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Sage One

Sage goes up market with One Accounts Extra

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22nd Oct 2013
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Sage this week unveiled Sage One Accounts Extra in the UK & Ireland to take its Sage One cloud accounting software up beyond micro setups to meet the needs of small and mid-size firms.

The key enhancements in the upgraded package were based on user feedback and include cash flow statement and forecasting tools (pictured below) along with automated bank reconciliation, multi-currency management and multi-user access.

Sage One Extra also boasts additional invoicing functionality, payments integration, and support for all UK and Ireland VAT schemes. The application is available now and priced from £25 per month + VAT.

Sage One Accounts Extra cash flow forecast tool

“We understand the importance of delivering the right technology at the right time for our customers,” said Simon Hodgkins, head of Sage One UK and Ireland.

“Sage One Accounts Extra has been designed to give our users more power and control across the board.”

Peter Trimm, the product manager for Sage One Accounts, explained why the company had decided to increase the functionality of its entry-level cloud system, which is now moving towards the market covered by its desktop flagship, Sage 50 Accounts: “The vast majority of those using Sage One today are happy and will stay with it. Micro-businesses won’t want to move up, but there’s a significant amount of people knocking on the door wanting more.

“But there’s also an area of the market that won’t buy Sage One today because it lacks all the functions they’re looking for. We have desktop products that do, but some want a cloud solution that matches the desktop”.

Trimm described Sage One Accounts Extra as a “grown-up accounting system” for businesses of around five to 20 employees.

Nick Goode, head of Sage One Europe, added that the upgrade would solidify the link between businesses and their accountants.

“The accountant remains the advisor of the small business,” Goode said, noting that the features requested by accountants will benefit their business clients.

“Those richer features enable a growing business to do more - all in the cloud,” he added.

Both Goode and Trimm positioned Sage One as a platform for further developments.

“We’re building on the pedigree of the existing product. It’s the same UI, the same technology stack, the same live services environment - and we’re able to build on top of what we’ve already done,” said Goode.

Last month Sage’s Accounts Division managing director Paul Tooth hinted at a business monitoring tool for practice accountants. Sage One Accounts Extra didn’t include that enhancement, but the accounts production tool Tooth also mentioned is currently being built on top of the Sage One platform for 2014.

But how does Sage One Accounts Extra appeal to accountants and businesses? Michael Tolan, director at Langcliffe Accountants is a cloud enthusiast who welcomed the update. The extended reach of Accounts Extra had helped him in “cutting down on less strategic meetings and journeys,” and improved client service, he said.

As Sage was preparing to unveil its new cloud baby, IRIS stole some of its thunder by announcing it had acquired KashFlow, one of the UK’s leading cloud applications.

In an increasingly aggressive fight for new business, IRIS can now line up two of the UK’s top three cloud accounting programs against Sage’s relative newcomers, with FreeAgent matched against Sage One and KashFlow deployed against Sage One Accounts Extra.

When asked about this competitive challenge, Sage played down the challenge by referring to its own large and established user base.

“In every market in the software and technology industry you see consolidation,” said Goode. “There’s the opportunity - a vast number of SMEs - and the cloud is here and everyone thinks it’s great. So there are hundreds of vendors around the world with accounting solutions. As a strategist, I’d expect to see this consolidation occurring.”

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By Myshkin
25th Oct 2013 14:59

Too late guys

Sage playing catch up yet again.

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