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Payroll Updates for Compliance with the Revised W-4 Withholding Form

Several new payroll fields were added on the Withholding Info tab of the Maintain Employees screen, and changes were made to the payroll tax calculator to keep payroll tax computation compliant in years 2020 and later.


1099 Tax Form Integration with Aatrix

In 2015, Sage added the option of doing 1099s using a "Mapping Wizard" that was supposed to allow you export your 1099 data to Excel, and then follow a 21 step process (that didn't really work) to import the data in Aatrix so that 1099 forms could be printed on blank forms and/or filed electronically.

Sage 50 US 2020.1 will directly integrate 1099 data with the Aatrix Tax Forms engine, eliminating the need to manually manipulate and map data. This will make it much easier to eFile 1099s. That's very good news for anyone in a state that requires all 1099 issuers to eFile (I'm looking at you Oklahoma).


Human Resources Forms with Aatrix

I haven't seen any details about this addition but, according to the announcement from Sage, "...the Aatrix Human Resource Forms and Compliance Engine offers a comprehensive set of forms for employee and payroll management."

You'll be able to access the new forms by going to the Reports & Forms menu Forms > Human Resource Forms.

Sage 50 2020 New Features

Select a Customer Contact When Emailing

When emailing an invoice or other customer form, there will now be a drop-down list that let's you choose from the list of contacts for that customer. Previously it would only send to the primary email for each customer. You are still limited to one contact per email. This only works when sending individual emails, not when batch emailing forms. This new drop-down menu is available in Quotes, Sales Orders, Proposals, Sales/Invoicing, Receive Money, and Credit Memos.

Longer Deposit Ticket ID

The Deposit Ticket ID field has been expanded from 8 characters to 20 characters. This will be a big benefit to anyone who likes to use the date as part of their deposit ticket ID.

Longer Address Fields

The address fields for customers, vendors, and employees have been expanded from 30 characters to 50.

Longer Item Type Field

The Item Type field for inventory items has been expanded from 8 characters to 20.

Vendor Notes Field

In the Maintain Vendors screen a Notes field has been added that can hold up to 255 characters. The note field does not print on any forms.

Additional Fields on the Withholding Info Tab

Several states have passed legislation that requires new payroll deductions and formulas. To accommodate these new formulas and the variables that they require, Sage has added "Special 3", "Special 4", and Special 5" fields to the Withholding Info tab of the Maintain Employees window.

Inbox Bell Icon

In the upper right corner of the main Sage 50 window, a bell icon has been added to notify you of unread messages from Sage.

Database Upgrade from Pervasive v11 to Actian Zen v13

The database engine that Sage 50 uses to manage your data (Pervasive) has been renamed "Actian Zen" and Sage has switched from using version 11 to version 13. This is a behind-the-scenes change that won't directly affect how most people use Sage 50. But according to Sage, it will improve performance in some database operations, it includes the latest security countermeasures to protect your data, and it helps ensure compatibility with the latest Windows updates. There is one aspect of this change that will affect some users. Because of the database change, Sage 50 versions older than 2019 will not work on the same computer as Sage 50 2020. But this will affect very few people other than accountants who need to support clients on multiple versions of Sage 50.



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Cash Account Default Setting

The cash account field in the Receive Money (AKA Receipts) window remembers the last account that was used. When transactions get posted to a less commonly used account, this often leads to future transactions being posted to the wrong  cash account. Now there is an optional setting in Maintain > Default Information > Customers that allows you to set a default cash account for the Receive Money window. When this option is turned on, you can change the cash account in the Receive Money window but after saving the transaction, the Cash Account field will automatically revert back to the account defined in Customer Defaults. If you have set a default cash account for a specific customer on the Payment & Credit tab of the Maintain Customers/Prospects window, it will temporarily override the account set in Customer Defaults when entering a receipt for that customer.

Wider Invoice Number Column in Receive Money and Payments windows

The Invoice column in the Receive Money window and in the Payments (Pay Bills) window has been resized to allow it to display the full invoice number even for invoices using the maximum 20 characters. No more guessing which invoice you are selecting!

Drag & Drop Attachments

Sage 50 has, for many years, allowed you to attach files to maintenance records (customers, vendors, etc.) as well as transactions. They have now enhanced that feature so that you can drag an drop a file into the attachments window instead of having to browse for the file. List windows for Customers, Sales Invoices, Purchase Orders, Purchases, and Payments now have the option of adding an "Attachments" column so you can easily see which records have attachments. FYI this feature will not work if Sage 50 was opened using the Run As Administrator option.

Easier Access to Aatrix Human Resources Forms

The 2020.1 update to Sage 50 added access to a library of human resources from from Aatrix (payroll and e-file subscriptions required). To make access easier, "Human Resources Forms" has now been added to the Forms button in the Employees & Payroll tab navigation aid.

Inbox Notification Panel

The bell icon near the top right of the main Sage 50 window notifies you of messages from Sage. It now opens a new streamlined panel to make those messages easier to read and manage.

Apps & Services Tab

The Cloud & Mobile tab has been renamed Apps & Services to provide more consistent naming throughout the program

Behind the scenes changes

Changes that Sage refers to as "technology modernization" have been implemented that "allows the Sage 50 U.S. R&D team to adopt new modern technology in the future and deliver enhanced product functionality and features compatible with the latest Windows OS." I know it's not very exciting when "updates" don't result in new features. But it's exactly this kind of investment that is needed to maintain Sage 50 and allow them to keep adding new features. And I'm glad to see Sage investing in this product.


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