I pay Sage an annual fee to use client manager software, 6 users, 25 companies.
Last year it was £295, this year it's £395.
Clearly, we're all in this together.
It's a big increase but given it's a six user system it still seems cheap.
Are you referring to the Client Manager version of L50? If so, the annual cost is just the cost of support for one year. That version of the software belongs to you permanently, there is no obligation to pay for support.
It could be the Accountants Club fee.
Yes I got my renewal yesterday - £100 increase on last year. I telephoned my Sage account manager to query the increase and got interrupted mid sentence with "Not my bag" and was immediately put on hold without an opportunity to respond. Eventually came back to me and said that someone would phone me back in two hours. Still waiting. Rang Sage customer services and complained. Given profuse apology but still no reasonable explanation for the increase. The software licence increases seem to be across the board - our Iris practice software also went up by around 20% this year. I feel held to ransom by the software companies at the moment our software costs are spiralling and their service levels are falling.
You have a choice. Stay with Sage, on their terms, or leave and find yourself a better supplier with better software!
We left Sage last year. We didn't renew any of our licences and left the Accountants Club. I am now much happier with my new suppliers, and save both time and money. We still get the Sage marketing emails, but I have managed to stop the annoying Sage sales calls (I hope!).
If you do decide to leave Sage be aware of their 'cancellation terms'. They may ask for 3 months notice, even though you don't get notified of the renewal charge (and therefore cannot make an informed decision) until the notice period has passed.
Some of us are stuck with it
I had to ring up to find out what my new Client Manager cost would be as Sage specialise in sending late invoices. It's £540 for 75 companies and 6 users. I asked why I had to pay for 5 users I don't need, but apparently I should be very grateful for this number of users. This cost is just for an "upgrade" each year, which includes a full range of bugs for you to find for yourself particularly when work is at its most pressurised.
Sage promotional blurb often includes the word "exciting" and I can only assume they mean this description to apply when I feel a heart- attack coming on as I discover yet another report they've ruined without considering the consequences.
The Accountants Club fee is charged with the payroll software fee and includes the support of the Client Manager software and I am also more or less stuck with that.
However, Sage's pricing has got extremely obscure over the years, obviously deliberately so. It is quite difficult to separate out the different bits.
I cannot move away from Sage as I specialise in training companies and in book-keeping using that software. Given the number of bugs we get given on both payroll and book-keeping software at an increased cost each year I am beside myself with angst on the subject.
I tried to get out of the payroll offering but need to keep the program should a client need me to read in their data, so have decided to use Moneysoft for any new companies over the 25 minimum number I've had to pay for.
And yes - I've looked at Iris costs. Then I remember some terrible errors that were posted about on this forum a few years ago and wonder if they have any less bugs than Sage, given that their pricing is so similar.
The one thought that keeps me more or less sane is that with reliable cloud computing maybe only 5 years away for most people who don't use it now, someone else will give Sage a much better run for their money, and treat us like customers, not cash cows.
... Shirley, out of interest, what software do you use now?
I was recommended VT which does seem really good but now I hear whispers that Kashflow is the way to go - does anyone else have any recommendations?
We use VT & TaxCalc. My first impressions of both were not that good. I stuck with them because of the cost saving, and now I am so glad I did. They are so user friendly, so simple, and I work a lot less hours because they are not bug-ridden, you can go straight to what you want (one click in the majority of cases), instead of being sent on a long tour around the software, and I don't get stressed out trying to find out how to do what should be simple changes!
I have never needed to contact VT support, and I have contacted TaxCalc support once, when we first networked the software.
I couldn't be happier with my new choices (and I am just a happy user, and not on commission) :)
EDIT: we are gradually getting the majority of our clients onto VT Cashbook (free), or VTT+ (very reasonable), and this makes our tasks even easier :)