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which accounting system after Sage 50?

Suggestions for a replacement Accounting system to Sage 50- preferable cloud based

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I work for a recruitment company and we have grown and Sage 50 needs replacing.

 We have 5 accounts users and in our busiest month this year we processed 6,200 transactions.

I'm looking at replacing Sage but wondered what systems people like. 

Our accounting is quite simple- no stock or sales orders, just sales invoices, accounts payable invoices. Our biggest need is around customer analysis.

Have you done something simillar and what would you recommend?

many thanks

Replies (11)

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By Moonbeam
21st Aug 2019 17:18

You really don't have a great deal of choice at this size of company. It's either Xero or Quickbooks. In my opinion Quickbooks online is pants, but others may say different. I use Xero a lot and it's cheaper than Sage but can do more than Sage can. You can also pay for addons to help with eg customer analysis.

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Replying to Moonbeam:
By Crouchy
21st Aug 2019 17:43

I'd agree with you on QB online

but for this many transactions, I'd say Xero would be a bit flimsy as well

we have a lot of clients using Clear Books, several of this size and volume of transactions and we find it be a really robust system, without too much to go wrong

other than that have you tried speaking with your current provider i.e. Sage to see what they recommend?

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Replying to Crouchy:
By worldtraveller55
22nd Aug 2019 14:53

Hi there,- thank you for your reply.
I haven't as I believe that Sage does not work well with third party APIs. Our chairman is keen for us to use a system that is friendly to APIs. If that is not correct I am happy to be disproved!

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By puzzel
21st Aug 2019 19:06

Please expand more on your client analysis.

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Replying to puzzel:
By worldtraveller55
22nd Aug 2019 14:50

For this I mean reports that give a breakdown of the following at transaction level that are then summarised and total
-source of sale- client sector- consultant-consultant team- etc
At the moment this all goes into an excel spreadsheet and we use pivot tables to summarise

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Replying to worldtraveller55:
By johnt27
22nd Aug 2019 15:45

You can do this in Sage using cost centres. The equivalent features are available in both QBO and Xero

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By johnt27
26th Sep 2019 11:52

Xero or QBO are your only real options - everything else competing in this market are flawed - lack of banks feeds, lack of functionality, lack of integrations.

I'm assuming by customer analysis your need is regarding CRM? If so, there are plenty of options out there that will integrate with both systems.

Your transactions volumes are well inside the soft transaction limits of both Xero and QBO so nothing to worry about here.

If you want something that serves more mid-market sized businesses then you'd do well to consider Netsuite. After that you're into SAP territory. Costs rise exponentially with each step up you take!

Once you make the move to cloud don't just stop there - take a look at the other apps that connect and will really help to streamline your business processes and save heaps of time. You'll be absolutely blown away - welcome to the 21st century!

Thanks (1)
By jonathan.kempson
22nd Aug 2019 18:37

It's not particularly neat, but you could re-use fields in Sage 50 invoicing (likely fields are: units, comment 1 and 2, department and/or line information) to give you the 4 levels of analysis that you mention. For reporting you'd probably use Excel linked to the Sage 50 data via odbc.

If you've out grown Sage 50, then I wonder whether Xero and QuickBooks are appropriate. An example of this is support for period rather than date based nominal ledger reporting. The Sage step up from Sage 50 is Sage 200 (allows up to 20 analysis fields per invoice line, with values picked from the customer and/or drop downs). Products like NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics are competitors to Sage 200, and my guess (no more) is that they are more likely to be appropriate than Xero and QB.

Just to be transparent - I work for a Sage reseller / consultancy.

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Replying to jonathan.kempson:
By johnt27
23rd Aug 2019 09:55

I'm not sure the OP has outgrown Sage 50. Certainly with it being a desktop product it's transaction limits are (ironically) larger than Xero or QBO assuming they are on the latest version and don't have tons of unarchived historic data.

Whilst both Sage 50 and 200 cloud now piggyback on the back of O365 the reporting in these products is average at best. The integrations with 3rd party apps are negligible and the costs of operating a multi-user Sage will outstrip cloud alternatives by a long way.

Microsoft Dynamics is a product I wouldn't actively recommend.

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By Aqilla Cloud Accounting
23rd Aug 2019 09:34

Take a look at Aqilla (

Aqilla will certainly meet your needs moving on from Sage 50, if yo have reached the function limits of Sage, then Quick Books or Xero will also be in the same situation

Aqilla has an excellent KPI and BI toolkit which will provide all the analysis you need (and much more)

We have many users moving from Sage 50, so are well placed to advise and help the transition

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By Séamus37
26th Sep 2019 11:39

You may not have considered SAP Business One but it's definitely worth a look. I've heard the report functionality blows Sage 50 out of the water and you can get it in the cloud from a similar price to Sage 50. Worth a look ...

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