Sage launches iXBRL reporting module

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Sage is ready to release its long-awaited financial statements module to handle statutory reports and electronic iXBRL submissions.

Sage Financial Statements (SFS) is a separate module that bolts into the existing Sage Accounts Production (SAP) and Sage Accounts Production Advanced (SAPA) programs. It will be available at no extra cost to users of those programs. Once the new module is installed, final accounts will be passed into SFS to be tagged with iXBRL and compiled into the appropriate statutory reports for print and output HMRC’s online portal.

Initially the SFS module is available for SAP and SAPA, and will output single limited entity statutory accounts under UK GAAP. Support for the Instant accounts production product will follow in the next 12 months along with templates for farms, LLPs, partnerships and clubs. Other formats such as IFRS accounts will be rolled out subsequently, based on market requirements, the company said.

SFS has been built from the ground up to handle iXBRL. Sage said the enhanced iXBRL tagging engine in SFS will be able to cope with the full tagging list HMRC will want to see supported when it’s called “soft landing” period runs out next year.

The software will also introduce a new two-way interface with a visual style editor for financial statements. Any adjustments made to the final report in SFS will be fed back to the accounts production system, and vice versa. It also includes error checks in the report preview screen that will highlight mistakes and offer step-by-step instructions to resolve them. Further details and video highlights are available from the Sage SFS learning centre.

This interactive financial statement lies at the heart of the new module, explained Darren Ingles, the domain specialist for accounts production at Sage’s Accountants’ Division.

“You can do all your editing on the live surface,” he said.

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26th Apr 2012 11:24

I think I hear the sound of a dam about to burst

If SFS is rolled out for Instant Accounts, it will mean anyone who chooses to can file iXBRL accounts with Companies House and HMRC, relatively cheaply, without the need for an accountant to get involved.

Hopefully many will choose to keep their accountant involved, but this may represent a bit of a tipping point for the general practitioner.

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26th Apr 2012 11:45

I received my version on 4th.April, I now find I can not edit the account titles eg:change work done to sales etc. I am therefore using Vt all of the time and will eventually cease to use Sage.

4 years ago I used all of Sages products (£3,000 per year) but slowely with  problems caused by sages inability to get things right including trying to dd my bank account twice a month I have found Vt,Payroll Moneymanager and Taxcalc. All of these programs work (including ixbrl) without the need to use the support and as for the cost £3,000 per year down to £660 its a no brainer.

nb:When on the odd occasion I have telephoned the support of any of these programs I have received almost instant replies and find myself talking to a knowledgeable person that does not treat you like the local idiot.

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26th Apr 2012 19:07

The reason

Sage software was in essence designed in the 70s and 80s and has then had a succession of bolt-ons since then.  I am a big fan of VT.  10 clients use Sage and only one of them gets it right.  Examples from the other 9 in the last 2 years:

1.  Running the year-end process by mistake instead of month end.  Nightmare!

2.  Screwing up the VAT return.  I have just advised the client of the £3k of VAT he missed last year, which amounts to about one quarter.

3.  A TB which does not tie into the P&L which does not tie in to the balance sheet.

4.  Control accounts which don't tie in to the aged debtors / aged creditors.

In a nutshell:

PANTS!

 

 

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By nigel
22nd May 2012 09:26

Don't understand

We use SAPA, which has had built-in iXBRL production for 18 months or so. I don't understand what SFS adds to this, other than an additional layer of complexity. I have had no problems with the hundreds of iXBRL accounts we have filed with HMRC out of SAPA. Unless I'm missing something, this sounds like tinkering with some ulterior motive behind it - like perhaps the long overdue revamp and merger of SAP and SAPA?

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By cne333
11th Oct 2012 12:08

Agreed ... SAP's days are numbered

nigel wrote:

We use SAPA, which has had built-in iXBRL production for 18 months or so. I don't understand what SFS adds to this, other than an additional layer of complexity. I have had no problems with the hundreds of iXBRL accounts we have filed with HMRC out of SAPA. Unless I'm missing something, this sounds like tinkering with some ulterior motive behind it - like perhaps the long overdue revamp and merger of SAP and SAPA?

 

Quite agree.

For us, SFS is looking like being the "straw" that finally frustrates the partners to the point of abandoning Sage.

I was trialling the module last week using data that was PERFECTLY set up and formatted in SAP and after 3 hours of total frustration, I still had over 25 unresolved errors, 20+ of which were admittedly caused by only a few related issues, but NONE OF WHICH could be solved, according to Sage's "helpdesk".

So I tried VT accounts just to see how they compared.

What a difference. Admittely it took me a whole 1/2 an hour to download it, learn how to use from scratch and another 1/2 an hour to set up the company's details and balances ready to file. Click to create the fully or partially tagged accounts ... job done. No errors at all. Just job done. Incredible.

If it was down to me we would drop SAP like a hot brick.

CNE

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22nd May 2012 22:49

Call me paranoid but....

The responses above focus on the quality of Sage's service to practitioners who, up to now have been the gatekeepers for submission of accounts to Companies House and HMRC.

Sage Instant is used by end users (I may be switching to it myself before too long given the expense of Quickbooks and its lack of iXBRL capability and the lack of a suitable template in HMRC's offering) and I think this represents a shift in emphasis on Sage's part, from agent/practitioner to the client.

So Nigel, it may or may not be a revamp and merger of SAP and SAPA - I really don't know, or indeed understand the difference. But if your clients think they can now do for themselves things which you once did for them, they may decide they don't need you any more.

Your income goes down, Sage's income goes up and, quite possibly people end up paying more tax than they should. They may also submit non compliant accounts, but under iXBRL it's unlikely to matter too much because nobody will notice.

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