Sage Introduces Simple SMB Accounting Portal
via Sage North America
Sage North America has introduced a new administrative portal for the Sage Exchange payments platform. Accessible through the web and mobile devices, Sage Exchange enables small and midsized businesses (SMBs) to view, manage, and “connect” their payments environment, and gives SMBs consolidated reporting access to their mobile, point-of-sale (POS), e-commerce, and back office merchant account(s) to help them streamline the back office and manage the payments environment. In the future, Sage Exchange will also provide SMBs with an array of connected services, such as international money transfers and business prepaid cards.
Sage Exchange operates in an advanced, Payment Card Industry (PCI) certified environment to provide businesses with confidence in the security and compliance of their payments program. The Sage Exchange portal will provideSage customers with a simple, three-step approach to “connect” their payment devices with their Sage accounting and ERP software to allow them to automatically post and reconcile their payment transactions.
“Integrating payments with accounting systems has previously only been available to large businesses, given the costs and complexities of mapping and communicating the data from the point-of-sale to the back-office software,” said Greg Hammermaster, president of Sage Payment Solutions, the payments division for Sage North America. “We designed Sage Exchange for the SMB, so a non-technical person can integrate payments with an accounting system in three easy steps. And, we’ll further this value proposition by expanding the Sage Exchange marketplace to offer businesses a menu of integrated apps and services to help them manage and grow.”
The Sage Exchange portal facilitates the integration of web-based virtual terminals, physical POS terminals for store-front businesses, e-commerce sites, and even mobile devices equipped with Sage Mobile Payments, to help businesses expand their sales channels, get paid quickly, and eliminate the need to manually enter and reconcile payments in their accounting system. Sage Exchange will soon offer SMBs numerous advanced capabilities for connected devices, including dynamic couponing for retail businesses and mobile business solutions for service-oriented businesses.
“As mobile POS solutions mature, it will be increasingly important for businesses to have access to integrated solutions that work holistically with financial management tools,” said Nick Holland, senior analyst at Boston, Mass.-based Yankee Group, a preeminent research and advisory firm equipping enterprises to profit in a mobile world. “This applies particularly for smaller businesses where cash flow, accounting, and analytics are critical for survival.”
Sage Exchange will help increase the mobility of the average SMB by allowing them to take their Sage business management solution with them using their smart phone or tablet. For example, portal users will be able to query and select an invoice from their Sage accounting or ERP system; have their customer pay the invoice via credit card; process the transaction; and then post back into their Sage accounting or ERP system – all from their mobile device.
Integrated marketing tools are being built into Sage Exchange to allow businesses to drive repeat business by designing custom coupons, using both text and images, to be printed on their customers’ credit card receipts. Additionally, Sage will be adding a custom gift card solution to Sage Exchange, so businesses will be able to expand their exposure and drive customer loyalty through offering their own store-branded prepaid cards.
Users of Sage Exchange also benefit by viewing their merchant accounts and associated payment applications in an ‘active tile’ dashboard, letting them determine what reports or solutions they want to quickly view and, with a simple click or tap on the tile, launch the full report or connected solution. Administratively, the Sage Exchange portal offers permissions-based user roles, so businesses can determine the level of access employees have to the features, information, and available services within the portal.
Sage Exchange requires no IT resources to gain the full benefit of integrated payments, and businesses can feel secure when managing their payment devices and applications in the Sage Exchange PCI compliant environment.
The Sage Exchange portal will integrate with the Sage 50 Accounting U.S. Edition (formerly Sage Peachtree) 2013 product line, being released this month, and will integrate with other Sage accounting and ERP solutions later this year. Using built-in integration with Sage Exchange, Sage accounting and ERP customers can attain best practices in payment processing to help them eliminate data entry, save time, and reduce potential errors.
Sage has been providing businesses and organizations with electronic payment systems for more than 20 years. The company allows more than 155,000 merchants to accept multiple forms of payment, including credit and debit cards, electronic checks, Check21, gift and loyalty cards, and automatic recurring payment. Sage Payment Solutions provides a wide range of secure standalone and integrated payment processing solutions, including Sage Exchange, Sage Virtual Terminal, Sage Mobile Payments, and Sage Patient Payments. Visit Sage Payment Solutions online at www.sagepayments.com, or follow them on Twitter at http://sagepayments.com/twitter and on Facebook at http://sagepayments.com/facebook.
About Sage: Sage is a leading global supplier of business management software and services for small and midsized businesses. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs more than 12,300 people and supports more than 6 million customers worldwide. For more information about Sage in North America, please visit the company website at www.SageNorthAmerica.com.
Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda
New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.
According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.
And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.
Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.
Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax
Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.
According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”
Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models
Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.
Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected
in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.
"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."
Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities
Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.
At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”
Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting
Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.
Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact
Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements
Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.