Sage consolidates with product review

Sage has written to its accountancy software customers confirming its announcement to discontinue or update eight products from its current range.

Continuing the consolidation within the market, the Newcastle-based supplier has carried out an independent review of its existing products and selected a core range of best-of-breed audit, taxation and practice management software applications.

As a result of the review, all five products which it gained following the acquisition of CSM – Taxman, Business Tax, Accountant’s Desktop, MinuteMan and AuditMan II – are to be discontinued.

However, the company has announced it will offer free or low cost upgrades for users of the packages and will offer support until April next year.

Other products to be shelved are Hartley Time Management, Sage Final Accounts Production (formerly Audit 2000) and Sage Taxation – Personal Tax (formerly Taxsoft).

In the letter to customers, Gavin May, general manager of the Professional Accountants Division at the company, said: “As the pace of technological change increases, smaller independent software vendors are finding it increasingly difficult to make the necessary investments in R&D [research and development] to develop and support up-to-date versions of their applications.”

“Sage believes that it is in the interest of our customers to focus our resources on a core range of audit, taxation and practice management software that meets the needs of all sectors of the accounting profession,” he continued.

The decision to reduce the number of products Sage supports follows the recent acquisitions of Hartley, Apex and CSM. However, nobody was available at the company to confirm or deny that it had suffered database problems which may have led to a number of customers not receiving the discontinuation plans.

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