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Sage Software Inc. — Sage Accpac 200 ERP

the September 2006 Review of Mid-Range Accounting Systems

Sage Accpac 200 ERP offers a flexible suite of accounting modules for midsize
businesses, including GL, AR, AP, Project and Job Costing, Order Entry, U.S.
and Canadian Payroll, Inventory, Purchase Orders, and support for multiple currencies.
The latest version includes many new enhancements that make this product powerful
and competitive, including a new RMA module. The program can be employed either
as a hosted system or installed on a business’ network servers and used
as a client/server application, with support for MS SQL, Pervasive SQL, IBM
and Oracle database environments. Additionally, the system supports both Windows
and Linux operating systems and can run on the new 64-bit Intel and AMD processors.
Up to 10 concurrent users are supported, and the program can manage any number
of companies. Sage Accpac ERP is also available in a small business edition
called Sage Accpac 100 ERP, and an enterprise level version, Sage Accpac 500
ERP. The ERP systems all integrate with Sage’s entire line of Accpac applications,
including CRM, HR, WMS and others.

Andre Griffith is the Information Systems Manager for SBI Distribution Inc.
in Bridgetown, Barbados. SBI has 50 Sage Accpac 200 ERP users and over 3,000
customers. Griffith says they appreciate the product’s backorders, picking
slips, ability to record shipment details like assignment of vehicle on record
to deliver goods, and real-time inventory updates of quantity on-hand. “We
selected this product because the value for the money was best in comparison
to other ERP solutions and because the popularity of the Accpac name in my country
was enormous.” He also commented that he would like to see the addition
of an automated Pick Ticket report as well as a “day-end processing during
posting” feature because they’ve had a lot of trouble with the database
locking in SQL when turned on. “To avoid this problem, we turn it off
and do day-end during off-peak hours,” Griffith said. He says he’d
recommend the product but that training on utilizing all the modules would be
necessary in order to take advantage of all the features in order to be efficient.

Ease of Use/Transaction Entry — 5 Stars
The primary desktop interface for Sage Accpac 200 ERP is the System Manager,
a well-designed screen that is based upon a web browser interface that includes
a customizable icon toolbar that offers access to data input screens and reports,
with the ability to add shortcuts to programs, folders or other items. The system’s
Explorer-style menus offer immediate access to the primary modules and features
of the program, along with access to additional administrative functions (depending
upon user roles and access rights) such as processing, reporting, security,
system setup and transactions. Additionally, a selection of traditional Windows
pull-down menus provides access to generic system functions. Data-entry screens
are intuitive and offer import options directly on-screen, easing the task of
importing transactions or other data.

The system’s browser interface can act as a traditional web browser.
Since the system uses this web-like delivery, no installation is required onto
individual workstations. The system is either hosted by Sage Software or is
installed on the using company’s file server and then accessed through
the web browser across the network. Remote access is also available through
the system’s iConnect function.

Modules & Notable Features — 5 Stars
Sage Accpac ERP is offered on a modular basis, with options for the 200 system
including GL, AR, AP, Inventory, POs, Order Entry, GL Security, GL Consolidations,
Payroll, Multi-Language, Multi-Currency, along with other available modules
and the mandatory System Manager upon which the program is grounded. The Sage
Accpac ERP system keeps a complete full-time audit trail while its built-in
security provides multiple levels, including the ability to set up work groups,
divisions and roles, or to permit/deny access rights to specific tasks.

One of the most immediately noticed features is the flexibility in deployment
options, with support for multiple databases, operating systems and processor
technologies, as well as the option to utilize the system as a hosted or in-house
system. All of the Sage Accpac ERP versions share the same general functions,
including the ability to manage multiple cost centers, divisions, departments
or subsidiary companies, with the ability to drill down from journal entries
to specific transactions.

Version 5.4 boasts literally hundreds of enhancements across all modules.
Within the GL, you can now define account groups and assign them to GL accounts.
AR added the ability to process a customer refund and specify the payment method;
ability to check a customer’s credit based on pending transactions plus
aged transactions; print customer ship-to labels; create default tax groups,
tax classes and salespeople for groups of customers; and the ability to enter
and pay unapplied payments in one step (cash invoicing). The Order Entry module
added new drill-down capabilities as well as the ability to allow users to view
item costs during order entry and prohibit the sale of certain inventory items,
in addition to numerous other enhancements.

Integration/Import/Export — 5 Stars
The Sage Accpac 200 ERP system offers import from several external formats,
including *.PDF, Excel, *.CSV, Access, HTML, Word, dBase, *.XML, *.OFX and ODBC
files. And it offers export to most of these formats, as well. The system’s
internal integration between modules is fairly seamless, and users can interface
with optional modules from third-party developers built with Sage Accpac’s
development tools or integrated via its APIs.

Reporting — 5 Stars
The system includes exceptional reporting functionality, with each module sporting
pre-built reports specific to that task area, as well as the ability to search,
sort and filter reports by a variety of methods. Custom reports can be developed
through a built-in Crystal Reports function that can export reports to *.PDF,
*.CSV, *.RPT, Excel, Word, HTML and *.XML formats. Reports can be set to generate
automatically as needed, and they can also be e-mailed from the program with
accompanying invoices, statements and client letters.

Support/Training/Help System — 5 Stars
The Help utility built into the program offers traditional assistance with indexing
and glossary, and an online support center provides additional self-help options.
The company offers subscription support packages, as well as an extensive network
of certified trainers and resellers.

Relative Value — 5 Stars
The Sage Accpac ERP line offers a scalable solution, from smaller firms starting
with the 100 series, through the 200 series reviewed here, and up through the
500 series for larger enterprise-level organizations. The system is not inexpensive,
but can be an exceptional investment because of this scalability, as well as
with its flexibility in deployment options, its exceptionally strong functionality
and the support offered from Sage Software, which continues to aggressively
develop and enhance the systems. Single-user licenses start at about $10,000
for the complete modular suite, with five-user licenses starting around $20,000.
Annual renewals start at $1,800.

2006 Overall Rating: 5 Stars