Opening your own business is a dream of many people, particularly as the world is reverting to a more entrepreneurial spirit. However, the accounting side of business leaves much to be desired for some business adventurers. Sage 50cloud is a competitive business accounting software that is widely used.
Rent, utilities, billing, employees, tax codes, business licenses, supplies, and invoices, who is the brave soul to deal with the major and minor financial matters?
An accountant, a bookkeeper, or software?
Obviously, there are many options from which to choose, so how does one decide? And if you are leaning towards software, for its ease and accessibility, how to know which one is right for your business?
Sage 50cloud to the Rescue
For those who may be a bit technophobic or digitally ambivalent, accounting software may seem overwhelming, so it might be best to start with a simple definition.
Like the name implies, accounting software is a computer program that addresses and helps with accounting processes. Ideally, the program should generate reports and transaction histories, track expenses and of course, in this day and age of online fraud, provide encrypted security.
With its expertise and longevity, Sage is a company that has been in the accounting business since the 1980s, although they have often updated their name to reflect the new technological advances in their software platforms.
Ideal for small and medium businesses (although larger businesses can benefit too), Sage 50cloud offers competitive and innovative accounting software.
We previously reviewed the Sage Business Cloud Software, so take a look at that here.
What can Sage 50cloud do for Your Company?
According to their website, Sage is “the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, supporting the ambition of the world’s entrepreneurs.”
Boasting millions of global customers and a team of 13000 colleagues, Sage supports and grows businesses. Promising “less admin, faster payments and more productivity”, Sage 50cloud is a unique platform that is actually a desktop application with cloud storage for data.
There are three main products Sage 50cloud Pro Accounting, Sage 50cloud Premium Accounting, and Sage 50cloud Quantum Accounting, all with monthly payment options dependent upon the number of software users.
All three options have the following features:
- Manage cash flow, income, expenses and payments.
- Link to bank account of choice. This allows for a wide range of options to facilitate not only banking but also any businesses transactions.
- Manage VAT and submit online tax returns.
- Creation of professional invoices and estimates, which is necessary for billing.
- Easy to use and highly functional dashboard, which can help with revenue trends, budget concerns, and performance analysis. The dash board provides users with the tools to create invoices, orders and estimates directly, without having to open multiple programs and documents.
- Generation of financial reports to help you see the how the business is faring, what the trends may be and any market fluctuations.
- Anytime and anywhere secure cloud access, storage and backup.
- Microsoft Office 365 Integration complete with all of the tools, including Excel and Word.
- Interconnected users, so that all employees are on the same literal and proverbial page.
- Mobile apps which literally mean that you can take your accounting and finances on the go.
- A certain degree of customer support, although there has been some friendly debate about the quality of said customer support.
However, the Standard and Professional also have these additional options:
- Manage and track stock, which allows users to update the inventory, to value the stock and to manage the assets.
- Manage departments and their budgets, which would obviously appeal to medium to larger businesses.
And lastly, the Professional has even more to offer:
- Track income, expenses and profit.
- Create purchase orders
- Create Sales orders
- Trade in multiple currencies (although cryptocurrency is not yet listed)
Overall, the platform supports multiple accounting processes and allows for add-ons to customize the software for your business.
Here is pricing for all three plans:
- Pro Accounting $44.97 -46.83 per month
- Premium Accounting $69.62-$72.41 per month Supports up to five users
- Quantum Accounting $175.87-$182.91 Supports up to forty users
What is the best option for you?
How does one choose an accounting software?
Well, the first step would be to shortlist all of the features ideally that you want and rank them.
Is inventory more important than live bank feeds? Do you need or trust the cloud?
Making a list identifies the key features and helps to clarify and customize the program. Also, and this cannot be stressed enough, do research, not only on Sage 50cloud but also on its competitors.
By reading reviews from other users and professionals, people who are accountants or those who are mathematically challenged, you will be able to get a broad range of feedback that most likely will overlap with your best interests.
Sage 50cloud Offers Your Company a Lot
The flexibility of the software means that you can do much on the go, from tracking vendors to billing clients to have real-time access to the accounts, regardless if you are using a phone, tablet or laptop.
Also, the built-in accounting best practices help businesses maintain their compliance. One of the biggest benefits of accounting software is that the reports and histories are “in-house” and therefore, easy to access and to save.
The importance of having accessible, clear and accurate reports cannot be overstated. Whether for taxes, audits or legalities, the financial history of a business is a necessity and can save many headaches and heartaches in the future.
Great Banking Connections
The banking element is significant as the software records transactions in real-time, including deposits, withdrawals, transfers, and mobile payments.
This is another means of tracking sales, statements, and receipts. In addition to these abilities, users can schedule supplier payments, keep tabs on what is owed to others and what is owed to the business, and update cash flow.
Regarding the ‘cloud’ part of the software, businesses can store and back up their data and information. The cloud-based accounting is synced between the cloud servers and the desktops, so the data is constantly backed up, protected and accessible (if desired).
Businesses also can share their databases and their credit card numbers, if desired. Both the stored information and the financial transactions are secure, which is a serious concern about clouds, apps and online activity.
Pricing Levels for Different Needs
Pricing is a key component of choosing software, since it will be included in business expenses.
As mentioned above, Sage 50cloud has three different options with different pricing based on the number of users and add-on features. Therefore, you should go to the website’s pricing range and enter the desired number of users to ascertain how much the subscription will cost.
Please note that there are extra costs for the payroll service, the payment gateway, the payment management system, Microsoft office (if you don’t already have it installed on your devices), and checks.
The company now offers a Free Trial, so that you can see if you like it and if it is the software for you. Below please find a brief summary of the prices for the three different accounts which do allow monthly subscriptions which can be canceled anytime.
Yearly subscriptions cannot be canceled at any time.
Your Company Has Loads of Options
Some alternatives to Sage 50cloud include FreshBooks, Xero, Zoho Books, and Wave Financial. It is worth the time to investigate all of the software on offer since it can money and time in the long run.
Here is a rundown of some other options, and what they offer your company.
Wave Financial can help your company get its finances organized, and it won’t cost it a thing. The platform offers small businesses a lot of free accounting features, and your company can add things like payroll and online credit card processing for small monthly fees.
The company offers a solid online platform at no cost, and there are even mobile options for entrepreneurs on the go. While your company might grow out of Wave Financial after a few years, it is a great option to get started with.
Xero is a Mac-focused business accounting software that offers Mac users loads of functionality, including an app for the Apple Watch.
Like most accounting software platforms, Xero uses a monthly subscription model. It also stores all the data on Xero servers, so data can be accessed from just about anywhere, and there is no need to worry about backup (although it isn’t a bad idea to have your own copies).
Xero has three plans that your company can choose from. They are priced at $9, $30, and $60 USD per month, and add features and the number of users on an account as the prices increase.
There isn’t much that is bad about Xero, although most professional accountants won’t be as familiar with it as other platforms that operate on Windows. For Mac-based businesses, Xero is worth a look.
If your small business is going to produce a lot of invoices, FreshBooks might be the accounting software to use. It is easy to use and makes selling products or services online easy. In addition to issuing invoices with ease, FreshBooks makes it simple to see who has paid and also resend invoices on a recurring basis.
Pricing for FreshBooks is in-line with the rest of the industry. The company offers four pricing plans, and some features on an as-needed basis as well.
Here are all the plans that FreshBooks offers:
- Lite Plan–$15 USD per Month The Lite Plan from FreshBooks will allow your company to bill up to five clients per month with unlimited invoices. Your company can also connect bank accounts, accept invoice payments online, and track time. Access to the FreshBooks mobile app is included with this plan as well.
- Plus Plan–$25 USD per Month The Plus Plan will allow your company to bill up to 50 clients and also charge late fees. Your company will also be able to send recurring invoices, and proposals as well. This plan uses double-entry accounting and will generate reports as well.
- Premium Plan–$50 USD per Month For an extra $25 USD per month, your company will be able to invoice up to 500 clients. Other than the boost in clients, this plan is the same as the Plus Plan.
- Select Plan—Price by Quote If your company is selling the next hot subscription app, you might want to talk to FreshBooks about its Select Plan. There is no set price, but it is built for companies that bill more than $150,000 per year in invoices, and have more than 400 clients.
FreshBooks is a great option for a company that needs to generate loads of invoices, and can’t afford to pay a king’s ransom every month.
The platform is easy to use, and for most small businesses, it will make invoicing and payments a breeze. Your company should be able to try FreshBooks out for 30 days at no charge, which makes it simple to see how you and your team like it.
Find the Right Accounting Platform for your Business
Sage 50cloud is a well-rounded business accounting software that does numerous things that your budding accounting department will need.
Whether or not it will do everything that is required is probably the subject of a few meetings, or some serious online research if you are still your own boss and only employee.
In terms of value, Sage 50cloud stacks up nicely with the rest of the market. It is by no means the best value out there (Wave Financial is free), but it does a lot for your company for less than $300 USD per year.
We think Sage is a solid company, and Sage 50cloud could be a good fit for some business models. It certainly has most of the features that a small business would need, and it generates all the right reports as well.