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  • Free Plan: /
  • Free Trial: One month free
  • App Integrations: 80+
  • Mobile Apps: Android and iOS
  • Customer Support: Phone, Live Chat, Email, Knowledge Base

minimum price:

£12

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Sage Review

In this Sage review, we'll take a look at what this cloud accounting software offers and weigh the pros and cons to help you decide if it's the best fit for your business.

Sage Review

minimum price:

£12

Visit Website
  • Free Plan: /
  • Free Trial: One month free
  • App Integrations: 80+
  • Mobile Apps: Android and iOS
  • Customer Support: Phone, Live Chat, Email, Knowledge Base

Best For

Impressive customer support

STRENGTHS

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Wide range of features
  • Automated data entry
  • Excellent invoicing software
  • Excellent customer support

WEAKNESSES

  • No time tracking software
  • Payroll is charged extra

With a long-lasting reputation for providing powerful and reliable accounting software, Sage has remained a popular choice for small business owners across the UK for many years.

The company’s cloud-based accounting solution has all the features you need to manage your finances, from invoicing and payments to tracking expenses and preparing tax returns.

In this Sage review, we’ll take a closer look at what makes Sage stand out from the competition and how it can benefit your business. So, whether you’re considering making the switch to Sage or just want to learn more about this cloud accounting software, read on!

What Is Sage?

Sage is a UK-based company that offers accountancy software solutions. One of the many products offered by the company is Sage Business Cloud Accounting, a web-based accounting software designed to help small businesses and sole traders manage their business’s accounting.

Formerly known as Sage One, the software allows users to create invoices, track expenses, prepare tax returns, and manage their finances all in one place. In addition to that, UK users can also use Sage to run payroll.

Sage was founded in 1981 in Newcastle, beginning as a startup business. Its founder, David Goldman, aimed to automate the basic accounting process in his own business and worked with a team of Newcastle University students to develop software to achieve that.

After realising that other companies could also benefit from it, Goldman launched Sage in 1981 and started selling the software.

Since then, Sage has grown to become one of the world’s leading accounting software providers, with over 6 million customers worldwide. Although still headquartered in Newcastle, the company now employs over 11,000 people in 24 countries and offers a wide range of accounting, payroll, and HR products for businesses of all sizes.

How Does Sage Work?

Getting started with Sage Business Cloud is simple and straightforward. The software works in your browser and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, so there is no need to install anything to get started.

To sign up to Sage, you only need to provide your contact information, your VAT registration status, and some basic information about your business, such as the type of company your business is and the address where it is registered.

Once you’ve finished creating your account, you will be taken to the main Sage dashboard. The navigation bar at the top of the dashboard outlines all the major areas of the software, with options including Summary, Sales, Purchases, Contacts, Products and Services, and more.

The Summary tab is where all the key information about your business is gathered, with information changing based upon which of the four options (Sales, Purchases, Cash Flow Statement, and Cash Flow Forecast) you’ve selected.

Sage Summary Tab | CyberCrew

For instance, clicking on the Sales tab will show you a chart summarising your sales, including your Net Sales, Sales Invoices, Sales Credit Notes, and Other Receipts.

You can also choose which of these appear in the chart by clicking on the relevant option below the chart.

The cash flow forecast option can also be very useful for small businesses, as it provides an estimate of how your finances will likely change in the near future, based on when invoices are due to be paid. Moreover, if you are VAT registered, the software also gives you a VAT liability forecast.

When you scroll down further, you can see a full breakdown of your invoices, with charts for outstanding sales invoices, overdue sales invoices and quotes & estimates. The main dashboard also shows you who your top five customers and top five debtors are, as well as an estimate of your VAT returns.

Sage Main Dashboard | CyberCrew

Hovering over the red plus icon at the far right of the dashboard opens the Create menu, from where you can create invoices, enter receipts, and add customers and suppliers.

Moreover, if you have existing data, such as customer and supplier details, you can import it from Excel or any other spreadsheet directly into the Sage Accounting software.

Finally, clicking on your company name at the top right of the main dashboard will allow you to manage your subscription and business account. From there, you can change the name and location of your business, upgrade or downgrade your subscription, invite your accountant, integrate apps, and so on.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting also integrates with most major UK banks, allowing you to automatically import your transactions and save time by eliminating manual data entry.

Overall, Sage has a very intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it an excellent option for small business moving their accounting to the cloud for the first time. In addition, the software is constantly being updated with new features and improvements, so you can be sure that Sage will continue to meet your needs as your business grows.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting Key Features

Invoicing

Invoicing is an essential feature of any cloud accounting software, and Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers a comprehensive automated invoicing solution.

One of the best parts about Sage’s invoicing is that it allows you to see exactly which invoices have been sent, which are overdue, and which are paid right from the main dashboard, making it easy to stay on top of your sales and track what you’re owed.

The invoice creation process is also really smooth and intuitive. The software already contains all your business data, such as customers, products, and services, so all you need to do is select them from the corresponding dropdown menu.

If you have to enter new data, you can do it directly within the invoice creation window without having to switch back and forth between different parts of the software.

A quick entry system also allows you to enter a batch of invoices for multiple customers.

You can also easily apply discounts and, if needed, add notes and terms specific to that particular invoice. Invoices can also be saved as drafts and previewed at the click of a mouse.

Sage also integrates seamlessly with Stripe, allowing you to accept online payments directly from invoices, with the payment automatically reconciled into Accounting.

A slight drawback is that you cannot customise your invoices while creating them. Instead, you have to go into the Setting menu and choose your default template from there.

Luckily, there are plenty of customisation options, with three service-based and three product-based templates, all of which can be personalised with your own company logo and colours.

VAT Return Filing

Sage Business Cloud Accounting also makes it quick and easy to calculate and submit your VAT tax returns under HMRC’s Making Tax Digital initiative.

To do that, simply navigate to Reporting from the main dashboard, click on VAT returns, and select the Create VAT Return option. The software will then automatically calculate your VAT return based on the invoices filed during that particular reporting period.

You can then check the VAT report and make adjustments if needed. Once you’re happy with the report, you can submit your VAT return with a single click. As already mentioned, Sage also includes your estimated VAT return in your Cash Flow Forecast, allowing you to plan accordingly for the expense.

Automated Data Entry

Sage Business Cloud Accounting also integrates seamlessly with AutoEntry, saving you countless hours of doing admin and manual data entry.

You can simply snap a photo of a document, whether it is a receipt, bill, invoice, or expense, and have all the important data automatically extracted. Sage Cloud Accounting includes this feature in its intermediate and premium plans, and it comes for free during the first two months. After that, pricing depends on the usage level.

Sage Payroll

The Sage Business Cloud Payroll software is an optional extra that comes at an additional cost and allows you to pay up to 100 employees.

With Sage Cloud Payroll, you can manage your employees’ payments and deductions and accurately calculate National Insurance contributions and PAYE and pensions tax filing. In addition to that, the software allows you to submit payroll reports to HMRC and generate payslips, P60s, and other important payroll documents.

The Sage Payroll software starts at £7 a month for businesses with one to five employees and goes up and £102 a month for businesses with a maximum of 100 employees.

Number of Employees Price
1 to 5 £7
6 to 10 £12
11 to 15 £17
16 to 25 £27
26 to 23 £37
36 to 50 £52
51 to 75 £77
76 to 100 £102

Mobile App

Sage Business Cloud Accounting also offers a mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. With the Sage Accounting mobile app, you can do everything from checking your business performance to tracking invoices and managing expenses, all on the go. 

In addition, you can import all of your contacts on your Android and iOS device into the app, saving you hours of manually entering data, such as phone numbers and addresses. The app also allows you to take pictures of receipts and upload them directly to your Sage account for expense tracking purposes.

Sage Customer Support 

Sage is one of the few cloud-based accounting platforms that offer a full scope of customer support options, from phone and email support to a live chat service and a comprehensive online knowledge base.

Unlike many of its competitors, the Sage Accounting software offers 24/7 phone support for UK users, meaning that you can always get in touch with someone if you have a question or encounter a problem.

Sage Customer Support | CyberCrew

Sage’s live chat service is available Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm, and if you have a query that is not too urgent, you can always reach out to Sage via email and expect an answer within one working day.

As an additional support option, Sage also provides free training courses and live webinars that include live Q&As with Sage experts.

There is also a comprehensive knowledge base that includes a search function, so you can quickly find answers to common questions.

Overall, Sage’s customer support is very impressive and should be able to meet the needs of even the most demanding users.

Sage Cost

Sage Business Cloud Accounting has a simple pricing structure, with three subscription plans to choose from. The plans range in price from £12 to £33 a month, but each of them can be tried for free during the first month of using the software.

However, note that the platform does ask you to provide payment details upon signing up, so if you decide to cancel your subscription, you need to remember to do it before the end of the free trial period.

The basic Start plan supports only one user and costs £12 a month. It includes all the essential accounting features, like sales and purchase invoicing, expense tracking, VAT management, bank reconciliation, and so on.

The Standard and Plus plans support an unlimited number of users and come at £26 and £33 a month, respectively.

The table below gives a full overview of the features included in each one of Sage’s pricing plans.

Plan Price Key Features
Start £12

One user

Create and send sales invoices

Automatic bank reconciliation

Track what you’re owed

Calculate and submit VAT

Making Tax Digital for VAT

Standard £26

Everything in the Start plan, plus:

Unlimited number of users

Manage purchase invoices

Manage and submit Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) return

Run advanced reports

Forecast cash flow

Send quotes and estimates

Snap receipts with AutoEntry (free during the first two months)

Plus £33

Everything in the Standard plan, plus: 

Inventory management

Multi-currency banking and invoicing

Sage Alternatives

Sage vs QuickBooks

Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is the cloud accounting software of choice for the vast majority of small businesses and sole proprietors in the UK. The software boasts a rich feature set, an intuitive user interface, and affordable pricing plans.

QuickBooks Online is slightly cheaper than Sage, especially when it comes to the payroll add-on, which in QuickBooks costs significantly less — only £4 or £8 a month, depending on which plan you choose.

One of QuickBooks’ biggest drawbacks compared to Sage is that it allows a maximum of 5 users, whereas Sage Accounting removes the user limit on its intermediate and premium plans. In addition, QuickBooks Online lacks 24/7 support, with support options varying depending on which pricing plan you choose.

Sage vs Xero

Xero is another popular web-based accounting software aimed at the small business market. With over three million subscribers in 180 countries worldwide, Xero is one of the most popular Sage alternatives.

Both accounting platforms are identically priced, with prices ranging from £12 to £33 a month. Xero is also very feature-rich, but unlike Sage, it includes some of its more advanced features, such as expense and project tracking, as optional add-ons that you have to pay extra for.

Sage Accounting also has the edge over Xero when it comes to invoicing, as Xero’s entry-level plan limits the number of invoices you can create to only 20.

Sage vs NetSuite

Netsuite is an enterprise resource planning software that includes accounting capabilities as part of its comprehensive suite of business management tools.

The company’s accounting software gives businesses a complete overview of their financial performance and provides strong expense and revenue management. The software is aimed at companies of all sizes — from small businesses and startups to large enterprises.

NetSuite’s accounting software also has a steeper learning curve, so it might not be the best option for small businesses that don’t have the resources to invest in training their employees.

Wrap Up

Overall, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is comprehensive accounting software that can cater to the needs of small businesses. Although slightly more expensive than some of its competitors, the software more than makes up for it with its rich feature set, insightful user interface, and 24/7 customer support.

To conclude this Sage review, if you’re looking for a cloud accounting software that is easy to use and is backed by excellent customer support, then Sage Business Cloud Accounting could be the right choice for your business.

FAQ

Is Sage Accounting any good?

Yes, Sage Accounting is a good choice for small businesses that are looking for comprehensive accounting software. The software is easy to use, offers a wide range of features, and offers 24/7 customer support.

Is there a free version of Sage?

No, Sage Cloud Accounting does not offer a free version of its software. However, the company does provide a free trial period during which you can try each of its pricing plans for free for a month.

Does Sage Accounting have payroll?

Yes, Sage Payroll is a separate product that can be integrated with Sage Business Accounting. Sage Payroll starts at £7 per month and offers a wide range of features, including payroll processing, real-time reporting, employee self-service, and more.

Can I use Sage on my phone?

Yes, Sage Accounting is available on both iOS and Android devices. The Sage Accounting app is free to download and allows you to manage your finances on the go.

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