On November 16, 2016, Sage 50 U.S. released the 2017.1 update to Sage 50. Sage is following through with their plan to provide additional cloud and mobility features in the Sage 50c (subscription) variant of the product, differentiating it from the traditionally licensed Sage 50. For some users, the additional features could make it worth switching over to the subscription model. The new online and mobile invoicing features work by integrating Sage One (Sage’s online accounting product for small businesses) with Sage 50c. That allows Sage 50c to remain a desktop application while also providing mobile/cloud based invoicing and customer payments.

I’ve discovered that, even though it’s not listed in the new features, you can now create separate custom email messages for invoices, quotes, proposals, receipts, credit memos, customer statements, purchase orders, and sales orders. Until now, you could only customize the email message for invoices and quotes. And they say it will work with the 64 bit version of Outlook, although I haven’t tested that myself.

I’ll try to cover the new features in more detail later. But for now, here is the list as I received it from Sage:

Four of these features are exclusive to the Sage 50 c-line, including:

  • Online and mobile invoicing and payment
  • Microsoft Office 365 integration
  • Automatic cloud backup using the Microsoft Office 365 integration
  • Read-only access to a Sage Drive company

Two additional features are available to customers on all versions of Sage 50 and Sage 50c:

  • Web mail support
  • Automatic activation of Sage Payroll accounts

Online Invoicing and Payment (c-line exclusive)
Sage 50c customers can create and send online invoices using their computers or the mobile app. Recipients can use the Pay Now link on the invoice to quickly and easily pay online. This simplifies the billing process and shortens the payment cycle.

  • Online invoicing and payment* is available through integration with Sage One Accounting
  • Sage 50c general ledger accounts and customer records are uploaded to Sage One, but not inventory and services items or sales tax codes
  • Sage One is provided to Sage 50c customers for free. The activation code will be emailed to current customers on November 16, 2016. New customers will receive the activation code upon purchase or upgrade to Sage 50c.
  • Sage 50c customers create a Sage One account, manually enter inventory and service items, and then generate and send online invoices from Sage One using a computer or the mobile app
  • Emailed invoices from Sage One contain a Pay Now link so payees can submit an online payment using PayPal. Sage 50c customers with an SPS merchant account have the option to receive a credit/debit card payment
  • Once the invoice is paid, Sage 50c customers must manually record the receipt in Sage 50c
  • Sage 50c customers can download open invoices from Sage One into Sage 50c

* Online and mobile invoicing requires a Sage One subscription for integration. This is a one way integration and will require users to manually enter their inventory and service items into Sage One; customer records and general ledger accounts will be entered for them. Only customers on the latest release of Sage 50c Accounting have access to the Sage One integration. If customer cancels the Sage One integration service, to maintain access to Sage One, customer must set up separate billing. Not all Sage One features are available on the mobile app. Mobile devices sold separately and require a data plan. Data access is subject to cellular provider network availability and occasional downtime due to system maintenance.
Microsoft Office 365 Integration (c-line exclusive)
This integration with Microsoft Office 365 will provide Office 365 Business Premium features to Sage 50c customers in the U.S., Canada, and the UK in staged releases. It will also provide a platform for developing future features and functionality.
Microsoft Office 365 automatic cloud backup* (c-line exclusive)
This is the first feature delivered through the Office 365 integration. It provides Sage 50c customers the ability to securely store and retrieve company backup files online. Up to one terabyte of data storage available. Online backup was ranked Number One in a recent customer survey of potential new features
* Requires Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium license, available through Microsoft.
Sage 50c read-only mode (c-line exclusive)
Allows additional Sage 50c users to access a shared company in read-only mode while the active user
is working in that company. This is the first of a two-phased project to support multiple concurrent users in Sage 50c
Web mail support (available to all Sage 50 and Sage 50c customers)
Customers can now utilize their web-based email services (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Live, AOL,
and Office 365, etc.) when emailing transaction forms such as invoices or receipts from Sage 50.
Automated Sage Payroll In-Product Activation (available to all Sage 50 and Sage 50c customers)
Sage Payroll Services customers will now have automatic in-product activation of their payroll account. This improves and automates the current manual process that requires the Sage sales colleague to generate an activation code and email it to the customer who must then enter it into Sage 50. Now Sage Payroll customers identify themselves in product and the activation code is entered for them.