Sage 50 vs Sage 200

Sage 50 VS Sage 200

In Business Management Software, Sage 200, Sage 50 by Stephen Stokes

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Sage 50 vs Sage 200 are targeted towards 2 different types of business.  Sage 50 is ideal if you are new to the market and want a tried and tested accounts solution. Sage 200, on the other hand, is ideal if you are a growing business that requires a robust product with stronger controls and reporting. Both of these accounts packages are used by 1000’s of businesses across the UK.  Sage 50 is even included in AAT qualifications!

Sage 50 and Sage 200 are two very different products. It’s not as easy as simply doing a “Sage 50 VS Sage 200” comparative… To put these products up against each other is a little bit like putting a pony in the Grand National. Yes, a pony and a horse both look quite similar, but when it comes down to it, they are definitely running different races!

Sage 50 VS Sage 200 Blog

To truly understand what solution is going to suit your business needs, we need to start at the beginning and learn the who’s, what’s, where’s and why’s.

But, why do organisations choose to use these pieces of software? Let’s firstly take a look at each product’s features (don’t worry we will dig into some specialist areas later in the blog):

Sage 50 Features Sage 200 Features
1 Tier Nominal Structure 3 Tier Nominal Structure
Multi-Company with consolidation Multi-Company with consolidation
Foreign Currency with limited revaluation options Foreign Currency with multiple revaluation options & period exchange rates
Basic accounting controls Closed period accounting and prior year postings
No CRM (without integration software) Integrated CRM options
Basic stock management Batch& Serial stock number traceability
Single warehouse Multi warehouse
Track POs PO authorisation and three-way match
Can be installed on a PC SQL backend requires cloud or server
Sage Drive (cloud data sync) Cloud option (Sage 200 Standard) or hosted
Microsoft Office 365 Integration Microsoft Office 365 Integration
Aimed at small businesses Built for growing or medium-sized businesses
Inbuilt dashboards Summary screens & Power BI integration

Sage 50

Sage 50 is widely used for small to medium businesses that operate with up to 50 employees. This entry-level piece of software allows users to get up and running quickly and provides out of the box industry functions such as the Construction Industry Scheme and charity/not for profit options. Sage 50 also includes standard accounting such as accounts payable/receivable, bank reconciliation, Making Tax Digital compliance, VAT returns and much more.

Sage 200

Sage 200 is a highly advanced software suite that was designed for growing Medium-sized businesses. As the name suggests, Sage 200 was created for businesses with up to 200 employees. This product offers a high level of financial control and also allows for customer relationship management for your business. This scalable solution does much more than basic accounting software, offering additional features such as CRM, projects, manufacturing and barcoding and warehousing. Sage 200 allows you to track budgets, produce detailed management reports and also allows you to effortlessly connect all areas of your business.

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The Steeplechase

If you find yourself questioning your software, then it probably isn’t the right fit for you. When it comes to Sage 50, the usual hurdles people come across are its limitations due to company growth and the lack of reporting available. Although Sage 50 is a fantastic accounts package, unfortunately when a business reaches a certain size, the product starts to become a little stretched

Sage 50 was designed to allow up to 1.5 million transactions. This may seem like a lot but as the years go by your transactions soon add up. Due to this limiting factor, organisations tend to outgrow Sage 50 at some point, leading them towards a product such as Sage 200. With a larger package like Sage 200, businesses have the capability to input over 9 million transactions. I think it is safe to say that it would take a while to reach Sage 200’s transactional limit! 

Another drawback with Sage 50 is the lack of in-depth reporting. Business Intelligence and Excel Reporting come as standard with Sage 200. A feature like this is extremely beneficial for growing businesses as it allows for better visibility and decision making. Through the use of crucial analytical business information, an organisation can really improve its strategies and make informed future plans. This level of advancement is provided in Sage 200 granting the user with extremely useful business detail, to help their business soar to new heights. I don’t want to spoil the surprise but we go into a bit more detail around reporting later. Don’t let these minor obstacles put you off the idea of Sage 50, there are solutions out there that may mean that Sage 50 is still in the running for you.

Sage 200 Standard

A lot of people don’t realise that there is a full Cloud version of Sage 200 available. Sage 200 is an on-premise solution with Cloud connected capabilities, however, Cloud-connected just means that it integrates with Cloud applications such as Office 365. The true Cloud version of Sage 200 is called Sage 200 Standard, and it is 100% Cloud-based with app installation. It offers the power and functionality of Sage 200 with the benefits of the Cloud. Learn more about Sage 200 Standard here and learn more about switching to Cloud Accounting here.

The Dark Horse

Now, Sage 50 is never going to win in a 1 on 1 race with Sage 200. Like previously mentioned, these products just aren’t in competition with each other, they play in totally different ballparks. However, if you feel like Sage 50 is doing the job but would like to get more out of the software, then we have a few solutions that might be of interest to you.

Although Sage 50 provides some constraints, there are ways in which you can improve the level of performance to suit your individual needs. These come in the form of add-ons and integrations. By using these additional features you can literally change the way in which your whole company works. A few of our favourites are Draycir Credit Hound, Microsoft Power BI, Draycir Spindle Document Management, Paperless and Microsoft Office 365. So, how can these functions improve Sage 50’s odds?

Add-ons and Integrations

  • Credit Hound – This add-on is specifically designed to help your business’s cash flow, reducing the length of time it takes to receive payments from customers. Link Credit Hound direct to your accounts software ensuring all of your numbers are up to date. Automate credit control administration through system generated reminders and letters and even automatically place overdue accounts on stop sale.
  • Power BI – Microsoft’s Power BI is a powerful business analytics service that gives you a 365-degree view of your business. Change the way you see your data by using stunning visuals that can be shared with your colleagues on any device. If this doesn’t already sound good enough, then how about if I told you it was free with certain 365 licenses?! Import your data from Sage 50 into Power BI and make the most out of your business analytics.
  • Spindle – This time-saving add-on provided by Draycir helps you with your document management. Have the ability to send invoices, statements, remittances, quotations, sales orders and so on, to your customers at a much faster, reliable pace. Save up to a day a week on administration time, and ensure that your paperwork looks great and is delivered on time.
  • Office 365 – With a Microsoft Office 365 integration for Sage 50, you are empowered to enjoy a more cloud-connected way of working. Allow Office 365 to free up key data, making it accessible via the cloud. Have the opportunity to use a range of incredible integrated apps such as One Drive, Sage Capture, Sage Contact and many more.

So now we have given you some food for thought, let’s dig into the detail!

How does the reporting compare in Sage 50 vs Sage 200?

There are two aspects to compare when it comes to reporting. First is the reporting tools within the system and the second is the data structures. Now in this instance, we aren’t talking about the volume of data we have already discussed that earlier.

So firstly what reporting tools do they both have?

Sage 50 has:

  • Sage Report Designer
  • Out of box reports
  • Dashboards

Sage 200 has:

  • Sage report designer
  • Out of box reports
  • Summary screens
  • Excel reporting
  • Sage business intelligence (due to be discontinued)
  • Power BI Connector

Each of these tools can be used to pull different data out of the system and to display it in different ways, they each have their pros and cons but we don’t quite have enough space in this blog to cover them all. Why not explore each of them in a bit more detail here.

What data structures does each of them have to support your reporting efforts?

Sage 50 has:

  • 2 tier nominal – Codes and Departments
  • Partially editable nominal
  • Analysis Codes x 3 on customers & suppliers (free text only)
  • Projects
  • Funds
  • Single Budget

Sage 200 has:

  • 3 tier nominal – Codes, Cost Centres and Departments
  • Nominal Transaction codes
  • Nominal Analysis Codes
  • Fully Customisable Nominal
  • Customisable P&L and Balance Sheet
  • GBP Consolidation at nominal & cost centre level, Hierarchical Consolidation
  • Original and Revised Budgets
  • 20 Analysis Codes on customers, suppliers, stock items, sales orders, sales order lines, purchase orders, purchase order lines
  • Projects, Project Headers, Phases Stages & Activities

As you can see it’s not just about what tools you have, it’s all about the different ways you can store your data that gives you the insight you need. If you aren’t sure what level of structures/reporting tools you need then why not book a discovery with one of our consultants and bring along some reporting examples for us to talk through? Our teams work across different products so can offer impartial advice on which product is right for you.

Stock Capabilities in Sage 200 vs Sage 50

One of the key differentiators is for those businesses with large volumes or complexities around stock which can make or break the decision to choose one product or the other.

So, let’s look at some of the features in the two different products:

Sage 50 has:

  • Service and Stock Items
  • Single Warehouse
  • Track Stock Levels
  • Create and Receive Purchase Orders
  • Create and Despatch Sales Orders
  • BOM (Bill of Materials) with component items

Sage 200 has:

  • Service and Stock Items
  • Multiple Warehouses and Bins
  • Track Stock Levels
  • Full nominal and COS integration
  • Create, Receive and three-way match Purchase Orders
  • Create and Despatch Sales Orders
  • BOM (Bill of Materials) with component items and operations
  • 20 analysis codes to group/analyse stock
  • Batch and serial number tracking
  • Advanced stock and manufacturing planning
  • Barcoding Software available
  • Container/shipment tracking
  • Courier integration

Modules available in Sage 50 vs Sage 200

We have talked a lot about core capabilities but what about modules or extensions available. This again can be a key differentiator between the two. Excluding the basic,s i.e. Nominal, Cashbook, Sales Ledger, Purchase Ledger, SOP, POP, Stock Control and reporting what other modules are available?

Sage 50 has:

  • Projects
  • Fund Accounting
  • Credit Hound
  • OCR Scanning
  • Integration tools for CRM & Ecommerce
  • CIS

Sage 200 has:

  • Projects
  • Intercompany
  • Credit Hound
  • OCR Scanning
  • Integration tools for CRM & Ecommerce
  • CIS
  • Construction
  • Barcoding
  • Manufacturing
  • Hire Management
  • Integrated CRM
  • Cashflow Manager
  • WAP  – Web Access Portal
  • Distribution

Sage 50 VS Sage 200 Pricing

Of course, this needs to be discussed. Price again is an important part of deciding what platform to look at. As a guide, Sage 50 Standard starts from £72 per month, whilst Sage 200 Standard starts from £290 and Sage 200 professional starts from £275 for the base platform. As you can see there is quite a big difference between the two and you also need to take into account the hosting and modules that you are going to need. So please feel free to have an initial chat or call with our team if you would like a more personalised idea of costs.

Sage 50 VS Sage 200 Implementation

Now, the good news is that if you purchase Sage 50 or Sage 200 through us you get access to our fantastic phone first support service that is fully UK based. If you purchase Sage 50 directly through Sage then you will get support directly from them. If you are looking for a more personalised support service, without having to wait in a queue or speaking to a different person each time, then I would definitely speak to our team. Sage 200 is a whole different kettle of fish. Sage 200 can only be bought through and supported by a Sage 200 partner, there is no direct option, whether you go for Sage 200 standard or Professional and we are one of the best! You can find out more about that here.

In terms of variation, one big area of difference is implementation. Sage 50 is a more out of the box solution with minimal customisation so can be implemented within a few days. Sage 200 implementation timescales are variable depending on the version and modules. Sage 200 standard can be implemented in as little as a few weeks whilst Sage 200 Professional with projects or barcoding would take an average of 3 months.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, Sage 50 and Sage 200 are two of the most used packages throughout the UK. Although the products have been around for some time, Sage still seem to maintain their top of the charts reputation. This is due to Sage keeping their product relevant, like providing their customers with cloud capabilities. Owing to their time spent at the top, the decision really is in your hands. Which will it be? Sage 50 or Sage 200? And just to throw another product in the mix, though we haven’t talked about it yet have you heard of Sage Intacct?

Not sure which Sage product is the best fit for your business? Take our quiz and find out! 

If you would like to speak to one of our dedicated team about either of these brilliant products, then please get in touch using the form below.

Sage 50 or Sage 200, which one is right for you?

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