In this issue:
Quarterly Sage Accountant Network webcast/teleconference update event:
If you missed our first quarterly Sage Accountant Network update webcast/teleconference, the recordings are now available. The call was held on Thursday, May 31, at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT).
For your convenience, we are offering you two formats to choose:
Most of the updates are also covered in this quarter’s newsletter, so read on!
Sage Summit and the value of attending professional events:
As a business professional, you know the importance of setting time aside for professional development. In fact, you've probably attended conferences in beautiful cities and even done some sightseeing along the way. If you haven't, there's no reason to delay any longer. Here are a few reasons why attending professional events and conferences helps your practice:
Meet new people.
Networking is a key component of business, especially for accountants and bookkeepers. Traditional advertising can only take a business so far, with word of mouth being one of the best methods for meeting new customers and connecting with industry leaders.
Industry events and conferences are a great way to spread your name and talk shop with like-minded professionals. You can attend a panel and question the biggest names in entrepreneurship on the secrets to their success, then trade stories with other accountants, bookkeepers, and small business owners. This is a great time to get feedback on any ideas you have for your business.
See new products.
Even if you've signed up for every email marketing list in your industry, it's impossible to keep up with all the new offers, innovations, and upgrades companies put out each year. Conferences are a great way to review what new products have come out already, see what businesses will provide next and learn the latest in accounting and bookkeeping technology.
Learn new techniques.
Even the best and brightest among us still have plenty to learn. Events like Sage Summit 2016 place a major focus on helping accountants and bookkeepers develop leadership skills, keep abreast of changes in tax law, learn better management techniques, and so much more. You'll stay up to date on accounting trends and practices and leave the event equipped to do your job better than ever.
This summer, join thousands of other accounting, bookkeeping, and small and medium business professionals at Sage Summit 2016 in Chicago. Experience the beauty of the Windy City while connecting with industry leaders and hearing from a selection of brilliant keynote speakers, then top the week off with an amazing live performance by The Killers, a Grammy Nominated band. Join us July 25-28 at Chicago's McCormick Place for an experience you won't forget.
What’s new in Sage 50 2016.3 (released week of June 21, 2016)
We have a lot of exciting updates in our Sage 50 2016.3 release.
Invoicing and payments:
With the release of Sage 50 2016.3, you can store recurring sales invoices with a payment method of Preauthorized Debit (PAD) or link to a credit card stored for the customer in the Sage Payment Solutions Vault. These changes makes it easier to use the Daily Business Manager (DMB) to process a set of recurring invoices being paid by PAD or CC. PAD payments will be queued up and ready to be uploaded to Sage Direct Payments or use EFT Direct to generate the file to upload to the bank. CC payments will be processed behind the scenes automatically. Understanding the need to email these invoices to customers instead of printing them off, you can now email directly from the Daily Business Manager.
You can now email from Sage 50 using Outlook 32-bit or 64-bit. You can also use web email clients such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com, and so on.
EFT Direct functionality is now built into Sage 50. This means that there is no longer a separate product to download and install. The bank information is stored in Sage 50 and as a result is always backed up when you back up your Sage 50 company file. It is also easier to use in a network environment since it is now part of Sage 50. The issue of corrupt EFT databases is resolved since we are now using the Sage 50 MySQL database and not the older Microsoft Jet database. Customers will need to be on a subscription or service plan in order to use the new built-in EFT Direct functionality.
Whether you are using EFT Direct or Sage Direct Payments, the vendor direct payments and customer preauthorized debit transactions are now included on the Direct Deposit reports in Sage 50.
To simplify collections, we now provide the option to include customer contact details on the Aged A/R and Aged Overdue A/R reports.
We also added the option to include the “PAID” stamp on invoices, so you can email or print these invoices and the customer will see that the invoice is paid.
In addition, we have made great improvements on adding a logo to an invoice.
Sage 50C improvements:
Last (and definitely not least), we’ve made improvements to Sage Drive to allow a “read-only” view for users needing access to the Sage 50 data when it is being used actively by someone else through Sage Drive.
To help you and your clients benefit from these exciting changes, we have created the following videos:
Sage 50 Accounting--Canadian Edition 2016.3 - What's New
Sage 50 Accounting--Canadian Edition 2016.3 - How to use EFT Direct within Sage 50
Sage 50 Accounting--Canadian Edition 2016.3 - How to import data from standalone EFT Direct
Sage 50 Accounting--Canadian Edition 2016.3 - Using Webmail
Introducing the Sage Partner Advisory Committee
Have you heard about the Sage Partner Advisory Committee (PAC)? The PAC is an organization of your Sage Accountant Network peers that has existed for many years now. This group of Sage Accountant Network members volunteer their time and expertise to act as a liaison between Sage and the partner community in an effort to improve the experience of the Sage Accountant Network program and the functionality of the Sage 50 product.
Any Sage Accountant Network member can apply to participate in the PAC. PAC members serve a two- or three-year term, which shall begin at the start of the Sage Summit conference following their appointment to the committee. Members of the PAC participate in monthly meetings convened by conference call and attend the annual Sage Summit conference.
The current members of the PAC are:
These are your representatives. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them with any and all ideas of how to improve the Sage Accountants Network or product experience.
A great opportunity to meet with them face to face is at Sage Summit in Chicago July 25-28, 2016. The PAC and I look forward to seeing you there.
A word from our friends at IPBC:
Click Here is a great article on the value of certification from the IPBC:
We will soon be phasing out our existing Partner Locator tool, which helps businesses locate an accounting practice, professional, or Sage partner.
In its place, we will be offering our Sage Match app that connects accounting professionals directly with businesses looking for someone with their skills and expertise. For businesses, Sage Match reduces the time and effort required to find someone who fits their requirements.
If you are an accountant or bookkeeper, Sage Match allows you to:
Three simple steps to access Sage Match:
Sage Match is accessible through Sage Impact, the customizable online hub for accounting professionals.
A note about our satisfaction surveys:
From time to time, you and your clients will receive a short survey, which Sage uses globally to ensure we are aware of what’s working and what we need to improve. The nature of the questions centre around a key finding: What is your likelihood to recommend a Sage solution to someone you know?
We take this process very seriously. If you take time to complete the survey and include some details about the reason for your ranking (whether good or bad), you should know that the results are reviewed, analyzed, and discussed and are a major part of most of our policy and product-direction decisions. For more on this, please see this handy chart on how your feedback directly impacted what’s included in the 2016.3 release.
Did you know that there is a team that meets biweekly to review the results? The team consists of director-level and above leaders across the functional areas of Sage, and we read ALL the comments and analyze and aggregate the results to then discuss tangible action items to make sure that we keep doing what works and quickly correct the things that are not. Please keep taking the surveys when you are invited to participate. We will respect your time, and we truly value your engagement.
Have you heard of the Sage Foundation? It was launched at last year’s Sage Summit in New Orleans, and it is something we are all incredibly proud of.
As a company, we are all making a very intentional effort to be active in our communities, and as such, the Sage Foundation allows each Sage colleague to spend up to five days every year to volunteer locally at an organization of his or her choosing.
The Sage Foundation also really comes through when disaster strikes in areas where our customers and colleagues live and work. At Sage Summit last year, to kick off the foundation, a very generous donation was made to Habitat for Humanity specifically in the New Orleans area where the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is still felt by the most vulnerable segment of that great community.
Recently, when the wildfires in Northern Alberta forced evacuation of Fort McMurray and cost so much personal loss, the Sage Foundation was once again quick to respond with a quick message to our Sage accountants who were directly affected to let them know that they were in our thoughts and prayers and that we would raising money to provide as much support to the community as possible.
That fundraiser happened in short order, and the results are something we can all be very proud of. First, the Sage Foundation made a direct donation to the Canadian Red Cross of 10,000 GBP (about $19k CAD), and then we held an internal fundraiser to Sage colleagues, which was matched by Sage Foundation and the Canadian government, which yielded another $25,000, for a total of just over $44,000 donated directly to the Fort McMurray relief fund by way of the Canadian Red Cross.
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