Sage Accountants Club price increase.

Sage have increased my accountants club membership from £645 to £800 (Line 50 - 10 cos, Payroll - 50 Cos). A bit steep. I don't want all the new "benefits" they are offering.

If I resign they make me remove the payroll!

Comments
alan.kennedy.smithkennedy's picture

Sage price increase

alan.kennedy.sm... | | Permalink

Having come back into practice after being out for a number of years I must say I find sage incredibly unuser friendly.  The lack of exportability to Excel and inability to drill down (unlike quickbooks) seems to a real challenge.  Added to that the lack of a decent odbc link without paying serious sums of money seems a bit much.  Does anyone give good customer service nowaday

Payroll

saki69 | | Permalink

Get payroll manager - its only about £100 a year and its very user friendly - I think its the best value software I have

completebookkeeping's picture

Sage Price Increase

completebookkeeping | | Permalink

-- Complete Book-Keeping Ltd

Have been informed of the price increases coming into effect from 1st October - not sure what the increase will be yet but get in quick if need an upgrade.

happy to quote: info@completebookkeeping.co.uk

Why am I not surprised?

stefan@stedia.net | | Permalink

It does not surprise me in the slightest. One of the reasons I no longer use Sage. There are just so many other systems out there many of which are certainly on a par if not better and usually at far better rates.

They continue to stuff the software with new useless features to justify their ongoing price increases. That is Sage all over.

I would just tell them to forget it and try something else but I know it is easier said than done :(

petersaxton's picture

No change

petersaxton | | Permalink

I have Sage Priority Link and the price has stayed the same from last year.

 

same last year

PeterGrimley | | Permalink

Sage did same to me last yr - I decided accnts club/payroll not worth it. Looked into various payroll systems and went for Payroll Manager by Moneysoft, and no regrets - all for about the price of your increase. Unless you use some of sage payrolls fancy/advanced items, and you think accnts club (this should be free) is of value, then move. The data import was straightforward and it does everything we need for about 50 payrolls.

petersaxton's picture

Un

petersaxton | | Permalink

"unuser friendly" - shouldn't it be "user unfriendly"?

Anne Marie Sewell's picture

Sage Accountants Club

Anne Marie Sewell | | Permalink

I dropped membership of the club recently, I was number 35. One to the first to join, so dropping the club was a bit of a wrench. But so far, I have had no regrets. It's too dear nowadays and the only support calls I ever made were to try to get the software to work properly because of their bugs, I am more than capable of working out how to use it.

I have been moving my clients away from Sage wherever possible partly due to the removal of my multi-company licence (held from around 1995), and also because the bulky, cumbersome, not user friendly package that is not at all the Sage I once knew and loved - up to version 12, not after that!!

I think Sage is now too expensive for what it is, and having moved, I don't think it is the best software for small businesses any more.  Yes, others work better, faster and are less expensive too.

Maybe someone in the forum could convince me otherwise? I actually joined this discussion group to see whether maybe I'm wrong in what I think nowadays, but reading the threads, it does seem not.

I have told Sage what I think but I'm not sure they care!! This is very, very sad!

But if anyone could convince me that I am wrong, I would be prepared to listen. I do want to give my clients the best advice I can.

 

Anne Marie

stefan@stedia.net | | Permalink

I have to totally agree with you I am afraid. I think you did 100% the right thing and I doubt that you will regret it.  Good for you!

kevin503's picture

Which alternatives to Sage?

kevin503 | | Permalink

I sell and support Sage 50 products, but I'am always interested in anything that could offer clients a faster, less expensive or more  suitable accounts system. Could Ann Marie say which packages she has moved client to. Most of our clients are 2 - 4 users, 40-80k individual transactions per year.

VT Transaction

stefan@stedia.net | | Permalink

VT Transaction for me.  Although for multiple users it may not be suitable although I do beleive that this is being worked on via a third party mod but not entirely sure.

The main problem with VT is that only one user can be logged on at any one time.

It does not cater for stock control either.

 

Anne Marie Sewell's picture

Sage Accountants Club

Anne Marie Sewell | | Permalink

To respond, currently I have been moving to QuickBooks, which so far has worked really well for the clients that have changed and for my own accounts. I personally think it's brilliant, so easy and intuitive. Nowadays though I work for smaller businesses only needing to have one user working at a time. It looks as though QuickBooks would work well with more users, but I have not yet had experience of this. I am not planning to exclude other packages, as I get the opportunity and the time, I will investigate more.

Sage can't win

tbayliss | | Permalink

The above comments show you can't please everyone. On the one hand it is lacking in features and on the other it's bloated and used to be more friendly till they kept adding all these extra features.

can only assume the person saying it's hard to export to Excel is using an old version as the export button is there at the top of every report since V13/2007, letting you choose PDF, CSV, Excel, etc, or you have the somewhat clunky ODBC link or Excel add-in.

As for Sage "caring" that a user has defected, every change they make is to try and get more customers while continuing to get money out of existing ones by tempting them with new features and so maximize profit. Of course to keep the old customers they have to leave the old features but as long as there are products out there which people prefer, Sage are going to try to match them, which is where it can get bloated/"feature rich" (delete as appropriate). It's not the cheapest, but if Sage thought by cutting its prices, by 5% it would get 1% more revenue and profit, it would. Ditto for price increases - that's business.

For many in this group, you have to decide not only what to use for your own accounts, but also make recommendations to clients. I'd say you can still support your Sage clients without membership of the Accountants Club so look at yourself and each client and don't blindly recommend or write off any product. They all have good and bad (Sage included) and price is one of many factors. Great if you've found something better for you, but no product suits everyone.

ShirleyM's picture

Export to xls

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Maybe I am doing something wrong, but if I export a report to xls I find the formatting is terrible.

Merged cells, data in different columns, etc. This makes it impossible to sort without doing lengthy reformatting first.

Am I the only one who has this problem?

PS. The add-on in excel doesn't work on our system (it 'clashed' with some other software), so was removed. As we have so few clients on Sage now it wasn't worth sorting out the software conflict and we rely on exporting.

same here

tltodman | | Permalink

Exactly the same problem here.  Takes far too long to reformat to be worthwhile bothering.

Tracy

Sage formatting in Excell

JohnCrook | | Permalink

I agree 100%. The formatting in Excel is a disaster. Quickbooks works like a dream. How Sage became the market leaders I do not know!

philipdc's picture

You guys have got to explain this one to me

philipdc | | Permalink

I run the TurboCASH Accounting project. We are open source and our product is free to download. Consultants are free to use TurboCASH, install it or sell it to their cleints and keep all the revenue.

 

Don't get me wrong, I admire Sage as a competitor, without them I wouldn't have a business or a user base that grows at 30% per year. But how in the world do they get you , their greatest supporters to pay them 800 pounds a year to promote their software? Surely you mean they pay you?

 

 

 

 

 

-- "No one possesses the less because everyone possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me receives it without lessening me, as he who lights his candle at mine receives light without darkening me" - Thomas Jefferson

Formatting Sage data in Excel

jason.raikes | | Permalink

Our product, DBSage, is a report writer for Sage in Excel.  It derives all its data from the Sage database such that new accounts / departments are taken care of.  It also uses Excel styles to automatically format the data.  So you get a report that needs no tinkering so reducing the manual intervention to a minimum allowing you to focus on more value adding activities.

If you are interested in an on-line demonstration, please call me on 07776 307 037 or visit http://www.pendragonsystems.com/sage.htm for more information.

Regards,

Jason Raikes

www.pendragonsystems.com

Excel Reporting

Optegra | | Permalink

Hi

If anyone wants Sage reports in Excel - you have to see Optegra's applications.

Extremely simple, press 2 buttons in Excel for a pivot table TB prepared for you in under 10 seconds and the same for a 20 page management accounts pack in under 20 seconds. It really is that simple!

No technical IT knowledge required such as ODBC, VBA and with reporting on an unlimited number of Sage clients for as little as £250.

I guarantee anyone could use it!

If you are interested, send me an email jeremy@optegra-financial.co.uk to arrange a 5 minute web demo.

Thanks

Jeremy

Optegra Financial Ltd

 

Meanwhile back at the ranch...

arandall | | Permalink

The topic seems to have flowed off message.

I would like to ask if Quick Books, or any other provider for that matter, offer anything like Ssage with the Accountants Club type of packages.  If so, what do you get for it?

With regrd to Excel, exporting reports does exactly that, the report appears the same but in excel.  You will need to use ODBC or Excel Integrated Reporting.  However, I was told recently by support that EIR "doesn't really work" It can be slow when you get into it, depending on your set up.

Look forward to the response and sorry I don't have anything to sell.

petersaxton's picture

QuickBooks problems

petersaxton | | Permalink

John

I'm not sure about your dreams but QuickBooks has problems exporting to Excel with data from earlier versions of QuickBooks. For some reason the data is taken from a US format which results in dates of MM/DD/YY and if DD is more than 12 the data is held as text. The other dates are wrong too but they come across as valid dates - for example: 2 January 2010 becomes 1 February 2010. Whenever I phone Intuit none of the technical support people knew about the problem and said it was a problem with my regional settings. It was only when I went to a meeting of QuickBooks users that all the accountants who had been using QuickBooks for a long time knew about the problem. It seems that employees of accountancy software companies are so transient that they understand their software less than the users. There's no way of overcoming the problem because the dates are held deep within the program. I would assume that early versions of the software held the dates in US format and simply converted the dates to display in the program.

What Intuit needs to do is to have the inclination to check for this issue and reset the dates to UK format.

 

petersaxton's picture

Promote?

petersaxton | | Permalink

"how in the world do they get you , their greatest supporters to pay them 800 pounds a year to promote their software? Surely you mean they pay you?"

What makes you think I pay Sage to promote their software? If a new client uses Sage Accounts and wants to keep using Sage I'd provide a pretty poor service if I didn't have Sage Accounts.

I don't have a problem with Sage Payroll.

Given the use I make of Sage software I am quite happy with the price I pay for the software and support I need.

I don't promote any software other than recommend whatever software I feel is best for the job taken into account various issues such as cost.

petersaxton's picture

Intuit

petersaxton | | Permalink

Intuit offer their top of the range software plus other software to sell.

I've recently stopped being a member of Access Accounting as well as stopped recommending MYOB and MS Office Accounting.

I would choose between QuickBooks, Iris/Free Agent and - lastly - Sage when recommending software.

Sage export files

janesorganic | | Permalink

I would never consider using Sage export to Excel, but I do use export to csv quite a lot.

If you put the design work into an Excel template (hiding columns, formatting, formulas if they're to the right of the data range ) you can export to csv, open the csv and copy paste special values to your Excel template.

Basic, but it works fine for me!

Sage export files

janesorganic | | Permalink

I would never consider using Sage export to Excel, but I do use export to csv quite a lot.

If you put the design work into an Excel template (hiding columns, formatting, formulas if they're to the right of the data range ) you can export to csv, open the csv and copy paste special values to your Excel template.

Basic, but it works fine for me!

Sage Export

paulwakefield1 | | Permalink

Or just open the csv straight into Excel.

I have clients who use Sage extensively. Most have a reasonably large number of transactions and are multi user. Sage works fine - not perfect but quite adequate. They use Excel based management accounts reporting. Takes no time at all to get the info in (such as the TB).

Long since ceased to be a member of the Club but get offered reasonable upgrade prices every so often. So just pay low hundreds every 4 years or so (I only feel the need to be at the same version or one higher than the clients). Have been squeezed on the number of companies I can hold as live data at any one time though.

Mind you I do not do payroll so that might colour my judgement

Sage accountants club and Excel reporting

sarah douglas | | Permalink

If you use excel 2010 and 2007 .  Use the add in tab to insert your reports you can design them in sage  and put them into my reports as many as you like and open them directly from excel .  You can insert as many companies as you like .  Version 2011 has also dealt with many of the format issues when you just want to export from preview.   We use it all the time to provide various reports, so I am not sure where the problem lies as someone else said maybe their software is out of date and their using office excel 2003 .  We are using Sage 2011 and Excel 2010 and they work really well together. 

I personally think there has been major improvements in user ability and plenty of drill downs.  I notice people have mention quickbooks but there is  lots it is not capable of doing also , you need to judge my each client.   My clients love  the communication tab for chasing their debtors , the purchase ordering , project costing  and stock .  I think sage accountants club is worth the money ,  I ring them up all the time to try and do things better .  Also all my clients think their payroll is excellent, and would not change.

If we are comparing products then I think it needs to be on new software and not software that is out of date.  These softwares have made major improvements in the last couple of years.  

-- Kind Regards Sarah@ Douglas Accountancy & Bookkeeping Services, Glasgow

Price Increase

agusmise | | Permalink

 The day after I paid our annual client manager Invoice I received a phone call from sage to say the price had increased since the date on the invoice by £150 but that they could do me a deal by charging me only £100 extra!

I was outraged by this stunt considering we had been loyal sage customers for many years and told them where to put their increase and demanded the money we had paid back. Cheque duly arrived.

Obviously they don't value our business and that of our clients.

 

 

 

 

 

Price Increase

agusmise | | Permalink

 The day after I paid our annual client manager Invoice I received a phone call from sage to say the price had increased since the date on the invoice by £150 but that they could do me a deal by charging me only £100 extra!

I was outraged by this stunt considering we had been loyal sage customers for many years and told them where to put their increase and demanded the money we had paid back. Cheque duly arrived.

Obviously they don't value our business and that of our clients.

 

 

 

 

 

NeilSeekings's picture

Sage Price Increase explained Pigeons and Statues!

NeilSeekings | | Permalink

Having worked in the software industry for the last 20 years I have seen this direction taken by software companies all too often. The simple answer is new business is very difficult to obtain with the current financial climate. So how does a software company who have share holders or who are owned by a parent company from the US cracking the whip find extra profit margin?  Simple, pillage the current users for more revenue. 

Cloak this increase in extra functionality added to the product or upgrade the version. Some people may feel it is too late. They are using the software, they are committed and change of product would be too much hassle. Companies like Sage prey on lethargic end users who will stick with it because it’s too difficult to make the change to something else, or like accountants club members who would be reluctant to make a change because their business is now based on their product and probably has been for years.

This situation goes back to the old adage that some people are statues and some people are pigeons and without putting to finer point on it you know what pigeons do on statues. Vote with your feet don’t let them win There are many new products out there which are more superior in many ways especially, in the SaaS market of new breed software. Perhaps it’s time to send the message we are not statues to be dumped on.

We have a SaaS payroll which is gathering great interest from accountants and end users. We are only as good as our customer service, our customers are not tied in by contracts, so if we don’t perform the client makes the decision to change without thinking “I have paid for the software and must keep it”. There are no upfront costs to become a Partner and you have your own branded payroll to boot. We have a Sage 50 link that allows you and your clients to seamlessly import pay data. Our price includes support and costs less than a £1 per month per employee. But there are many others like us out there in the market place that have something to offer you if you just take the time to scrape off what Sage dump on you every year and find a software partner who values you and you business.

Neil Seekings

www.mypaye.co.uk

 

Sage

johndon68 | | Permalink

" So how does a software company who have share holders or who are owned by a parent company from the US cracking the whip find extra profit margin?"

Neil, I find this comment a little strange, Sage isn't, nor has it ever been, owned by a parent company from the US...

John

petersaxton's picture

Or not and

petersaxton | | Permalink

<<<" So how does a software company who have share holders or who are owned by a parent company from the US cracking the whip find extra profit margin?"

Neil, I find this comment a little strange, Sage isn't, nor has it ever been, owned by a parent company from the US...>>>

Sage have shareholders - see the "or" rather than an "and"

Shareholders

johndon68 | | Permalink

I know they have shareholders (I'm one of them) I just couldn't see any reason at all for the mention of a US parent company in a thread about Sage...

John

NeilSeekings's picture

Shareholers

NeilSeekings | | Permalink

@Peter & John

Sorry gentlemen it was a side swipe at the biggest competitor of Sage in the SME market in the UK who do have a US Parent company probably should have explained a little better. Sage are not alone in this practice of taking as much from their client base as they can. I just wish they and other companies like them would value the strength of their brand is down to those committed to using the product and not keep taking from them when times are hard. 

We have not increased our pricing for four years and we value our end users and Partner base which is now in the thousands I’m sure we are not perfect but we strive to keep our costs sensible and continue to add functionality where relevant without extra cost to our clients they are the people who make us successful.

But thanks for taking the time to point it out.

Neil Seekings

www.mypaye.co.uk

Great way to promote your product Lethargic end users

sarah douglas | | Permalink

Neil 

i use sage , and I also spend a of lot of time training and learning new things . I use both Apple and Microsoft and I am definitely not lethargic as I am sure most people on this website or not . The fact they go onto this website means there interested in keeping up to date.

Throwing insults at people who use a product is not great selling point.  Since you sell another piece of Software why don't you set up a group like the sage group and we can then have a look.   I think that would be far more constructive.  There one for quickbooks so theres nothing to stop you.

- Kind Regards Sarah@ Douglas Accountancy & Bookkeeping Services, Glasgow

NeilSeekings's picture

lethargic end users

NeilSeekings | | Permalink

@Sarah,

Thank you for your comment however pointed. lethargic end users is not my opinion but it is the hope of many of the larger software houses that their clients become lethargic and wont change their product because they have had their prices increased for the purpose of nothing more than gaining extra revenue in hard times. As you said users of this site are interested in new things and therefore i was providing an alternative product vendor view. Sorry if this information offends you but thank you for your comment.

Neil Seekings

www.mypaye.co.uk

Neil Thankyou for your reply

sarah douglas | | Permalink

Neil 

Thank you for your reply , but I do still feel it reads as if that is your view which is maybe not what you meant .  There are things Sage do and do very well . The payroll did win the software satisfaction awards this year.   I was also trying to suggest , and maybe it did not come across , that if you have a good product then I don t feel trying to encourage people to use it on thread like this works. and that maybe you should set up a group of Alternative software , there is one for example on quickbooks and excel 

-- Kind Regards Sarah@ Douglas Accountancy & Bookkeeping Services, Glasgow

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