Save time and increase the return of your accounting software investment by learning some of the underused features of Sage 50.
A very wise man once said that there are two types of people in the world – those who read the manual, and those who don’t.
For some of us, no new device or piece of payroll software – or any other software – is opened without first having at least a quick flick through the accompanying instruction booklet – but for others, it’s straight into ‘fire her up’ mode.
And in the vast majority of cases, no harm is done by those who haven’t invested a bit of time in reading the manual. The device doesn’t blow up, the payroll software doesn’t crash. So why bother, you might ask? Well here’s the thing. It’s estimated that users of software – including payroll software and accounting software – only tap into a fraction of its functionality – simply because they haven’t made themselves aware of its full capabilities.
Research from the Standish Group found that only a meagre 7% of features of your typical enterprise solution are ‘always used’. And when it came to the figure for ‘often used’, it was still a paltry 13%, while just 16% of features were ‘occasionally used’
When you do the sums on this, you’re left with the rather amazing thought that over 60% of features are rarely or never used. This is an incredible amount of ‘unused potential’ in your typical enterprise software – anything from accounting software to CRM software or payroll software. This means that you may be reducing the return on your investment simply through lack of knowledge of its full range of functionality.
When you think of how many companies utilise some form of payroll software or accounting software, you can see how much available functionality is being missed out on.
The Standish research should not be seen as an indictment of software quality – rather a suggestion that users need to invest a little more time at the outset in finding out the true power of their chosen solution.
So with that in mind, we’ve come up with a number of features of Sage 50 (now Sage 50c) which we believe are under-used, but can save you a lot of time and effort.
Sage 50c means that Ireland’s leading accounting software just got even better, seamlessly combining the productive power of a respected desktop solution with Microsoft Office 365 integration and secure online access.
In no particular order, here are our tips for making the most of Sage 50 (Sage 50c):
So with that in mind, we’ve come up with a number of features of Sage 50 (now Sage 50c) which we believe are under-used, but can save you a lot of time and effort. In no particular order, they are as follows:
Making the most of custom fields in Sage 50
You can never have too much information about the behaviour of your customers, and an excellent way to ramp up your levels of customer information is by turning to the Customer Analysis Fields. You can rename 3 fields on the customer record and store a value per customer, which means that you can run sales by these custom fields. For example, you could assess Customer X Rep Sales, or Customer Type X Product Sales.
Handling recurring entries in Sage 50
There are a number of recurring entries available on Sage 50 (Sage 50c). For example, certain industries have a regular amount to be invoiced to their clients and this can be set up so that the user can select ‘Recurring invoices’ and a ‘date up to’ – after which all invoices are produced automatically.
These can be amended, if required, before or after the production. The frequency can be daily, weekly, monthly and annual. Other recurring entries could be bank payments/receipts, or journal entries for items such as salaries, depreciation etc.
It’s brilliantly simple, but can pay rich dividends in terms of time saved.
Getting smarter about reporting in Sage 50
When you run reports to a preview mode in Sage 50 or Sage 50c, data is presented in blue and a hyper link to allow the user to drill down through to further data that makes up those totals.
You can also opt for batch reports – whereby you could link a number of reports together so when you need to run these for month/quarter end etc., you just need to press one button and all reports are produced together. And again, these combined reports all contain a handy drill through feature.
How to make those shortcut keys work harder for you in Sage 50
We take shortcuts in all sorts of areas in our lives, but sometimes forget to do so when using software. Next time you’re under pressure to get data into your Sage 50c accounting software system, why not turn to these handy shortcuts:
F1 Opens Help
F2 Opens Calculator
F6 Copies information from the field above
F7 Insert a blank line
F8 Delete a line
F9 Calculate Net Amount
There are many more shortcuts available when you combine the ALT and Letter keys, so next time you find yourself with ten minutes on your hands, maybe spend the time honing up on the available options. It will be time well spent!
A matrix approach to Pricing/Discounts in Sage 50
You can set up a matrix of pricing around customers and suppliers per product. This can be set up for a single creditor/debtor – or for a whole group. You can even take things to the next level and introduce thresholds to break down the pricing further.
Nominal Link in Sage 50
Another handy shortcut is to link your Sage Micropay to your Sage 50 accounts, which will have the effect of reducing the duplicate data entry, and avoiding the risk of incorrect values transferring.
So there you have it – some really easy ways to make sure that you’re getting more from your Sage software, and that you’re getting an even bigger return on your investment.