Sage 50 2020 is available for download

Sage 50 2020 was made available to current Sage BusinessCare subscribers on July 17, 2019, via a download notification from within the Sage 50 application (Select Services, Check for Updates from the top-level menu to find this download).

We recommend deferring the installation of the 2020 Release until early September, however, so that any problems with the application itself, or with compatibility related issues, can surface, and  prevent clients from experiencing difficulties inherent in any new software or operating system release.

Listed below are the principal new features of this latest version of Sage 50:

  1. Larger Address fields – Address fields in Maintenance records for Customers, Vendors and Employees have been expanded from 30 to 50 characters, to accommodate longer addresses.
  2. Larger Deposit Ticket ID field – The Deposit Ticket ID field has been expanded from 8 to 20 characters.
  3. Larger Item Type field – The Item Type field associated with Inventory Items has been expanded from 8 to 20 characters.
  4. Additional fields on the Payroll Withholding Info tab – Due to new Paid Family Leave policies and other additional withholding taxes, Special 3, Special 4 and Special 5 fields were added to the Withholding Info tab in Maintain Employees and Sales Reps.
  5. Additional email contact addresses – when emailing Customer forms such as Sales Orders, Quotes, Proposals, Sales Invoices, Credit Memos, Change Orders and Receipts, you can now choose a specific Contact within the customer record, other than the Primary/Bill To contact, to receive the email as a default setting for that customer.
  6. Notes field in Maintain Vendors – In the Maintain Vendors area a field for Notes has been added, similar to the existing field in Maintain Customers.
  7. New notifications functionality – for messages that users have not dismissed, a new “bell” notification was added on the top menu,  to indicate how may active messages have not been read or dismissed.
  8. Database upgrade – The database handler that supports the Sage 50 data has been upgraded, from Pervasive v11 to Actian Zen v13 – This upgrade was introduced to:
    • Ensure that the latest updates to the Windows operating system are fully compatible with Sage 50, and include the latest security countermeasures to protect company data.
    • improve performance in some areas of operation and pave the way to streamline performance in other areas in future Sage 50 releases.

Note: the Sage 50 2020 release cannot be operated on the same system as any active versions of Sage 50 prior to Sage 50 2019, due to incompatibilities between those earlier applications and the new Actian Zen database handler. This would, however, be an extremely rare circumstance, in our experience, since virtually all clients operate only a single version of Sage 50 at any given time. This restriction has no impact on database conversions from earlier versions; software updates and conversions can be run as they are normally performed.

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Have any questions or concerns about the latest Sage 50 upgrade? Or any other questions about the Sage 50 product line?

Post your questions to the Sage Peach Wizard at, or give us a call at 610-941-2116.

Sage 50 Perpetual is Still Alive and Kicking

As a follow up to our earlier post about the release of Sage 50 2020, we have now been told – at the recent Sage Consultant Conference in Atlanta – that Perpetual licenses for the Sage 50 product line will continue to be available through the Authorized Reseller/Certified Consultant channel for at least another year. We have also been told – informally – that any change to the policy for selling Perpetual licenses will be preceded by at least 12 months notice from Sage to the Reseller channel.

Sage 50 Accounting

So our interpretation of the recent message from Sage about the Sage 50Cloud product turned out to be inaccurate. We will still be able to sell Sage 50 Perpetual licenses for the 2020 edition of the product when it is released in July, and will likely be able to continue doing so for at least the next year or two.

We will send out a notice of availability to all subscribers to our blog posts as soon as we have a confirmation for the release date of Sage 50 2020 Perpetual. And perhaps Sage will offer some “early upgrade” discounts on license upgrades, as they have done from time to time in the past.

Related post: Sage 50 2020 to be Released in July 2019

Have any questions about Sage 50 licensing, upgrades, additional licenses, etc.? Reach out to us by email at or by phone at 610-941-2116 for honest and unbiased answers.

Sage 50 2020 to be released in July 2019

We have received the following advance announcement from Sage Software regarding the release of the 2020 edition of Sage 50. This is the first notice we have received that there is in fact a 2020 edition in the works, and that it will be made available in July of 2019.

Predicting the future of Sage 50

The title of the announcement from Sage made a possible hint that, starting with the 2020 Edition, only the Sage 50cloud version will be available for purchase, signaling the end of perpetual licensing for Sage 50 customers. While it is too soon to confirm this, we are expecting to hear further news about this change either at or immediately after the Sage Summit Conference in Atlanta on May 12-15.

We will send out an email blast to all of our Sage 50 users as soon as we are able to verify Sage’s plans for the future of the Perpetual (non-subscription) version. Users who are running on earlier versions of Sage 50 who are not presently on a Sage BusinessCare plan, or who do not want to purchase an annually-renewable subscription to Sage 50, should begin to think about upgrading existing licenses before July of 2019.

Here is the full text of today’s announcement from Sage:

Due to a required upgrade to Actian Zen v13 (formerly Pervasive) in the Sage 50—U.S. Edition 2020.0 release scheduled in July 2019, SAN members and Certified Consultants/Partners supporting clients on older versions of Sage 50cloud will no longer be able to maintain versions prior to 2019, along with 2020, on the same computer.

The Pervasive License Check for Sage 50 US versions 2018.2 and earlier specifically look for a Pervasive version 11 license key.  When you install Sage 50 US 2020.0, Pervasive will upgrade to version 13 Actian Zen on the machine.  As part of this upgrade, Pervasive/Actian makes the v11 keys inactive, leaving the new v13 keys.   This will cause the earlier version of Sage 50 to no longer work as it will not have the proper key.

It is also important to note that Sage 50 2018.2 and earlier versions are no longer customer-supported releases, so this an opportunity to discuss upgrade options with your clients.

 Why We Are Upgrading from Pervasive v11 to Actian Zen (v13)

Actian Zen v13 better supports Windows 10 and offers better Windows 10 compatibility. An upgrade is in order to receive the updated maintenance that Actian has developed into v13. 

In addition, the updated version of Actian offers improvements to installation which should result in fewer Actian and Sage 50 installation issues.  As well, this version enables updates to activation including a change that should significantly reduce broken keys that today cause the need to reactivate. 

What You Can Do Now

In order to avoid any issues when installing Sage 50 2020.0, we strongly recommend that you take necessary action prior to the July release. This includes upgrading your clients to the latest version of Sage 50, acquiring the necessary equipment needed to run the different versions of Sage 50 on separate machines, and/or running Virtual Machines like VMware.

While the content of this announcement from Sage does not directly effect anyone who is not running multiple versions of Sage 50 on the same computer – and we do not know of any clients that do this – it does provide advanced notice of a change in the database handler (Pervasive) which supports the Sage 50 database. This change could create some “issues” on some older systems as the change rolls out.

We will keep everyone informed once we have a copy of the new edition and have an opportunity to test it by converting some older databases.

If you have any questions about this announcement, or about your edition of Sage 50 and what it may portend for your future use of the software, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 601-941-2116, or email us at We will do our best to keep everyone up to date on options for using Sage 50 going forward.

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Closing the Year in Sage 50: Some items to consider

Many of our clients generate their tax and financial reports on a calendar year basis. With that in mind, here are some year-end accounting items that should be reviewed as the calendar year draws to a close. These same points apply equally to clients reporting on a fiscal year basis.

Some of these may seem very basic. After many years as both an accountant and software consultant, however, I feel that they are very important steps needed to demonstrate the integrity and reliability of your Sage 50 database.

General Ledger

  1. The debit and credit balance totals on the general ledger trial balance should be the same, i.e., they should “balance”
  2. All balance sheet and income statements accounts should be reviewed for reasonableness, investigated and adjusted as necessary. Here are some examples of items that could require further analysis:
    1. If an income account has a debit balance, or an expense or a cost of goods account has a credit balance.
    2. Any prepaid account with a credit balance.
    3. Withheld payroll tax accounts showing a debit balance.
    4. Any other liability account with a debit balance.
    5. The proper allocation of notes or loans between current and long-term portions.
    6. Any balance which is obviously too large, for example; bank charges showing a $50,000 expense charge.
    7. If your books have a suspense, exchange, or clearing account, it should be reviewed and reconciled to the individual transactions where those charges properly belong

Cash and Bank Accounts

  1. All accounts should be reconciled by utilizing the account reconciliation functionality within the Sage 50 software. This is a powerful and easy-to-use feature of Sage 50.
  2. Review all old outstanding checks and deposits to determine if they need to be adjusted or written off.

Accounts Receivable

  1. The accounts receivable subsidiary ledger (i.e., the A/R aging report) total should be the same as the accounts receivable account total on the general ledger trial balance.
  2. The aging report should be reviewed for past due balances and considered for dunning calls or possible write offs.
  3. The aging report should be reviewed for any negative (credit) balances and verified or adjusted as needed.

Accounts Payable

  1. The accounts payable subsidiary ledger (A/P Aging aging report) total should be the same as the accounts payable account total on the general ledger trial balance.
  2. The aging report should be reviewed for past due balances and considered for analysis or possible write offs.
  3. The aging report should be reviewed for any negative (debit) balances and verified or adjusted as needed.


  1. If inventory is an integral part of your accounting system, an annual physical inventory count should be taken.
  2. The general ledger inventory accounts on the trial balance should be adjusted to reflect the dollar value of the physical inventory count.
  3. The inventory subsidiary ledger (in Sage50 the inventory valuation report) should then match the physical inventory count and have the same dollar value as the sum of the inventory accounts on the general ledger trial balance.

Financial Statements

  1. At a minimum, the Balance Sheet and Income Statement should be printed and reviewed.
  2. On the Balance Sheet, the total assets must equal the total liabilities plus total capital (equity).
  3. On the Income Statement, the net income year to date must match the net income in the capital section of the Balance Sheet.

 Other Year End (or period end) Considerations

  1. If you are using the budgeting functionality, Income Statements with budget comparisons should be printed and reviewed.
  2. Budgets for the next year should be determined based on variances from the prior year and projections for the new year.
  3. Any chart of accounts ID’s, with no activity either at the year-end or during the year, should be considered for inactivation and ultimately for purging.
  4. The entire chart of accounts should be reviewed, and changes made, to properly reflect the financial information in a manner that is meaningful to management in assessing the financial health of the company.
  5. This is a good time to review customer, vendor and inventory records, to mark as inactive those records which have had no activity for a specified period of time.
  6. If the job cost functionality is being utilized, the various job cost reports should be analyzed and reviewed.
  7. The financial statements, Balance Sheet and Income Statement, should be reviewed for possible redesign prior to the start of the next reporting period, to reflect the evolving reporting needs of management.

You should of course consult with your accountant if you are unclear on how to perform any of these suggested review steps. TriStar may also be able to help you with the “nuts and bolts” of making the needed corrections in the Sage 50 software.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 610-941-2116, or by email at, with  any questions you may have regarding the configuration of your accounting software or the design of your financial reports..

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Sage 50 Security Bulletin Released

Sage Software has recently posted a security bulletin regarding a potential “folder permissions” problem for users of Sage 50 2016 and earlier. This announcement has come on the heels of the release of Sage 50 2018.2, which is designed to address the “Sage 50 has stopped working” issue caused by a recent Microsoft update to Windows 10, which caused a key DLL file to fail when running certain functions within Sage 50.

Here is the text of the Sage 50 security bulletin from Sage Software:

The following potential security risks have been identified with folder permissions. Failure to update your folder permissions exposes your information to increased security risks.

  • During the installation process, users of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 had permissions applied to some installation folders that have now been identified as posing a potential security risk.
    • Granting full permission of shared data files to the group “Everyone” presents another potential security risk for all multi-user installations (including Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2). To address the security risk related to shared data files and folder permissions, please reference the following article in the Sage Knowledgebase: KB 10211.
    • To address the potential security risk related to installation, we have created a utility which must be run on all Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 computers with Sage 50 installed that will adjust those permissions. In certain instances, it may be preferable to manually set permissions on the Sage 50 program path folders as an alternative to running the utility. Please reference the Sage Knowledgebase article,  KB 89438, for instructions on accessing and running this utility, as well as manually setting folder permissions.
    • Note: For either security risk to be exploited, an unauthorized user would need to have access to either your computer or to your local area network.

We were caught unawares about the release of this bulletin, and are unclear as to whether or not this security bulletin was released as a direct result of a security breach reported by one or more Sage 50 users. To date we have had no reports of security compromises in the Sage 50 databases for any of our hundreds of Sage 50 clients.

As we are comfortable with our own internal security protocols (we use a Dell SonicWALL to restrict unauthorized access to our internal servers), we have not made this change to our own internal Windows 2008 R2 server that houses Sage 50.

At this time we suggest that you forward this information to your IT service provider to discuss the pros and cons of making the recommended changes to your Sage 50 folder permissions. If you do not have a working relationship with an IT service provider, feel free to email us at or give us a call at 610-941-2116 to discuss further or be referred to an IT service provider.

Sage 50 Obsolescence Policy

End of the road for earlier versions of Sage 50Sage Software has recently notified us of a change in the “Sage 50 obsolescence policy” for supporting editions of the Sage 50 product prior to the current edition.

As of February 28, 2018, Sage will end support for any edition of Sage 50 prior to the 2018 edition (the current version). After this date The following will no longer be available to users of any version earlier than the 2018 edition:

  • Program updates
  • Tax table updates
  • Tax form updates
  • Direct deposit connection to Sage Managed Payroll
  • Credit card processing with Sage Exchange

This does not mean that you can no longer use your software after that date. You will, however, no longer be able to use any of the services listed above.

Aside from these listed services, your software will continue to operate normally, and you are under no license obligation to purchase new software unless you need to use any of the above services.

As has always been the case, TriStar will continue to support all editions of Sage 50, whether or not your edition is supported by the manufacturer. We offer both pre-paid annual support contracts, with a variety of benefits and options, and a la carte remote support sessions for any user of Sage 50, using any version of the product. You can read about our support services by clicking here.

Sage’s prior policy had been to support the current and two previous editions of their software. Sage felt that this policy change was necessary due to the more frequent updates to the Windows operating system released by Microsoft, and to the significant increase in the number of viruses and malware that have been circulating in recent months.

We understand Sage’s position, as a software company maintaining a complicated product in an extremely “fluid” environment.  We believe, however, that the decision on if, when, and how to upgrade a business’s mission-critical software should rest with the software purchaser, without penalty from the software supplier for choosing not to follow the supplier’s upgrade schedule.

TriStar has over 15 years’ experience supporting all “flavors” of the Sage 50/Peachtree product, with hundreds of clients using the software on a daily basis. As the guy from the Farmer’s Insurance commercial says on that clever ad, “We’ve seen a thing or two.”

Talk to us at 610-941-2116 or email us at if you have questions  about your Sage 50 software and your upgrade options, or any other issues regarding your accounting software.