Many businesses have had other things on their minds over the last 12 months but as the UK starts to ‘unlock’ and our minds begin to focus once more on pre-Covid matters we must once again revisit Sage software versioning and how it impacts your business.
In this article we consider the following:
- The end of the ‘soft landing’ period for HMRC MTD VAT
- The cessation of the supplier payment option in V27 of Sage50c Professional accounts and below, too include older perpetual licences.
- What a move to Sage 50c Professional Accounts means for Sage 50 Manufacturing users
End of ‘Soft Landing’ for MTD VAT returns
Whilst the HMRC VAT regulations came into force from April 2019 there was a 12 month ‘soft landing’ period afforded by HRMC where figures could still be ‘keyed’ into a suitable bridging API to return VAT information. This period was extended for a further year due to Covid-19 but is now coming to an end.
For all VAT returns made after April 1st, 2021 a truly digital return will be required which means no more cutting, pasting or keying.
This HMRC article explains the detail with paragraphs 4.2.1 and 188.8.131.52 stating the facts about what is now required.
For Sage users who have been using an approved bridging API and cutting and pasting or keying numbers in, they will be required to link cells from the bridging API to their working VAT documents.
Some Sage users will not find this a challenge, but others will.
Cessation of Supplier Payments facility
As of 30th April 2021, Supplier Payments will not be available in Sage 50c Professional Versions 27 and below and will only be available with V27.1 and above.
Therefore, supplier payments directly from Sage will become a Sage 50c subscription feature only.
There will be an additional charge to the standard Sage 50c Professional subscription if you wish to include automating the bank transfer to your supplier, part of your supplier payment process from your Sage software. Please see the Sage UK whitepaper
Sage stated on 31st March 2021:
From 30 April 2021 we’re making some changes to Sage ID, which is your single login to Sage services.
This means that from this date, to continue to use Remote Data Access (formerly Sage Drive) or Supplier Payments, you must install your Sage 50cloud Accounts v27.1 update.
Is Sage 50 Accounts still the right solution?
Customers using a perpetual licence of V24 or below of Sage may now choose to consider either upgrading Sage 50 Accounts to Sage 50c Professional Accounts on subscription or reviewing the marketplace to explore what alternative commercial solutions are available.
Is it time to review?
Time served Sage users are accustomed to owning their licences outright, upgrading when they need to and taking technical support if they choose.
The move to subscription means that you pay a monthly fee dependent on the number of users you have with mandatory support provided either by Sage directly or by the business partner you instruct to move you to this model.
Some businesses on older versions, still enjoy the ‘multi user’ status licence which gives unlimited users. Other businesses may only need 6 users but find themselves forced into the ‘up to 10 users’ price bracket. All Sage 50c Professional accounts subscriptions come with 10 companies as standard. Price brackets and costs can be found here.
Remember, the published price for Sage 50c Professional is the same if you go directly to Sage UK or go through a business partner like Qi. The access to upgrades is identical – you just call your business partner for support.
It could be considered therefore that Sage users are having to ‘re-buy’ what they already have which is ‘tough’ but perhaps acceptable if the ‘what you already have’ is exactly what you need moving forward.
Sage 50c Professional Accounts for Sage 50 Manufacturing Users
Sage announced the withdrawal of Sage 50 Manufacturing in August last year. See this previous article. If MTD and the supplier payments issues are pushing you towards moving to Sage subscription for Professional accounts, then the following must be considered:
Sage 50 Manufacturing is only tested to Version 27 of Sage 50c Professional Accounts which is the current version as of the date of this article. Qi can confirm that the current Sage 50 Manufacturing service pack 3 works with Version 27.1 of Sage 50C Professional accounts.
There is therefore a window of opportunity to upgrade your accounts and remain compatible with Sage 50 Manufacturing as long as you do not upgrade to Version 28 of Sage 50c Professional Accounts without migrating to Cim50 Manufacturing.
Migration to Cim50
Your upgrade to Cim50 Manufacturing (only available on subscription) can therefore be delayed if accounts upgrades are supressed until that time. Qi is a fully accredited Cim50 business partner and will migrate your data, train you and support you on Cim50.
The bigger questions
If subscription to your software solution is inevitable, is it time to review the marketplace to find a single database solution that offers functionality that more closely matches your requirements?
- Do you need a Cloud based solution?
- Do you want a solution that offers everything in one place – accounts, manufacturing, CRM, and HR?
- Do you have multiple sites?
- Do you have staff working remotely?
- Do you require better real time visibility across your business?
- Do you want to stop worrying about software compatibility and upgrades?
- Do you have industry specific requirements that need developing cost effectively within a modern system?
If you are answering ‘Yes’ to the above, then Qi can take you through Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS.
Thought for the Day
Qi will help you to consider the courses of action open to you and assist you to identify which is the best for your business and when to plan for it.