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Sage 50 vs Quickbooks Premier - What are the pros and cons?

Sage 50 vs Quickbooks Premier - What are the...

As it says above - I've used Sage50 for nearly a year and my accountants club membership is up for renewal soon.  I'm thinking of moving to Quickbooks Premier for the simple reasons that it seems (on the face of it) to be able to do everything Sage can at a fraction of the price.  Also QB tell me that remote access functionality is built in which is a major plus over Sage.  I know Sage and it's capabilities pretty well having run two businesses on it in the past (as FD) but have never used QB.

So, what are the pros and cons?


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By nigel
17th Jul 2012 21:35

VAT Cash Accounting

In my experience only Sage has the controls you need to properly handle VAT cash accounting - if that's likely to be an issue for you. QuickBooks may be able to do it, but it seems clients can easily by-pass whatever the controls are.

And why did Intuit think it was a good idea to allow QB users to turn off the audit trail?


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By malc901
to stratty
19th Jul 2012 10:21

In my experience QB handles VAT cash accounting very well.

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17th Jul 2012 22:50

When setting up  QB for the

When setting up  QB for the first time QB asks if VAT is to be on a cash or invoice basis.

In the USA intuit do an ERP version

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18th Jul 2012 03:36

QuickBooks is best

but I think as an accountant the minimum you should be able to use is Sage AND QuickBooks.

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18th Jul 2012 09:17


For QB you can buy on Amazon cheaper than you can buy as a need to join the "club".

Cash accounting is properly controlled in Xero not sure about latest versions of QB but the older versions needed you to lock the closed quarter to stop it going wrong.

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By janitia
18th Jul 2012 11:44


I have found that its best to be able to use both.  I have used QB for a long time it does everything in a much simpler way than Sage.  It is much easier to make adjustments and I use it for Cash Accounting too.  No problems with vat.  Only con with QB is the payroll reports as you have to activate the payroll on the newer versions.  Can export anything to excel too.



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By zxcvb
18th Jul 2012 12:05


As an FD of a company which moved from Sage 50 to QB a couple of years ago, I would say these are the main pros & cons:

Pros - It is easy for all office staff to use, create reports and make corrections

Cons -  It is easy for all office staff to use, create reports and make corrections 


Make sure you go through the access controls in detail!!

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18th Jul 2012 14:28

What do you use it for?

Not clear whether you're using a system for just one business (i.e. your employers or your own) or whether you're using it to do book-keeping for multiple clients in house, or whether you're choosing something to recommend your clients to use.  The answer depends on what you use it for.

If it's for in house book-keeping for yourself or clients (i.e. where you do the work), then why not expand your search to include other options such as the excellent VT book-keeping system which is far cheaper than both Sage and QB and is a perfectly good ledger based book-keeping system that does what it says on the tin.

If you're looking for a system to match what your clients use, then you need to look at your clients.  If most use Sage, then it's sensible to use it yourself for ease of data transfer and also to improve your skills to provide advice and training to clients.

If your clients are a mixed bag and mostly all you do is take their figures to produce accounts, then you may need neither Sage nor QB - you can just get them to produce the necessary reports either as paper, pdf or excel based for you to work from.

My personal opinion is that both Sage and QB are way over the top for the average small business both in terms of costs and also functionality and both are relatively hard for training up clients/staff to a proper level so that they don't foul it up causing lots of extra work at the year end to correct it.

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19th Jul 2012 09:15

To clarify what I want Sage/QB for - it is primarily for preparing my clients' accounts.  I do the bookkeeping in house for most of my clients.  This is not necessarily by design - it's just the way things have worked out.

However my USP if you like is that I provide the level of regular management information to my clients that an in house FC/FD would provide.  Therefore I need the additional functionality (e.g.: inventory modules, cost centres, customisable reporting, budgeting, etc) that Sage 50 has over, say, VT cashbook.  Intuit tell me QB can do everything Sage can but I'd be comfortable if the community could back this up!!

Whatever I use I will also use for my own accounts.

Maybe in time it would make sense to run Sage, QB and other systems.  However as a start up practice paying for multiple software licences is a cost I cannot justify.

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19th Jul 2012 09:40

Can't justify not too

Most of your potential clients will already have bookkeeping software in place and if you try to get them to change to your software it will ring alarm bells.

If you can't afford a few hundred pounds then I think you will take you much longer to build up a client base and one client extra in a month would pay for the software.

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19th Jul 2012 12:42

Sage Line 50 and QuickBooks

We have some clients who use Sage Line 50 and some who use QuickBooks.

As accountants extracting information from our clients book-keeping (via back-ups) QuickBooks is streets ahead in the ease of producing Reports and drilling down for the underlying prime entries.

The icing on the cake is the ability to export any Report or underlying entries from QuickBooks into Excel with the greatest of ease.

As auditors this exporting to Excel facility is of even greater use in extracting samples for testing and for calculating percentages of the population tested etc. etc. In fact any analytical work can be performed on the extracted Reports with the greatest of ease in Excel.

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19th Jul 2012 12:49


If your an accountant and know what your doing then use QuickBooks - far faster and more flexible than Sage, better reporting, can easily amend, can go back over multiple years, no year end close, etc.

For small clients who want to do some of their own bookkeeping (or even if you do it and want them to be able to see), consider Kashflow. Very easy to use and also copes with flat rate scheme/cash accounting fairly well.

I've got  a client who uses Xero, the only reason we recommended it to them is because they wanted an online package that could cope with foreign currency accounts/transactions and it was the only one we could find for a small business at the time. It's horrible, very inflexible - similar to a bad version of Sage.  The client made mistakes and we may as well have deleted the whole lot and done it on QuickBooks from scratch. It was so difficult and time consuming to sort out errors.  No good for small clients, maybe more suited to big clients.

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19th Jul 2012 13:03


If you have used QuickBooks for a long time you will know about one big problem in exporting from QuickBooks to Excel.

Because of the way that QuickBooks was programmed the underlying dates were stored in the US format and when exported to Excel the dates were in US format. This meant that any dates that didn't look like a UK date in Excel were stored as text and other dates has the days and months swapped around. This has been carried forward if you update QuickBooks but at some time the programming was changed and if you installed QuickBooks for the first time you wouldn't see this problem.

Nobody I have talked to at Intuit knows about this problem. It was only when I went to a QuickBooks seminar that a lot of users knew about it. It is one of the issues Intuit seems incapable of addressing.

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to mrsdirAY55
20th Jul 2012 13:10

QuickBooks - Dates

Peter - I have not had this problem - all dates from QB come into Excel in the dd/mm/yyyy format.

How very frustrating for you. If there is anything more frustrating and confusing than the order of the US date system I'll eat my hat!!!

Just maybe your Excel date settings do not have the UK date settings as the default?

Good luck.

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By malc901
to mrsdirAY55
02nd Aug 2012 14:25

This used to be a problem but I've recently upgraded to V12 and the dates are formatted correctly when transactions are exported to Excel. Must admit I did a fresh install rather than upgrading an old version as I need several versions so I can handle clients who are using older versions of QuickBooks.

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By Robjoy
19th Jul 2012 13:09

QuickBooks for bookkeepers

I've used QuickBooks for many years as a bookkeeper, not an auditor.

You definitely get a lot more for your money in QuickBooks. Stock Control is a particular area: QB does it properly - stock issue and COGS are automatically calculated from average cost, with a sales invoice. I was astonished to find Sage didn't when I gave it a trial a couple of yeas ago.

Reporting is on another planet, exporting to Excel is really easy.

Transactions are kept for ever, unless the user makes a specific decision to compress the file - even then, you can go back to the archived file for all the detail. QB does not store period balances, it calculates then as required. Periods are closed, but not set in stone - you can correct a past period by postings dated in that period, so your reports are correct.

It is no longer possible to turn off the audit trail.

VAT is fine now - there were problems in older versions, but it is now well controlled, accrual or cash.

You can have as many QB files as you like - one license means one computer, not one set of accounts. The latest version will allow you to have two different sets of accounts open at the same time.

I taught six experienced Sage bookkeepers to use QB over the years - they were all amazed at how much better it was, both in ease of use and the quality of management reporting. I have never heard of a bookkeeper-user who preferred Sage!

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By Briar
19th Jul 2012 16:19

Exporting OK but not importing

I find it very useful to be able to import data into Sage using csv files (often converted from Excel files). As far as I know you cannot do it in QB (so I dumped QB a few years ago).

Once a client's computer crashed taking QB with it. We did manage to save the data in spreadsheet form. QB quoted £1,800 to reinstall the data (!). It was much easier and cheaper to install Sage and import the data.


OK, QB has some bells and whistles which Sage doesn't have - and vice versa. But how many small businesses use them?

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By Robjoy
to Manchester_man
19th Jul 2012 17:16

Bells and whistles

I wouldn't call QB's superiorities over Sage "bells and whistles". I'd guess that there are quite a few small business using stock control, purchases and sales orders.

The answer to the vulnerability of any software and its data to become unavailable in the event of a computer crash has been known for some time - backups.

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19th Jul 2012 16:42


You can import data from CSV into QuickBooks.

Most small businesses use Excel but quite big businesses are called "small" nowadays!

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By Briar
19th Jul 2012 17:24

They must have listened to my protests!

OK Peter, if the latest versions of QB allow csv imports, I stand corrected.

When I was dissatisfied with QB, I could import Supplier/Customer names and addresses using csv files but not transactions because they required data in IIF format which is just too much trouble to try. QB's website even says that it "may require some technical knowledge"! 

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By c.szpak
19th Jul 2012 21:52

QuickBooks 2012 Premier Accountant


I'm for QB having used it since 1995, I don't use SAGE so can't comment on it.

If you choose QB I would suggest joining the adviser scheme, you get Premier accountant a payroll subscription and Technical support and remember the software is multi company, you can have as many as you like, this has to be cost effective for anybody starting up.

For reports in your role as an FD, QB is excellent, no, outstanding and includes a little used facility to create your own custom reports. Also in the 2012 version the exporting to excel has been improved, being able to pull reports from a QB file whilst in excel is a great improvement.  We have also found the facility to have a second company file open useful, especially when you want to enter an invoice from one company as a "bill" in another or a client calls whilst you are working on another file.  For annual accounts we export a TB in csv format and import into VT.

QB isn't perfect but even clients I believe have outgrown the software won't change.

Nigel, you haven't been able to turn off the audit trail since the 2006 version.  Peter Saxton's comment about the dates was correct for a long time but they are now in UK format.  As for importing I have a client who imports hours for 200 employees on a fortnightly basis using a utility from  I use their transaction importer extensively.

Remote access, I would ask for me more detail to ensure it copes with what you want.  All our data is hosted, which resolves that issue.

Hope this helps

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19th Jul 2012 22:38

Sage apologists can only came up with "import" argument. How many businesses in this world need this facility?

If you want to know how sage is a superb product, you only need to look at Sage’s discussion forum in Acc web. Data corruption; Year-end; backup and so on problems. And if you want to test it how user friendly the product is, compare the following: in QB, you can enter a purchase invoice and save it. Done! In Sage, you have to create the invoice and save it. You are unable to see it in purchase ledger, you need to go to PL page, find  and then you post it. In QB, one way, in Sage, three ways process. Oh, I forget to mention: if you want to correct invoice. In QB, open the invoice and you can correct it. In Sage, go to maintenance and so on. I can go on and on, but suffice to say, personally, what I would call a good application is if you could drill down in to a report, like Pivot Table. It has taken over 20 years for Sage to come up with half-baked drill down report.

Sage has a clout on marketing. Ask any average business person on a street if they know any accounting software, they will tell Sage.

There are many vested interested parties who have a stake on survival of Sage. No wonder why many accountants recommended sage to their clients. Do you know how many Sage resellers are in the market ranging from third party reporting to training? You do not need third party software to produce a report. Power Pivot does that for free-just import it to excel and you can  do some wonderful reports with PT.

Dump sage and restore your sanity!

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to lionofludesch
20th Jul 2012 08:21


Cantona1 wrote:

Sage apologists can only came up with "import" argument. How many businesses in this world need this facility?

If you want to know how sage is a superb product, you only need to look at Sage’s discussion forum in Acc web. Data corruption; Year-end; backup and so on problems. And if you want to test it how user friendly the product is, compare the following: in QB, you can enter a purchase invoice and save it. Done! In Sage, you have to create the invoice and save it. You are unable to see it in purchase ledger, you need to go to PL page, find  and then you post it. In QB, one way, in Sage, three ways process. Oh, I forget to mention: if you want to correct invoice. In QB, open the invoice and you can correct it. In Sage, go to maintenance and so on. I can go on and on, but suffice to say, personally, what I would call a good application is if you could drill down in to a report, like Pivot Table. It has taken over 20 years for Sage to come up with half-baked drill down report.

Sage has a clout on marketing. Ask any average business person on a street if they know any accounting software, they will tell Sage.

There are many vested interested parties who have a stake on survival of Sage. No wonder why many accountants recommended sage to their clients. Do you know how many Sage resellers are in the market ranging from third party reporting to training? You do not need third party software to produce a report. Power Pivot does that for free-just import it to excel and you can  do some wonderful reports with PT.

Dump sage and restore your sanity!

... must agree it does seem slightly strange as there's another thread on the forum totally slating Sage yet this one where it's being recommended!

I have my own opinion on Sage (which has been expressed on the other thread) and I have NEVER gone back to QuickBooks after the huge problems with VAT that the older versions used to create - it may be rectified now but I have moved on to Xero... and NEVER looked back!

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20th Jul 2012 02:27

QB is the UK no 1 best selling accounting package.

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20th Jul 2012 03:45


"Peter Saxton's comment about the dates was correct for a long time but they are now in UK format."

I'd given up exporting to excel but after your comment I checked in QuickBooks 2012 and it does work properly!

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20th Jul 2012 09:08

Quickbooks on a network

Quickbooks works well on a stand alone PC or a simple network.

If you are using Quickbooks on a distributed file system (most networks apart from the very small ones are designed with this system), there there are major issues with Quickbooks. This is known problem both in the UK and the USA and Intuit have just ignored it.

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20th Jul 2012 09:39

Xero, Kashflow or VT

Have a look at - Xero, Kashflow and VT - We use a combintation of Xero and VT - and would NEVER touch SAGE even with a bargepole - and woludn't even go back to using Quickbooks

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By Alf
20th Jul 2012 09:49

Purchase and sales invoices on Sage

As a long-time critic of Sage I have come to appreciate it more after having tried another package recently (not one of the ones discussed above) which was much more comples to use.

Just to correct Cantona1's comments about purchase invoices - I think it is sales invoices he is thinking of, not purchase invoices.

I'm not sure how QB processes sales invoices, having never used it, but, for those in industry, Sage certainly has an advantage over some other packages in that a printable sales invoice can be generated without needing to raise a sales order first.

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20th Jul 2012 09:56

Thanks for all the comments - it seems that QB is the way forward!!

WRT the online versions, I can see the benefits of having cloud based data and the clients being able to see it (although this may also be a drawback!!).  However, with the clients I currently have, if I try to persuade them to part with an extra £20 a month to pay for the monthlhy licence fee I can't see it going down too well.  Frankly, I'd rather they paid me the £20 per month!!

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20th Jul 2012 10:28

Monthly licence fees and Sage Accounts 2013

I am amazed that the online accounts software companies try to ask for so much.

I would have thought that £5/month for a very simple cash based business and £10 for a number of sales invoices and a few more purchase invoices would be reasonable.

I've just attended a webinar for Sage Accounts 2013 and there has been some good improvements. Pity they are improvements to features that shouldn't have been so bad in the first place! They have introduced a report showing quarterly P & L Accounts side by side. I wish they had gone the whole hog and put monthly P & L Accounts side by side with a total for the year!

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to fkhan74695
20th Jul 2012 11:17

I honestly think the report writers at Sage have never either worked in a finance department or spoken to someone that has.

Every place I ever worked as a finance manager, FC or FD wanted to see the monthly P&Ls side by side, and certain lines in the P&L graphed.  Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to simply run a report that graphed total sales, profits, etc on a month by month basis without dumping the data into Excel and doing it manually.

Also, and this is a big gripe of mine, am I the only person who wants to see an aged stock report from the inventory modules?  Sage tell me that I am the ONLY person who was ever requested it (surely not).  When I mentioned to the person I spoke to that, for a stock based company, this is as important as an aged debtors report they reacted like I was aking Sage to take me to the moon and back!!

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20th Jul 2012 14:17


Quickbooks has been able to monthly/quarterly/annual or customisable P & Ls for years - give it a try.  Then of course there is the ability to look at any year on QuickBooks without having to restore backups, etc.

After using for a week you would wonder why anyone uses Sage (and I'm not even getting paid to say this - just a satisfied user).

No package is perfect, but QuickBooks has less imperfections than most.  Plus it is cheap if used for multiple clients/businesses.

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20th Jul 2012 14:45


I've used QuickBooks going back to version 5. I still know why people use Sage.

How do you get Monthly P & L Accounts side by side in QuickBooks?


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By c.szpak
20th Jul 2012 15:51

Monthly P&L


If I've understood the question...

Create the P&L report, change the dates to cover the period you require, say 1st January to 31st March, then change the columns option (next to date fields) from "total only" to "month".  You should end up with three monthly columns and a total. 

You can also generate, years, quarters but not half year, which is rather annoying.




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20th Jul 2012 16:09

Thanks, Chris

I've never used the columns option!

That's perfect. When I press the collapse button it's just how I want.  

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20th Jul 2012 16:30

So happy to hear this!

Hello everyone,

I head up the accountant programmes for Intuit UK and am delighted to see the discussion here.  We have spent many years addressing the pain points that accountants have with exchanging data and supporting small businesses, and it is great to see that so many accountants agree that the QuickBooks Premier 2012 product is really worth a look.

One feature that was not mentioned is the new Client Data Review tool.  Only available in QuickBooks Premier 2012, it allows you to open up your client's Pro 2012, Premier 2012 or SimpleStart 2012 files, and quickly "find and fix" client data entry errors.  Once you are done, it will create a full audit trail report, and you can even save a PDF of your changes for your file.

An additional feature that was not mentioned was how far we have come with the Excel Integration.  QuickBooks has long had the ability to export to Excel easily.  And you can turn on Advanced Export features to allow you to filter columns, etc.  But now, with the 2012 versions, QuickBooks will actually remember the link to reports you have exported to Excel.  What this means, is that you can export a report to Excel, then edit it.  And then next month, just bring up that report, click QuickBooks (it is a button that will appear on the excel report) and the data will get refreshed automatically!  This means you save time on formatting reports every month.

And of course there is much more.

If anyone would like a demonstration, we can arrange that.  Additionally, our ProAdvisor Programme is only £28/mo, and gives you over £1000 of software and services, including free training and Certification.  And of course QuickBooks Premier is included and you can create as many company files as you wish.

Please let me know if anyone has any questions,

Kind regards,

Alison Ball


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21st Jul 2012 21:01

I use QB for all bookkeeping for about 100 companies and think its streets ahead of Sage.

My only comment is that the employee earnings summary doesn't show the net pay, it wod be great if QB would change the report


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21st Jul 2012 22:04

about 100 companies?

How can you manage to do the bookkeeping for about 100 companies?

If you work on them 20 days a month that means you have to do the monthly bookkeeping of 5 companies in a day.

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to lionofludesch
21st Jul 2012 22:24

I have staff and do it monthly, some companies only take about an hour or two per month, including payroll

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21st Jul 2012 22:34

I thought it must be something like that!

I use QuickBooks but I don't do much bookkeeping as I don't have staff.

I prefer to use Sage Payroll rather than using QuickBooks Payroll.

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By pjh_57
23rd Jul 2012 09:57

I have been reading everyone's posts with great interest, myself being a happy Sage user for many years.  They have done a lot to improve user-friendliness and it is much easier to correct mistakes now, but personally I believe it is a mistake to make it too easy for untrained users (business owners) to mess about with the data.

One area that still needs a lot of work is the Reports Designer ... unless you're a software analyst, you don't have a hope of being able to design or even edit anything!  The old Designer was much easier to use and the old Excel interface was nice, whereas the new Excel interface is pretty hopeless!  But I believe the 2013 version has addressed some of this, so I live in hopes.  The other con that I am constantly bending Sage's ear about is the price ... if I could get the same for cheaper, I most certainly would!

I have seen nothing in QB that makes me want to change, but I have a look every now and then, just to make sure.

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30th Jul 2012 13:03

Glad you liked my old Excel interface! :)

Having worked as a developer at Sage on Line50 for a short while (mainly Excel integration & updated bank recon) and now looking for a program to use for company accounts, I have no hesitation in not using Sage. Maybe if I'd seen the Intuit stuff "from the inside" I might feel differently but having successfully used Quicken for my company accounts over the last 20 years I'm going to give QuickBooks a try. Yes I know it's not the same as Quicken and yes I know I'll have to deal with flat rate VAT somehow but still I'm going to give it a go!


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30th Jul 2012 14:15

Sage 50 Accounts Product Manager

Hi Everyone,

My name is Robin Moore, Sage 50 Accounts Product Manager at Sage UK.

This is a fascinating and balanced discussion between advocates of Sage & QuickBooks.    I’d like to contribute by highlighting some major improvements we have made in Sage Accounts 2013 that a couple of you have mentioned and a few areas we are really proud of.


We have had two major focus areas this year.    Reporting, which you have mentioned in this thread and clients first use and first year experience, which you haven’t but which has come up in feedback.  


Overall, the last 12 months has been about understanding how we can improve both your and your clients experience using Sage 50 Accounts in these areas. 


We have had input from Accountants, Customers and Business Partners and this has been extremely rewarding and as a result we’ve made some changes.




We have an incredibly powerful report designer in Sage 50 Accounts and have worked very hard to make it easy for everyone to:

Find and run the right reportsTailor them to fit their business, for example adding logosEmail reportsExport the information to MS Excel, in a format that can be manipulated straight away 


We have also:

Improved Excel integrated reportingAdded more drillable management reports and a comparative profit and loss report, which is accessible from the financials toolbar


First Use and First Year


The depth and flexibility of Sage 50 Accounts functionality is built on 30 years of experience in the UK with customers and accountants.     For this version we have spent a huge amount of time working with our communities to make it much easier for new users to get up and running, become effective and get the most out of Sage 50 Accounts. 


There have been four focus areas:   

Customised company set up (I like the QuickBooks setup interview but we have had great feedback on this area for Accounts 2013 ;-)The introduction of workflow to give customers help and confidence through infrequent tasks such as completing and submitting VAT returnsImproving usability and efficiency in day to day processing, e.g. making it quick and easy to record sales and purchases. Simplification of terminology used throughout the software making it more consistent and improving clarity, making it easier to learn, use and remember.



One last point for those of you looking to set your clients up with a simple online bookkeeping or accounting solution for £5 - £10 per month,  it would be worth taking a look at Sage One Cashbook and Sage One Accounts.



Best Regards


Robin Moore

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By pjh_57
to johngroganjga
31st Jul 2012 10:37

Good to know ...

... that Sage is listening in on these discussions, although I see you have neatly side-stepped the point about price!  This is one of my personal bug-bears and it is also a definite con when clients are looking at Sage 50.  When you bear in mind that updates come out every year and each one costs, you are expecting people to pay an awful lot for your products. 


I have no intention of recommending the online products, partly because people like myself and my clients are based in areas where broadband is slower/erratic and every time the wifi signal drops, you (and your data) are left stuck in mid-air, so to speak.  So, in the long run, I don't think it is efficient or cost-effective.


Once again, Sage has hiked its prices by a ridiculous percentage this year and I am constantly getting calls from Sage sales people trying to get me to pay more and more for services I don't want or need, despite always telling them what I do want and need.  Really, Sage does need to pay attention to this kind of thing, because one of these days, it will be simply too expensive for customers to afford. 


I have signed up for another year and hope to be pleasantly surprised by all the work on Excel integration and reporting :-)





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31st Jul 2012 15:44

Report Designer?!

Something is wrong when you need a 'report designer'!  With QuickBooks all you have to do is specify the period you want (there are also useful pre-set periods), untick or tick any columns you don't/do want and filter if you want to and then you have your report. A lot of the time you don't even need to do this.  If you are likely to use the report often you can memorise it.  If you want it in Excel you click on a couple of buttons.  Easy.

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01st Aug 2012 13:36

For those of you wedded to SAGE, try some proper software that wasnt written 25 years ago.

There is a certain pain barrier to go through to get your mind out of SAGE routines, but you should find in 10-15 hours in you are knocking chunks of time off your working time.

Never again will you have to stop work, write down a reference, close down what you are working in, and go back in elsewhere, only to stop again, write down a reference etc etc etc

On the P&L report? Want to know whats in there?

Do you (a) stop. Change screens, fiddle about for a bit. Find half the answer, have to change screens yet again to change it, o hang on you cant do that, fix it with a journal. 3 minutes?

Or (b) double click, see list of balances, click on the one that is on the wrong place, change the coding, press save. 20 seconds?

Moreover as the modern systems are written in a much better way, things like debtors ledgers becoming unbalanced from the TB simply cant happen.

its like comparing a modern car with one built 30 years ago, yes both will get you there, but boy is there a bit of a difference on the journey, however until you get into the new one you dont know what you have been missing.

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01st Aug 2012 14:19

You are spot on!

I always felt that there is bit of prejudice against QB as it is a USA company. I heard many accountant complaining why QB use AR and AP not Debtors and Creditors. QB has now come up with the option of using British terms in order to help those people who have a mental blockage.

QB came up with memorised transaction 20 years ago. Sage copied it from QB, but it took it almost a decade.

To get a meaning data from Sage you need a PHD in IT, but any layperson could get it in QB. What is the point of having any software if you cannot get any output easily?

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01st Aug 2012 15:26


You have to take into account that some clients use Sage.

I got a new client and she used QuickBooks and she said her previous accountant would only ask her for nominal ledger transaction printouts.

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01st Aug 2012 15:44

and those blasted continual upgrades

I spend huge amounts of time trying to read clients older/newer versions of Sage. For 'older/newer' read 'by the odd month'. I have never ever understood why you cannot buy a product to use for as long as you want in the same form. Debit is still by the window and credit by the same door and NOTHING is new in basic accounting since I started in the Beatles era.  Sage is like the Banks that Dave Fishwick tub thumps about. A massive machine devoted to itself and profit giving you the impression it can do everything for you. The simplest drill down tasks are a complete pain. Still!

I once had a contracting company working well on a sophisticated spreadsheet of costs. Someone said there was a new Sage with costing. So it was bought and I prepared the contract data to load up into Sage through the import facility. There were one or two vital fields missing from their import grid, like the contract reference and the expense costing type. Yes you could put them in on invoice input, laboriously. Apparently they had bolted the data onto an ancient platform database and it wasn't accessible to the import routines. I lost a lot of face over what was possible to do for them and managed to resell the package to save them money.  I think you will find the request for amod on their wish list no. around the 18050 mark!

Not that I haven't seen many howlers and tangles ove Quickbooks. The system seemed to accept erroneous dates without comment which would, in the hands of a poor bookkeeper, mean that the 'last year' trial balance would be mysteriously different to the one the client had sent us last year!. Careful work often revealed a 'this year' transaction misdated.

Excel has been the saving grace over version problems. It is quicker to get the client to export some csv files and then datamine those than seek to see the actual work in Sage Accountants Dataset or fathom out which old portable we have the right Quickbooks version on. A plague on both your houses!


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01st Aug 2012 16:06

I've changed

I used to have about 5 versions of sage and 5 versions of quickbooks as well as access accounts, tasbooks, myob and then ms office accounting! Now I only have the latest version of quickbooks and sage. Clients can send me their data and I load them on sage or quickbooks - most use excel though and I use that to prepare an ETB.

I will tell my clients what adjustments are required and if they can't do them themselves I will charge to visit them. Some come to me with their laptop.

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