Sage announces Accountant Cloud platform, solution updates at Summit 2017

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Sage unveiled a new solution and updates to existing products at the Sage Summit user conference Wednesday, including new connected platform Sage Accountant Cloud.

Available in the fall of 2017, Sage Accountant Cloud enables accountants to manage their practice and clients from an overall, centralized view.

“It is the most comprehensive, connected cloud ecosystem for accountants,” Sage CEO Stephen Kelly told accountants and resellers during the Sage Summit partner day keynote Tuesday.

Sage executives demonstrated the platform for the partners in attendance, showing how a universal client list can drill down into client details and specific jobs and tasks, and how users can easily switch between different components, like accounting and payroll.

Applications a user subscribes to are also available on Sage Accountant Cloud, and can be called up with an app launcher tool.

“For the first time for accountants, a client manager, practice manager, and firm financials are in one place in real-time,” explained Pete Potsos, national accounting manager at Sage. “A key feature is the dashboard, configured by a user for information relevant to them.”

Sage Accountant Cloud was one solution highlighted on the 12-month U.S. product roadmap showcased by Sage EVP of product marketing Jennifer Warawa and Sage EVP of product management Nick Goode.

The year-long plan has three goals, according to the Sage executives: invest in the existing portfolio; lean in to the cloud; and “leap-frog” the competition with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more.

The AI investment includes, as announced in January, linking Sage’s accounting chatbot Pegg with Sage One, utilizing the smart assistant to track expenses and finances via messaging apps Facebook Messenger and Slack, with plans to integrate more messaging tools. Sage has also linked Pegg with intelligent personal assistant Alexa, enabling users to manage finances, customers and scheduling via voice control.

Sage also announced enhancements to X3 intended to further the product’s mission of providing “faster, simpler, flexible ERP,” according to Warawa. Sage X3 version 11 features include: end-to-end supply chain management; flexible production management with graphical production scheduling and a new project management module; inter-company consolidation in real-time; more flexible currency conversion at the transaction or balance sheet levels; embedding of Sage Intelligence Reporting capabilities; a new cross-platform data management and analytics solution; and a new mobile interface.

Sage also outlined recent enhancements for accounting solution Sage 50c and cloud accounting solution Sage Live. The new version of Sage 50c, introduced in January, integrates with Microsoft Office 365 to centralize customers’ accounts. A new version of Sage Live was released Wednesday, the latest in the company’s two-month release cycle for the customizable solution, built on the Salesforce Lightning user interface. This version includes inventory management, WAVE analytics and Salesforce-embedded business intelligence.

Sage also demonstrated Sage One Expenses & Invoices, a companion mobile app for Sage One, available for iOS now and likely available for Android users in about a month, according to the product's marketing leader Ed Bondoc.

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