Sage Rival? | AccountingWEB

Sage Rival?

Hi I am a small accountant and at present use Sage Line 50, payroll, Accounts Production and Corporation Tax.  i ahve no problem with Sage per se but I do have a problem with the amount they keep charging as you get bigger, without adding on any extra benefits. Does anyone know of a really good alternative package that can do all of the above and more, is easy to transfer information from Sage to and doesn't cost the earth?


Miss Red's picture

Pegasus Opera

Miss Red | | Permalink

I have the same setup as you, are you using the accountancy version of sage? How many companies does it allow you?

We used to use Pegasus Opera as I use to be a reseller for them, they are expensive to buy and when you need to add more companies they will charge to buy additional co's and then increase the annual software licence also.

I found sage to be the most useful for reporting purposes and the cheapest.  Although i can transfer my sage data to viztopia I choose not to as the links arent automatic and by the time I check its correct I have the TB typed in.

Sage Rival?

hettydehaan | | Permalink


Yes I am using the Accountancy Version it allows me 25 companies.

I tried Pegasus years ago and didn't like it.  I like Sage and the fact I can integrate all the other parts of Sage but i don't like the cost!

PUREaccountants's picture


PUREaccountants | | Permalink

 I have used Digita for some three years now and have been very happy with it. However just recently I have been looking at the Forbes range of software. I have ordered my demo CD to trial over February.

Sage Line 50 etc

Michaelr205 | | Permalink

Quickbooks. Much easier.

PUREaccountants's picture

Just re-read

PUREaccountants | | Permalink

 Sorry just re-read your question. I spent a lot of time using QuickBooks for all my clients. I now use either a custom built spreadsheet or Xero. Forbes accepts data exports from Xero, QB, Sage and others whilst Digita only accepts (easily) Sage. 

QB, as a desktop software, gets my vote for esae of use (generally) but I have not been impressed with their recent changes to monthly direct debti charges, increased payroll charges and the labourious and poorly designed VAT return process. Their change from 2006-2008 was a complete nightmare but 2010 seems to be getting back on track.

As a Pro Advisor you have unlimited company/client files. You only need one payroll license for regardless of the number of payroll clients. Which of course is one of QB's highlights. Payroll and Accounts are integrated. No transfer nada. Simple.

I think it somewhere around £400 per year to be a pro-advisor which represents reasonable value. And the chance to resell their software for a 20% margin to yourself. 

VT seems to be liked as well for its simplicity and cost effectiveness, although i do not know a great deal about it. I did download a demo but disliked the user interface. But if your used to Sage anything (in my opinion) will be an improvement. 

Alternatively you could look at some of the cloud solutions, Xero, Kashflow, MyPAYE, ThePayrollSite etc. At present though none of the major Tax Software Houses provide any cloud based solutions. So you'll need to import the data from a saved file.

I have moved from Digita and QuickBooks to VT and TaxCalc

chatman | | Permalink

I have saved a lot of money and enormous amounts of time.

I found the Digita programmes too big and cumbersome and importing data wasn't easy. I often ended up inputting it instead, which is ridiculous for 2010/11. I spent hours on the phone with support when things went wrong. Obviously Digita is extremely expensive too.

With QuickBooks, I did not like the fact the fact that I constantly had to upgrade when a client bought a later version, and there are always problems with VAT in QB, although they claim to have sorted them out in the 2010 version. There was also the import problem with QB: I ended up buying some third party software to help me import data, but it was still not easy (although easier than without it). Some versions (eg 2004 and 2008) refuse to export dates in a useable (or even convertible) format.

With VT Transaction+, VT Final Accounts and TaxCalc professional everything is so easy, and so quick, and my clients can get VT Cashbook for free.

Not sure about TaxCalc, but VT can import anything you can put on a spreadsheet, and it is extremely easy

For payroll I use Moneysoft Payroll Manager, which does absolutely everything I need very quickly and easily and is good value for money. The only downside used to be the very rude person on the help line, but he seems to be a lot happier now. I think I used Iris before, and found it awful; clunky and inflexible.

Same here

nick | | Permalink

For us one man bands and small practices there is nothing easier or cheaper than the VT, Moneysoft, Taxcalc combo.

I think VT is £150, Moneysoft £110 and Taxcalc £400.

For that you get umlimited sole trader partnership and ltd co. accounts, unlimited payroll and unlimited SA, Partnership and CT600's.

Can't say fairer than that.

Taxcalc are bringing out their own accounts and CRM offerings this year so it will be interesting to see what those are like. The CRM I understand will be free and the accounts is expected to be in the same range as VT. So if they are good then it could be tempting to switch the accounts to them but for now I will be sticking with what I have.





ShirleyM's picture

And another

ShirleyM | | Permalink

VT, VT Accounts & TaxCalc are superb.

I originally bought for the cost saving, but found I saved lots of time too!

maxxy's picture

Customer influence?

maxxy | | Permalink

I know we are talking about accounts production but does your customer base or target audience influence decisions in this area or is it purely for what you are comfortable with and costs in line with budget and value?


-- Twitter:@maxinemaxxy

sage alternatives

jfoster | | Permalink

I dislike sage and of course it is expensive. I use TAS books for book-keeoing at the moment and RFA Pinacle for accounts and tax. Pinacle are bringing out a book-keeping module as part of their package soon. It is dearer than VT and quickbooks but I have trialled these and found them to be not as user friendly. RFA Pinacle also has unlimited payroll which is integrated with the other parts of the system.



chatman | | Permalink

Never used TAS Books myself. What is it about VT you found difficult?


Nilesh Kondvilkar | | Permalink

do you know about sageone??

I want to know how it works and what are pros and cons ?

petersaxton's picture


petersaxton | | Permalink

I spoke to my account manager at Sage.

I wasn't too impressed when it's not possible to upload bank statements and attach pdf's to transactions in the way that Irisopenbooks/Free Agent does.

I also think that they've missed a trick by charging a "cash business" £5/month and an "invoicing" business £10/month. A lot of my clients send out only a few invoices a year and otherwise would be classed as cash businesses. These clients would be more tempted if they were charged £5 or £7 but to charge them the same as bigger businesses seems unfair. Sage say that they will be making regular improvements to the system.

Xero is the only alternative!

ProActive | | Permalink

Xero is the only alternative!

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