What is so good about Accpac (Sage 300)?
If ever you found yourself at a Sage convention in North America you would think that the Accpac contingent were made up of Australians abroad. They are in the minority but they make more enthusiastic noises than the rest of the Sage acquired accounting system supporters put together ( MAS, Simply, Peachtree, Platinum and Vision (all under new names of course.))
So what really is so good about Accpac ? When you take a look at the screens they are nothing special. They are due for a makeover this year but there is nothing that grabs you at first glance.
In the case of Accpac it’s not the outward appearance that is the attraction but what is discovered inside. Accpac was developed in the early 1980’s in Vancouver Canada which seems to have been a place of accounting excellence. But if I start tracing the steps from there then this article will win awards for boredom.So what is so special about Accpac ? What makes it different from the other mid-range accounting systems in the market like Microsoft Dynamics, Sage 200 and SAP BusinessOne ?
- A GL account code that can be as big as 45 characters split into 16 segments.
- A GL ledger that can keep 99 years of data. If you want to post an entry into a previous year you just unlock the period and enter the transaction in the normal way. Retained earnings accounts and open balances are adjusted automatically.
- Unlimited optional fields. You can add these anywhere. At the account level, at the transaction level and at the detailed line level. You can choose the type and content and whether they are mandatory or not.
- Crystal Reports as the standard form and report application. Crystal is the global leader in report design software and with its conditional logic and the ability to link other databases external to the accounting system in one report means that you should be able to present everything the way you want it. A standard invoice for instance can have a different language, design and logo purely based on a customer attribute.
So 4 rock solid reasons why us old “Accpacers” believe that it is one of a kind.
You will notice that I did not mention the words like “it empowers your employees” or “it gives you a 360 degree view of your business” because that’s what the marketeers have been saying at Sage and they have missed the real point.
Now it does have decent sales order processing modules, purchase order and receiving modules and job costing but they are much the same as the competitors.
It is in these 4 areas that it stands alone which is why it should appeal to the type of business that needs all or some of these features, multi-level account code, additional data fields and perfect reports.
The thing is that the sort of businesses that have multiple divisions and complex reporting don’t even consider Accpac but buy into the next level ERP application spending almost twice as much as Accpac.
We have been lobbying for Sage to recognise these strengths of Accpac and its appeal to the larger global finance departments. So far there has not been much take up but as Sage need to start differentiating their 50+ accounting systems around the world I think that this may find some traction.
In the meantime we have added Accpac’s capacity for catering to the larger global office by developing routines that centrally control things like the group chart of accounts, user roles and security, fiscal periods and group wide reporting.
Accpac has 4 key strengths. Any group and multinational business that does not consider Accpac will miss out on significant savings.