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Sage Instant Accounts 10. Pros and cons for new business.

Sage Instant Accounts 10. Pros and cons for...

Is Sage Instant Accounts a good bet for a new small business? Pro:It is low cost. Con: Seems to have attracted considerable criticism on various website reviews.
Criticisms say it is DOS based so not Windows friendly especially for inexperienced accounts users, you can't get decent invoicing without paying out extra, Sage support is expensive, and it doen't provide decent financial reports. Fair or unfair? If fair, is there a bette bet?

emilio

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27th Jul 2004 17:19

accounting software
suggest you have look at Mamut accounting package..cost effective..has everything including CRM and limited web page easy to create with 20 or so products..

worth a look....
ps have used all versions of sage for years..
what they never seem to do before release is ask an accountant or sme to try it..

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23rd Jul 2004 10:05

VT is worth a look
As people have already said - Sage = rigid Quickbooks = flexible.

We have found that VT is a happy compromise - it has a proper accounting layout, good VAT reporting, but with enough flexiblity to sort out errors.

Quickbooks has too many features and is unstable in that entries are all too easily changed (who hasn't found all those pennies floating around when it doesn't agree with your version of the VAT rounding).

VT does have shortcomings like not having sales invoicing. The reporting is a bit limited, but can be overcome by exporting to Excel for those that want to crunch data.

Clients that have used it seem to like it and manage to reconcile their bank accounts (always a plus). It is worth a look.

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By Anonymous
22nd Jul 2004 22:04

MYOB
For a small business I would choose MYOB myself. Much easier to use for the beginner and a very friendly interface. Will do pretty much everything you could want and is very forgiving if errors are made.

I use Sage quite a lot and find it a cumbersome and unfriendly package.

Try the myob website for a full low-down.

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21st Jul 2004 17:42

SME Accounting packages
Have a look at the suite of software available at www.moneysoft.co.uk - we find very easy to use and the extensive reports are impressive

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By ChrisDL
21st Jul 2004 13:52

It's no different to buying something for an existing business
I've set up a lot of clients with Sage Instant - and most of them are very happy with it. There are plenty of alternatives around though and I don't see a big difference between choosing a package for a startup or an ERP package - it has to do what the client wants/needs and they have to like it!

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By appacc
23rd Jul 2004 08:20

quickbooks v sage
My experience is that a business owner who really wants to use his data for managing the business and is willing to use all the functions tends to like Quickbooks.

For those who are just recording transactions, the structure and discipline of Sage Accounts is best. I would agree that something like cashflow manager is all you need if you do not have sales or purchase ledgers.


BUT - why are you preparing this data? If it is for an accountant to use for VAT and/or annual accounts, then think about his requirements. Its no use having wonderful data if he cannot use it. We worked hard to accept Quickbooks data just because everyone says accountants will not touch it. In the end, we decided not to touch it!

The main problem is that it allows you to post data all over the place and generally we received a mess, after the client had spend a lot of time creating it.

Sage support is excellent, Intuit is patchy.
Most accountants use Sage so they can provide better guidance and if you employ someone to do the book-keeping, they are more likely to come with some sage skills.

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21st Jul 2004 23:00

Sage instant pros and cons
I set up and train both Sage and QuickBooks for all levels of users.
I have found that, generally, people who have accounts or bookkeeping knowledge manage to understand Sage faster than absolute beginners. QuickBooks is loved by more I.T. literate people and it is far more forgiving than Sage if you get it wrong to start with. Sage support on Instant is not that expensive in the scheme of things and you do get to speak to a person every time you ring. QuickBooks support is not so immediate.
With each programme you have to understand bookkeeping to make them work.
As a recent client of mine remarked "Learning Sage has been almost incidental in helping me understanding how my accounts work"
One further point about Sage Instant, you can not import or export data, you have to move up to Instant Plus to do that.
I hope that helps a bit.
Shelagh Whiteman

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By tom123
20th Jul 2004 13:45

I have used it
I have used instant extensively for a business up to 750k, you can raise invoices from it.

This was a few versions ago though.

It is familiar to Line 50 users, and is quite stable running on a standalone machine.

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By Anonymous
20th Jul 2004 14:27

Who is using it?
If you have an experienced book-keeper/accountant running it then fine, but if not I would go for something simple like PC Cashflow Manager

On the whole I think Sage software is very good, but they do like to give the impression that anyone can be a skilled user. I am sure many of us have seen their purchased but unused software on clients' shelves.

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23rd Jul 2004 09:03

Quick Books - best thing since sliced bread
I have used both Sage Instant & Quick Books and will recommend Quick Books to clients every time. QB is intuitive and a true Windows package unlike Sage which is shackled to its DOS beginings. The report development including invoice layouts are dead easy. The output to Excel is great. Why would anyone choose Sage when there is QB! As someone said in other comments on QB - "Be Sage and Choose Quick Books". You have also got multicompany as standard with QB - with Sage you have to buy another and cannot run it on the same machine as your first one.

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By appacc
23rd Jul 2004 08:28

PS to my quickbook v Sage
I need to repeat what Shelagh said a couple of items below, it is the best comment in this discussion:

"With each programme you have to understand bookkeeping to make them work."

At the touch of a button, someone who does not know what they are trying to achieve can create a load of rubbish!

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