Thinking of changing from Sage 50 | AccountingWEB

Thinking of changing from Sage 50

I started my practice in September last year and decided that Sage 50 was going to me my software of choice.  The reasons for this were:

1) I've used Sage extensively in the past and know what it can and can't do

2) It seemed to have more functionality than other online systems for management information (far more analysis codes, cost centres, bespoke reporting, etc)

I do A LOT of detailed management information for my clients so MI functionality is crucial.


I work from home and have reached a stage where I need to think about employing some help - i.e.: a bookkeeper.  I'm not making fortunes by any stretch so don't want the added expense of an office.  Therefore I need software that can be used by remote workers.

This is where Sage lets itself down quite badly.  It seems that to enable remote access to my Sage files I would need to buy an expensive server and host the data files on that so that remote workers could dial in.  This all sounds very complicated and very expensive to me.  I guess alternatively we could email backups around (or save them to dropbox or something similar) but this seems inefficient and there is a of risk of using the wrong file, etc.

I'm keen to understand what the alternatives are and what other small practices do.

Requirements are:

1) Must have an integrated inventory/stock module

2) Must have bespoke reporting capability

3) Must have cost centre or similar functionality

4) Must be able to import transactions from spreadsheets a la Sage

5) Integration with eBay and/or Amazon would be nice but not essential

6) Auto calculated depreciation, prepayment/accrual release

7) Compatible with VT accounts and (ideally) BTC tax software

8) Enables multiple users accessing the system at the same time from different locations

9) Annual licence fee <£1k (for say 20-25 clients)

10) Foreign currency functionality


Options I've seen so far are:

Sage One - not enough functionality

Kashflow - I looked at this as an alternative to Sage last year, but the lack of bespoke reports and cost centres/analysis codes meant I couldn't use it

Xero - as far as I can tell I would need to pay a licence fee for each client of up to £20 per month.  This would get prohibitively expensive

Iris - I spoke to someone from Iris a while ago and he advised me to carry on using Sage as my main bookkeeping/accounting package due to Iris' limited functionality


What other options are out there, and is there anything in my analysis above that isn't right?


I know some people may argue that clients should be paying monthly licence fees for their own cloud software, but frankly I have enough trouble persuading them to pay a sensible fee as it is, never mind adding on an extra £240 for online accounting software!


Thanks in advance

There are 6 comments. Login or register to view them.

How about using hosted services?

ShirleyM |
ShirleyM's picture

Check you thinking on SaaS pricing

Adrian Pearson |
Adrian Pearson's picture

Online Sage

RussellD |

I should have made this a bit

ChrisScullard |
ChrisScullard's picture

My take on this

Adrian Pearson |
Adrian Pearson's picture

Xero Partners get extra discount for clients

garyturner |
garyturner's picture