Sage (www.sage.co.uk) is the biggest player in the accounting software market in the UK and offers a range of solutions to suit different businesses, ranging from tiny one-person companies to large multi-nationals. As well as accounting software, the company offers a range of financial/business software, covering the following areas:
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- Accountants and Bookkeepers
- HR and Payroll
- Retail and eCommerce
- Planning and Forecasting
- Service Management
The area that we will look at in this review is the Finance software as this includes Sage’s accounting and bookkeeping software offerings. The list below is not exhaustive, and you should visit the Sage website to see the full range of products and services available.
Sage Finance Software
According to Sage’s website (see above for link), the company has 30 years’ experience in the area of finance software, and has hundreds of thousands of users. The company offers several accounting/bookkeeping software solutions, and there should (within reason) be something that is suitable for most businesses. In this review, we’ll look at the accounting / bookkeeping solutions that the company offers that are suitable for small to medium sized businesses.
Sage One Accounts (online accounting service)
This is a single-user online accounting service that lets you create invoices, submit your VAT return and track who owes you money. It is ideal for very small businesses with between one and five employees. Price starts from £10+VAT per month. Support: 24 hour telephone and email support included in the price of the service. Free Trial: Yes
Sage Instant Accounts (bookkeeping software that you install on your computer)
Easy-to-use single-user bookkeeping software for small businesses of up to 50 employees. The software is available for one-off payment starting from £130+VAT. Support: Free support for 45 days. Free Trial: Online free Test Drive service that lets you try out the software using real sample data.
Sage One Accounts Extra (online accounting service)
A multi-user (up to 20) online accounting service suitable for businesses that have between five and 20 employees. The price of this service is £25+VAT per month. Support: 24 hour telephone and email support included in the price of the service. Free Trial: Yes
Sage 50 Accounts (accounts software that you install on your computer)
Accounts software to help simplify and manage your day-to-day finances, customers, suppliers and VAT. This software (for two users) is ideal for established small to medium sized businesses (with up to 50 employees) who need to take more control of their finances. The software is priced from £619+VAT. Support: Free 45 days SageCover support. Then, from £15.50 per month. Free Trial: Online free Test Drive service that lets you try out the software using real sample data.
Sage One Cashbook (online service)
This is an online service aimed at sole traders who are looking for a simple cash-based accounting tool. It offers a single user license and is suitable for businesses that have a maximum of five employees. Starting at only £5+VAT per month, this online service offers an affordable solution for people who are looking for a simple accounting product. Support: 24/7 telephone support team as well as email support and the online help centre. Free Trial: Yes, free 30 day trial.
Sage Instant Accounts Plus (accounts software that you install on your computer)
This software is aimed at very small businesses (up to 50 people) who are looking for a basic bookkeeping software application that enables them to keep track of stock, sales and other day-to-day finances. This two-user software is available for a one-off fee starting at £215+VAT. Support: Free telephone support for 45 days. Free Trial: Online free Test Drive service that lets you try out the software using real sample data.
Sage 50 Accounts Plus (accounts software that you install on your computer)
Heavy weight accounts software to manage finances, customers, suppliers and VAT, with additional stock, project costing and pricing tools. This accounting software is ideal foe established small to medium sized businesses who are able to take control of their own finances, to manage stock and flexible pricing options and project costing. The software allows for two users and is suitable for businesses of up to 50 employees. The price of this software starts at £899+VAT. Support: Free telephone support for 45 days. Free Trial: Yes, online test drive.
Sage 50 Accounts Professional (accounts software that you install on your computer)
This really is the daddy of the bunch, and offers accounts software for managing finances, customers, suppliers, and VAT. The software features purchase order, sales order and foreign trading tools, and is suitable for established small to medium sized businesses who want to take control of their day-to-day finances, to produce sales and purchase orders and trade overseas. As you would expect, this software comes at a fairly hefty price starting at £1219+VAT. It allows up to 10 uses and is suitable for businesses with up to 50 employees. Support: 45 days free support. Free Trial: Yes, online test drive.
Which Sage Product Should I Choose?
You can see from the list above that Sage gives you plenty of choice when it comes to accounting / bookkeeping software. The possible problem, if you decide to go down the Sage route, is knowing which product is right for you. One of the features on the Sage website though is the option to compare similar Sage products with each other, which will probably help you to narrow down the possibilities.
Also, if you look at the above list of products, you’ll see that some are available as online accounting solutions, whilst others are available as downloadable software that you install on the computer. Whether you prefer online (web-based / cloud) solutions or the more traditional approach whereby you install the software on your computer is really a matter of taste. Note though that the online versions have ongoing free support, whereas the installable software comes with free support for a fixed period of times and then you have to pay for support.
Draw up a list of all the accounting / bookkeeping activities that you know you need to be able to do and then go through the various products and draw up a short list of two or three and try them out.
As mentioned above, all of the accounting and bookkeeping solutions offer some sort of free trail or software test drive. As you’ll notice, I have not included any screen captures in this review. The reason for this is because in order to gain access to either a free trial or test drive, you have to enter a lot of details about yourself – more than I think is necessary in order to carry out a trial of the software. For that reason, I decided not to register.
Other Accounting Software Reviews
You might be interested in reading the following review(s):