Sage Business Cloud Accounting Review
- Easy to use
- Modern UI
- Numerous automations
- Suited for UK users
- No payroll
- Limited features
- Basic invoice templates
When we last reviewed Sage Business Cloud Accounting back in early 2017 it was still known as Sage One. But more than the name has changed since that time. Sage Business Cloud Accounting has improved vastly over the years.
Sage Group was founded in the UK in the 1980’s. Since then, the company has moved into the US sector and launched dozens of business products, including Sage Business Cloud Accounting. Sage has a reputation for comprehensive locally-installed accounting software with quite the learning curve, so this cloud-based product is a nice change.
When we last reviewed the software, Sage Business Cloud Accounting was difficult to use, had limited features, and hardly any integrations. Today, the UI is beautiful and simple; the company has added features like inventory and invoice customizations and there are now 30+ integrations and three payment processors.
There are still a few areas where the software could improve. Currently, there’s no time tracking, no project management, and no payroll, any one of which could be a deal breaker for some small businesses. But if you aren’t in need of these features and are looking for an easy-to-use software with advanced inventory, Sage Business Cloud Accounting could be right for you. Read on to learn more.
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Table of Contents
Sage Business Cloud offers two affordable pricing plans. Payments are made monthly and you can cancel your subscription at any time. Sage Business Cloud offers a free 30-day trial with no credit card information required. Sage also often offers discounts on their Business Cloud Accounting software so be sure to take advantage of any deals.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting Start
- Expense tracking
- Live bank feeds
- Contact management
- Sales tax
- 15 reports
- 1 user
Sage Business Cloud Accounting
- Expense tracking
- Live bank feeds
- Contact management
- Sales tax
- 23 reports
- Cashflow forecasts
- Accounts payable
- Unlimited users
Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed
Cloud-based. No downloads or installation required.
Hardware & Software Requirements
As cloud-based software, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is compatible with nearly any device. The company recommends the most up-to-date internet browsers for the best user experience. There is also a Sage Accounting app for Apple devices (iOS 10.0+) and a Sage Invoices app for Androids (4.4+).
Specific Size Of Business
Sage Business Cloud Accounting is geared toward small to mid-sized businesses that do not need time tracking, project management, or built-in payroll. The software is particularly well-suited for UK users, although they’ve recently made significant changes to improve the US version as well. The Accounting plan offers unlimited users with customizable user permissions as well.
The Accounting Start plan only offers cash-basis accounting, while the Accounting plan offers the choice between cash-basis and accrual accounting.
Ease Of Use
The last time we reviewed Sage Business Cloud Accounting, the UI was a bit difficult to navigate. Those days are long gone. Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers a beautiful, modern UI that is well-organized and easy to use. The software takes very little time to learn and there are plenty of built-in help options to assist you, including a thorough getting started guide.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting has a good selection of features and automations and has made quite a few improvements since our last review. Here’s a basic overview of Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s features.
- Dashboard: Sage Business Cloud Accounting features a “Summary” instead of a dashboard. In the Accounting Start plan, important sales and expense information is shown on the Summary page, while the Accounting plan has four distinct summary pages for Sales, Expenses, Cash Flow Statement, and Cash Flow Forecast. Each summary features charts and graphs so you can easily view the important info about your business. The Cash Flow Forecast features is a particularly nice touch and can help you predict how much cash you’ll have in the future.
- Invoicing: While Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s invoice templates are still pretty basic, there are now more customizations. You can add a logo, choose between 10 colors, and change the font/font size of all four invoice templates (Accounting Start is limited to just the logo). You can invoice for products or services. Sage Business Cloud Accounting also allows you to create credit notes and print packing slips. You can print invoices or email them directly to customers. There are no recurring invoices, but you can copy and duplicate a past invoice.
- Estimates (Accounting Only): Unlike most accounting software, Sage Business Cloud Accounting actually differentiates between estimates and quotes, which is a nice feature (especially if you think about the fundamental difference between the two). Both documents allow for default terms and conditions and can easily be converted to an invoice. The coolest part is that Sage automatically calculates your profit summary on your quote, so you can know exactly how much you’ll make on each sale.
- Contact Management: Sage Business Cloud Accounting has a great customer section where you can add traditional contact information as well as customer notes. You can create credit limits for each customer, add a default tax rate, set default pricing, and easily send customer statements. You can also store payment details directly within Sage. The Accounting plan adds vendor management as well.
- Expense Tracking: You can connect directly to your bank or manually import bank statements into the software. The software remembers past transaction categorizations, but you can’t set any actual bank rules. There is no duplicate transaction detection or automatic transaction matching, but you can easily reconcile your bank accounts. Note: Like almost all software using bank live feeds, Sage Business Cloud Accounting partners with Yodlee, which may violate some banks’ terms and conditions. Consult with your bank to see whether live bank feeds are a good choice for you.
- Chart Of Accounts: Sage Business Cloud Accounting provides a comprehensive chart of accounts that can be customized as needed.
- Accounts Payable (Accounting Only): It is very easy to add vendor bills in Sage Business Cloud Accounting, although it is less easy to see when these bills are due. You have to hunt down the due date, and there are no automatic reminders. There is also no way to pay directly from Sage Business Cloud Accounting.
- Inventory (Accounting Only): Before, Sage Business Cloud Accounting offered a basic items list. Now there’s a full-blown inventory feature. You can add inventory products, noninventory products, and services. Sage Business Cloud Accounting has some of the most advanced inventory for an easy-to-use, cloud-based software. You can add detailed item information including a usual vendor, barcode, and location. It’s easy to set reorder points and low inventory reminders. The software also offers three different pricing levels, which is a unique and welcome addition.
- Reports: Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s Accounting Start plan offers 15 reports, while the Accounting plan offers 23. Sage covers all of the basic accounting reports and you can customize them as needed. You can mark certain reports as favorites and export reports via .csv or.pdf.
- Default Email Messages: This time-saving feature allows you to set default email message for invoices, estimates, quotes, credit notes, and more.
- Analysis Types (Accounting Only): Analysis Types are a way to track and categorize your data in Sage Business Cloud Accounting. This way, you can understand your data better and create more detailed reports.
- Print Checks: You can print checks directly from Sage Business Cloud Accounting (a nice touch that you usually only see in programs like Xero and QuickBooks).
- Journal Entries: Sage Business Cloud Accounting makes it easy to create journal entries, though it’s difficult to adjust them once they’re created. You can add attachments to journal entries as well.
- Sales Tax: You can create unlimited sales tax rates in Sage Business Cloud Accounting. You can assign default sales tax rates to customers and products. In the past, the software automatically pulled sales tax rates from your customer’s address, so I was a little disappointed to see this feature gone (although the software does support an Avalara integration which does the same thing).
- Multi-Currency Support (Accounting Only): Sage Business Cloud Accounting is compatible with 30+ currencies and uses live exchange rates.
- Importing/Exporting: You can import most information into Sage Business Cloud Accounting and can export data and reports via .csv and .pdf.
- API: Sage Business Cloud Accounting has API available for developers.
Customer Service & Support
Sage Business Cloud Accounting has great in-software help options, including a help center and live chat. The live chat reps are incredibly helpful and usually answer quickly. However, if you want to speak to an actual person, you’re out of luck. Sage Business Cloud Accounting no longer offers phone or email support, which is disappointing. Despite these drawbacks, the help that is offered usually suffices. Here are the ways you can contact Sage support:
- Chat: The in-software chat feature is very prompt and helpful. This was my go-to support choice.
- Help Center: There is a help center with dozens of how-to articles that can be accessed directly from within the software.
- Community Forum: Sage Business Cloud Accounting has a community forum where you can access help articles and ask questions to fellow Sage users.
- Sage KnowledgeBase: The Sage KnowledgeBase also allows you to search Sage’s resources and past customer inquiries.
- Sage City: Sage City is where you can see recent blogs, ask questions to fellow users, hear the latest Sage announcements, and more.
- Sage University: You can search for Sage training courses near you. (Extra fees apply.)
- YouTube: Sage does have a YouTube channel, although very few videos pertain to Sage Business Cloud accounting. Instead, you’ll mostly find business advice and customer success stories.
- Feedback Form: You can provide feedback on the software directly within Sage Business Cloud Accounting.
- Sage Blog: While not specific to Sage Business Cloud Accounting, there is a Sage blog with tons of insightful business advice and guidance.
- Social Media: Sage is active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
It’s always been difficult to find reviews of Sage One, and it hasn’t gotten any easier now that the software is called Sage Business Cloud Accounting. The reviews that do exist are a mix between positive and negative, although the negative seems to weigh a bit heavier. Here are some of the most common complaints about Sage Business Cloud Accounting:
- Mobile App Crashes: Reports of mobile app crashes abound. Android users, in particular, report bugs, crashes, and limited functionality.
- Poor Customer Service: A few people complain about Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s customer service (though there are several users who praise the customer support). One of the issues users have is that Sage Business Cloud Accounting recently got rid of phone support.
- Limited Features: Some users are disappointed in Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s features set and want the company to include things like payroll. It is worth noting that Sage listened to these complaints and has since added inventory tracking.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
As we mentioned earlier, there are very few customer reviews, and many of the positive reviews out there were solicited directly by the vendor. However, there are a few reliable comments from users who enjoy the following about Sage Business Cloud Accounting:
- Good Customer Service: This is by far the most common praise of Sage Business Cloud Accounting. Users love the quick responses and helpful representatives.
- Mobility: Many users also like the mobility of Sage Business Cloud Accounting, especially in comparison to Sage Group’s other locally-installed accounting programs.
- Easy To Use: A few Sage Business Cloud Accounting customers also praise the software for being simple and easy to use.
- Tons Of Features: A couple users commend Sage for offering so many features.
Integrations & Add-Ons
The last time we reviewed Sage Business Cloud, there were only three integrations for US users. Now there are over 30 integrations and three payment processors, which is a huge improvement.
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Sage Business Cloud Accounting is not very forthcoming with their security information. There is no information on their site, but most reps can provide security details. Sage Business Cloud Accounting uses 256-bit SSL encryption and multi-factor authentication to protect your data. Data is hosted by Amazon Web Services and monitored 24/7.
Previously, I had a hard time recommending Sage Business Cloud Accounting. It’s not that the software was ever bad, it was just that other options were much better. Now, Sage Business Cloud Accounting has finally moved up to the big leagues and can start competing with other cloud-based accounting options.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers improved invoicing and integrations, advanced inventory features, a cash flow forecast feature, and tons of automations. The UK version is particularly well-developed. Good reporting and customer service are also a plus. (Even though there’s phone support, the live chat is one of the most successful live chat supports I’ve seen.) The Accounting plan also offers unlimited users, which is great.
However, while the software can now compete with other accounting products, this doesn’t mean it can necessarily win — not when it lacks time tracking, project management, and payroll. The Accounting Start plan is also very limited, and you’d get more bang for your buck from a free software like Wave. For small businesses that don’t need these features, the Accounting plan may still be worth looking into and the features it does offer might outweigh the cons for your business. I recommend taking the software for a spin with a free trial and comparing Sage Business Cloud Accounting to our other top-rated accounting solutions to find which software is right for you.