Review: Sage 50 Accounts 2010

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The new version of Sage 50 Accounts is now shipping. John Stokdyk takes a closer look at what it offers. Sage 50 Accounts 2010 went on sale at the beginning of September, sparking the annual debate among users and commentators about the need for year-on-year enhancements to an already mature and complex desktop accounting software product.   Following our preview of the application, Sage 50 Accounts product manager Michael Page gave a more detailed tour of the new features and addressed some of the issues raised in members’ comments.   Some of the interface changes in the new edition are relatively minor, for example the ability to set up recurrent payments quickly, or suppress warning messages when posting out of period transactions.   “These little bits appear to be insignificant, but deliver far more customer value and efficiency because they save users time and money,” Page said.

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About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk is the global editor of AccountingWEB UK and


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10th Sep 2009 10:47

Sage Accounts 2010


A number of enhancements are made year on year which must be quite costly, yet there are a few areas that I believe could be improved at virtually no expense at all.

On much earlier versions, when requesting a Profit & Loss or Balance Sheet having entered transactions for a period, the package automatically offered the period just entered - eg August. 

Now one has to scroll to print out the latest month and "To Date" figures.

It would also be helpful to have a shortcut key to change the VAT code to T9; when entering a large amount of transactions by a sole trader scrolling to T0 or T2 is relatively quick but it is easy to scroll past T9 and typing the figures in is time consuming.

I find myself wondering why these relatively simple matters are not addressed?

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By elansea
10th Sep 2009 11:53

Sage 2010 update

Sage won't listen.

There are too many costly updates; it's too expensive; it has become too complicated; and it's too unforgiving of operator errors. Sage is a company that has grown by acquisition, not innovation and this growth path is reflected in the state of its present offering. The new product seems best suited to mid range companies. Any SME wanting a frills-free, efficient accounting package would do well to look elsewhere.

I have found companies such as VT Software far more supportive of their customers' needs. I am sure there are other smaller software houses that could make that claim too. Sage has had its day. It can now only charge its customers for features they neither need or will ever make use of.

Miles Cary

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10th Sep 2009 12:52

Product upgrade warning - fault discovered in Recurring entries

I've just received a call from Greg Ford at Sage, who asked me to alert existing Sage users that a small fault has been discovered in the Recurring entries routine within the Banking module. If a new recurring entry is added, the payment will be made, but apparently the transaction will be stored in the wrong place.

The issue only affects Sage 50 users who upgrade from an older version; customers installing the program for the first time will be fine, Ford said. The problem was discovered by a beta test user after the formal testing programme had finished and Sage's programmers are working on a fix that will go out via its AutoUpdater system by the end of the week.

Ford said only a small number of Sage 50 users (circa 300) had installed the upgrade and contacted to try and ensure that potential upgraders were aware of the situation. More news follows shortly.
John Stokdyk, Technology editor

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10th Sep 2009 14:15

Sage 50 Accounts


John and I spoke earlier today about, what I perceive, is a minor issue within our latest release of Sage 50 Accounts 2010.  I am, however, very conscious that our Accountants’ community expect for themselves and their clients a smooth transition through our upgrades, and I apologise if this issue has affected anybody to date.

This issue, which is isolated to a small group of customers who have already upgraded to Sage 50 Accounts 2010, manifests when adding a new recurring entry in the Bank module.  Amending existing recurring entries works perfectly.  The consequence of adding a new recurring entry is that it can over-write the first recurring item in a list.  No historical transactions are lost and of course actual direct debits or standing orders, for example, are completely unaffected by this.

First and foremost let me tell you what our recommendation is.  If you or your clients have received the upgrade to 2010, we would recommend that you don’t upgrade, as per a communication we’re sending out today, until you’re advised the correction is available to be applied by our auto-updates mechanism.

If you have upgraded to 2010 please e-mail us at [email protected] with your telephone number and a member of our customer services team will get back to you.  My apologies again for any inconvenience this may have caused and I’d like to reassure you that we’re making good progress towards having a full solution available very soon.


Greg Ford

Managing Director of Sage Accountants' Division

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By Anonymous
11th Sep 2009 10:34

Sage 50 Upgrades
So version 2010 has arrived, and still no proper financial statements. I can't believe I'm the only accountant who's been asking for this for so many years.

Sage 50/Instant have always restricted you to just 4 groups in P&L and BS - no separate headings for Other Income, CT or Dividends, and hence no PBT, PAT etc. To compare my Sage P&L and BS with the formal financial statements .... I have to use a calculator. What progress.

There are other packages e.g. MYOB which have offered very customisable P&L and BS, with optional hierarchical layers, since their first release. Now I'll have retired before Sage gets round to it!

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16th Sep 2009 10:52

Sage 50 Accounts 2010: Update from Sage
After piloting a fix with a number of business users of Sage 50 Accounts 2010 I'm pleased to share this has been successful and the fix is being made via Auto Updates. The download is available again and we are in the process of communicating this to our Accountants community, Business Partners and of course our mutual clients and customers. An easy way to check the auto update has applied is to validate the version number by opening the Help menu and choosing About, and the version number should be c16.00.16.0153

Finally my thanks to AccountingWeb, accountants, partners for their support through this process and my apologies for any inconvenience. 


Greg Ford

Managing Director, Sage Accountants' Division

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26th Oct 2009 12:22

Sage Developments

I feel that Sage should consider opening up its database interface with applications such as MS SQL Server for users to access even more powerful reporting tools offered by Microsoft's Business Intelligence Development Studio and a vast other array of tools in analytics.

I have tried migrating the native database in Sage to MS SQL Server's DBMS and it does not seem to work at all. And I have reason to believe there are a lot more people out there who have faced the same disappointment. Maybe Sage needs to be reminded that there are a host other software offerings in the market catering for small organisations who are willing to go the extra mile to provide a solution which has such capabilities.

Its time you listened to your customer needs Sage!

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By willis
13th Nov 2009 09:32

Thank you

Cool.. It sounds like exclusive account at the beginning. So just two months left to see the result. Good luck!

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By Anonymous
23rd Dec 2009 13:15

Sage response

I'd like to invite Greg Ford to respond to the comments made here by other accountingweb members.

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03rd May 2010 19:50

Miles Cary

Completely agree with you.  Sage through their continued "greed" have made a fine job of alienating me against them. I have used Sage for over 20 years (initially Sage Sterling DOS) in my business but I just cannot cope with them anymore. I paid them nearly £700 to renew Sage Payroll cover and then was left waiting on hold on an 0845 number for 90 minutes plus. When I complained some arrogant prat on the other end of the phone explained in a very suspect tone how busy they were. I explained that when I am paying thousands of pounds to them each year for Accounts and Payroll support I don't care how busy they are. Get more staff!

Safe to say they have just lost a 20 year old customer.  But I am sure that they will not give a damn. Companies like them never do. I am merely an account number.

I also actually wrote to Sage via email (and had a read receipt) on 3 separate occasions and also sent a letter via recorded delivery to their head office explaining that we had a slight cash flow issue and could something be worked out with the re-payments/monthly subs.  That was 4 times I wrote in total and 4 items of correspondence which I know that they received and guess what?  They could not even be courteous or civilised enough to take the effort or time to reply. That is how loyal they are to their 20 year old SBE customers who have spent tens of thousands if pounds with them so be warned.

Oh well, definately not my loss.  I am looking at Moneysoft Payroll and VTT+ with much interest. Whistles and bells it may not be but I have never made use of any of Sage's "whistles and bells" in any event so it really makes no difference to me.


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