In this article, we provide an independent review of Sage business cloud accounting. We explain the features, setup process and pricing as well as how it compares to other online accounting software packages such as Quickbooks and Xero.
What is Sage business cloud accounting?
Sage was founded in Newcastle in 1981 by David Goldman, Paul Muller and Graham Wylie and employs over 13,000 people worldwide. Sage business cloud accounting is an online accounting platform suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. It offers three cloud-based subscription packages and we explain more about each of the packages later in this article.
Sage business cloud accounting features
With Sage business cloud accounting your business will be able to:
- Create, amend and send invoices
- Invoice in multiple currencies
- Send quotes and estimates
- Manage purchase invoices
- Track how much you're owed
- Automatically reconcile bank payments and receipts
- Calculate and submit VAT returns
- Support unlimited users
- Run advanced financial reports
- Cash flow forecasting
- Snap receipts from your phone
- Manage inventory
Sage business cloud accounting plans and cost?
Sage business cloud accounting has a simple pricing structure with three subscription plans to choose from. Its basic plan, 'Start', is priced at £12 per month, its 'standard' plan is priced at £24 per month and its 'plus' plan is priced at £30 per month. Each of the plans are summarised in the table below.
Sage business cloud accounting comparison table - Prices and features
|Start plan - £12 per month plus VAT||Standard plan - £24 per month plus VAT||Plus plan - £30 per month plus VAT|
|Create and send invoices|
|Track what you're owed|
|Automatic bank reconciliation|
|Calculate and submit VAT|
|Supports one user|
|Supports unlimited users|
|Manage and submit CIS|
|Run advanced reports|
|Send quotes and estimates|
|Forecast cash flow|
|Manage purchase invoices|
|Snap receipts with AutoEntry*|
|Invoice in multiple currencies|
*free for the first 3 months and then subject to fair use policy. Additional charges may apply
Sage business cloud accounting payroll
Sage business cloud accounting also offers payroll as an optional extra. Employee tiers of up to 50 can be added with prices starting at £7 per month plus VAT
How does Sage business cloud accounting work?
Getting started with Sage business cloud accounting is simple and straightforward. You'll first need to select the package that best suits your business (you can easily upgrade or downgrade at a later date). You'll likely be offered a discount for signing up or a free trial period, at the time of writing Sage is offering a 3-month free trial.
Once you have signed up to your preferred plan you will be walked through the setup process where you can add your business details including your logo and invoice preferences. Next, you'll need to connect your business bank account by selecting your bank in the banking tab and clicking on 'connect bank'. Sage business cloud accounting uses open banking to securely access your banking data on a third-party 'read-only' basis. The process is quick, secure and your bank will require you to update the open banking connection with Sage every 90 days.
Once your company is set up and you have connected your business bank account you should proceed with setting up your customers so that you can create invoices as well as creating categories for your business payments and expenses. There are plenty of video tutorials available that can help with customisation. Alternatively, you can contact a member of the Sage business cloud accounting customer service team at any time on 0191 479 5911.
Sage business cloud accounting customer reviews
Sage business cloud accounting is rated as 'Excellent' on specialist review site Trustpilot with a score of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars from over 12,800 reviews. 86% of customers rate it as 'Excellent' with many commenting on its outstanding levels of customer service. Only 6% rate it as 'Bad' with some saying that the cancellation process following the free trial can be confusing.
Pros and Cons of Sage business cloud accounting
24/7 online and telephone support
Flexible subscription that allows you to move between plans
Great mobile app
Unclear pricing on some of the additional benefits
Lacks visual impact and looks dated compared to its competitors
Reports lack customisation
How does Sage business cloud accounting compare to its competitors?
Below we have provided a simple comparison table that compares the prices and reviews of Sage business cloud accounting to accounting software providers Quickbooks and Xero.
Sage vs Quickbooks vs Xero - Costs and reviews comparison
|Sage business cloud accounting||Quickbooks||Xero|
|Basic plan cost||£12||£12||£10|
|Mid-level plan cost||£24||£20||£24|
|Premium plan cost per month||£30||£30||£30|
|Number of Trustpilot reviews||12,805||6,534||2,861|
|Trustpilot score (out of 5.0)||4.7||4.6||4.2|
For an in-depth feature comparison, check out our article "What is the best online accounting software for small business?"
Sage business cloud accounting vs Quickbooks
For many, the decision on which is the best online accounting software for their business is between Sage and Quickbooks. If you are struggling to decide then there is nothing stopping you taking out a free trial with both as it will enable you to see what you like and dislike about both packages. Of course, running both accounting packages side by side will take considerably longer and so we have answered the most popular questions when it comes to comparing Sage vs Quickbooks below.
Sage vs Quickbooks - Which is cheapest?
Quickbooks is slightly cheaper than Sage business cloud accounting overall. While the basic and premium packages are priced the same, the intermediate package offered by Quickbooks is £4 cheaper at £20 per month. Additionally, the payroll add on provided by Quickbooks is only £5 per month plus VAT compared to £7 per month plus VAT with Sage. It is also unclear how much Sage will charge for the 'Snap receipts with AutoEntry' after the initial 3-month free period.
Sage vs Quickbooks - Which is best for multiple users?
Sage, as it provides access to unlimited users via its intermediate and premium plans. Quickbooks only allows access to three users on its intermediate plan and up to five users on its premium plan.
Sage vs Quickbooks - Which is best for customer service?
Sage business cloud accounting provides online and telephone support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many of the 12,000+ reviews on independent review site Trustpilot mention the knowledge and expertise provided by the Sage customer support. That being said, Quickbooks also has a good reputation for customer service and so it may be worth taking other factors into account when making your final decision.
Sage business cloud accounting summary
Sage business cloud accounting is more expensive than some of its competitors and its basic subscription plan is a little light on features meaning it is likely that you will need to upgrade plans at some point in the future. Sage has a long-standing reputation for providing flexible and reliable accounting software for small and medium-sized business worldwide. It has a great mobile app and would be a good fit for businesses that would benefit from its high level of customer service.