Going from small to medium with Sage

When a business is building a framework for growth, the software solutions they choose are crucial. Sage team member, Gary McKnight, looks at two different Sage platforms and their respective capabilities.

Achieving growth is a balancing act. In order to propel your business forward, you need to take into account factors as diverse as talent, financial forecasting, and project planning.

Software systems have increasingly become an indispensable tool for businesses aiming to achieve rapid growth. In fact, here at Thinc, we believe that a robust software solution is the foundation of building an Intelligent Company (that’s when a business uses cutting-edge IT solutions to unleash the potential of its workforce).

Two recognised solutions that are already widely used are Sage 50 and Sage 200cloud. Built by one of the world’s most trusted software suppliers, both platforms offer benefits for businesses at different stages of their lifecycle.

What are Sage 50 and Sage 200cloud?

Sage 50 and Sage 200cloud are business management systems that provide several features to make things like accounting, inventory management, and productivity easier. Both solutions integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365, and both are known to be extremely reliable to use.

That said, there are also many differences between Sage 50 and Sage 200cloud. First of all, Sage 50 is widely viewed primarily as an accounts system, whereas Sage 200 is a full enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. An ERP system brings all your business functions onto a single platform, allowing cross-departmental collaboration, data analysis, and real-time reporting.

As such, Sage 50 is seen as a more entry-level solution for smaller businesses, while Sage 200cloud is considered to be a more advanced solution for those companies who are seeking to push for growth.

However, it’s only by exploring each platform at a little more depth that you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which is the right choice for your particular needs.

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Sage 50—the accounting industry standard

As mentioned above, Sage 50 is an accounts-focused software solution that helps you run the financial aspects of your business more efficiently. It suits businesses of up to 50 employees, and it’s excellent for fast processing of things like accounts payable, VAT returns, and bank reconciliation.

There are some limitations to Sage 50, though. Despite being known as an accounts system, it works on transaction dates. That means reports are run from date-to-date, rather than utilising formal accounting periods (a functionality that Sage 200cloud offers). Additionally, Sage 50 only allows for single location stock—so if your warehousing stretched over more than one place, then you’ll struggle to integrate Sage 50 into your business.

With these things in mind, it’s not hard to see that Sage 50 could limit the potential of your business, particularly if you are in a rapid growth mindset.

The software is likely to creak under the pressure of your company as you start to scale. Most importantly of all, the morale of your team could be compromised as they grow impatient with the legacy system and its growing pains.

All that said, if you’re comfortable about where you’re at as a business, and you have no desire to grow in the future, Sage 50 could be the ideal accounting solution.

Sage 200cloud—built for tomorrow

Where Sage 50 is best considered as an accounting tool, Sage 200cloud is a fully formed ERP solution. That’s not to say it can’t do accounting, of course. As discussed above, the platform recognises formal accounting periods and can handle additional things such as foreign currency trading, and it has a financially integrated stock system.

Additionally, Sage 200cloud is an industry leader in stock control management, and it includes business intelligence reporting, linking to Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Flow.

Add to this a fully customisable back end, and it’s possible to see just the level of power Sage 200 can add to a business seeking to become an Intelligent Company.

This level of flexibility and processing power means that Sage 200cloud requires a slightly bigger investment from the business than Sage 50. And implementing the platform will require a small amount of training for your team to get the most from it.

But if you are serious about empowering your team as part of a mission to grow the business, then the advanced capabilities of Sage 200cloud are the perfect foundations on which to build.

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In summary

Choosing the right software solution can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to scaling your business. But, armed with plenty of information and a team who can work alongside any system to get the best from it, the sky’s the limit.

If you’re still unsure whether Sage 50 or Sage 200 would better suit your business, fill in our questionnaire to get a definitive answer, curated by our team of ERP experts.

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Speak to Gary

Gary McKnight Sage team member

Gary works with ambitious SME leaders to help realise their business goals. His experience and knowledge of Sage products is unrivalled and he spearheads our drive for customer service excellence.

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