Sage 50 Accounting 2015 (formerly Sage Peachtree Accounting) – a developer’s perspective

This month Sage launches Sage 50 Accounting 2015 (formerly Sage Peachtree Accounting).  On the face of it, there is not much change.  At least not to the actual software.  This is to be expected.  The product is already packed with a lot of features.  It is not trying to play catch-up.  It is a capable and mature product and you should not expect a whole lot new inside Sage 50 Accounting 2015.  You should however expect developments around the product.

This is what we see with the Sage 50 Accounting 2015 release – and really in the previous two releases – Sage 50 Accounting 2013 and 2014.

In these last few releases, Sage seriously improved the developers’ Software Development Kit (SDK). To some, this may seem an obscure change.  It is however very

Helping small-business productivity

Accounting software packages like Sage 50 Accounting 2015 are often one of the first investments that a small business makes in software technology.  Other first purchases are typically an email system and a suite like Microsoft Office.  As a business grows, this is not enough.  The accounting software is fine, but it becomes surrounded by a confusion of manual processes.  These processes often start or finish as transactions in the accounting software (like Sage 50 Accounting 2015).  The result is low productivity.  On average, a US company employing 10-50 people is $900k per year less productive (revenue per payroll cost) than other US companies.

A developer ecosystem for Sage 50 Accounting 2015?

What many small businesses need is software to help automate these manual processes and deliver the transactions into the accounting software (like Sage 50 Accounting 2015).  This is where the SDK comes in.  The SDK allows independent software developers to create programs that use and update the valuable data held in Sage 50 Accounting.  The Sage 50 Accounting (formerly Sage Peachtree Accounting) SDK expands the the size of the software development team focused on Sage 50 from say around 20 or 30 within Sage to multiples of this.   There may be 200 or 300 people in the broader Sage 50 Accounting developer community, creating a ten-fold increase in innovation around the Sage 50 product. A developer ecosystem creates more choice for the customer.  These third-party add-on solutions drive greater productivity for the small business. They enable a customer purchasing Sage 50 Accounting 2015 today to enjoy a greater and longer return on investment.

Developer challenges around Sage 50 Accounting 2015 (and earlier versions)

It can be difficult for a third party developer to maintain compatibility across many versions of Sage 50.  If the developer decides to support connection to Sage 50 Accounting 2013, 2014 and 2015, then this could in practice be up to 10 different versions by the time you take into account the interim releases: Sage 50 2014.1, Sage 50 2014.2 and so on.  Since Suntico also works with Sage 50 Accounting – Canadian Edition (formerly Sage Simply Accounting) and Sage 50 Accounts (the UK and Irish Edition), it could mean that we end up having to support up to 30 different releases of Sage 50.

What I like about the Sage 50 Accounting 2015 release

At Suntico therefore, we like our customers to keep pretty much up to date with their Sage 50 accounting software.  It means that we can concentrate on creating more value with new product releases instead of chasing our own tail supporting old versions of Sage.

This latest Sage 50 Accounting 2015 release includes two new aspects that I certainly like.  The first is that new licences for Sage 50 2015 include 12-months Sage Business Care.  The second, is the new option to subscribe to Sage 50 2015, rather than purchase a licence outright.  Both these options make it easier for the customer to stay current and up to date on Sage 50.

This certainly makes it easier for Suntico to deliver greater product value faster and support our customers better.