Sage 50 or Sage 200 – which is right for you?

When looking at bringing together disparate systems or figuring out why Sage 50 is no longer keeping up with your demands, it can be quite a minefield to work out what it is that your business needs next.

Many people aren’t aware of their need for an ERP system, or in some cases what an ERP system is! ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and is a platform that brings all your business functions into a single platform, allowing cross departmental collaboration, ease of data analysis and real time reporting. This can result in improved efficiencies across your entire organisation, from managing stock levels accurately, to reducing administrative burden.

So how do you know whether you need an ERP platform such as Sage 200, or whether an accounts system such as Sage 50 will suffice? To help you decide we have identified 5 key differentiators between Sage 50 and Sage 200. If you can ‘tick’ 3 out of the 5 (or more) then there is a good chance that Sage 200 is the right choice for you.

01 – Technology and Finance

  • Sage 50 is built upon legacy database technology. Therefore, there are limitations to the volume of data and the number of users that can realistically use the product without hindrance. Sage 50 slows down, over time, with the constant addition of transactional data. Proper housekeeping can help but, in comparison, Sage 200 is built upon the SQL database platform that does not have such limitations.
  • Sage 50 utilises account locking. This means that two users cannot be working with the same account at the same time. i.e. raising an order for an account whilst someone else processes a return. Sage 200 utilises transactional locking.
  • Sage 50 is not an accounting system!! Now, there I said it. Of course it is but it works on transaction dates. i.e. reports are run from a date to a date. Sage 200 utilises formal accounting periods (12 or 13 in a financial year typically). Most accountants recognise that as ‘proper accounting’.
  • Sage 50 does not have a financially integrated stock system. Its products feature is independent to the balance sheet. Therefore, in Sage 50 you manually process opening and closing stock journals. In Sage 200 the stock is integrated so the balance sheet increases or decreases based upon receipts and sales. Plus, it posts Cost of Sale transactions to the nominal – ‘Proper accounting’.
  • Sage 50 only allows for like for like foreign currency trading. i.e. euros with euros – invoice in currency, pay and receive in the same currency. Sage 200 does it properly. i.e. you can pay a dollar invoice with any currency you like and it will post the bank charges and commissions for the exchange.


02 – Reporting Structure

  • Sage 50 is sold per company licence. Sage 200 comes with unlimited companies. Therefore, Sage 200 handles consolidation accounting better.
  • Sage 200 has a three tier nominal structure – nominal account, cost centre, and department.
  • Sage 200 has business intelligence reporting and links to Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Flow.


03 – Stock Control – This is the biggie!!

  • Sage 50 has single location stock. Sage 200 has multiple warehouses and multiple locations within those warehouses.
  • Sage 200 can deem a warehouse to be saleable or non-saleable – aka quarantine or reserved stock (i.e. goods in transit).
  • Sage 50 only works on FIFO cost accounting with an Average cost reporting figure. Sage 200 can be set (per product group) for FIFO, Standard Cost, Average Cost, or Actual Costing.
  • Sage 200 handles batch and serial number traceability – Sage 50 does not!
  • Sage 200 has the ability to provide for manufacturing, but Sage 50 no longer does (directly from Sage).
  • Sage 200 deals with landed costs.
  • Sage 200 has perpetual inventory – aka cyclical stock take.


04 – Going Beyond Core Accounts

Sage 200 add-on modules are exactly that. Modules. So, you don’t run two systems that talk to each other, it is seen as one.

        1. Manufacturing
        2. Warehousing, Distribution, and Barcoding
        3. Hire
        4. Service Management
        5. CRM
        6. Remote authorisation (invoices, purchase orders, expenses, timesheets, holidays)


05 – Development and Customisation

Sage 50 can be developed but the cost of development time would be more than the price of the product. Sage 200 can be tweak and customised.

The most common example is integration with other systems already in use. i.e. website sales integration, EPOS, transaction import


Think Sage 200cloud is the right solution for you?

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