In South Africa and most of the rest of Africa, Sage Pastel Partner Advantage is the accounting system of choice for medium and large businesses looking for desktop accounting software. Its entry-level option, Sage Pastel Xpress, is used by many thousands of small businesses to run their accounting.With over 200 000 businesses using this technology, it has been proven to be a long-term winner in the marketplace. In addition, with over 2 400 online searches a month for the phrase ‘Pastel Accounting’, it is still being sought by many new and existing businesses.Sage Pastel Partner Advantage version 14 has recently been released. This new version offers loads of new features and integrates with many online services offered by Sage Pastel. So, when Sage Pastel says they have moved ‘beyond accounting’, this is in fact true. The accounting system of today should not just be a place where you record financial transactions. Rather, it should form the core of your business; improving many of your functions and streamlining and integrating with many services.Sage Pastel Partner Advantage offers the following value added services:Sage Pastel Accounting on-the-go is a mobile app that enables your salespeople to view customer history and data as well as place orders for their customers from any connected mobile phone. Direct importing of bank statements into your Pastel Accounting software, including recognising and allocating repeat transactions to the right accounts. Direct supplier payments at a cheaper rate than most banks. This feature allows you to pay your suppliers from within your accounting system without even going to the bank. Thereafter, all payments are correctly allocated – this is a great time saver. Direct integration with Sage Online Tools allows you to easily build your website and mobile site, do email and SMS marketing campaigns, integrate your products from Sage Pastel Partner Advantage directly into your website and receive orders to be processed for full eCommerce functionality. Other features include your blog and landing pages for AdWords and eight out-of-the-box canned management reports to help you analyse your business. Unlimited support when purchased under the Advantage package. This is very important and is truly one of the key reasons to choose Sage Pastel Partner Advantage. No other provider has such a large support team, dealer network and management tools designed to ensure you get the help you need when you need it. Finally, you get 90 days of free cloud backup with your Sage Pastel Partner Advantage purchase. This enables you to start building business continuity principles into your business and be sure that when trouble strikes you are able to recover your data using cloud services and continue to do business using Sage Pastel Partner Advantage. In business, if you have planned and are ready for a problem, you can overcome it. A lot of businesses lurch from one crisis to another and as a result do not have the time to plan and strategise.Sage Pastel chose to partner with IronTree to offer our cloud backup services as they realised that it was a critical component of the offering to their clients who in the past have backed up to writable CDs, memory sticks or obsolete tape devices. Cloud backup is the simplest and safest solution for the financial data of your business. The cloud backup is transferred and stored in an encrypted and compressed state, is not easy to steal unlike memory sticks and CDs or DVDs and if your office were to burn down will still be available to you.Choosing the right software to run your business is a key priority. With all of the value adds, the huge support team and the fact that skilled bookkeepers invariably know Pastel accounting, it is the software to choose.We are busy developing a full cloud-based business continuity system, which will be available in early 2015. This will be offered to all existing IronTree customers as well as to Sage Pastel Advantage customers as a free option when they opt in to the IronTree cloud backup service. (Note: Free for one location and five users).