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Quick Books V's Sage

Hi all

My accountant is pushing to move us over from QB's to Sage in order to streamline his working process's.Apparently there would be a saving made for us though overall I'm not that enthusiastic to move.Just wondered if anyone else has had experience of both and could share any significant advantages of such a move?


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  • Sage is popular with accountants. Sage have bought up a lot of the competition and then curtailed development (we use TAS which has suffered that fate)

    I don't like Sage at all. Cumbersome, and awkward transactions (like contra between Customer and Supplier) are implemented in a way that only accountants understand them (through control accounts on both sides of the ledger) - in that regard its probably its similarity to incomplete-records systems that makes accountants like it. That sort of stuff makes for a minefield in the audit trail, which basically boils down to "costs money" whenever anyone needs to look at it - e.g. if you are big enough to need an audit.

    I haven't used QB for years, but it used to do things like "remember" how an invoice from Electricity Utility was posted to N/L, and then default to that for subsequent invoices. If it still has tricks like that to speed data entry, and Sage doesn't, that would also seem to me to make it expensive / awkward to use Sage by comparison with QB

    We certainly won't switch to Sage when the time comes to eventually give up on TAS through lack of further development. But I'm not sure my view is representative as our needs are for larger company accounting, rather than at the sole-trader / smaller company level.

  • PRO

    Hi Steven, 

    IMHO I wouldnt let your accountant choose your software

    1. your the customer so unless he promises it is cheaper or better for you rather than him , get another accountant

    2. if you want to understand your figures and check they are stacking up , you need to be familiar with software yourself. eg what if accountant goes on holiday or is off sick.

    I use QBO which helps with data input and i think is easier to understand than sage. hope that helps

  • PRO

    Share views with both Kris and Allan here.

    I started with wave apps which was basic and slow and free which was fine for a new business.  I moved to sage Cloud accounting about 5 years ago when trails for MTD started.  I hated Sage, the company is arrogant and unhelpful.  It has for years been THE industry standard for accountants but because of this and what I will call legacy decisions, become very very difficult to use if you are not a fully trained accountant.  I had difficulty using the help files because I did not know the correct accounting term to search for.

    I now use Xero which took a while to learn and understand but I now really like - but you will probably need an accountant to help you set it up properly.  It can be tailored to suit the size of your business and to have additional features added as your company grows.  Xero is also powerful enough to give you very useful extra features and also to integrate with a VAST range of other software, covering things like CRM, payroll, scheduling, document storage etc etc.  I am currently demo-ing Tradify as a sort of front end scheduling and job creation app.  I am starting to like the two software suites which work perfectly together.  

    Allan has a great point about your accountant not telling you what to use, but many are now incentivised to sell software suites to business as we approach digital tax.  Basically in 2 years you WILL  start making more regular income tax submissions to HMRC and it is important to realise this is driving changes in the accountancy industry and how they charge customers and organise their business.  Because accountancy software is now mostly cloud based you do not need to use a local accountant - nothing to stop you using a cheaper one elsewhere.  My own accountant literally sits with a dashboard of her customers and can see problems as they arise - I occasionally get a phone call telling me off for not reconciling statements for a week or ten days.  I bet you're first response is that's a bit creepy and I don't want to be spied on like that, but actually its quite helpful and comforting to know that sensible help is readily at the end of the phone and means mistakes can be corrected quickly and easily.

    Xero is great.  Good luck with your choice.


  • PRO

    Steven...who is the customer here?



    How long will it take you to become proficient in Sage?

  • PRO

    I appreciate all of the helpful replies.

    To say he's pushing was maybe too strong a term to use,I've known him for many years and we have a good relationship.He's asking all of his clients if it might be of interest and I said I'd look into it but ultimately it is my decision. I am fairly happy using QB's and so far nobody seems to be singing praises for Sage.

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