Posts in Sage Software
Try TUG for 90 Days on Us

Contractor Business Solutions Northwest invites you to join us as members of TUG, The Users Group for Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, Sage 100 Contractor & Sage Estimating. The guiding purpose of TUG is to connect members with others who use the software on a daily basis so they can learn from each other, exchange knowledge and collaborate to find real-world solutions.  Whether you are just starting out or have been using the software for years, TUG’s member community of experts and other users will provide you with a variety of channels to learn time saving tips and tricks, gain productive solutions, build a support network and ultimately get the most out of your investment.

TUG Member Benefits Include:

Company-Based Membership

Everyone in the company who uses the software can have their own log-in to access the features of

FREE Monthly Training Webinars

Led by consultants and every day users on a variety of topics and modules

Year-End Closing Webinar Series

Cover steps to close year-end books – offered live and recorded

TUG Pulse Monthly Newsletter

Filled with articles, tips and tricks and other valuable info written by members and consultants

TUG Talk Online Bulletin Board

Post questions/issues and view messages from expert monitors and other users

TUG National Users Conference & Regional Workshop

Both events feature hands-on labs and lectures led by consultants and users – member discount for each employee

2016 TUG National Users Conference – May 17-20, 2016 2016 TUG Regional Workshop – Details Coming Soon!

Sage Enhancement Requests

TUG maintains a close relationship with Sage to share member feedback and funnel product news

Career Center

Search and/or post current job openings as well as resumes

Masters Club Program

Earn service points for sharing your knowledge with other users such as writing articles, leading webinars, etc. and redeem those points for gift cards and other rewards

To receive 90 days of TUG membership for free, click on this link and enter the promo code of CBSNW16.

Hold Off On That Windows 10 Upgrade

hand handinnenfläche stopDon't Upgrade to Windows 10 yet.

If you are using:

  • Sage 100 Contractor
  • Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate  OR
  • Sage Estimating
To run your construction business, please wait to upgrade to Windows 10.

Sage is still testing these products on Windows 10, so they are not officially supported yet.

While there have not been any major issues reported yet, we strongly recommend waiting. We'll let you know (here and via our newsletter) when Windows 10 is officially supported by Sage.

If you would like to learn more, here is the official link to the Sage Knowledgebase article on this subject.

In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Sage Summit Videos Available

Sage Summit 2015 was held in New Orleans last month. It was a great event - we enjoyed reconnecting with a lot of familiar faces and meeting new people as well. The event was jam packed with celebrities and great speakers. Many of the sessions were recorded and the replays are now available on the Sage Summit 2015 website.

Here is a replay of the keynote where Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, tells us about the Sage future and technologies with the customer at the center.

What is Sage Bid Management?

bid-managementSage Bid Management is cloud-based bid software. It works with both Sage 100 Contractor (formerly MasterBuilder) and Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Timberline).

How It Helps Your Business

Sage Bid Management helps address the challenges of building and managing your bidder lists. It also helps you put bids together quickly and efficiently - so you won't struggle to submit your proposals on time.

Sage Bid Management enables true collaboration with everyone on your project team, including estimators, subcontractors, and material suppliers. With your bid process automated and streamlined, your, estimators will have more time for vendor/subcontractor pre-qualification, selection and negotiating the best contract terms.

Finally, you can have a single, convenient, and secure online location where information can be viewed, accessed, and shared with bidders. You’ll gain better control throughout the pre-construction phase of every project—laying the foundation for successful and profitable projects.

Want to Learn More?

Contact us if you have any questions or if you'd like to receive a copy of the Sage Bid Management fact sheet.

Sage Summit 2015

Sage Summit will be held in New Orleans later this month, between July 27 - 30, 2015. This years summit features an impressive line up of speakers including:

  • Colin Powell
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Matthew Weiner
  • Trevor Noah
  • Tony Hawk
  • Chad Hurley
  • Jane Seymour
  • Baroness Karren Brady
  • Brandi Temple

and many more.

There will also be plenty of great info about product updates, demos, networking events and opportunities to experience the history and culture of New Orleans.

For more information, including hotel and registration discounts, visit the Sage Summit 2015 website.

Upgrading to Sage Contractor Version 19

old-computer Is it time to update your older version of Sage 100 Contractor/Master Builder to version 19?

Depending upon the version you are starting from, upgrading to the current version may be a multi-step process.

The chart below outlines the steps needed to upgrade from older versions of Sage 100 Contractor/Master Builder to version 19.


Before You Upgrade

Always create a backup of your data before updating your software.  If you have any questions or hesitations about upgrading, please contact us before you begin the upgrade process.

Determining Your Current Version

If you are not sure which version you are currently using, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Home & Resources tab. (or resources button if tabs have been disabled)
  2. Click About Sage 100 Contractor

The version will be displayed on the top line.

Note - You can also find your Sage Client ID number on this page

Upgrade Paths

To determine the steps in your upgrade path, find your software version in the left hand column in the table below and then follow the steps in the "Upgrade Path" column.

Upgrade From Upgrade Path
18.x Upgrade directly to 19. (all 19 versions are full installs with the exception of software notice 15-B)
17.x Upgrade to 18.1, reindex your data, and then upgrade to 19.
16.x Upgrade to 18.1, reindex your data, and then upgrade to 19.
15.x Upgrade to 18.1, reindex your data, and then upgrade to 19.
14.x Upgrade to 18.1, reindex your data, and then upgrade to 19.
13.x Upgrade to 14 and update data by re-indexing. Then upgrade to 18 and update data by re-indexing.Then upgrade to 19.
12.x Upgrade to 13 and update data by re-indexing. Then upgrade to 14 and update data by re-indexing. Then upgrade to 18 and update data by re-indexing.Then upgrade to 19.
11.x Upgrade to 12 and update data by re-indexing. Then upgrade to 14 and update data by re-indexing. Then upgrade to 18 and update data by re-indexing.Then upgrade to 19.
10.x Upgrade to 12 and update data by re-indexing. Then upgrade to 14 and update data by re-indexing. Then upgrade to 19.


Get Paid Faster with the latest version of Sage 100 Contractor

Sage 100 ContractorSage 100 Contractor continues to add features to help you streamline you workflows and manage your construction business. The latest version helps contractors improve cash flow by shortening the time is takes to collect your receivables by providing tight integration with Sage Payment Solutions. Other new features include the ability to:

  • Easily submit certified reporting in more states.
  • Streamline navigation to access external files and accelerate your workflow.


Sage Payment Solutions

The latest version of Sage 100 Contractor helps you get paid faster by helping you take better control of your receivables payment processing. You'll collect your money faster when you process virtual checks/ACH and credit card receivables easily and securely through the tight integration with Sage Payment Solutions. With this latest version you gain immediate access to all your critical payment data and protect your company from fraud, noncompliance fines or potential legal action.

This tight integration with Sage Payment Solutions keeps your data and your customers' data secure by storing sensitive bank and credit card information in a secure PCI-compliant vault, rather than your software.

You'll also save time and eliminate data entry errors since you'll only enter data once through Sage 100 Contractor to record it in both your accounting system and Sage Payment Solutions.

Certified Payroll

Sage 100 Contractor also helps you save time while complying with the Davis-Bacon Act. This latest verssion includes automated certified reporting for government-funded projects in 49 states (all except Washington). You'll gain greater visibility into your compliance status when you create, print and opt to e-file (using Aatrix eFiling Services) weekly report forms that conform to varying state regulations.

Improve Navigations and Workflows

Process shortcuts are another feature of Sage 100 Contractor that will save you time in your daily work. These shortcuts not only improve navigation by allowing you to jump right the area of the software that you need, they also give you the ability to access external information you directly from the Sage 100 Contractor Desktop. Rather than having to leave the software and search for information stored in a spreadsheet, Word document, or web page, you can simply click on a shortcut and access the information you need without leaving Sage 100 Contractor.

Version 19.3 vs. 19.4

Sage Contractor 100 version 19.4 is the latest edition for contractors who live and/or work in Canada. New features in Version 19.4 include EFT updates to allow Sage 100 Contractor to communicate using the 005 Standard, accepted by a majority of Canadian banks, the Recapture Input Tax Credit (RITC), and vacation accrual designed for Canadian payroll.


In order to updgrade to Sage 100 Contractor Version 19.3, you must be on Version 18.1 or newer. Give us a call if you are using an older version of Sage 100 Contractor (formely MasterBuilder) or if you have any questions about the latest version of the software.

Want More Information?

Contact us for more information about how Sage 100 Contractor and Sage Payment solutions can help you get paid faster and streamline your construction office workflow.


What is Sage 100 Contractor?

Sage 100 Contractor, formerly known as Sage Master Builder, is an accounting and business management software package designed for small to mid-market construction companies. It is designed to meet the needs of  both general contractors and  specialty contractors. Sage 100 Contractor is often the choice of construction companies that have outgrown generic accounting software.  It provides an integrated solution for managing all functions of your construction business including accounting, estimating, project scheduling, project management, job costing, and service management. One of the benefits of this tightly integrated system is that users only need to enter data once – this helps to reduce mistakes, keep information current, and gives you more time to manage your business rather than completing paperwork.

Learn more about Sage 100 Contractor by this demo video.

If you have any questions or would like to see a personalized demo of Sage 100 Contractor, feel free to contact us.

Sage 2014 Construction IT Survey

Sage software recently surveyed over 800 construction professionals from small and midsized firms to understand their expectations, concerns, and plans regarding emerging information technology (IT) solutions. Here are some of the things

they learned from the survey:

  • 35% of the firms surveyed did not have an employee dedicated to IT
  • Construction firms are investing in new technology to help streamline their processes and improve communications
  • 49% of construction firms do not have a mobile security policy
  • Over 80% of construction professionals surveyed view mobile technology as an important IT Solution

More information about the results from the Sage 2014 Construction Survey can be found in their infographic below:


Automatically Monitor Your Construction Business

MyAssistantDo you ever wish for an assistant who would keep an eye on your business and notify you when an issue arises that needs your attention – an early warning system to help you spot sparks before they turn into fires? If so, then you will want to take a look at Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate MyAssistant.

Your Digital Assistant

MyAssistant proactively monitors key performance indicators, provides instant alerts about issues needing attention along with the information you need to take action. MyAssistant helps you monitor and manage all phases of a project by automatically generating reports, spreadsheets, documents, and email alerts. It will then deliver this information into the hands of those who need it, when they need it..

Here is a small sample of the what MyAssistant can do:

  • Identify subcontractors with insurance expiring in 30 days and sends them a personalized email requesting an updated certificate.
  • Provide each project manager with a list of costs codes that are over budget or close to going over for their jobs.
  • Generate and distribute each project manager’s job reports on a regular schedule.
  • Send an alert when a change request, RFI, or submittal is overdue.
  • Enable project managers to check their job profitability from their Windows Desktop, and notifying team members by email when jobs drop below a profit threshold.
  • Let you know when jobs or contracts have not been billed in a certain number of days
  • Alert you when costs are entered to phases without estimates, or to a job that has fully billed (or closed )

Get Help Managing Documents

MyAssistant can also help you stay on top of all of the documents and other details that come with managing a construction project. For example, it can:

  • Provide a list of invoices as soon as they’re overdue, and send reminders to past due customers
  • Send employees their direct deposit play stubs.
  • Notify you of work orders completed but not yet billed
  • Tell you when leases or lease options are expiring.
  • Let you know about invoices with discounts that are soon to expire

Managing By Exception

With MyAssistant you can spend more time focusing on managing projects and working with customers with the confidence of knowing that important tasks won’t fall through the cracks, because if they do, MyAssistant will catch them and alert you to them.

To learn more about MyAssistant, download the brochure from our website, or contact us for a demo.

Cash Flow Analysis for Construction and Real Estate

Cash is the single most important asset that keeps your contracting business running. Owners and managers need accounting and business systems that give them the ability to evaluate cash flow and liquidity at the company and individual job level as well as by job groups, job supervisors, etc.. They need to be able to analyze overall trends and quickly drill down to the project level in order to determine which projects are providing positive cash flow and which are using cash.

Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate provides flexible, interactive reporting tools business owners need to effectively manage their operations and cash flow..

Watch the short product demonstration video below to see how Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate’s Excel based reporting makes it easy to spot cash flow trends and drill down to the detail level so you can address issues before they become big problems.

Have questions or want to see more? Contact us for a no-pressure demo or consultation.

You can view additional demo videos here.

What's New in Sage 100 Contractor Version 19.2

New onlineThe Fall Release (version 19.2) of Sage 100 Contractor (formerly MasterBuilder) include several enhancements that will contractors manage their day-to-day business activities and simplify their year-end accounting procedures. Simplified and more powerful year-end processing

The fiscal year end can be hectic and stressful for owners of contracting businesses. Sage 100 Contractor now offers new features designed specifically to simplify year-end process.

The new multi-year General Ledger capabilities, allow companies to post transactions to the new fiscal year as they take time to complete the current year end. You’ll have more time to focus on important tasks such as generating financial statements, entering adjusting entries, or printing W-2s and 1099s, which require greater attention.

New flexibility working with adjusting entries, which can overload you at year end, gives you more time to post adjustments before archiving the prior year’s data - helping to avoid the complexity of making adjustments within archived years. Archive your previous year when it’s most convenient for you.

Ever panic wondering if you forgot to manually reset your 1099 balances at the beginning of the year? No more worries! Whether you’ve archived your data or not, your 1099 information is automatically stored and available by calendar year, ensuring your 1099 process is quick and easy, without the fear that a missed step could cause future reporting errors.

Reliable, automated state-certified reporting

Streamline your state certified payroll reporting process and gain better visibility into the status of your government filings. If you work on government or public works projects in Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania (where the federal DOL WH347 is not accepted) you can quickly generate and submit electronic certified payroll reports using Sage 100 Contractor and Aatrix® eFiling Services.

Centralized software notices and updates

Have you ever started processing payroll in the new year only to realize that you hadn't installed the year-end update and were using last year’s tax tables? With the amount of email we receive on a daily basis, it’s easy to overlook  important software update notifications—or even install those updates when necessary.

Take control of your updates with the new ability to schedule the frequency of software update checks, view available updates, and install them quickly from a single screen with our new Sage Advisor Update tool. You can also see a history of  installed updates and automatically notify others that new updates are available.

Contact us if you have any questions about the latest updates or join us for a live training session on December 3, 2013.

Sage 100 Contractor Version 19.2 Release Training

Sage 100 ContractorSage 100 Contractor Version 19.2 was recently released and includes several new features to that will help simplify year end processing. To help you get up and running as quickly as possible with the new features, plan on attending a training session with one of our Sage 100 Contractor experts. The training is webinar based, so you can attend from the comfort of your own office. The timing of this installation is not the same for everyone…you’ll want to understand when to install this release for YOUR company to achieve a smooth transition!

During this live webinar we will cover:

  • The best time to install the new release for YOUR company to achieve a smooth transition (the timing is NOT the same for everyone).
  • Multi-Year General Ledger
  • Enhanced Void Process
  • State-specific Certified Payroll Reports
  • File Structure Changes
  • Sage Advisor Update
  • And Much More!

This is NOT just a review of the new version; we will receive in-depth training on all of the new features and enhancements so that you’ll be able to use them immediately in your company.

There are two remaining training sessions available. You can learn more and register for a session now by clicking a date below:

Tue, Nov 19, 2013 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST

Thu, Dec 5, 2013 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM PST

Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration with information you need to join the Webinar.

Sage 100 vs Sage 300 - Which is Right for you?

Which Way to Go - 3 Colorful Arrow SignsSage 100 Contractor and Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate are both excellent, construction specific, integrated accounting and business management software solutions. Each of these programs give you the ability to manage your accounting, create estimates, make schedules, generate reports, and correspond with vendors, subcontractors, and clients. However, if you are buying your first accounting software solution, or if you are upgrading from a general accounting solution (i.e. QuickBooks) to a construction specific solution, you may find that sorting through the different features and option in order to select the right software solution for your construction company to be a daunting task.

In this post I will outline some of the common factors that may drive a construction company to select either Sage 100 Contractor or Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate. While the examples below focus on those two products, the issues to be considered apply to any software solution you may be considering for your company.

Required Functionality vs. Company Size

Recommendations for construction management software are often made based based on the size of your organization. Vendors will measure size by number of employees while others like to measure company size in terms of revenue.

While company size may provide an indication of where to start in your construction software selection process, we find that it is much more important to focus on the functionality you need to run your business. You will also want to consider the relative complexity (or sophistication) of your internal accounting processes and procedures.

For example, some consultants will tell you that if your revenues are $25 million or greater, you should automatically purchase Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate. However, there are plenty of construction companies in the category who use Sage 100 Contractor and are able to meet all of their accounting and project management needs.

While the needs of each builder and construction company will vary, here are some guidelines you can use to help you decide which solution if right for you.

Size and Specialization of Your Accounting Department

Rather than looking at your overall company size, it is sometimes more helpful to look at the number of employees and the division of labor within your accounting and project management departments. If your business has a few employees who “wear several hats” and therefore need access to and information from several areas of your construction management software, then Sage 100 Contractor may be the place to start.

On the other hand, if you have employees with specialized, dedicated functions (i.e.different people handle payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, sub-contractors, etc.) then you may want to take advantage of the specialized modules available in Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate.

Experience of Staff or New to Construction Software

If your company is making the move from a general accounting solution (i.e. QuickBooks) to construction specific software solution, then you may want to opt for the ease of use of Sage 100 Contractor. Ease of use may also be an important factor based upon the experience of the staff who will be using the software on a daily basis.

On the other hand, if have your accounting department includes a CFO or controller in addition to staff accountants and/or bookkeepers who have experience with construction specific software solutions, you may find Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate to be a better fit.

Workflow and Documentation Needs

Sage 100 Contractor and Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate are project management solutions. Managing documents is part of managing construction projects but different companies have different needs when it comes to document management.

Each module in Sage 100 Contractor gives you the ability add file attachments and notes associated with a particular project. This is a great feature for keeping everyone informed and having a central location for all of your project documents.

If you have more sophisticated document management needs, such as workflow, document routing, or contract management, Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate may again be a better fit.

Other Business Needs

There are many other factors you will want to consider when evaluating construction management software solutions

  • What requirements do you have for managing equipment?
  • Do you manage property after it is developed?
  • Do you need to be able to quote (and track) in units?
  • What are your project management needs?
  • How sophisticated are your change order management and reporting needs?
  • Are there multiple company accounting and reporting issues that need to be addressed?

As you can see, there is no one determining factor that goes into selecting the correct solution for your construction business. Trying to select a solution based on a list of features and technical specifications can be a frustrating exercise. To find a solution that fits your company, start by assessing your needs – not only your accounting needs, but the information you need to run and grow your business.

Finding Additional Help

For over 20 years, CBSNW has been helping builders and construction companies select, install, and customize software solutions that provide the information owners need to make better decisions. If you have any questions about finding the right solution for your business, feel free to contact us for a free consultation or request a free copy of Finding the Right Fit - A Guide to Selecting the Right Software Solution for Your Construction Company

Sage Construction Anywhere - Project Info When and Where You Need It

cloud computing for constructionCloud computing refers sharing resources, software, and information on demand via the Internet. Cloud computing providers often speak of providing software as a service (SAAS), making your software available where ever and when ever you need it - like the electricity grid. You may already be using cloud computing without realizing it. Email services providers (like GMail) and CRM software ( are two popular examples of cloud computing. Early adopters of cloud computing developed tools targeted at very broad audiences, but as cloud computing becomes continues to mature we are seeing specialty software, including construction related software,  also taking advantage of this internet platform.

Sage Construction Anywhere, which launched last May, is a new cloud-based service that gives construction teams access to project information using their tablets, smartphones, and mobile devices. By making project information available to teams in the field, construction companies will be able to make better informed decisions on the job site. Teams also have access to the information they need when they need it outside normal business hours.

In addition to providing construction companies with mobile capabilities, Sage Construction Anywhere address another big need in construction software – the need to collaborate with other members of the project team. Cloud based computing helps keep all project participants, including those outside your organization, involved by giving them access to the project information they need.

Here is a quick video overview of Sage Construction Anywhere:

If you have questions about cloud based construction software and what it can do for you, give us a call at (800) 209-6927.

Sage Brand Changes

As some of you may have heard, Sage is preparing to roll out a new branding effort that will involve renaming their products. Product names will be dropped in favor of "Sage" and then a number. For example:

  • Sage Master Builder is becoming Sage 100 Contractor
  • Sage Timberline Office is becoming Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate

We will keep our customers and readers updated as changes are rolled out. While there may be a lot of talk about the re-branding effort in the reseller community, your daily operations are not affected by this announcement. For now, the important things to remember are:

  • Your software is still supported – it is not “going away”
  • Sage is still committed to delivering superior products and customer service
  • CBSNW will continue to provide the same level of service you have come to expect
  • You don’t need to take any action related to this name change

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the product rebranding or any communications you receive from directly from Sage.

For those of you who are interested, this brief video from Sage describes the brand name evolution: