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Moving from Sage, want to keep access to old data

We are looking at moving away from sage 50 and don't want to lose access to historical data

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We are looking at moving away from sage 50 and don't want to lose access to historical data when we stop paying the monthly subscription.

Years ago, we used to buy the Sage software outright, but have been paying a monthly subscription for ages now. I can't see any option to buy a version that we won't need to keep updated, so that we can view our old data should it be necessary.

Can anyone help?

Replies (19)

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By Truthsayer
03rd May 2021 10:46

How much data is there? Would it be practical to print it? I don't know Sage online, but can you export data in csv format and reconstitute it in spreadsheets if needed? You might even be able to format csv data so as to upload it to your new system.

Thanks (1)
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By Calculatorboy
03rd May 2021 11:37

Guess there may be a way to import with csv into new system , but personally I'd just save everything in pdf , csv / xls, detailed nominal activity, suppliers, customer reports, the works..just as an archive

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Caroline
By accountantccole
03rd May 2021 12:18

I'd just run every possible report you can to excel before you stop using it.

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Replying to accountantccole:
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By tom123
03rd May 2021 17:36

Maybe, but I kind of like the look of a PDF that has come direct from the software. Shows that it is more likely to be 'complete' in a way.

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Replying to tom123:
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By Golvannon
06th May 2021 10:56

Every report you can run in Sage 50, you can export as a pdf.....Just run the report by clicking Preview, then click Export on the report window that pops up. You also get the option to send the raw data to Excel or send the published report to Excel.

There are planty of programs you can import Sage data to and then archive it in the new format.

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By tom123
03rd May 2021 13:20

I run a small charity, facing this issue.

I am just printing a nominal ledger transaction listing to PDF.
Aged Debtors,
Aged Creditors.
Final TB

And the saving these in a couple of locations - including cloud/

Mind you, this is a simple organisation - and I am not expecting any queries internally.

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Replying to tom123:
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By Paul Crowley
03rd May 2021 17:34

All that is needed as a history
We keep same but add BS and P&L for every client with software, every year

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By Calculatorboy
03rd May 2021 19:02

Stick to pdf as prime source, sage export to xls is crap , with all its ridiculous text wrapping etc...they never really got the hang of making things easy for customers , they are now reaping the whirlwind , my guess is they will disappear soon ...

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By JD
03rd May 2021 20:54

Just be aware that it is not possible to move data back to older versions. You can only restore on the same or newer version.

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By johnt27
04th May 2021 10:14

You don't say what you are moving to. If you're moving to Xero or QBO you can very easily convert sufficient historic data, to satisfy HMRC requirements, in very little time for very little cost.

If you're moving to an alternative system then, assuming it's something decent, you can usually import/export from excel if necessary. This can be a tedious exercise as Sage exports to excel, particularly for large data sets, are incredibly inconsistent and require editing/review.

If it were me I'd approach your accountant as they may have a Sage subscription capable of restoring and retaining your data. We offer this, for a nominal fee, to clients. Alternatively, dump the audit trail into PDF and excel and keep a backup somewhere.

Thanks (2)
Replying to johnt27:
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By Fred Coleman
04th May 2021 14:28

Thank you. We are looking at Xero, although nothing is set in stone yet. This is another plus for Xero though

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Replying to Fred Coleman:
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By wood2207
05th May 2021 13:32

You can move 2 years worth of data into Xero using movemybooks and Xero will pay the cost. If you want more years than this I think you can pay to have this done.

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Replying to wood2207:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
08th May 2021 15:33

I have used Movemybooks twice (once into QBO, once into Xero) and it worked very well. Very useful to have as an easily accessible history.

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By paulwakefield1
05th May 2021 09:11

I would do both the suggestions abvoe. i.e. take pdfs but also export to csv (do not export to Excel - as calculatorboy points out, the formatting is horrible).

CSVs are highly flexible in Excel if you do need to access them.

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By ajspipers
06th May 2021 10:10

Just a thought that might work: make time stand still.

A trick I have to use with some very old software is to install the software on an old standalone PC, activate the software as normal and then disconnect the PC from the internet - forever! - and change the PC's date setting to manual update only having set it to an appropriate date.

Assuming SAGE is happy to operate offline without having to check the licence credentials for an extended period - again, forever! - then you would have all the functionality of the existing reporting facilities on historic data if you simply copy those customer files on to either the PC's hard drive or a standalone NAS box.

You can print using a printer connected via USB to the PC or write pdfs to a USB stick prior to emailing them to whoever.

Possible?

Thanks (2)
All Paul Accountants in Leeds
By paulinleeds
07th May 2021 12:14

Try www.sjsoftware.co.uk.

They sell perpetual Sage 50 software

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By davidbrewster
13th May 2021 10:50

Although not necessarily connected with this specific question, my solution with old software is to set up a virtual machine using ORACLE VBOX (free). Just install your own operating system and any software associated with it. This is a good method if running 64 bit operating system and want access to 16/32 bit software. Takes up little disk space and can run as many virtual machines in whatever "flavour" required.

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keep calm and have a cuppa
By tbk
13th May 2021 10:58

This is what I would do:

In Sage, go to the 'transactions' option and make sure it is showing all your transactions then click on the 'export to excel' button. It will take a couple of minutes to run but will give you a detailed output of everything in your Sage.

Then go to 'nominal codes' and 'reports' then select 'nominal activity' then 'nominal activity excluding no transactions' and use the date criteria to run the report for each of the years you have been in business. This will give you a report of the general ledger for each account for all years. You could just run it once for the lifetime of the company but I would recommend doing it year by year and then the opening and closing balances will match the trial balance for each year. I would use the 'export' option for each report to save it as a pdf and as an excel file, but then I am a bit of an excel geek :-)

You will want a closing tb, p&l, balance sheet and aged debtors and creditors too to input into your new system as opening balances or to use to check the data import if you go that route.

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All Paul Accountants in Leeds
By paulinleeds
13th May 2021 11:51

Another thought is to export the whole audit trail and reimport into an older perpetual version of the software.

Just change PPs and SRs to PA and SA as you cannot import purchase/sales (allocated payments/receipt PP/SR) when importing.

If it's just access you need to the data then this is a quick and easy option.

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