Sage 50 Accounts Review 2024

Our Verdict

Robust accounting solution for growing businesses and enterprises

Sage 50 Accounts is a powerful software solution for growing businesses looking to streamline accounting operations, automate bank reconciliations, and gather insights from the wealth of financial data they generate each month.

While the tool can be complex for the uninitiated, Sage’s excellent support team and knowledge center means that it’s easy to get up to speed with a little time and dedication.

Saying that, many sole traders will likely find the number of features within the platform overwhelming and tiresome. For that reason, Sage is undeniably best for businesses with an employee designated to the role of finance and/or office management.

Pros

  • Unlimited users
  • Industry-specific features
  • Integrates with Microsoft 365
  • Powerful reporting capabilities
  • Stock management functionality

Cons

  • No time-tracking functionality
  • Only compatible with Windows
  • Dated interface

Sage 50 Accounts Plans & Pricing

Compared to other leading providers such as QuickBooks, Sage 50 Accounts is a little more expensive. However, for the extra price, you get a wealth of powerful features that extend beyond accounting, including in-built fraud protection, Microsoft 365 integration, and excellent inventory management capabilities.

Pro Premium Quantum
Monthly Cost/User $58.92/month $96.58/month $160/month
Free Trial
Users 1 Up to 5 Up to 40
Double Entry
Manage Expenses
Reporting
Standard

Advanced

Advanced
Customer Support
Call center and email support, along with resource hub

Call center and email support, along with resource hub

Call center and email support, along with resource hub

Whatever plan you choose, Sage offers a 30-day free trial so you can get to grips with the platform and test its features. On top of that, it’s worth remembering that Sage 50 Accounts can be written off your tax bill at the end of the year.

Pro Accounting – Starts at $58.92 /month

Sage 50 Accounts’s Pro Accounting plan has all the basics you need to take charge of your business’ finances.

With features like invoice management, expense management, and an automated bank reconciliation tool, this plan is perfect for sole traders–especially those in the service industry or with an e-commerce website–looking to gain insights from their financial data and better manage their cash flow.

Notably, the Pro Accounting plan only comes with one seat. So, if you employ one or more people, you’ll want to take a look at the Premium Accounting plan, which also comes with some additional standout features.

Premium Accounting – $96.58 /month

While there’s quite a steep jump in price between the Pro and Premium Accounting plans, it’s for good reason. The Premium Accounting plan gives you up to five seats. Plus, on top of all the features in Pro Accounting, you’ll also get access to advanced reporting, job costing, auditing, and budgeting features.

If you’re a sole trader, having access to these capabilities could cause more confusion than good. However, for growing businesses or individuals that run multiple companies, the Premium Accounting option is worth the added investment.

Quantum Accounting – $160 /month

For larger accounting teams, Sage 50 Accounts’s Quantum Accounting plan is a well-rounded, powerful platform. Along with all of the features available in the Premium Accounting plan, you’ll also unlock the capability to manage user permissions based on role, which is a must if you need to comply with regulations like GDPR or HIPAA.

On top of that, the Quantum Accounting plan comes into its own with its workflow management capabilities, helping larger teams to streamline operations, boost productivity, and accelerate the accounting process.

Sage Accounting overview

Starting price $58.92 / mo
Best for Growing/large businesses keen to streamline accounting operations
Customer support Email and call center
App integrations Microsoft 365, Stripe, Paya and others
Security & Compliance Business credit monitoring, business dark web monitoring, internal fraud hotline, fully managed business restoration
Payroll ✅ – with additional subscription
Reporting & analytics Advanced reporting
Mobile app
Double entry
E-signatures
Auto-alerts and reminders

Features

Sage has been in the digital accounting game for almost half a century, and the breadth and depth of features in Sage 50 Accounts reflect that.

While we found the number of insights a little overwhelming at first (the platform is undoubtedly built for individuals with strong accounting experience), we were impressed by Sage 50 Accounts’s in-depth reporting capabilities, automated workflows, and inventory tracking.

But that’s just the start of Sage 50 Accounts’s features. So, to make sure we used the platform to its full potential, we tested the solution over one month. Here’s a look at the top features:

Customizable dashboard

Sage Accounting's customizable dashboard

One of the things we like most about Sage 50 Accounts is the customization options. Once you’ve launched the program, you’ll have the opportunity to set up a unique dashboard with the data and analytics you want to see.

Compared to other providers, this is quite the USP, enabling you to log in to Sage and immediately see useful information, rather than having to click between screens.

That said, we have to note that setting up and using Sage 50 Accounts is not the most intuitive experience. If you’re new to the world of accounting software, the amount of jargon, information, and dashboards can be overwhelming.

However, if you’re a seasoned accounting professional, then Sage’s accounting functionality and the breadth of reports and graphs available will be a welcome sight.

Inventory management

Sage Accounting's inventory management feature

When it comes to inventory management, Sage 50 Accounts stands well above competitors like QuickBooks and Xero, thanks to its granular functionality. With this software tool, you get real-time data on your inventory levels, and you can record separate items with great level of detail.

On top of that, we thought that the insights the platform generates stand above the rest. If you take the time to configure the software, you can set it to send automated warnings when you’re nearly out of stock, along with reports on your best-selling products.

For all the benefits, though, the inventory management functionality isn’t exactly plug-and-play. To get the most out of the platform, you’ll need to manually enter stock information. Depending on how many products you sell, this could be quite time-consuming, although it will undoubtedly save you time in the long run.

Invoices

Sage 50 Accounts's invoicing feature

Sage 50 Accounts’s invoicing feature is well-rounded. We love that you can customize invoices in several ways, and we’re sure that users will appreciate the templates available. As to be expected, Sage 50 Accounts also offers automation capabilities for monthly or recurring invoices.

We also like the “Pay Now” feature, which lets clients instantly pay for the services or products they’ve received, so you receive the money into your bank account instantly, without having to wait several days.

On top of its robust invoicing feature, Sage 50 Accounts really comes into its own with its reporting functionality. By combining invoice data with expenses, it builds a month-by-month picture of your business’s cash flow.

Project Costing

Sage 50 Accounts's job and project costing feature

Going over budget on a job is frustrating but not uncommon. To help users mitigate the risk of unprofitable work, Sage Accounting 50 has a feature called job and project costing. After we inputted a bit of data about our current projects and their associated costs, Sage Accounting 50 created a helpful dataset, showing us our net revenues.

For organizations that work on a project basis, we can see how invaluable this feature could be. However, just as with invoicing, it takes some initial time to input all the necessary data before you can gain any insights.

Banking Capabilities

Connect Sage platform with a bank account

Forget having to manually input expense data into the Sage 50 Accounts platform. This provider can automatically connect to your bank accounts, making account reconciliation a walk in the park.

We found this feature seamless to use. Once you connect the platform with your bank account, the solution does all the work for you, and it was 100% accurate for us.

We were also pleased to realize that, if you don’t want to connect your bank account to the platform, you can import your banking data easily by uploading a bank statement. Once you do this, Sage Accounting 50 will autonomously analyze your documents and perform the reconciliation for you.

Payroll Functionality

Sage's payroll add-on

For a minimum of $10 extra per month, you can access Sage’s payroll add-on. We tried this feature out as part of our free trial and were impressed by how cooperative the features were. With options to include retirement plans, insurance plans, and templates for federal tax forms, this feature is ideal for internal accounting teams in growing organizations.

However, if you’re just a small team, or are new to the world of accounting, then Sage’s payroll system could feel a little intimidating. Other providers, like QuickBooks and Xero, are more user-friendly.

Sage Security Shield

One of Sage’s unique selling points is its cybersecurity capabilities. Sage Security Shield comes free with the Sage platform and offers excellent features like dark web monitoring, business credit monitoring, and access to a fraud hotline.

While it’s possible to buy fraud protection separately, having accounting and identity theft mitigation measures consolidated into one platform is undoubtedly helpful for growing businesses.

Integrations

Sage 50 Accounts is highly customizable, but there’s a catch. Most of the integrations on offer are built by Sage, meaning you can’t integrate third-party applications with the platform.

However, we have to say that Sage’s in-built integrations are impressive. With options like Credit Hound to reduce late payments and AutoEntry to automate bookkeeping tasks, Sage 50 Accounts has a wealth of integrations to make a powerful solution even more powerful.

We also noted that, for an extra fee of $6 per month, we could add time-tracking functionality through eBillity. The lack of time tracking was one of the downsides we noted with the platform, so we’re pleased to see this offered as an extra, even though it costs more money.

Sage Accounting Customer Reviews

So far, we’ve been impressed by Sage 50 Accounts. While we think the platform is a little too robust and data-heavy for freelancers, we believe it’s a great fit for growing businesses with accounting expertise.

Of course, we wanted to see how other users felt about the platform, so we gathered reviews from websites like TrustPilot and G2 to make our review more well-rounded.

On TrustPilot, users praise Sage for its excellent, hands-on customer support and insightful reports. However, some users criticized the software for being slow to run and cumbersome. While we found the software worked speedily for us, it’s worth starting with a free trial to check your device is compatible before purchasing.

A Sage Accounting review on TrustPilot

On G2, a couple of other reviewers criticized Sage Accounting 50 for poor speed but, with a score of 4 ⁄ 5 stars overall, most customers are satisfied with the platform, praising it for making accounting easier, and for its cloud functionality.

Sage Accounting vs Top Competitors

Sage QuickBooks Zoho Books Patriot
Best for Product-based businesses and enterprises New businesses and sole traders Micro businesses Budget-conscious organizations
Starting Price $58.92/user/month $15/user/month $15/user/month $20/user/month
Free Trial 30-day free trial 30-day free trial 14-day free trial 30-day free trial
Payroll
Reporting Advanced reporting Custom reporting Advanced reporting Custom reporting
Mobile App ✅- Android ✅- iOS and Android ✅-iOS and Android

Sage vs QuickBooks

Sage and QuickBooks are two well-known players within the accounting software market and, in our view, they target slightly different audiences. With its powerful inventory tracking, job costing, and advanced reporting features, Sage 50 Accounts is the perfect choice for businesses with complex structures, or who rely heavily on product-based sales.

QuickBooks, on the other hand, is simpler and sleeker in its design. For newer businesses or those with a simple structure, this provider has all the functionality necessary to make accounting simple, although it will lead to more advanced companies wanting.

Learn more in our QuickBooks review.

Sage vs Zoho Books

Sage and Zoho Books share many similarities, although Zoho is noticeably cheaper. However, to get the most out of Zoho Books, you’ll need to use other platforms within the Zoho suite, such as its CRM tool, project management tool, and so on.

In this sense, even though Zoho Books looks cheaper, once you start purchasing add-ons, the price quickly balloons.

For that reason, Sage 50 Accounts stands as a firm favorite against Zoho Books, offering better reporting functionalities and invoicing capabilities as a standalone platform.

Learn more in our ZohoBooks review.

Sage vs Patriot

Patriot and Sage are also designed for distinctly different audiences. Patriot accounting is geared towards individuals who are new to accounting, and its limited features reflect that. You can’t track inventory, track time, or customize reports. Saying that, at an inexpensive price and with a user-friendly interface, the platform will certainly appeal to freelancers and startups.

Still, Sage comes up trumps here. The platform’s features and reporting capabilities are a cut above Patriot’s.

Learn more in our Patriot review.

Verdict – is Sage Accounting worth it?

Sage 50 Accounts is an impressive, robust piece of software that’s perfect for accounting teams in growing organizations. If your business is looking to better manage its finances, find opportunities for cost efficiency, and harness the power of automation and data analytics, Sage 50 Accounts would be the perfect partner.

How We Test Accounting Software

It’s our goal to bring you impartial, valuable insights on the best accounting software platforms out there. To achieve this, we test each provider for a minimum of 30 days, ensuring we can test each platform in-depth and understand it fully.

  • Pricing – We analyze the pricing of each software platform by benchmarking it against well-known competitors, providing an accurate assessment of its affordability within the market.
  • Features – Leveraging our expertise in accounting software, we evaluate features in comparison to other industry leaders. Our assessment covers aspects such as ease of use, reporting capabilities, bookkeeping, CRM integrations, and security.
  • Integrations – When testing each software platform, we thoroughly examine the offered integrations and their support in helping end-users achieve their goals.
  • Automation – Recognizing the importance of efficiency and accuracy in accounting software, we conduct tests on automation capabilities across every feature. Our evaluations inform you when a platform can enhance your productivity.
  • Ease of use – We understand that a challenging user experience can be discouraging and time-consuming. Our approach to every review involves assessing the user experience as if we are newcomers to accounting software, evaluating how easily non-technical users can navigate and understand the platform.
  • Third-Party Reviews – To provide a comprehensive overview of a product, we integrate our reviews with insights gathered from reputable third-party websites such as Reddit and Trustpilot.

How to Choose the Best Accounting Software

Accounting software is an investment, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve made the choice that’s right for your business. Here are some things to keep in mind as you deliberate over the different options:

  • Pricing: Delve into the cost of the software, considering both the initial investment and the expenses over an extended period. Opt for a solution that is not only affordable now but also becomes increasingly cost-effective as your business expands.
  • Features: Examine the features provided in each plan. Seek a provider that can fulfill as many of your requirements as possible without necessitating additional software purchases. In case you are weighing options between two plans from the same provider, ensure that you don’t overlook essential features present in a higher-tier plan.
  • Scalability: Contemplate your business’s long-term growth plans and assess whether the chosen software offers the flexibility to scale as your business expands and acquires more customers.
  • Ease of Use: Any software investment should be user-friendly, intuitive, and enjoyable to use. This ensures that you can start reaping its benefits immediately, rather than spending valuable working hours trying to grasp its functionality.
  • Integrations: Confirm that the plan you opt for includes access to the integrations you require. Similar to Sage, some platforms offer integrations exclusively with higher-tier plans.
  • Customer Support: In case you encounter challenges, having a reliable customer support team is essential. Ensure that the chosen provider offers easily accessible support, ideally through 24/7 live chat.

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Hannah Pisani

Hannah Pisani is a seasoned writer with a keen focus on the intersection between technology and the evolving nature of work. Over the last five years, she has written content for numerous leading technology brands, including Microsoft, AWS and Oracle. She regularly contributes to international technology publications such as Silicon Angle, Cloudwards and Techopedia. Hannah's depth of knowledge encompasses HR software, cybersecurity, SaaS tools and marketing optimization. She thrives on leveraging her expertise to empower business leaders, guiding them towards informed decisions that optimize efficiency and drive productivity.