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By Nimbus

Software Review – Sage One

September 4, 2012 | By |

We recently had an online demonstration of Sage One, which is the first cloud product the company has launched. They offer two versions, Cashbook and Accounts, which are priced at £5 and £10 per month (+VAT) respectively. Sage claims to have between 5,000 and 10,000 users of Sage One.  There must be something that appeals to these customers, we wanted to see for ourselves what it was.

Our first impressions were very good. The interface is very well designed and Sage has clearly listened to their customers.  There is 24/7 telephone support,  all the traditional Line 50 accounting terminology has been translated into plain English and the nominal codes are hidden from view.  Accountants need not fear as all that remains in the Accountant Edition.   

Sage One Cashbook, as the name implies, records cash entries.  That is pretty much the limit of the software. This version can’t raise invoices or monitor anyone that may owe you money – it is no good for anything other than a cash business.  The transactions you record will replicate your bank and petty cash accounts, but you have to manually enter every transaction. Once this is done you need to check all your transactions against the actual bank statement, another manual check. In terms of reports, there is One. It will generate a Profit & Loss report (on a cash basis) and that is it.

Sage One Accounts is identical in look and feel to Cashbook, but has more features.  It has the ability to issue sales invoices and record your purchases. If you keep your bank reconciled, it will be able to produce statements for both. There are only four invoice templates, so be prepared to change your current layout if it doesn’t fit the mould. The software can also submit your VAT returns directly from the software. It has only five reports – Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Debtors, Creditors and Trial Balance. 

It is clear that the cloud will strengthen the accountant / client relationship by being able to collaborate on a real-time basis. But the question is, has Sage delivered a product that is better than the competition?  The Nimbus Accounting view is no. In this day of live bank feeds and CSV uploads, offered by other cloud based software such as Xero and FreeAgent, it is surprising that Sage still make you repeat the work your bank has already done on your behalf.  So for this reason, Nimbus Accounting do not recommend Sage One.  We believe Xero offers a much more powerful solution for a small to medium sized business and FreeAgent is a better fit for a freelance consultant.  Both place the bank account at the heart of the software and have the ability to automatically download bank transactions each night.  With live data in your software, producing your accounts can’t get any easier.

If you are based in the Brighton & Hove or Sussex area and want to discuss how your business can benefit from integrating the cloud, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01273 782 742.  Nimbus Accounting staff are all qualified accountants and have a specialist knowledge of SME accounting and taxation.