- Very detailed summary page
- Fully customizable invoices
- Intelligent inventory
- Check printing by default
- Google Drive integration
- 30-day free trial
- No recurring invoicing
- Limited third-party app integrations
- No yearly subscription available
Sage Business Cloud Accounting may well be one of the most feature-packed tools when it comes to accounting, but its use definitely requires some practice. Take, for example, the Summary page, which has five different tabs that crams in access to the most important commands, two separate dashboards showing sales and expenses, a cash flow statement and a cash flow forecast.
The list of main features available from the online account is equally extensive, consisting of everything you might need: from sales and expenses to contacts and reports, the last of which has so many types that your accountant will be more than happy. There are also additional settings that hide other important features, particularly covering taxes, checks and currencies, but also dealing with options for faster invoice payment or integration with Google Drive.
However, the most important functions revolving around payments, invoicing and bills can all be quickly accessed by clicking a dedicated button. Newcomers will really appreciate the option to activate a guide that briefly explains everything about individual features, a huge asset in helping users make the most of Sage Business Cloud Accounting and its long list of features.
Creating an invoice, whether from a quote or estimate or put together from scratch, is pretty easy, especially since the software already stores information about customers, inventory items and tax rates. Certain aspects of the invoice must first be set up in the settings, such as particular tax rates, quick payment options or even the overall appearance of the invoice, but once all this has been tweaked the actual process of creating, saving, emailing and even printing an invoice is incredibly quick. From then on all your invoices are tracked, so it’s always possible to see their current status.
However, there is one major and rather annoying problem that cannot be avoided, regardless of which Sage Business Cloud Accounting subscription plan you’re signed up to: the software doesn’t support recurring invoices at all.
Although it’s not available with every plan, the inventory is one of the main strengths of the software due to the richness of its features. Creating an item is already quite an involved and thorough experience, since all sorts of information can be entered, from the sale and purchase price to various attributes of the item in question. Not only that, but items can be categorized according to their type – stock, non-stock and service – and if they form part of your stock then they are tracked by the software, which will warn you should it need to be refilled.
Creating a check is no more complicated than putting together a bill, since all it requires is the vendor, the bank account that will be used for payment and the amount that will be paid. Once all these things have been set, the check is ready to be printed out right away, provided that you possess the right check paper stock as issued by either Sage (sold separately) or – and this is quite surprising – by QuickBooks.
The good news is that Sage Business Cloud Accounting is accessible from mobile browsers and has no features disabled. However, using the regular account is not recommended for smartphone users, since the website doesn’t adapt to mobile screens too well.
The other option for managing your accounting is with the Sage Expenses & Invoices app, available for devices running iOS or Android. As its name suggests, the application mostly focuses on functions for invoicing and expense management. In this way invoices can easily be created, sent and tracked on the go, or even record a client’s payment on the spot.
Interestingly, the app also provides inventory management, which is a huge asset in keeping stocks up-to-date at all times. And, naturally, the app is a great tool for expense management as well, since receipts can be captured with the device’s camera and attached to bills in an instant.
Sadly, the app’s list of features stops here. Being able to see the current performance of your business and manage your contacts is indeed a great asset, but to access reports, journals, banking features, and any other settings you’ll annoyingly need to head to the desktop version.
Integrations and Extra Services
Although Sage Business Cloud Accounting already provides one built-in integration option – Google Drive – and fully supports custom add-ons through its API, its list of third party apps is limited to only 28 items. It doesn’t seem terrible at first, but when compared to the apps offered to the UK clientele or by Sage’s competitors the list is quite small indeed. Still, the available add-ons do pretty much cover everything you might need, whether that’s expense management, customer relationship management, billing and invoicing apps, and even taxing solutions. Some of the key extras that are compatible include:
With this sales tax automation software on board, managing tax-related tasks like accurately calculating, validating and remitting taxes becomes easy as pie. And to make things even better, Avalara is based on the revolutionary concept of blockchain technology, the future of online accounting.
Providing a service for as low as $5 per month is one thing, but the reason why Expensify is considered to be one of the top expense management tools on the market is its vast list of features, which includes automated categorization of expenses, immediate processing of receipts captured with a smartphone, and even a built-in time tracker available for the app’s mobile version.
This document management solution automatically fetches all financial data from Sage Business Cloud Accounting and creates matching transactions that contain all key data of the original invoices, quotes and bills alongside the source documents.
Microsoft Office 365 Integration
A paid extra for Sage 50cloud Accounting customers, the Microsoft Office 365 integration gives you access to essential Microsoft apps such as One Drive, SharePoint, Excel, Word, and more. One key feature of this integration is that you can synchronize your Microsoft Outlook contacts with Sage 50cloud to easily find your customers’ information.
Sage offers various plans for its accounting services, with prices depending on what features you need and the size of your business. Prices start very low for the basic plan with the Sage Business Cloud Accounting Start costing just $10 per month. Although this plan is more limited, it still comes with the most essential features like debtor tracking, automated bank feed, check printing, and even 1099 management. Sage Business Cloud Accounting on the other hand adds inventory management, unlimited users, quotes and estimates, and cash flow forecasts into the mix. Moreover, it’s also capable of handling multiple companies with a single account – a very rare feature – and issue invoices in different currencies as well. With all these extra features naturally the cost increases too, meaning that Sage Business Cloud Accounting is $25 per month.
If neither of those plans sound right for your business and you need more power from your accounting software, it’s worth looking at the Sage 50cloud subscriptions. Aimed primarily at expanding businesses, Sage 50cloud offers many more advanced budgeting tools. Naturally, these plans are more expensive than the regular subscriptions with the cheapest plan, Sage 50cloud Pro Accounting, costing $503.23 a yearly, the equivalent of paying just $41.94 a month. On top of that, there are two further Sage 50cloud packages: Sage 50cloud Premium and Sage 50cloud Quantum Accounting ¬– although the latter is aimed primarily at much larger businesses and has a higher price tag. One of the most helpful additions to Sage 50cloud Accounting series is the Microsoft Office 365 integration although it does cost an extra $150 a year.
Regardless of which subscription suits you best, any newcomers can try out the accounting solutions for free for the first 30 days. However, there is one catch with this free trial: users will have to decide in advance which version of Sage Business Cloud Accounting they want to try, although subscribers of the basic plan are more than welcome to upgrade at any time. No matter which plan you select, payment methods include wire transfer, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover credit or debit cards.
Customer service and additional support options are definitely the forte of the Sage Group – but they are scattered all over the place, meaning that finding the right method for help may take longer than expected.
The easiest way of getting the necessary support is by starting a live chat, where all questions are answered in an instant in a prompt and courteous manner. There is also the option to leave an inquiry on Sage’s Customer Community page, but note that getting answers may take up to 48 hours. This sort of live support is limited to business days, too, and available between 8am to 6pm ET.
For everything else, the options are quite robust: from the incredibly extensive blog, community forums that deal with various topics, tutorials on how to use Sage Business Cloud Accounting (or any other Sage service), and even free of charge online courses available through Sage University.
After seeing the full potential of Sage Business Cloud Accounting firsthand, it’s not surprising that the company has been around since the early 80s. However, we can’t help but feel that Sage’s solution is trying too hard to prove that it’s capable of almost everything that businesses expect from accounting software – and that diligence has sadly led to some serious hiccups, such as the lack of recurring invoicing. Despite this, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a powerhouse with many great features, like the insanely detailed dashboards, the intelligent inventory – which is one of the best that we have come across – and built-in integration with Google Drive. If that’s not enough then bigger businesses can also benefit from an even more powerful (and pricier) Sage 50cloud Accounting service. When you put the whole package together, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a considerable choice for those who are intending to take their business accounting seriously.