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Sage Drive

Sage goes on app Drive for Christmas

17th Dec 2014
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Sage may just have missed the chance to get in on AccountingWEB’s Christmas app countdown this year, but the accounting giant debuted two new additions to its app catalogue this week to support its new Sage Drive cloud synching service.

While some accountants have sniped at Sage for the slow pace of its cloud projects in recent years, the company is putting a seasonal gloss on its new tools by emphasising how they will help sales people, finance directors, accountants, and owner-managers stay on top of their accounts when away from the office over the holiday period.

A hybrid environment that combines desktop installations with an online server, Sage Drive allows Sage 50 Accounts users to access their data  in real time from the cloud using either desktop, mobile or tablet devices. From the basic details released so far it appears that the Sage 50 Accounts client manager will include an Accounts Dataset Manager (ADM) that can communicate with an online version of the data.

AccountingWEB has not had a chance to see the system working first hand, but as our member johndon68 described the system in late October, you will still run the desktop instance of Sage 50 Accounts, but it will update linked versions on multiple sites via an online copy of the database.

“It should prove vastly superior to the old Accountants Link,” he said.

Sage Drive represents a new phase in the developer’s switch to subscription based pricing for Sage 50 Accounts, starting from £25 a month for the basic Sage 50 Accounts with Sage Drive and rising to to £75 a month for Sage 50 Accounts Professional.

In true Christmas spirit, these prices have been halved during December for those using editions released before this year who do not have Sage Cover.

The scale of the increases - 70%-90% on the previous edition - triggered a backlash in August, to which Sage’s Paul Lancaster answered by explaining that as a 'hybrid' solution combining the benefits of desktop, mobile and cloud, Sage 50 was more powerful than purely cloud-based software.

This online accounts hub is supported by a number of mobile apps giving users similar flexibility to true cloud software, including the two apps for both iOS and Android phones and tablets:

  • Sage 50 Accounts Tracker app –  This app stores basic customer details and allows the user to raise quotes and invoices, manage payments, stock and most other facilities within the desktop program. Users need to have user must have the Sage 50 Accounts with Sage Drive edition and iPhone 4 running iOS 7 or above, or a smartphone running Android v4 or above.
  • Sage 50 Accounts Mobile Sales app - Costs £5/month and is designed to give sales people remote access to latest prices, discounts and credit positions so they can create customer profiles, quotes, orders and invoices while out on the road.

Renewed optimism on the back of 2014 results

The latest product news comes at a time when investors and City analysts are looking with renewed optimism towards the Newcastle-based software house. After showing 5% growth to £1.3bn in the 2014 results published last week, Sage’s share price rose to a yearly peak of 450p.

After years of fretting over the company’s ability to counteract the cloud threat, the market was soothed by a reported 28% growth in subscription revenue, which now account for 73% of Sage’s turnover. In Sage’s view, this model increases customer loyalty  - but are their choices limited by the arrangement?

The company also boasted of subscriptions for Sage One increasing 150% to 86,000. Yet a footnote explains that this figure was restated to reflect consolidation of a number of SaaS applications around the world. Without this sleight of hand, the Sage One subscriptions figure at 30 September 2014 was 52,600, up from 22,400 in 2013. Sage representatives have also never answered AccountingWEB’s questions about how many of those users in the UK use Sage One Accounts, and how many of them are Sage One Payroll users who are double-counted.

Replies (8)

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By Charlie Carne
18th Dec 2014 10:57


"While some accountants have sniped at Sage"....I wouldn't dream of criticising Sage. It's perfect for stuffing the turkey.

Thanks (3)
By Cantona1
18th Dec 2014 11:42

Xero is the new hero

If you only compare it with Xero

Thanks (3)
By lordlancaster
18th Dec 2014 12:50

My quote above?

To clarify the bit where I'm mentioned in paragraph 8 above, please read my full comments posted in September 2014 at


Paul Lancaster
Sage One UK & Ireland

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
18th Dec 2014 16:16


Hats off to them for squeezing every last penny out of their user base.

Xero have already pushed up their fees, you watch they will do it again inside 2 years. 


Thanks (2)
By abelljms
19th Dec 2014 23:50

Cloudy Sage ??



come on you slumbering trogladyte - just give us a cloud based version of slime 50.


preferably with:-

journals you can amend

usable y/e function

decent reporting.

reports all in date order by de fault.

vaguely acceptable vat system




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By djn24
20th Dec 2014 12:33

When will be able to get access to sage drive? Or has is been released already?
I'm hoping this is what we have been waiting for. We use 'xero for clients books but it just doesn't deal with the vat correctly on money paid to us in advance whereas sage 50 works perfectly

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Replying to DJKL:
By Charlie Carne
21st Dec 2014 12:38

You're 'aving a yuletide larf!

djn24 wrote:
When will be able to get access to sage drive? ..... sage 50 works perfectly

Admittedly, my slide rule also never fails me. The great thing about Christmas is that they always re-release the big hits of the past. And I cannot think of a more retrospective piece of software than that great 1980's hit: Sage. But since then, we've had innovations like GUI and the cloud. Sage has always stuck to what it knows best and eventually (and very belatedly) follows the inevitable path towards future technology.Well, at least they're British! Merry Christmas and welcome to 2015, Sage!

All together now: "It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank. An old man said to me, won't see another one"

Thanks (1)
By AndrewV12
13th Jan 2015 11:40

Real time access, most people who use Sage (clients) have no idea what they are going and the final accounts are a ball of agro.


Offering add on serves does not solve basic problems most people have with the system. 

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