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Xero or sage

Do we change?

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We are currently using sage and for multi companies 

we have been looking at xero and wondering what people's thoughts are and if they regret changing or is it limited in use?


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By Carolynne
22nd Apr 2020 19:57

I use Sage for all my clients book keeping as I can data entry far quicker to keep my fees down. I find Xero really clunky and can't use the Alt key for a lot of moves there are still some functionalities it just doesn't do.

However, if the client needs a package to enter all their sales invoices and email them directly to their customers with statements, and also wants to enter the payments against them when received. I find Xero is more on their wavelength and they can cope with it, whereas clients I have tried to set up on Sage find it too complex.

So I use both, depending on the client. If I am doing all the work its Sage, if they are data entering some of it too its Xero.

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By spilly
23rd Apr 2020 07:22

Xero is rubbish for bulk entry in comparison to Sage.
If you have 10 invoices for the same supplier, that is 10 entirely separate entries on Xero, whereas on Sage you can just tab down to the next line and enter all 10 in one go.
Xero is gradually improving their reporting tools and posting directly from the bank works well too.
So I would say you should look at the number and type of data entries for each company.

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Replying to spilly:
By Carolynne
23rd Apr 2020 10:01

I would agree with you Sage is much better. But for those clients who want to enter their own sales invoices etc, you can enter in bulk rather than individual entries in Xero (although more fiddly than sage), by way of using mapping headings in excel, type it in the same as you would in Sage, save it and import it into Xero, all the invoices are entered in one go. But this is an additional task, whereas in Sage it is more like a spreadsheet entry from the outset.

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By paulwakefield1
23rd Apr 2020 08:02

As the others have said, it's horses for courses and really depends on your requirements.

I have a client on Sage who keeps muttering about moving a "modern system like Xero". In their case, I think it would be a bold move although no doubt, with sufficient investment of time, it would work OK. For others, Xero suits them well.

I am not particularly fond of either of them and they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Of the two, I find Sage* quicker to use for all its occasional clunkiness unless I am having to frequently switch entities and I far prefer its purchase and sales ledger functionality. Xero's cloud benefits and ability to attach documents to transactions weigh in the opposite direction.

* Desktop version

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
23rd Apr 2020 09:25

I am genuinely baffled that people think sage is quicker. That suggest to me people who have not really used Xero at any level other than in a rudimentary basis.

The first two comments above seem to completely miss the bulk entry screens, and suggest people have just not used it properly.

Whilst i am always going to be slower on it, as we avoid it like the plague, I find SAGE painfully slow when I use it as a seasoned cloud user. The amount of fuddling about is insane. The poor reporting, the fact you cant edit anything, or click through things properly drives me potty. The lack of basic integration into modern cloud tools. The fact you have to sit and reconcile the bank like its 1998 as an extra job is so tedious.

Where cloud wins on bulk is (a) seamless integration to the bank/sales platforms/anything else, (b) much better billing including auto billing (c) the system learns the transactions so entries via the bank account are often one key press (d) it pre-populates 90% of purchase invoice entries from the PDF if you want to create a creditors ledger (e) the bulk data entry is just the same as a SAGE. if you have (say) 50 bank fees in the period, you key once. Even if you are using the other entry point, if you set up 'rules' properly, its 50 clicks.

I do quarterly bookkeeping for one client with around 250 transactions per quarter in about 45 minutes, with their having emailed the purchase invoices to the system. (They have already entered the sales). Its a doddle, radio on, smack through it. Charge 'em for the morning.

The main plus of course is the client can use it for many function and get data out, it stops being "something accounts do" hidden away in the corner than only accounts can understand to being a proper integrated part of the business.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By Carolynne
23rd Apr 2020 10:16

I am proficient in Xero and Sage, and I stand by my comments on this. I agree you can bulk import invoices, but the clients I have that I put on Xero for their sales invoices have limited computer knowledge and would struggle to import CSV files into Xero, havoc would ensue and I would repeatedly be phoned to help sort out errors of entry. So they have no choice but to manually enter every invoice which is much slower than Sage. And don't get me started on Xero still not letting the book keeper with reduced access to see the VAT return in MTD to check it through before submission, when before MTD they could clearly see it.

Can I ask, have you updated your knowledge in Sage recently, because the old system required you to go into file maintenance to make changes, now you can indeed just click edit and change the information whilst in other places of the programme (desk top version).

I would still say that I have to take on board the particulars of, every job and every clients requirements, before I decide which one to use. But as a professional and with the way the desk top works now, I would personally never do a clients work in Xero, my bill would have to increase, it is aimed at the layman not the professional by the way it has been written. It frustrates the heck out of me, just how many things it does not do, or how many things that require several clicks of the mouse to get to the same position I would be in, in Sage with one click.

I also think if you have say worked with sage for say many years, and Xero for a few or visa versa, you are going to feel more comfortable with the one you have worked on the longest as you know more about it.

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Replying to Carolynne:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
23rd Apr 2020 11:43

You are correct I have not used the very recent version of SAGE, and I would agree "what you are used" to is usually the quickest.

But it seems to me that many Sage users, use Xero very badly then moan its not like Sage, completely missing the point the whole point is its not supposed to be. Yes I am doing the same to an extent.

However cloud software radically changes the whole process of bookkeeping, and if properly integrated removes a lot of duplicated processes for business trying to 'do their own thing' to tracks business processing (eg invoicing manually elsewhere) and then pass over to the bookkeeper to 'do the books' as a separate magically activity, rather than integrated and updated daily, and so relied on as the main data source for the business. For most clients we have moved from Sage to cloud they have substantially reduced the amount of external bookkeeper time, have a much better idea of what is happening in their business and we charge less at the year end too.

Something as simple as debt collection if you have a monthly bookkeeper function is painful if you don't know daily who has paid and who has not, so business then work their "own systems" for working it out. Being able to just open some software, match off with single clicks payments and see an instant and reliable list of unpaid invoices is a revelation for many clients used to waiting weeks for a debtors list which is already out of date when it hits their desk.

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By johnt27
23rd Apr 2020 10:56

I would almost always promote Xero over Sage 50c, Sage 200c or SBCA but you need to pick a system that's appropriate to your needs and be able to adapt processes or transfer existing Sage integrations you may have. SBCA is a terrible product and would never recommend to a client/business.

However, there's very little difference in functionality between Xero and Sage 50c but what sets the two systems apart is the ability to integrate Xero with lots of other business processes through connected apps. Sage is catching up in this respect but their technology (the API) that does this is less well developed and as result tends to fall to bottom of developers' lists and results in poorer integrations. These new API driven integrations are much cheaper, more effective and less prone to breaking than those you may have experienced using Sage.

Xero and QBO have stolen a march on Sage in this respect and as a result of having better integrated systems any business should realise significant efficiency savings.

One of the replies here mentions bulk processing of invoices being problematic between the two systems. Whilst Sage does have a useful bulk processing feature this is still a manual task prone to error.

Xero and QBO both deal with bulk processing by using apps to do this - these are quicker and more accurate than a human being particularly if done at scale or across multiple entities but would require you to scan paper invoices (any electronic ones being processed automatically if the right process is implemented).

I'm happy to have a more specific chat regarding your needs

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By In a Daze
26th Apr 2020 15:03

Xero is better if you want you be a compltley automated practice i feel. I do very little data entry nowadays where we can i automate evreything from till software, purchase ledger ,credit control and pretty much three click payroll. The time saving has been amazing.

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By Confused78
28th Apr 2020 23:05

Thank you for your responses, I think at the moment we will probably be better staying with sage as have probably around 400+ transactions a month.
It might be something when I can invest the time to sit and have a trial of xero and integrate one of the companies and see how it would work for our business

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Replying to Confused78:
By johnt27
29th Apr 2020 08:26

400+ transactions a month. I'd definitely switch to Xero.

If you were doing 50, maybe 100, you'd keep up with tech if you're super efficient. After that there's no way you can be as efficient/quick.

Now's the perfect time to embrace the change

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