is a powerful ERP system that allows businesses to carry out all their critical functions in one software piece. These include financials, stock management, supply chain, order management and more. A company can use just one piece of software to maintain better accuracy and gain better insight into performance. They can also reduce the time & cost associated with running their operations.
Sage 200cloud offers two versions; Sage 200cloud Standard and Sage 200cloud Professional. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Sage 200 Standard isn’t a powerful software piece because of its name. It’s a robust and powerful ERP that has many of the features of the Professional version. Sage 200 Professional, however, brings much more to the table when it comes to additional functionality.
In this article, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between the two versions to help you to decide which is right for you.
Sage 200cloud Standard vs Professional – What’s the difference?
One of the first differences between the two versions is that Sage 200 Standard is entirely cloud-based. All of the software sits in the cloud and is maintained on remote servers by Sage. The obvious advantage being that the software can be accessed on any device, anywhere at any time. It also costs less than on-site software and is maintained by the software provider, further reducing running costs.
Sage 200 Professional is a cloud-based business solution. However, there is the option to have an on-site version that highly regulated businesses might feel more comfortable with as their data remains in-house. In this case, in-house server hardware, software and infrastructure will be needed, which will require maintenance through an internal or external IT team such as Eventura. It’s also possible to outsource this to a private cloud infrastructure as a hosted Managed Service if you want to cut down on in-house IT costs. Access to this type of service can also be private VPN access and Secure Remote Desktop environments.
Another difference between the versions is that you cannot customise sage 200 Standard. Sage 200 Professional allows add-ons from 3rd party developers and also has extra Sage modules available. These include Sage Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence, Project Accounting and Advanced Bill of Materials (BOM).
Both Sage 200 Standard and Professional are very similar when it comes to standard accounting and financial functions. Both include all the functionality you would expect, including invoicing, purchase order management, payments, banking and payroll integration with Sage 50, to name just a few. Both versions are also Making Tax Digital ready, which means businesses using Sage 200 can breathe a sigh of relief as the software is already compliant with HMRC’s requirements.
One crucial difference between the two versions is multi-currency consolidation. Sage 200cloud Standard only allows for multi-company consolidation in one base currency. Sage 200cloud Professional, on the other hand, provides support for up to five currencies.
If your company has subsidiaries in multiple territories and wants to consolidate those subsidiaries’ financials in your management reports, you would need Sage 200 Professional’s multi-company and multi-currency support to be able to do that.
Reporting and Analysis
When it comes to reporting, both versions have initial similarities. You can create custom reports and interactive dashboards for the varying functions within the business. Both versions also support Microsoft Excel reporting, meaning that both versions offer easy access to viewing or downloading data. Sage 200 Professional, however, has a few extra tricks up its sleeve.
First of all, it supports twenty analysis codes, whereas the Standard version only supports five. For example, if a company wanted to analyse their revenue by country, they could create an analysis code for “country”. They could then analyse their income broken down by all the countries in which they operate. Having only five analysis codes available in Sage 200 Standard could be limiting compared to the twenty on offer in Sage 200 Professional depending on how you work.
Sage 200 Professional also offers an additional Business Intelligence(BI) module not available in the Standard version. BI is a powerful Excel-integrated tool that allows you to gather data from multiple companies within your Sage software. It provides a robust analysis of the entire business, displayed in over 80 pre-built reports and powerful analytics dashboards. Unlimited custom reports can also be created easily with drag and drop functionality. The BI module comes included with the on-premise version, but it has to be separately purchased if you choose the cloud-based version.
As well as Business Intelligence, there are other modules only available in Sage 200 Professional. Although Sage 200 Standard does have a Bill of Materials (BOM), it’s not as advanced as the Professional version. Manufacturing companies use BOM to keep track of the component parts used to make up another stock item.
It keeps track of costs and inventory levels to ensure the manufacturing process runs efficiently and profitably. Until recently, there was a Sage Manufacturing module available in the professional version. Sage recently announced it was retiring the module as of November 2020. Its replacement, the Sicon Manufacturing Suite, uses Sage BOM at its core and sits within the Sage menu.
Professional also features batch and serial number traceability, a feature that Standard does not offer. Extremely valuable to manufacturers who need to need to have visibility of all of their components and finished stock products at all times.
Another additional module available in Sage 200 Professional is Project Accounting. The module allows businesses to gain exceptional visibility and control over the scheduling and cost of a project. It enables companies to manage resources, expenses, billing and time, ensuring projects are profitable and delivered to schedule. The module is popular in the engineering and construction industries where projects are highly complex, relying on an extensive range of variables. It’s also popular in service industries when businesses are essentially selling their time. The module can automatically generate invoices, connect to payroll, create cost breakdowns and deal with multiple projects at once, allocating time and resources as required.
Sage CRM and Microsoft 365 Integration
One of the more popular additional modules available in Professional is its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. A CRM gives a business a full 360-degree of their customer. It identifies the customer lifetime value, analyses their purchase habits and history, and allows companies to market them appropriately. It can even identify customers who are potential prospects for the future. This kind of information can be invaluable to businesses.
You can integrate both versions of Sage 200 with Microsoft 365. Users can use the Sage Contact app to check their customer and suppliers’ details, view accounts balances, create memos, and update contact details. Changes you make in Outlook are synced with Sage.
You can also use Microsoft Flow to streamline the purchase requisition process, with notifications sent to requesters and approvers in real-time. Users can also make use of OneDrive to store reports and other business information.
So which Sage 200 version should I choose?
It depends entirely on what your business requirements are. If your business has large amounts of data and wants to analyse it in exceptional detail, Sage 200 Professional might be the right choice. Although Sage 200 Standard has a solid set of reports and dashboards, Professional allows for much more detailed reporting. Its additional analysis codes and its powerful Business Intelligence module provide exceptional insight into your business.
If your business is highly project-based, then Professional could also be a good fit. Whether you run one large project or have multiple smaller projects in play, it’s essential to maintain visibility of the variables that dictate the project’s success (or failure). The module provides this visibility and helps you keep everything on track.
Manufacturers might want to take advantage of the advanced BOM and Sicon Manufacturing Suite in Sage 200 Professional. Whether you manufacture bespoke one off projects or mass produced repeat lines, Sicon Manufacturing could streamline your operations, increase visibility across your processes and offer time and cost savings.
If you have an extensive customer base or plan to grow your existing one, then the CRM available in Professional is likely an attractive proposition. Having a complete view of your customers allows you to nurture them and improve customer relations and retention.
Another consideration is cost. Although the cost of your Sage solution will depend on what your requirements are, Sage 200 Standard does cost less than Sage 200 Professional. If Standard can fulfil your needs, then it makes sense to choose that option and upgrade to Professional in the future should you need to.
Sage 200 Standard & Sage 200 Professional Comparison
|Microsoft 365 Integration||Y||Y|
|3rd Party Add-ons||N||Y|
|Making Tax Digital Ready||Y||Y|
|Sage 50 Payroll Integration||Y||Y|
|Multi-company Consolidation||1 Base Currency||Multiple Currencies|
|Budget Vs Actual Reporting||Y||Y|
|Bill Of Materials||Simple||Advanced|
|Batch/Serial Number Traceability||N||Y|
|Multiple Suppliers Per Stock Item||Y||Y|
|Sicon Manufacturing Suite||N||Y|
The important thing when deciding which version to go with is understanding your specific business requirement. Eventura has been a Sage Partner for over a decade and has helped countless businesses design and deploy Sage solutions which fit their needs. It’s sometimes not very clear what solution is right for you with so much information out there, but we can help.
If you would like to speak to one of our Sage 200 experts to discuss your requirements, you can request a free callback here.