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Change Sage to Xero

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Dear all, I need some recomendation on Sage VS Xero please. I have pushed by non financial users aka managing director to transfer our accounting system from Sage line 50 to Xero but not sure of any benifets/complications ahead. We are 10 m turnover company with 1000 invoices monthly both on sales and purchase leger and 2 separate modules for sales (industry bespoke) and purchases (PO marched +approval) plus 50 k a month worth of credit card transactions so cannot see any benefits for use Xero except bank feeds really. But in fact bank feeds still would need to be matched/reconciled in a fashion. Together with massive customer debt chasing/contact details info in Sage I am seeing the transition as an extra workload and potential of VAT rec issues (had experianced in Xero before). Any comments please?

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By bernard michael
28th Jul 2020 09:25

What are the reasons for wanting the change given by the "pushers"

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Asiko
28th Jul 2020 18:06

Unfortunately for me it is a political game rather then a valid reason. One of our new managers has our big boss's ears at the moment and his mate is a director of small accountancy practice so the reason I have been given -you can see it online and anybody could do you accounts it is so simple bla bla. Unfortunately for this mate I am a practice accountant in the past with ACCA qualification and knowing my company needs I cannot see Xero could suit them.

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By bernard michael
29th Jul 2020 09:34

Asiko wrote:

Unfortunately for me it is a political game rather then a valid reason. One of our new managers has our big boss's ears at the moment and his mate is a director of small accountancy practice so the reason I have been given -you can see it online and anybody could do you accounts it is so simple bla bla. Unfortunately for this mate I am a practice accountant in the past with ACCA qualification and knowing my company needs I cannot see Xero could suit them.

Is that the real reason - a possible change of accountants to the "friend"

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Asiko
29th Jul 2020 10:36

Yeah I know -started looking for a job now, just dont want to do all "dirty work" for them and being made redundant or whatever is a plan

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By Samantha20
28th Jul 2020 09:34

I suppose they want you to do it because it is cloud based and cheaper. Yes, it will be a lot of work (I've done it but not from Sage). But the VAT should be ok as long as you change at the beginning of a VAT quarter.

We don't use bank feeds as we have very few transactions so it easier to reconcile manually.

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Replying to Samantha20:
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By Asiko
28th Jul 2020 18:12

Our Sage is cloud base and you can use it through Office 365 but managing director just dont have financial knowledge to understand it. I used Xero before at practice and know from experience the bank feed are only good if you pay invoice by invoice (and the same fro sales) rather then statement balance -as you would still need to allocate payments and receipts, not talking about departmental breakdown on direct debits that much easier to upload on CVS to Sage for me every week rather then "create" 100 rules in Xero.

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By chrisjbrown
28th Jul 2020 09:39

Xero is much more than just accounting software with bank feeds. It's all the other apps that connect which can build a truly bespoke system for you.

We have converted a £14m turnover business (and many others) and the internal processes are much slicker now. We connected them to ReceiptBank and saved the finance team hours of manual processing time.

There are plenty of apps out there which will plug any gaps, such as ApprovalMax and you can potentially use Zapier to connect sales systems to Xero. Also, we use software that can convert the data from Sage so it populates Xero and you have one year historic data in Xero.

First step would be to map out your systems and processes (or more importantly what you would like them to be), then build an app eco-system around Xero which will do all that for you in an automated way.

Happy to have a chat to discuss further.

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Replying to chrisjbrown:
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By Asiko
28th Jul 2020 18:21

Apps are great and we use them extensively but my testing with Receipt Bank for purchase ledger has failed due to you can only upload "approved" invoices into Sage/Xero. We have a robust purchase invoice approval system as our purchase orders are generated by another industry bespoke software and cannot be integrated with anything existing on the market. So no matter if Sage/Xero used we have to use a separate module for purchase and sale invoices.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
28th Jul 2020 09:39

That's quite a high transaction level for Xero.

To make it work you would need to rethink all your processes from the bottom up rather than trying to "do what you did in Sage" which will lead to failure, and you wont take advantage of the advantages (eg import of purchase details from supplier invoices)

Well worth getting some proper help with an implementation from a Xero guru.

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By adam.arca
28th Jul 2020 12:51

I'd be dubious as well.

That said, it's important not to be perceived by the movers'n'shakers as a "blocker" so you need to engage with the idea and find out more. Absolutely first thing you need to know is how committed your boss is to the idea of moving over and absolutely first thing he needs to be made to realise (if he doesn't already) is that it really isn't as simple as switching Sage off on Friday and Xero on come Monday.

You sound like a business which makes full use of ledgers and that is something which Sage is good at. My personal opinion is that ledger functionality in Xero is bobbins because they don't seem to want the user to work that way so this would definitely be something you would need to investigate (but I'm merely a Xero dilettante and the experts may well say "there's an app for that" which seems to be pretty much what they say all the time :) ).

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Replying to adam.arca:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
28th Jul 2020 15:52

Xero is not "ledger based" you need to change your systems and mindest to get it to work well for you.

It like trying to walk whilst cycling, it dont work!

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By adam.arca
28th Jul 2020 16:37

Yeah, that's the point I was trying to make. If the OP has a heavily ledger-oriented accounting system (which it sounds like they might), then it's unlikely they're going to get on very well with Xero.

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By tom123
28th Jul 2020 14:40

Gosh, well done for using Sage 50 to that level.

Personally, (and I speak as a Sage 200 user) I would want a robust system that could give me proper period based reports - not sure if Xero does that or not.

Check speeds too, because presumably you will have quite a few concurrent users.

Do you have fibre to the premises internet connection etc.

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Replying to tom123:
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By Asiko
28th Jul 2020 18:29

We use both purchase (full PO matching and approval and payment ) and sales (the is no other option as it is industry related) modules and there are no problem with it as invoices are just getting uploaded into Sage by one click and all save on cloud at modules with full process trace.

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By tom123
28th Jul 2020 16:03

How much is actually bank feeds though? Your supplier payments are (presumably) uploaded to the bank - so no reconciliations there.

Customer receipts - well, you need a process of matching those to your sales ledger. You are not going to just post DR Bank CR Sales.

Can you be put in touch with a reference site carrying out the same type of operations?

What 'new' information are people expecting?

I am sure your MD will not actually be operating any computer keyboards himself :)

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By DavidWatson
28th Jul 2020 16:29

These things are rarely straightforward in a business your size with the transaction volumes you mention. It would be interesting to know what your MD sees as the benefits of moving to Xero from your existing system, what problem are you trying to solve? You mention that you have some bespoke add-on modules that are industry specific what are they? How are the current 1,000 invoices created or are they imported from something else?

Key for me in any change like this is to identify if the perceived benefits are actually achievable in your target system and that you don't lose anything you already take for granted in your existing system.

Then is a normal business decision. As a final note Xero is not the only choice in the Cloud Accounting space there are a few providers so if you are dead set on moving might be worthing looking around a bit more.

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By SouthCoastAcc
28th Jul 2020 20:06

If what you have now works and does what you want it to do why would you move?

I agree the ledger is a bit pants in Xero.

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By paulwakefield1
29th Jul 2020 08:22

This is an interesting discussion as I am having a very similar conversation with a client who has been encouraged to put in Xero. A much smaller busness than the OPs but surprisingly complex for its size with multiple diverse business streams. Bespoke software features in at least two of these streams.

They run an old version of Sage and in fact are the last of my clients on Sage (most of the rest are on Xero or VT).

The Sage inputs are largely fairly automated uploads. There are some exceptions (purchase ledger is the main one but the volume is small). There are some further areas that could be streamlined but there is a bit of internal resistance which is gradually being overcome. And, although of fairly minor consideration, there are no direct running costs. There are of course areas which would be slicker in Xero

The system happens to suit them very well and I am really struggling to see the overall benefit of a change especially as the work involved in the change would be substantial.

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By tom123
29th Jul 2020 09:26

Always intrigued by "internal resistance", as, it usually means that someone who will never have to actually operate the 'new' process, and who doesn't wish to know the ins and outs is imposing a view on the poor suckers who actually have to do the work.

Not surprisingly, sometimes the new system doesn't actually improve things either..

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Replying to tom123:
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By paulwakefield1
29th Jul 2020 09:52

I know exactly what you mean but not what I was intending to imply in this case.

There is some resistance to streamlining the existing systems - a mixture of the classic "we've always done it this way" and "it doesn't take long", to fear about becoming unncessary and being out of a job. The latter is unfounded and the former is being whittled away by showing them the benefits.

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By Asiko
29th Jul 2020 10:51

Ha this is exactly my point as there is no problem to made a change but it will be me working stupid hours with no overtime paid to make it works and sorting out daily issues which no doubt will occur.

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By bernard michael
29th Jul 2020 08:58

You must and should put in writing your reasons for not wanting the switch.

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Asiko
29th Jul 2020 10:53

Dont think it will taken into considerations as MD already decided we are moving. Well seems like without me involved in this chaos.

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By thestudyman
29th Jul 2020 19:10

I think Xero would be too basic for the features required and the transactions.

Maybe your business needs something a little more advanced suitable for a 10m revenue company.

I can suggest Accounts IQ who seem to aim at the middle ground of business. If you stick with Sage there is also a more advanced software package called Sage Intaact. Again, aiming in the middle.

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By Thomas654654
30th Jul 2020 06:18

Please remember Xero limits you to 10,000 customers. If you reach that limit and you're unaware you're screwed!

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By alejandra
30th Jul 2020 09:43

A word of warning about Sage 50 - if you go over 50,000 invoices it is likely to cause data corruption. Learned this from Sage themselves after I joined a business which was about to ditch Sage because they’d had two data corruption problems in quick succession. Deleted the invoices (already updated to ledger of course) and the problems went away. Just mentioning it as 1000 invoices per month is a lot and you might be close to the limit - it would be a shame to be forced off Sage because you get a data corruption on top of your boss’s inclination to move to Xero

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Replying to alejandra:
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By paulwakefield1
30th Jul 2020 10:25

I am surprised by that as a client has considerably in excess of 50,000 invoices and has done so for at least 6 years without any data corruption problems (famous last words!).

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By Wellmeadow
30th Jul 2020 09:55

I appreciate this is frustrating, but speaking from a governance point of view, the MD is responsible to the shareholders for running the business, not the managers. If he/she ‘decides’ to make a change then the management team is there to implement that. That is what they are employed to do.

Of course, any MD worth their salt would consult the team, ask for recommendations etc and take a balanced view of the risk and reward. Each has their own style though.

As a professional Accounts person, your job isn’t to say that something shouldn’t be done but to present the case for and against, maybe even giving a recommendation. Ultimately though, if the MD can’t make the changes they want then they can’t run their company.

It sounds like you are unhappy in your role, perhaps due to recent changes. That’s a different matter and I am sure is giving you cause to reflect on your position. I hope you can get through this and continue to give your valuable advice through whatever they choose to do.

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By tombristow
30th Jul 2020 09:56

Xero plus associated apps can be a great combination and is always my first choice if possible. But you should also be aware that Xero has a "soft limit" of 1,000 purchase invoices and 1,000 sales invoices a month, if you exceed this, performance issues can occur. In my experience, when exceeded I have not noticed any issues other than the general ledger taking a bit long to load, but something to bear in mind.

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By MarkTunstall
30th Jul 2020 10:04

Its interesting to hear the "there's an app for that" approach to functionality differences. At first glances that looks like a credible answer, but how many people actually interrogate the "app" developer? - are they any good or are they a one man band working from their attic/garage, are there support issues to contend with such as time differences, what happens if they decide to stop developing the app, what if the app stops working etc etc?

The risks to the business are potentially quite high if the app is a critical part of the system and I really worry for businesses who put all of their efforts into developing a mass array of add-on apps to replace all the functionality lost when moving from a proper grown up system to a bunch of random providers.

Time will tell of course. There'll be plenty of app developers who succeed, but I bet there's more that fail. Where does that leave the business who rely on their systems?

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By pauljohnston
30th Jul 2020 10:08

Sounds like you need to find an implementation expert before you start. If it all goes wrong I guess its your fault so get one and recommend it in writing the the boss.

If the boss is prepared to pay the fee good, if not and it does go wrong then it wont be your fault.

Personally I would be looking for a new post as others have said it may be a very rocky road for you

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Replying to pauljohnston:
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By Asiko
30th Jul 2020 22:18

Well my sales Leger clerk been sacked yesterday and I found out they are being interviewing people for this role beyond my back. "Implementation expert" was on site all day and never spare a word with me. The picture is clear for me- have 2 job interviews next week was surprised by employment market response considering the hard time.

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By FCExtraordinaire
30th Jul 2020 10:12

I have used both Sage and Xero in practice and industry, much prefer Sage as its more straightforward and understandable. Using bank feeds in Xero can become a nightmare and I have seen alot of problems in attaching receipt bank and other apps to Xero - and also reconciling the bank by those who are more junior, I worked at one practice who lost a client over using lots of downloads to Xero thinking it would be labour saving - well it was as we didn't need a member of staff for that client !

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By sally1964
30th Jul 2020 15:42

Xero - I always think off it for smaller clients - not designed for large data entry - especially if you are use to SAGE. Even with the increase cost of SAGE over the past year the time saving for you is very high compared to Xero. Ask the MD to get a trial version of Xero and arrange to put on say 50 sales invoices and 50 purchase invoices and time it and compare it to putting the same onto SAGE.

You can have a version of SAGE (essentials) where you have it as a Desk Top but it is always working in the cloud so others can log in and view things etc -(not the SAGE online).

We also use Freeagent for our clients - but compared to SAGE for large entry into it is slow.

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Replying to sally1964:
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By Asiko
30th Jul 2020 22:50

I did suggested a trial but it was rejected. We dont "put" sales and purchase invoices to Sage and wont be to Xero- this part will not change. We use 2 separate modules for purchase and sales invoices and an upload is simple. I am more concern re VAT reconciliation and general ledger approach and all my valuable history of communications with customers saved in Sage.

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By Farkhem Hall
31st Jul 2020 01:41

As I always say to Xero fanatics, why do something in 2 mouse-clicks when you can do it in 12 on Xero?

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