July 12, 2016 was the official release date for Sage 50 Accounting 2017, US version. Over the next few weeks, those of you with a current subscription or Business Care plan will see the upgrade show up as an automatic update, just like the 2016.1 and 2016.2 updates, or payroll tax updates. As usual, the upgrade must be installed on the server first and then each workstation. If you’re not comfortable installing upgrades yourself, call or email me to schedule an appointment.

If you aren’t on a Business Care plan and are interested in upgrading, please contact me for a quote.

Here’s what’s new in version 2017:

Outlook 2016 compatibility – You can finally send an email (such as an invoice) from Sage 50 using Outlook 2016. Even though this is buried in the system requirements instead of listed as a new feature, I think this is the news that the most people have been waiting for.

Streamlined Installation – Many of the screens in the installation routine have been combined and simplified.

Pause Sharing in Sage 50c – This one only applies to users who have a subscription license, not those with a traditional license. When the cloud based sharing feature was introduced with version 2016.2, one of the problems was the difficulty involved with turning sharing on and off, which is vital because when sharing is turned on only one user can access that company. Beginning with version 2017 you can easily pause and resume sharing as needed. Sharing still limits you to a single user, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction and I’m glad to see that Sage was quick to come out with this enhancement. Hopefully more will follow.

When sharing is paused, in addition to returning to mult-user access, you’ll be able to perform the following single user tasks:
• Backup
• Change Accounting Period
• Data Verification
• Integrity Check
• Year-End / Purge Wizard
• Access Maintain Company Information

However you’ll still need to completely stop sharing a company to perform any of the following less common tasks:
• Restore Backup
• Setup User Security
• Change posting method
• Select File, “Open Company As” in the Sage 50 Accountant Edition

Support for Customer ACH Payments – Users who process credit cards through a Sage Payment Solutions merchant account can now securely store customer’s ACH information in their customer record, and can process customer ACH payments through the Receive Money window in the same way they can process credit card transactions.

New Icon – This isn’t really a new feature and Sage doesn’t list this as one, but I thought you would want to know what your Sage 50 Accounting desktop icon will look like after you upgrade.

Sage 50 Accounting 2017 desktop icon