- Easy to use interface
- Highly customizable
- Excellent for international businesses
- Lots of add-ons available
- Fully integrated, well-designed mobile app
- Forever-free version
- Little FAQs
- Customer support not 24/7
Sage One is online accounting software aimed at small and medium sized businesses. It is simple and intuitive, and you don’t need to be a professional accountant to use it effectively. Sage One opens with a summary section showing your sales, expenses and overall cash flow for the current reporting period. Behind this lies a potentially huge relational database, which you can customize according to your needs. You can trial this versatile software product completely free for as long as you like. The trial version gives an excellent insight into the features of the product but is limited in a few important respects. With the full version and your chosen add-ons, you can manage all aspects of your business finances, including payroll, invoicing and taxes, in collaboration with your accountant. Sage One is an established product which has been around for over 30 years, and as such there is a great deal of community support available. It is an extremely flexible accounting solution that can be customized to suit all business sectors.
Sage One can store lists of the products and or services you provide – including cost price and retail price, contact information for your regular customers and vendors, and expense information – and easily generate and store customer quotes and invoices. There is no limit to the number of clients or inventory items you can store. You can use Sage One to prepare invoices and export them to Google Drive. Using one of many optional add-ons to the main program, Sage One can print and send paper invoices to your customers. If you employ staff, you can manage payroll functions in Sage One, and they claim this is easy even if you have never managed payroll before. Sage One can generate payslips based on data you provide, and automatically calculate deductions such as taxes.
Video Introduction to Sage One
Checking the financial performance of your business in Sage One is really simple. By clicking on the reporting tab, you can run a number of different reports, and export these to spreadsheets. As a small business owner, you may be more interested in some of these than others; your profit and loss over a given period, profit analysis across all your products or a subset of them, or sales taxes due within each tax rate. Several other reports are available, many of which are useful for your accountant if you have one.
In the full version of Sage One you can add other users to your account, to enable you to collaborate effectively. Understandably, many business owners add their accountant or bookkeeper, giving them direct access to the financial data and reporting functions contained within Sage One. This takes the guesswork out of sending reports to your accountant, since they can simply view the reports and data they need directly. Preparing tax documents becomes much simpler when you are both (literally) on the same page. You can add co-workers from your company too, perhaps an assistant who manages your stock and shipping.
Ease of Use
The Sage One user interface is web-based, intuitive and pleasant to use. Once you progress past the summary information page, the various features appear as tabs across the top of the screen, allowing you to switch between contacts, clients, employees, inventories and invoices with ease. This ease of use would be a real advantage for small business owners who employ assistants or apprentices. Most links are accompanied by a query icon, linking straight to the help file on that particular topic. Even those without a detailed knowledge of accounting can find their way around quite adequately.
Sage has clearly responded to the fact that the vast majority of small businesses use mobile technology, and using their mobile app you can manage customer contact details and process quotes and invoices with ease. Sage One’s website is mobile friendly, and the Sage One app is available for iOS, Android and Windows mobile. The app is part of your Sage One subscription, meaning that switching between the two platforms is seamless and there is no risk of losing information when working on the go.
Like the main cloud software, Sage One mobile can be paired with various add-ons and third party apps depending on your business needs. For example, a small construction firm may have workers at different sites clocking in and logging their hours on their phones, and later perhaps creating and sending invoices for work done, while at the same time their boss meets with prospective clients, records their data in Sage One, and after the meeting checks the status of that month’s customer invoices and re-sends any that are still unpaid. All this can happen without anyone even logging into a desktop computer. You can opt to accept mobile payments if desired too.
Integrations & Extra Services
Sage One is highly customizable and you can purchase various add-ons direct from the Sage website. There are add-ons that will allow you to accept credit card, debit card, electronic checks and mobile payments at any location, and to accept electronic signatures at point of sale. If you have multiple outlets (for instance several different online marketplaces, plus your own physical shop and website), you can purchase add-ons that enable you to view all your payments on a single dashboard, eliminating the need for time-consuming manual data entry. Other Sage add-ons include: enterprise resource planning, for businesses requiring support with inventory, distribution and manufacturing; payroll and HR functions; customer leads and contacts, for marketing professionals; and asset management solutions.
Special solutions for specific industries are available, such as their Construction and Real Estate products, the Project and Job Costing module, aimed at companies providing professional services, and e-commerce solutions for online retailers, including the ability to link with PayPal. When using Sage CRM, the customer relationship management add-on, you can link directly to your company’s Twitter account too.
Sage One’s pricing structure is simple; you can either sign up for the free version, or subscribe to the full version, Sage One Accounting Premium, a monthly service which will automatically renew until you decide to cancel. The free version includes all the accounting features contained in the subscription version, except that you can only add a single user from your company, connect a single bank or checking account, you can only work in US dollars, and are limited to producing five invoices per month. Both versions include 5GB of storage space. Because the free trial version only allows a single user, you will not be able to give your accountant, or any of your colleagues or employees, a login to your Sage One account.
You can continue using the free version for as long as you like, and can choose to upgrade at any time by clicking a link at the top of your My Sage One home screen. A valid credit card is required to upgrade to Sage One Accounting Premium, and if you do wish to cancel your subscription you can do so at any time up to your next monthly billing date. Sage is known to occasionally offer big discounts such as half price subscription to new Premium customers. Your chosen add-ons and customizations may cost you extra on top of the subscription fee.
The help pages accessible from within Sage are reasonable but throw up few answers to certain questions, and the main FAQ page is directed at new users rather than containing a lot of detail. There is however also Sage City and Sage Knowledge Base, which are crammed with useful advice and answers as well as video tutorials throughout the site. There are several ways to contact Sage for support if none of those answer your question. Their live chat and phone support services run from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Sage One has a presence on most social media sites but these are less informational than their own forums and are more promotional outlets. Training packages are advertised throughout the site too, and Sage City allows you to search for blog articles on a range of accounting and business topics.
Sage One offers a comprehensive, web-based accounting solution for all types of small and medium sized business. Sage is a well-established company that has worked in this field for over 30 years, and their products are used by businesses and accountants across the world, meaning there is a strong community behind this product. It’s flexible to the needs of different types and sizes of businesses, and would suit sole traders who manage all their own finances just as well as larger companies. It’s also mobile-friendly and can integrate data from different online marketplaces and bank accounts, meaning that whatever the nature of your business, trying out Sage One for free is a worthwhile exercise and you may easily wind up becoming a lifetime subscriber.