Sage recently released the 2018.2 update for Sage 50 US Edition. They continue to emphasize adding cloud based features for Sage 50c (AKA Sage50cloud) subscribers. But there are a couple of significant updates that will affect those on traditional plans too.
Windows 10 Stability Improvements – The Windows 10 update referred to as the Fall Creators Update introduced a conflict that caused Sage 50 2018.1 or older to randomly (and frequently) crash. That problem has been fixed in 2018.2! So if you’ve set your Sage 50 shortcut to “Run as Admin” in order to get it to work with Windows 10, you can turn that option off after upgrading to version 2018.2.
Online Customer Payments that Automatically Synchronize with Sage 50 – Even though Sage is calling this “Sage Business Cloud Payments” it’s available for both Sage 50cloud and traditional users. And if it sounds familiar to you, yes it’s the same thing that they introduced in version 2017.2 as “Click to Pay”. But they have expanded and refined it so I’ll let them slide. The idea is that if you use Paya (formerly Sage Payment Solutions) or Stripe (Stripe integration is new for 2018.2) for credit card processing you can include a payment link with emailed invoices. When your customer clicks on the link they are taken to a secure website that allows them to pay your invoice online. And those payments will automatically be imported into Sage 50 as cash receipt transactions. This is not just a general ledger import. They actually update the customer and invoice records just like they would if entered them in Receive Money yourself. They’ve also made it easier in this release to control which customers get a payment link and which ones don’t when batch emailing invoices.
The Stripe integration was added in this release and Sage says PayPal integration is coming in April. Both Stripe and PayPal deduct all fees from each transaction. Fortunately the integration takes care of deducting the fees from the amount received. But with Paya, you receive the full payment amount and fees are deducted from your account monthly, which can make it much easier to reconcile.
THE REMAINING FEATURES APPLY ONLY TO SAGE 50C.
Sage Drive Compatibility with Office 365 – Sage Drive (Sage’s data sharing service) users can now also synchronize their Sage 50 data wtih Office 365. Previously user would have to disable Sage Drive in order to sync with Office 365.
Sage Pegg – Chat bots and virtual assistants are all the rage in the software world right now and Sage’s entry into the field is named Pegg. Pegg works with Sage 50c data that has been synchronized with MS Office 365 Business Premium and allows you to speak or type commands into a messaging app to get information from the synchronized data. So whether you always wanted to be able to talk to your computer like in sci-fi movies or if you believe the the world would be a better place if all interaction took place through text messages, either way Pegg is for you. Currently Pegg is limited to providing customer data including:
- Contact information
- Call or email clients
- GPS access to client locations
- Access to each client’s current balance, credit limit, and average days to pay
- Last 3 invoices, including invoice number, date, first line description, invoice amount, and balance due.
Currently Pegg works with Facebook messenger or Skype (not to be confused with Skype For Business).
Sage Intelligence Report Cloud Enhancements – A new look makes the cloud version of Sage Intelligence Reporting easier to navigate, standard and custom reports are on separate tabs, and you can create folders to organize your reports. Reports can now be sent to PDF. And a new “management pack editor” lets you create groups of reports with or without a cover page.
Sage Capture Now Available on Android – Sage capture, previously only available for iOS devices, is an expense tracking app. You can take a picture of a receipt with the camera on your phone or camera, easily add details, and store the receipt in the cloud using your Office 365 Business Premium OneDrive account. Expenses entered using the app will be synchronized into your Sage 50 data as Payment transactions (on the “Apply to Expenses” tab, not the “Apply to Invoices” tab) with an image of the receipt attached to the payment.
I haven’t done my own video for the new 2018.2 features yet. But here’s a good overview that Sage produced.