Is your Sage 50 Data keeping you up at night?

In Sage 50 by Paul Newton

Reading Time: 4 minutes

We all know how important the integrity and stability of your Sage Accounts data is, but then why is it that Sage 50 seems more prone to corruption?

What is corruption in Sage 50?

Corruption happens in Sage 50 when your data has become damaged – this can then break the integrity of your data, can mean that your reports cannot be trusted, and in most cases means you will need to either restore an error-free back-up and reprocess, or worst case start your Accounts data from scratch.

Are there any early signs that my data could be corrupt?

If you suspect that your data could be experiencing issues then the safest thing to do is to run a check data within the Product, this is done via File>Maintenance>Check Data. Be aware this can take some time depending on the size of your data. Don’t forget, nobody else will be able to log-in and process whilst you run this.

Once run if there are “errors” showing then you have corruption.

If you are unable to run check data straight away then there might be some other things happening or that you have noticed. These could indicate some form of data corruption,

  • Have you noticed any missing transactions on the audit trail or activity screens recently?
  • When using drop-down menus have they been slow, blank or even freezing?
  • When browsing have you seen any non-standard characters or symbols?
  • Noticing more crashed or the product or freezing of the product without any error or warning message popping up?

Why does corruption happen?

There can be many reasons why corruption happens, in my experience, it is usually down to a few factors;

  • Power loss/surges whilst processing
  • Too large a database size
  • Wireless connections into the data via a router
  • Crashing the product whilst processes are taking a long time
  • Repeated corruption
  • PC failure or virus/malware

For the top four common reasons this could all be down to human error but also down to the way that Sage 50 writes to its database. Although it will queue the transactions there is no buffer so if a power cut happens whilst you are posting a large salary journal there is no guarantee that the full set of journals will have posted. Once you restart the PC and log back into Sage there is no “pending” queue to complete. Chances are high you will now have corrupt data.

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Can you prevent corruption from happening?

There is no way to fully protect your data or to truly prevent corruption from happening. However, you can minimise the chances of it occurring plus you also have measures in place to ensure you have regular error-free backups. You could restore without needing to then manually re-process too many transactions.

My suggestions for each bullet point above are;

  • If power issues are a common or regular occurrence then invest in a separate power source for all your computers (don’t forget your server if you have one).
  • Think your database is too large, can you archive and purge data? If not, then upgrading your Sage 50 software is the only real alternative.
  • Do not use wireless connections for Sage 50 unless using the remote data access routine within Sage 50 and via your Sage ID – even if you deem it only “read-only”.
  • Take a back-up before doing any long processes (year-end/clear stock etc..) and make sure you time the longer processes correctly, as in can it be done over lunch or overnight? Do not close Sage 50 by crashing it out or forcing via task manager. Although Windows may state not responding 99& of the time the product is processing correctly.
  • Decide when and how to start again with a fresh database or new piece of software, think about VAT periods, financial year dates.
  • Ensure all Windows updates are turned on to automatically update plus make sure your 3rd party anti-virus software is up-to-date and has all features turned on.

Is there a different Accounting Solution that would let me sleep soundly at night?

Absolutely! Sage 200Cloud Standard is the way to go and a natural migration path for most Sage 50 users.

By using this true Cloud Finance Solution, all of the common problems you experience with corruption in Sage 50 will no longer be an issue.

  • Power loss/surges whilst processing. Now not an issue as once you have clicked to process any transaction that happens in the cloud. So even if your power goes off for 10 seconds or three days once you are back on the transaction will have posted into your data.
  • Too large a database size. True SQL database so no issues around increasing database size.
  • Wireless connections into the data via a router. A full cloud solution can be accessed via an App on your desktop or from a web browser at any time.
  • Crashing the product whilst processes are taking a long time.  Again as with power loss, not an issue, data is queued for processing and is not done by your local processor.
  • Repeated corruption. Corruption is so rare that this is not a consideration. In fact, I have never seen any corruption in a 200cloud Standard database.
  • PC failure or virus/malware. Hop onto a colleagues’ PC or your phone and access the data whilst your PC is being fixed or replaced. You can log in via the Sage App using your Sage ID from any location.

If you would like to learn more about Sage 200 Standard and the differences between Sage 50 and Sage 200 Standard, click here. That page also contains a really useful and free eBook you can download called, ‘Life After Sage 50’. The eBook will help you discover signs you may have outgrown your current Sage 50 system as well as talking about alternative products you may want to consider in the future.

We also offer a Sage 200 Standard Coffee break demo, which you can find here and if you’re interested in trying Sage 200 Standard for yourself, you can sign up for a free trial, here.

Finally, if you would like to speak to a Sage specialist about your current Sage 50 system or your options for upgrade please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01824 780000 or get in touch with us, here.

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