- author: Maab Saleem
Based out of the UK, Sage Group is a multinational company that develops enterprise application software. The company offers various types of accounting, payroll, and payment processing software. Not only do they have desktop-based accounting software, but they also have cloud-based software that’s designed with small and mid-sized business owners in mind.
Plans & Pricing
When it comes to price, Sage is hard to beat. Their most basic is $10 per month and the next one is $25. Compared to Quickbooks, which ranges from $5 to $30 per month, Sage is right in the same playing field. Unlike some other cloud-based accounting platforms, Sage has a free trial period of 30 days, so you can make sure it’s right for your business before making a commitment. Sage offers the following two plans:
Designed for small-business owners and startups, the Accounting Start plan is priced at a very reasonable $10 per month. It’s the more basic of the two options that Sage offers, but don’t confuse this with low functionality, though. This plan takes away some of the mind-numbing processes such as invoicing, basic financial reporting, and cash flow forecasting. With the Accounting Start option, you can easily send invoices, accept payments in multiple currencies, and create unlimited accounts for your employees and bookkeepers.
With more advanced financial reporting options, the Accounting plan is ideal for small to mid-sized businesses and is priced at $25 per month. In addition to the invoicing and payment processing components, the Accounting plan has an easy-to-use general ledger, supplier and customer management system, and a recurring billing tool. Furthermore, you aren’t limited to just one business entity.
Features and Functionality
Not only do both of the plans have useful reporting and invoicing tools, but there’s also add-ons to completely customize your platform. Here’s a look at both of the plans and what they have to offer:
Best described as a tool to track incoming and outgoing money, the Accounting Start plan offers some vital features for freelancers, startups, and small business owners. Sage heavily promotes this plan’s invoicing tool and its ability to facilitate your invoicing process. Not only does it make invoicing easier, but you can also customize them and keep tabs on when clients pay them. Furthermore, you can send invoices via email and then export them to Excel as a CSV file. Other notable features include:
- Automatic bank reconciliation and feeds
- Ability to pay VAT online
- A record of your vendor’s contact information
- Option to integrate payments with your online business
- Cash flow reports
Just a step above the Accounting Start package, the Accounting plan is a better option for small to mid-sized businesses. This options comes with all the features of Accounting Start and then some. The plan includes more financial recording tools such as a general ledger and more advanced cash flow forecasts. In addition, you have the option to choose between cash-based or accrual accounting. When it comes time to invoice, you can automatically convert quotes to invoices and receive quicker payments from your clients. The Accounting plan also includes:
- Connections to banking platforms for real-time reconciliations
- The ability to see the increase/decrease in probability during invoicing
- A full-fledged trial balance
- The option to drill down on reports to view details
- Exchange rate monitoring
- The ability to make and send invoices in other currencies
Ease of Use
After subscribing or registering for the free trial, you can simultaneously log in to your dashboard and start setting up your platform. The dashboard has the main menu located at the top, letting you easily navigate to the different tools offered. When it comes to getting started, the most time-consuming part is registering and setting up your business. With that said, there are plenty of support options at your finger-tips and guides to get you started, such as Sage’s Customer Community. Whether you’re new to sage or just want to develop your skills, you can enroll in a class at Sage University to learn to the ins and outs of how their products work. If you’re new to accounting, there are plenty of resources to help you succeed.
Add-ons and Integrations
To fully customize your accounting module, you can head over to the Sage Business Cloud Marketplace where you’ll find CRMs, project management, and time tracking software. While there’s inarguably a stellar selection of add-ons and integrations, most of them charge a monthly fee. Here’s a quick glance at what you’ll find in the marketplace:
Cost-benefit analysis, time tracking, and project management.
Cash flow management software developed by CPAs.
Import data from Excel into Sage.
Donation Manager RedCloud Suite
Manage your business donations.
In addition to the marketplace, you can integrate your account with PayPal to accept payments online. If you don’t use PayPal, you can use Sage Payment Solutions for a $0.15 per transaction plus 1.9% fee. Lastly, you can connect your Google Drive to Sage to store invoices.
Pros & Cons
- Create separate profiles for your employees and accountant
- Send clients invoices directly from the dashboard
- Automatically backup and secure your data
- No 24/7 support
- Limited customization
- No payroll processing features
If you run into problems with your accounting dashboard, the team at Sage is available via chat, email, and phone. Since Sage is a company that spans the globe, support is available in a variety of languages. While phone support can be reached 24/7, chat and email support are not as responsive. The top right-hand side of the dashboard has a chat icon, however, there are no agents on standby during the evening hours.
In addition to the chat icon, there’s also a help link that will redirect you to Sage’s Customer Community. Here you’ll find heaps of resources to guide you through the features of their products. This section of their website functions similar to a FAQ page. If you can’t find the answer to your question, there’s also a very active forum called Sage City where you can seek help. Additionally, the Sage One website has numerous guides for both Accounting Start and Accounting.
24/7 Help & SupportA knowledge base and community forum that are available around the clock.
Phone SupportPhone support is available 24/7.
BlogThere is a blog available on the website.
There’s no doubt that the Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a strong tool for startups and small-sized business alike. With it’s automated invoicing tools, cash flow reports, a marketplace of add-ons, and training classes, you can accurately maintain your finances and develop your accounting skills in the process. Sage is no newcomer when it comes to financial reporting and enterprise management software, so you can certainly rely on the expertise of a well-rounded company to suit your business needs. Whether you’re an eager entrepreneur or veteran business owner, this cloud-based accounting platform lets you do your bookkeeping anywhere in the world and streamline your financial processes.