We all recognise that data is valuable but it is only as good as the quality of the data. Garbage in, garbage out – for that reason, see below my hints and tips for quick wins with your Sage 50 data.
1. Mark old products, customers and suppliers as inactive
To both stop posting transactions to these areas, mark as inactive and you can stop them being displayed on reports, exports and Cascade.bi dashboards.
2. Ensure contact information /postcodes are complete
This will help with analysing segmental information, enabling the quick filtering of data to spot trends early and take action.
3. Use Web analysis fields to categorise products
If you sell products, setting up analysis fields allows you to report separately on these categories, for example if you sell spanners and sockets, you might want to group the products into the following categories:
- analysis 1 – spanners or sockets
- analysis 2 – size of spanner and sockets e.g 13mm
- analysis 3 – brand name
Doing the above would allow you to just analyse the size of both spanners and sockets combined, also get the split between spanners and sockets and also quickly identify which brand – all valuable in understanding your product mix, sales patterns and trends.
4. Use Customer and Supplier analysis fields
Much the same as analysing products if you use the 3 analysis categories which are available for customers and suppliers you can quickly and easily report on specific segments. For example if you categorise your customers by sales rep, you can report and crucially compare sales by sales rep, at the click of a button, either on paper reporting direct with sage 50 or graphically using Cascade.
Customers could be categorised into:
- analysis 1 – Sales manager
- analysis 2 – Type of customer e.g trade, wholesale, direct, cash
- analysis 3 – Payment method e.g cash, bacs, direct debit, invoice
Suppliers could be categorised into:
- analysis 1 – Supplier resident country e.g
UK, EU, RoW
- analysis 2 – Department responsible for the purchase e.g logistics, factory, sales, admin
- analysis 3 – Type of customer e.g trade, wholesale, direct
The above are just examples, it’s important to identify the categories which are important to your business, they are all different but we suggest you make use of all 3 for each area – maximising your ability to slice and dice your data!
5. Review and define departments:
Analyse profit & loss by department or person easily (using cascade) or more difficult within sage, often requiring a custom report to be written.
6. Ensure the correct stock status on products
Identifying if you wish to use stock in Sage could help reduce your database size, speed up the backup routine and avoid having to manually set all stock items to ensure you do not run negative. Many businesses do not use the stock feature on sage, but set quantity to 999999 but this is unnecessary – simply mark them as non-stock in the product record.
7. Set up product categories
Setting up categories at product level allows you to quickly identify trends in sales and profit. Using Cascade.bi this becomes far faster and visual too.
Similar to the analysis fields mentioned above, you are able to categorise the products into one category.
Where the analysis fields give you 3 separate factors to categorise, this gives you the option to add a product to a single category. We would recommend grouping products e.g into tool equipment, using the spanners example above.
8. Set up appropriate product details
By putting accurate descriptions, units of sale, supplier and cost information, not only will your invoices be accurate, but the reporting impact will be massive. Imagine being able to quickly analyse profit by product, supplier spend, sales by product and category. Getting the data accurate will enhance the value of your data.
9. Frequent bank reconciliations
Whilst we don’t think cash is king (see here), we do recognise the importance of ensuring your cash position is reconciled frequently and at least each week. This depends on the size of the business and the size of the finance function. Ensuring the bank is reconciled means the core data is up to date and reporting accuracy will be improved.
10. Regularly review the quality of information
Over time, the cleanliness of your data becomes less accurate and requires review. We suggest you set time each quarter / 6 months to review and update. Always try and stand back and consider if the information you are receiving is working best for you and don’t be afraid to change or seek advice from your advisor.
Contact us for a free no obligation trial:
Cascade.bi packages start from just £45 month, no set up fee, no installation cost or training required. For a free 14 day trial, sign up at www.cascade.bi or contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03330 112882