When it comes to your business, is Sage 50 or Sage 100 the better fit?
If you’re a small or medium-sized business and you currently use Sage 50, you may be wondering about when you should make the switch to Sage 100, if at all. Or maybe, you’re just starting out, and you’re trying to decide what software is right for your business. Here are the main differences between Sage 50 and Sage 100 to help you better make that decision.
Sage 50 has some user and transactional limitations
Most businesses who use Sage 50 with Payroll & purchasing can manage in a multi-user environment without issue. When you get above 15 users, the management is trickier, but can be done.
The Quantum edition of Sage 50 allows up to 40 users. After 20-25 users, however, the system starts to get slower with the increase of transactions. Login is limited by device and the software is in general less user-friendly to multiple users.
Sage 100 doesn’t experience user limitations in the same way. For example, if your business has 20 user licenses, you can log into 20 of them as yourself, and the 21st person to log in would require a logout of one non-unique user. You can log into as many users as you like until the limit is reached. This allows for users to be logged in on multiple devices without forcing a logout.
While the businesses we work with haven’t experienced too many issues with multi-user limitations in Sage 50, they have encountered more trouble with transactions. In many cases, they have had to rebuild things in Sage 50 because they reach a transaction limit. When this happens, reports run slow and users get errors. The limitation occurs when too much information is in the system, causing a need to purge data to keep Sage 50 running smoothly.
Sage 50 can handle multiple companies, but multiple locations are trickier
You can manage more than one company with Sage 50. In fact, you can manage 3 separate companies. However, if you are managing multiple warehouse locations, you’d probably be better off with Sage 100. Sage 50 doesn’t do well tracking inventory in different spots or warehouses. If your inventory is expanding in this way, you should upgrade. Sage 100 also has a multi-bin feature to track inventory in multiple locations within one warehouse.
Third-party enhancements make a lot of difference with Sage 100
There are not many third-party enhancements available for Sage 50. Sage 100 is much better suited for businesses that want to bring in these enhancements. Third-party solution advisors work extensively with Sage to ensure what they are building works with the software. They need to acquire a certain level of certification to work with Sage 100, and programmers work to keep up with Sage 100 in their enhancements. Enhancements you can add to Sage 100 give the software even greater flexibility. For example, you can add a multi-currency enhancement to Sage 100 via a third party.
Some things are simpler with Sage 100 – Payroll, for example
One of the reasons to upgrade to Sage 100 is to make your life easier. With Sage 50, you can do payroll, but if you are using direct deposit, it will require some creative thinking. Sage 100 can do payroll better and faster than Sage 50. It’s also much simpler to do direct deposit in Sage 100.
When the end of the year comes, Sage 100 will cause less of a headache. End of the year W-2s and 1099s for vendors are much easier to do in Sage 100.
Also, if you are required to use union workers with the jobs your company is doing, you’ll need to use a third-party enhancement with Sage 100. This functionality is not available in Sage 50.
Payroll deductions are also easier in Sage 100. In Sage 50, you are allowed to set up deductions, but there is a limit to how many you can add that doesn’t exist in Sage 100. One of our clients had a lot of payroll deductions and ran into limitations in Sage 50. She couldn’t delete the deductions in the system because she had a paycheck against them, so she couldn’t do what she wanted to do. If you know you’re going to have a lot of deductions, Sage 100 is going to work better for you.
Report writers are different between Sage 50 and Sage 100
In Sage 100, you will be using Crystal Report Writer for forms and custom reports. While Sage is trying to promote and increase the use of Sage Intelligence Report Writer, most people are used to Crystal and can continue to use it in Sage 100. In Sage 50, Crystal reports is stripped out, and you have to use Sage Intelligence Report Writer. Crystal reports do not easily integrate with Sage 50, but most users don’t know how to use the Sage Intelligence Report Writer with Sage 50. That means Sage 50 users have to rely more on experts to help with reporting.
A few more benefits to Sage 100
If you haven’t already determined what would be the better fit for your business, here are a few other reasons you may want to opt for Sage 100:
- You have a specialty that Sage 100 offers
- You can barcode and upload immediately
- You have more flexibility with custom forms
- You want a software that’s faster and has more features
- You want better functionality with the cloud
- You want to expand your business and work with bigger customers like Walmart or Amazon with EDI (Sage 50 won’t allow you to do this, because EDI is a third-party enhancement for Sage 100)