This package was formerly known as Sage One, and is part of the suite of accounting and other programs offered by the publicly quoted company Sage. It includes core accounting, project accounting, expense management and compliance management and stores everything in the cloud.
How much does Sage cost?
This package is €20 per month for the full version ( Accounting ) which has all the features and €10 per month for the smaller version ( Start Accounting ) version which only excludes Supplier Invoices and Quotes.
The prices above are the long-term prices, there is a free one-month trial which we consider the minimum where someone is buying a package like this, and there is a 50% discount for the first 3 months. We would only go for the lite version if you are a sole trader in a consultant-type situation with little need to process expenses through the accounts.
How do you use Sage? Is it easy to use? Is it jargon-free?
Sage is designed for people that have some knowledge of the terminology of accounts, so there are Sales Invoices and Purchases Invoices ( also known as Customer Invoices and Supplier Invoices respectively ). So you will need to learn what each term means.
You can get started quite easily and create Sales / Customer invoices quickly, and they can be emailed to your customers. It is all point and click stuff and if you only have a few transactions to enter then you can get them done easily, and the ‘’find’’ capability to get the transactions back is quite good.
We tested the package with a non-accountant, non-business person and they found it quite easy to get started and make progress within a few minutes.
There are a few tricky bits particularly when you have cross-referenced a payment to or from the bank to an invoice, it’s hard to change them or edit them.
Also, it is tricky to enter in all customer details like email addresses, and there is limited capability to change things once an invoice has been sent.
That said the Quotes module is particularly handy if you send out quotes and want to convert a quote to an invoice easily for say a builder.
You can import transactions from Excel to get them into Sage quickly but you lose any nuances in the invoices for example if there is text on your Sales Invoices.
Also if you import from say Auto Entry you can see an image of the invoices you import attached to the transaction in Sage. You think before you see this particular feature in action that you will never use it, however, it does eliminate manual checking invoices.
Does Sage integrate with other Software?
Sage integrates with a range of other packages, and also links to the main banks now. Our favourites are the expense scanning programs like Auto Entry and Receipt Bank which link straight to Sage.
Sage reports look like Office documents. That’s useful if, for example, you don’t want to use Sage’s templates, it’s easy to export documents into Word or Excel so that you can make a few changes and make them look easier on the eye.
How to set up Sage One Accounting
Is sage useful to work with my accountant?
Accountants seem to like Sage, and the reports are very good. There is an option to export most reports to Excel which all accountants ( and some non-accountants ) love as they can play for hours with the figures. The reports can also be exported to PDF format.
The package produces good reports for year-end tax reporting and integrates with a fully compliant reporting package that your accountant can use if you have a limited company.
Like all cloud-based packages you can have your accountant log in and also you can lock last year so that you don’t inadvertently put a transaction from last year in and miss out on getting a deduction from your taxable profits.
Are the reports in Sage any good?
These are quite good, but for some reason, the credit-control reports are confusing unless you allocate all money coming into your bank against specific invoices.
In the main, though they are easy to design and you can tailor them to your exact requirements. Looking through reports is also quite easy and you can pick a date range or Customer / Supplier so that you can zone in on what you are looking for.
There are Profit and Loss reports that we particularly liked. If you use the Beta version of these you can look at the income and outgoings of your business in a range of months across a 12 month period which you set yourself. The report is in the form of tables with the income and expense categories down the left and the months across the sheet from month to month. What this means is that you can track each month and drill down through them. Usually, these reports were the preserve of professional ( read expensive ) accountants.
Sage support desk
You can email a helpdesk and you will get a reasonably quick response or there is a phone support service if you are stuck. The trade-off is listening to elevator music while waiting on the phone to get through, but we found support to be very helpful, and they will speak to you in non-technical language. They will even log in and fix up errors you have made.
The support desk is based in England and anyone we got through to was experienced in support so you are not training a rookie. We got through reasonably quickly once you click through the usual menu of options.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting provides small businesses with basic income- and expense-tracking and is definitely worth seeing if it is a good fit for your business. You can sign up for a 30 day free trial here.