SAGE for Charities

Does anyone here use the Charities version of Sage 50? If so, do you find it useful?

I do some work for a charity but I'm not sure that by using the basic version they have, that it is suitable for the complex reports that have to be incorporated into the end of year accounts.

Any help and advice appreciated.

Star

 

 

Comments

Charities - Line 50

dwparry | | Permalink

We're just in the process of implementing it for our students' union.  Haven't come across any show stoppers yet, but it's early days.  I'll comment on how we get on.

There's a lot of data to be collated for the EoY reports that it won't capture - a lot of our mission is run by devolved clubs and their volunteers,  so other solutions are being built to monitor and measure that impact and activity.

STAR181270's picture

Sage Charities Module

STAR181270 | | Permalink

Thank you for your reply. Yes, please do let me know how you are getting on with it.

Thanks, Star

Using Sage for Charities

steve.hughes@se... | | Permalink

I have previously dealt with a number of charities who use sage line 50. None of them have opted to use the charites module but simply use the departmental capabilities of the software to track the individual restricted/unrestricted funds.

Sage for Charities

Lloyd Sherwood | | Permalink

In my experience of using Sage 50 regardless of the version, it is the end - user who has to maximise the use of the software and repsctive module(s).

The charity module is a guide in relation to the initil set-up of the accounting software.

The charity module module would not give a final format of accounts at the final year-end. This process will need to be done either on Excel or Word and omplied to Companies Act and Charity Commision requirements.

In respect of management reports, Sage 50 would may not be able to give you your required report and or format. You would have to construct such report(s) with the use of MS Excel.

In respect of accounting for funding, I would advise you set the different streams/bodies as a DEPARTMENT to generate each funding report.

Alternatively, it would be beneficial and less time consuming to link your Chart of Accounts to Excel via ODBC. There are a few organisation(s) who may assist you for a small fee.This will help to retrieve your financial data with a click of a button on MS Excel (Refresh button).

Should you require further information, post a message and I will forward you information to respective organisation who may assist with ODBC and there possible seminar(s).

Sage for Charities

Lloyd Sherwood | | Permalink

In my experience of using Sage 50 regardless of the version, it is the end - user who has to maximise the use of the software and repsctive module(s).

The charity module is a guide in relation to the initil set-up of the accounting software.

The charity module module would not give a final format of accounts at the final year-end. This process will need to be done either on Excel or Word and omplied to Companies Act and Charity Commision requirements.

In respect of management reports, Sage 50 would may not be able to give you your required report and or format. You would have to construct such report(s) with the use of MS Excel.

In respect of accounting for funding, I would advise you set the different streams/bodies as a DEPARTMENT to generate each funding report.

Alternatively, it would be beneficial and less time consuming to link your Chart of Accounts to Excel via ODBC. There are a few organisation(s) who may assist you for a small fee.This will help to retrieve your financial data with a click of a button on MS Excel (Refresh button).

Should you require further information, post a message and I will forward you information to respective organisation who may assist with ODBC and there possible seminar(s).

Sage for Charities

Lloyd Sherwood | | Permalink

In my experience of using Sage 50 regardless of the version, it is the end - user who has to maximise the use of the software and repsctive module(s).

The charity module is a guide in relation to the initil set-up of the accounting software.

The charity module module would not give a final format of accounts at the final year-end. This process will need to be done either on Excel or Word and omplied to Companies Act and Charity Commision requirements.

In respect of management reports, Sage 50 would may not be able to give you your required report and or format. You would have to construct such report(s) with the use of MS Excel.

In respect of accounting for funding, I would advise you set the different streams/bodies as a DEPARTMENT to generate each funding report.

Alternatively, it would be beneficial and less time consuming to link your Chart of Accounts to Excel via ODBC. There are a few organisation(s) who may assist you for a small fee.This will help to retrieve your financial data with a click of a button on MS Excel (Refresh button).

Should you require further information, post a message and I will forward you information to respective organisation who may assist with ODBC and there possible seminar(s).

I agree

nblock | | Permalink

the extra charity features will not dramatically help with final accounts production, but may assist with the collection and processing of such data.

It will capture additional fund information (which from what I can tell are similar in function to departments), and also supposedly deal with gift aid (but I've yet to see anyone trust Sage 50 with this!)

At best, it allows more information to be recorded with each transaction for further interrogation, but at worst, just more things to confuse the user.

Go to 'help > pdf guides > charities in Sage V16' for a useful summary.

Sage 50 mySQL

Mac Eoghain | | Permalink

The mySQL version of Sage 50 will make a massive difference to the reporting incapabilites currently being experienced by users of the Sage charity option - providing the software is setup correctly the departmental and fund options can prove invaluable, the lack of good reporting makes it difficult to promote too keenly.

Sage Charities

Anonymous | | Permalink

I have set up the charity module for a client and we are in the third year now of using this facility.

The first year was horrendous; as the module has many limitations.

It is probably okay for charities who require straightforward reporting; it does not cope well with detailed reporting on the funds side.

 

At the year end; I resort to using excel to summarise the funds as to where resources and payments have actually been posted to through the nominal codes. If you forget to post to a fund; the system does not alert you to this in the check data report.

 

The helpdesk at sage have specialised advisers dealing with this module but I have found I  remedied all the problems myself and have to allocate a good few days to process the additional year end reports required and do extensive spreadsheets.

 

Personally, I believe sage shoud dedicate more time to researching and updating the reporting functions for charities. I was told they do not do this as they do not have enough users. Not a good enough reason in my book! I am rather annoyed as I foolishly recommended the software to the client, in the first instance.

I am not updating  the client to the new version of sage as I have a problem with the funds screen taking 10 minutes to open on the updated version on my computer. In addition; the gift aid tick box often unticks itself.

I would not recommend this software unless you are prepared for problems.

 

Disgruntled sage user who would never recommend sage again.

 

Sage 50 is fine for Charities!

David Carter | | Permalink

I find that standard Sage 50 is ideal for charities.  In addition to Nominal Code and Department Code, you've got Fund ID, Project Code and Cost Code.   This makes 5 dimensions of analysis for funds, events etc - isn't that enough?!!  I mean, how many do you want?

[to enable these in standard Sage, go to Settings - Company Preferences - Parameters and tick the two boxes Enable Charity/Non-Profit options and Enable Project Costing]

I was working yesterday with a big charity that rues the day it was ever persuaded to upgrade from Sage 50 to Sage 200.  Now all it's got is one multidimensional nominal code and a single Transactional Analysis Code - result, a chaotic and unwieldy system.

 

Obviously there is then the matter of producing the reports, but I would argue that reporting is nothing to do with Sage.  The reports should be done in Excel with an Excel-based report-writer.   All you really need Sage for is data capture and at that it is excellent.

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Hartopp's picture

Reporting

Tom Hartopp | | Permalink

I agree entirely with your sentiment on reporting. Requirements in this respect tend to be extremely specific for individual user/organisations. In my many years developing software solutions I have often taken the approach to implement the needs of different clients using a software reporting suite or utilising the inherent features in products like Microsoft Access when appropriate. Whilst I'm not as extensive a user of Sage on a daily basis as many members of this forum, I do have regular involvement in providing support to various businesses in relation to their use of Sage as their primary financial transaction recording tool. I have generally found the facilities to re-design the standard reports in Sage more than adequate and as you noted there is always the option to extract data and manipulate/report upon it using Excel (or a similar product). I suspect, however, that some users might find this a bit daunting as you do need to have an appreciation of the data recorded and possibly a reasonably good level of expertise with Excel to achieve some relatively complex requirements.

Sage Reporting

Optegra | | Permalink

 

Hi

I have a great solution for the lack of reporting options found in Sage.

No setup & one click of a button in Excel.

Email me for more information.

Jeremy@optegra-financial.co.uk

Jeremy

Charity Reporting using Excel

piersharwood | | Permalink

Re David Carter’s point about using an Excel-based report writer to write reports for charities.  We market one of these products called BVXL, and have installed it in over 30 charities to date.  BVXL not only enables you to report at department, cost centre and project level but also provides an enhanced budgeting system that allows for budgeting by department and multiple (unlimited) budget revisions.

 You can see a video demonstration of BVXL displaying a charity’s report by following the link www.blue-valleys.com/bvxl/bvxldemo.html

 

 

Sage 50 or VT - amending chart of accounts

rota2 | | Permalink

I am setting up bookkeeping and final accounts for a charity (income £400K) which has about 10 restricted funds. Having read the posts on Sage for Charities I need to choose between Sage 50 and VT. I have some experience of editing the Sage chart of accounts, but no experience of VT. How does editing of the VT chart of accounts compare with Sage?

Gift aid will be handled outside Sage or VT by a different person.

If I choose Sage I would probably amend the standard chart of accounts rather than use the Sage charity chart, based on previous postings, but if anyone has any further comments I would be grateful.

Sage and charity reporting

janesorganic | | Permalink

I have only just joined the forum, so came up with my own solution. I'm the accounts manager for a charity with a turnover of £1.5m and also prepare the charity annual accounts for our auditors.

I've used Sage for decades now, I make it work hard, and it performs well for me as an accounting package (but the reporting is hopeless).

I tried using the charity functionality, found it inadequate, the mapping was lost when I rolled forward; considered using departments etc. but decided against it.

I deal with restricted funds by journal (we also have a donor/transactions database). I have a spreadsheet of "standard" journals and just pop the restricted transaction onto the journal spreadsheet and post monthly.

I have instead developed a rather superior spreadsheet that meets the management reporting needs of all internal users; is flexible ad infinitum; has forecasting functionality; and produces the entire SOFA and notes to the accounts. The auditors loved it! And now I'm fiddling with cashflow modelling in my spare minutes.

It's on offer (with user notes) for a modest donation........ we are a charity after all! (And I don;t want to bump up our taxable income). Email me if you want to find out more jane@spinal-research.org

 

 

 

 

John Stokdyk's picture

Thanks for your latest update, Jane

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Let me know by private message if you get many takers for your spreadsheet - as we're considering ways to step up the exchange of such tools between AccountingWEB.co.uk members.

In the meantime, having looked at the latest version of Sage 50 Accounts, it would be remiss of me not to mention its new fund reporting capabilities for Charities.

I think charity users must have been banging on about this shortcoming for many years, as product manager Robin Moore told me "a significant amount" of the 8,000 or so wishlist requests he received in the past year came from people seeking improvements this functionality. I also suspect that in the current market conditions, the third sector has been one of the few active areas for new software and upgrade purchases - which would have encouraged those responsible for selling Sage 50 Accounts to lobby for enhancements intnerally.

“As part of our prioritisation process, a lot of charity features showed up quite high on the list,” Moore added.

I just spent an hour or so looking at the new features, rather than using them in anger. If anyone here has had a closer look, do let us know what you think of the improvements. I've also asked for feedback in a separate thread on Sage 50 Accounts 2011.

Add comment
Log in or register to post comments
Group: Sage 50 Accounts discussion group
An independent forum for Sage users to share ideas, tips and gripes