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Upgrading from Sage 50 cloud accounts, SaaS accounts and retaining archived data

Remaining accounting compliant when you cancel Sage 50 cloud Accounts subscription

Customers who make use of an accounting package on subscription, like Sage 50 cloud accounts will be interested to understand how to retain access to your Sage 50  cloud accounts archived information when you migrate to a SaaS ERP to fulfil manufacturing requirements.

For those using accounting software on a perpetually owned licence – you can stop reading now.

Once your Sage 50 cloud accounts subscription for example, has been cancelled following a migration to an alternative solution,  you will no longer be able to access your data.  It would be hard to find a compelling argument to encourage businesses like Sage UK to provide a ‘read only’ version of Sage 50C at a minimal cost to support customers who move to an alternative SaaS.  This is understandable, although may delay customers who need to upgrade from their perpetually licensed versions from moving to the subscription model as an interim measure prior to moving to an alternative ERP in due course.

The emergence of SaaS to SaaS Migrations

In the industry this is still quite a ‘new’ phenomenon.  Businesses are largely migrating from a perpetual software licences to SaaS.  If you own your licence you can access your data for as long as the version it sits on is compatible with hardware operating systems so accessing archives following a migration is not a problem.

Whilst data that is held in your live system will be migrated to your new SaaS application – what provision is available for retaining the necessary and usual 6 years of information required to maintain compliance?

Retaining accounting information once a SaaS subscription has been cancelled

There must be a robust solution in place to ensure that businesses who are moving from SaaS to an alternative SaaS can retain access to their archived data without having to pay the cost of a data migration per archiving event to their new system.  This will load consultancy costs on to your project.

For example, Sage 50 archiving works on the principle that a company is created to hold archived data this creates an additional instance for data migration if this data is to be brought across to your replacement ERP solution.

For those businesses who have sensibly regularly archived their Sage data there could be as many as 6 that are required to meet statutory regulations on keeping records.  If there are multiple companies to consider the numbers soon multiply and return an unrealistic cost.

Here we consider possible solutions for Sage 50 cloud Accounts customers who are upgrading to an alternative, SaaS ERP solution

Convert all the required data in your current live system, this often but not always contains the required information

Advantages:

No additional licences required, and the data is stored in a consistent manner

Disadvantages:

If you do not have the required number of years in your live data this will not maintain compliance.

 

Convert limited archive companies

If your live data does not contain all the required records. convert one or more archive companies, typically only one, as the required information is usually in the current data, plus one archive.

For example: the live data has four years history, and an archive from early in that four-year period holds the preceding data

Advantages: 

No additional licences required to maintain the data in the solution you are migrating from, and the data is stored in a consistent manner.

Disadvantage:

There is an additional data conversion task which will add to the cost of your migration project.

 

Retain a single user system of the previous system for the time required

Advantages:

The data is available in the original format

Disadvantages:

An ongoing licence may be until the required time has elapsed.  As an example, a single user of Sage 50C cloud accounts is £125 plus VAT a month – so that is an expensive online archiving provision!

 

Take all the required print outs from the archived companies and save them, typically as PDF files.

Advantages:

No external cost other than the time it takes to convert the print outs to PDF and file them.

Disadvantages:

If you have a regular requirement to search your archived information for specific information – it can be time consuming to locate your information.

 

Extract the required data to Excel/MS Access and keep this for the time required

Advantages:

Businesses already have Excel or MS Access.

Disadvantages:

The data in an unfamiliar format which makes searching the data a little harder.

Most companies will need external assistance to extract and import the data.

 

Thought for the Day

Each business needs to consider how to maintain their compliant record keeping if those records are stored in a subscription package that no longer meets their needs and so is no longer going to be used.  Consideration needs to be given as to how regularly your business needs to access archived records.  If you are planning a migration, then keep as much live data in your current system as possible so that the need to extract and restore historic information in another medium is minimal.

Call Qi to discuss migrating your data from Sage 50 Cloud accounts as part of an ERP implementation.