I use the Canadian version of the software. I suspect it's basically the same as the American version, except for sales tax and payroll, but I would check a review of that version for any American users.
Sage 50 is an easy-to-use piece of accounting software aimed at SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), and it is one of QuickBooks' major competitors.
It's fairly easy to find people who are familiar with Sage 50. That's a plus for small businesses looking to find an employee or outside service provider to take care of their books.
If you are looking to do the books yourself, Sage 50 is relatively easy to learn. They have thorough tutorials available to walk you through the basics.
Major transactions are grouped together under tabs on the left-hand navigation panel. The various workflows--receivables, payables, inventory and services, employees and payroll, and a 'company' category--are all shown graphically. Each task within a major area is represented as a labeled icon, making it is to start a new transaction from this screen. The 'company' link is a catch-all category, including general journal entries, the chart of accounts and tools for managing your data and accounting tasks.
Virtually every report that a small business could need is available in Sage 50.
I found Sage 50 to be glitchy in the past. I have spent too many hours on hold or on a call with their tech support.
I use the payroll-included version of Sage 50. I also have a support package. In all, that's not competitively priced. If it weren't for the fact that some clients have been using this software for years and are reimbursing me for the cost of the software, I would not be using it. QuickBooks is a better value.
I used this software for really basic accounting functions and used a separate CRM and ERP software that I just journaled information from into Sage. It was great for that and for the everyday AP, payroll and GL. Overall I really liked it and it gave me few problems. The issue was that when there was a problem, it was really time-consuming to fix and I often had to bring in outside tech support when Sage couldn't solve the problem, so it cost a lot of extra time and money a few times a year.
I loved this program in that it seemed to be made for accountants, unlike some software that seems to be made for non-accountants. There are a lot of great reports to choose from, and each can be easily formatted to whatever file type you need. The payroll is awesome and easy to use.
Updates can sometimes cost you functionality, which can be a real problem if you are in the middle of payroll. Payroll information is only available for the current and previous calendar years, which is tough when you are undergoing an audit or due diligence. Some reports have limited time range parameters, so if you have a fiscal year that doesn't fit into those parameters, it can be annoying to run more than one report and combine the information. Also, there was one formula in the tax functions that didn't provide the correct number for some states, you had to enter it manually, which made us provide incorrect information and pay penalties because of it. I tried to do a data transfer from one company in sage to another, and several files were corrupted and didn't make it over. At one point, I needed to have two companies open at once, and the windows did not title which company was which. I literally had to go into the the menu drop down to figure out which company was which. They looked identical, so it was a real pain.
Sage 50 Accounting is ideal for the small business that is looking for a comprehensive, customizable core accounting solution that includes: A/P, A/R , well developedBilling, Invoicing, Inventory Management and Financial reporting. Sage 50 Accounting integration with Microsoft Excel, Outlook and PDF are some of its other features. Sage 50 Acwell-developed program that is great for the small business to keep their books organized. Sage 50 Accounting recognizes that small businesses may not need some of the more advanced features that some of its higher versions have. This is why Sage 50 features are pretty basic, providing support for tasks such as project management, costing, invoicing, reporting among others.
Easy to Use.
Ease of implementation.
The flexibility of financial reporting.
A functional software for small uncomplicated businesses.
Integration with core Microsoft applications like Excel makes a good product for analytics export into a spreadsheet.
It is very basic. And also does not have many capabilities.
Finding Transactions can be a bit Tricky.
Check printing has its own set of problem.
Need to have a fair level of accounting knowledge to use it correctly.
- Sage 50 Canadian is very stable, any 'crash' is almost always a hardware or operating system issue.
- Vendor technical support is prompt and helpful.
- Uses a solid 'Enterprise-grade' back end database.
- ODBC is free, and included.
- Free SDK is available.
- Response to bugs is to provide work-arounds
- No significant new features since 2011.
- Screen designs are stuck on 1988. Data entry fonts are unusably tiny on modern monitors, and can't be adjusted.
- Features and prior bundled software has been removed, no longer supported, or flat out disabled:
. web store integration,
. Crystal Reports,
. ACT! CRM integration
. Simply HR Manager
- Numerous limitations in the 'Quantum' version to prevent use by all but the smallest companies:
. no transaction reports show purchase order numbers,
. ship-to addresses are limited to 99,
. multiple vendor shipping addresses are not supported at all
. if using multiple 'locations', inventory reports are wrong due to wrong beginning onhand.
. Multiple shipments to / from a single invoice are not supported.
. No way to report on Purchase Order vs invoice purchase amounts or pricing.
. No reports
- Designed for Accountants, not for business operations.
. 'Job Tracking' will record what you put in, but not tell you what to bill out.
. Year end process is unnecessarily convoluted and cumbersome for the business.
. Inventory 'available' isn't displayed during invoicing, only 'On Hand'.
. Only 2 years of sales statistics are tracked - current and prior year. Since current is always opened before the prior year is completed, there is never any point in time where a comparative report is of any use.
. Canned reports are inadequate and can't be customized.
- Time Tracking to Invoicing only works if you never have separate jobs for a single client - and who wouldn't?
- Inventory statistics are broken - Quantities are correct, but adjustments rack up the statistics on number of transactions (one sale, adjusted two times will show as 5 transactions)
- Virtually all inventory, sales, and purchase detail reports show all adjusted and reversed transactions, but don't output any indicator that they are just dead, junk data.
- Few third party software integrations
- Other Sage software does not work with it AT ALL. (Asset tracking, Time & Billing, CRM)
I have recently discovered Xero and moved my accounting practice to this software. It is so simple with the convenience of being cloud-based. I now recommend Xero to my clients and given its simplicity (yet still very powerful) I can foresee clients taking charge of their own bookkeeping and getting rid of their existing bookkeepers.
Sage 50 was the accounting program I used to recommend to all my small business clients. Stable program that has most of the simple functions needed for most small businesses. Most used small business accounting software among my clients and almost all bookkeepers in our area use and have experience working solely with Sage 50.
It's not the most user-friendly program and has a reputation of being difficult for non-bookkeepers and bookkeepers alike to use properly. Sage has been slow to make it more user-friendly and were behind in moving to cloud options. Personal experience is Sage support is very slow to respond to queries.
The software is pretty self explanatory meaning I don't believe new users would require additional training in order to use the product. I think if they would develop a better adjustment scenario (ie. Journal Entry adjustments) I think this product would rate up there with QuickBooks. This product is definitely worth the look!
The customer service at Sage is extremely helpful! I have had to call multiple times, and each and every time they patiently help me through my problem. I think it's great if you have a small to medium sized manufacturing business and want something to keep track of everything.
Comparing the software to QuickBooks, I think there is a lack of efficiency in entering Journal Entries especially when you happen to find a problem that originated in a prior year. Other than that, I think the software is great for recording daily transactions and keeping track of inventory (for small to medium businesses).
For all of us who stuck with Peach Tree from back in the day, our time has come. I simply love this application. Its my best friend. As a small business owner I can tell you the ability to have my accounts at my fingertips while I am on the go blows my mind. I am tickled pink. I have to pinch myself. I am able to see my inventory, check prices and stock and give clients discounts and assurances that I can reliably trust in real time. The subscription cost is almost nominal for the value it gives me.
Access to my Accounts in real time on my mobile device.
Easy to use and covers all that I need for a small business owner who is the the head cook and bottle washer.
I can process payments and check on outstanding receivables while on the go. check stock and see sales.
the reports are exactly what I need to know to make informed decisions
I can communicate with my customers and suppliers with built in correspondent templates.
based on the information at my finger tips I can have a better relationship with my supply chain and customers.
requires very little setup.
I am sure that I will think of one in the future but for now I am at a loss. the speed could be better when searching a large record set, buts thats on me and my resources.
I have used both for several years. There is no question that Sage/Peachtree is not as "user-friendly" as Quickbooks...at least for the first month or two. But as you begin to actually understand accounting and your bookkeeping goes on and on you discover some very frightening things about Quickbooks. They put everything onto one, big, gigantic database-unlike almost every other accounting system in the world. That has several disadvantages but the biggest is why quickbooks has a nickname..."slowbooks". If you complain loudly enough they will recommend you "start over" after a year or two by opening a new company for the new year. Their constant ads are something you can live with. But what if you've had quickbooks for 4 or 5 years and you want to put it on another computer because your older computer blew up? Sorry. You'll have to get the latest version. At least with peachtree that is not an issue (if you saved all 3 of the registration numbers needed). My biggest complaint about quickbooks, though, is that it lets you do anything you want. That sounds good for somethings. It's not good for accounting. Peachtree makes it harder to go off track (although you can certainly mess up your peachtree books as well). Another thing I like about peachtree (for me) is that the fonts are bigger and they don't try to put everything on one page. Quickbooks has tiny font but you can certainly see lots of stuff on every page. I really dislike quickbooks reports which also have tiny fonts but that is personal preference.
Usually lower in price. It doesn't try to hide the "debits and credits" as much as quickbooks does. In the long run that is a good thing. You will learn real accounting much quicker with peachtree than quickbooks (and you should learn it anyway).
Peachtree is not as popular as quickbooks so there are not as many "3rd party add ons" available. If there is some particular 3rd party add on you need to use and only quickbooks has it then the decision is made for you.
It is good software
It is easy to teach a new user how to begin entering transactions. You can set up an assistant to begin entering basic transactions almost immediately. When searching a list (purchases, payments, etc.) of transactions, it is not necessary to have entire name or number. The software will locate the search criteria even if it is just a couple of characters in the middle of a string of text.
Chart of accounts does not have a true hierarchy so you cannot get totals to roll up for sub accounts. It is often tricky to customize a report accurately. Some reports will omit data because it comes from a specific "journal" and there is no way to make the report include all relevant "journals".
Sage has always been helpful through online or phone calls whenever you need them. Find the right consultant for you, and you experience improves.
There is alot of things that are already set up for you to just hit the ground running and a lot of items integrated into the system to help small businesses that need a solution but no time to customize a whole system.
Sage 50 allows for minimal customization from their out of the box set up software. This plays as an advantage, but does not allow you to get the information you want in the view you want.
This product is a great product for small to medium sized businesses. It allowed us to track over 20 different departments based on the way we structured our chart of accounts. Within those 20 different departments, we were also able to track 7 different expense categories (not accounts, groups of accounts). Reports look nice and are somewhat easy to build. Entering AP invoices does not require you know your debits or credits. Same goes for AR invoicing. Journal entries are simple enough to put in and the general ledger reporting is very clean.
We were limited based on the number of items we wanted to track. In addition to account number, department, and expense category, we were hoping to track school projects, use tax, physicals expenses, location. This forced us to do a lot more reporting in excel than we would have preferred.
Want to do accounting? Sage 50 will do it almost as well as Quickbooks for a higher cost and with less support. It's also a lot harder to find an accountant that works with Sage and actually knows what they're doing. Want to buy and resell products? Sure, it'll mostly work. Want to use it for manufacturing/assembly? Forget it, Sage 50 can't do it properly and will cost you an incalculable amount in lost time and opportunity. No lot tracking, horrible reporting, no forecasting, only 5 user defined fields (none of which are very useful), no BOM variances, no part revisions allowed, no mass BOM update, etc.
Better than chiseling on a stone tablet, though less reliable.
Oh so many things:
Database is SLOW
No user workflows, cannot require approvals, checks, releases, etc.
No ability to limit access to fields, or to require approvals on data entry
Fields are not updatable in table views and require opening a screen for each item to update.
Finding information in Sage is difficult, must search through multiple screens, reports, or excel spreadsheets to find date
Order data exists in many separate views (SO, PO, WO, Invoice) without a single summary view of status.
Sage50 items do not link – a line on a PO, SO, Quote, etc cannot be clicked to bring up the item card. The ID must be memorized and typed into another window, wasting valuable time
Data import/export from/to Sage50 is time consuming and error prone
Document templates are stored locally and must be manually updated per machine on change.
One time use items or BOMs have to be added to part master to never be removed which clutters system, or have to be entered as a description items which severely limits usability.
Cannot open multiple records when reviewing order history (or item cards, POs, Invoices, etc). Can only have one window for each type open at a time.
No system discount levels
Difficult to determine lead times for an assembly, have to start a pseudo work ticket and still can only determine current part availability that doesn't show when on order parts will arrive
Sage can assign a user to a quote, but has no notifications to tell that user when the quote gets converted, updated, etc
No material traceability, or lot tracking
Routings do not exist – cannot track inventory moves from receipt to, inventory, picking, assembly, QA, etc
Sage50 cannot record who received, assembled, tested, shipped, etc
Cannot attach records or files to built items (final inspection reports, pictures, etc)
Purchase planning is almost non-existent.
Parts cannot undergo true revision.
Changing the item ID results in changing entire system history
Rev changes require creation of new ID and BOM update
BOM changes are labor intensive
BOM changes must occur individually and manually each time a part undergoes revision
Variances are not allowed
Cannot swap parts or revisions for a variance BOM, a complete new BOM must be created and all traveler paperwork reprinted
When moving to a new revision, the old revision must remain in the BOM until consumed which results in Sage reporting the need to purchase the old revision instead of the new revision.
Revision changeover must be manually watched and switched at point of consumption
Sage has a field for “Preferred Vendor ID”, but no additional approved suppliers
Single currency only
Sage50 has updates that come out every year, but they only support the previous years version for another 6 months so you're forced into an upgrade if want any semblance of support (though it doesn't really count as support most of the time).
Once I became familiar with this software and how to work my way around it, it has remained an integral part of our business accounting. The longer we use it, the more valuable it becomes. The sheer magnitude of accounting and business tracking capabilities is incredible.
Sage is regularly updating and improving their software. There are many ways that you can make mistakes, but if you know what you are doing it is generally easy to fix said mistakes. The reports are a life saver when it comes time to do taxes or if I simply need to review something on an account.
You will want at least a very basic accounting knowledge before trying to use this software if you are starting from scratch.
Sage has helped us to improve our job costing. The reports can be exported into Excel for further analytics and review.
Features work well among eachother. Create PO, Apply to invoice, Inventory, Pay bill. Create your job quote, assign job, bill job, view job costing. I have found we are happier with the program the more we utilize it to its full potential.
Using only certain features is difficult, as the steps in between may be missing to view full reports. It's also pretty ugly and kind of clunky, but it works and does the job. Additionally, it can be difficult to find support online because this is not a popular product.
Cheaper than other larger programs, easy to use and manage.
The dashboard feature makes using the software and locating specific functions relatively easy. Invoicing, accounts receivables and accounts payables is straightforward. Program is cheaper than other larger accounting programs.
Inventory management features are very limited, pricing options are limited. Designed really for small, basic use . Limited customization abilities. You now have to upgrade and pay for upgrade every year because it is on cloud. Customer service is horrible, very rarely can solve any problems and wait times are very long.
Love this product. My favorite.
Being able to change items past and easy function for doing so. Very easy to setup g/l. I like being able to modify reports at ease. Would highly recommend this product. Bank reconciliation is also a breeze.
Very little would I change maybe making the product cheaper. When you enter timesheets and have a change after you have updated - you cannot just delete the line from weekly timesheets you have to go to the list and select line and delete. Doing it on the weekly timesheet entry leaves zeros if you just delete the line.
Excellent inventory tracking.
This software is great for small businesses like ours who have a huge inventory list (8,000 plus items), and customer support gives quality service.
This software makes you close out each month before the system date will change to the current month. This takes some time to do that monthly (and seems unnecessary to me) but time spent can be kept in check if you keep your records up to date and balance daily/weekly. Payroll is less user friendly than Quickbooks and updates are harder to apply.
All in all, a much better product than I have used at other companies. Would recommend Sage 50 to friends and family.
Very user friendly and dependable. Was able to transfer 3 entities using an updated chart of accounts. Have saved hours every month with the assistance of their bank reconciliation set up. Month end closing has been accelerated.
Report function seems weak. Not able to create the desired reports with ease. Have not used customer support but a few times and have found quite a long wait.
I have been using this software for almost 20 years when it was called Peachtree.
It is an ideal software for small business, who need a little bit more than a simple profit and loss, but ability to track costs by departments or locations.
There are a lot of improvement to the latest version, which allow much easy listing and printing from different ledgers write at the input window.
I like the flexibility that Sage has provided for report customization; there is no report format that Sage 50 cannot produce.
However, you will need some accounting background in order to fully utilities the product, that's the only recent that I hold back the rating.
Great software for small to medium size businesses.
Very user friendly and easy to learn and navigate around. Does exactly what you would want done for a small to medium sized business. I used this software for many years in a small computer business and never had any issues with completing all our company transactions.
From an accounting point of view for reporting and controlling multiple company departments I feel it is a little too simplistic to handle larger corporations.
My time with Sage was short but sweet. When I first worked on it I had never used it before and was very unfamiliar with it. Once I used it for a couple of days and got some stuff explained, I was able to grasp it and fully efficient!
The only issue I ran into while the time I worked with it, was the updates and back-ups. Once I backed up the information and it erased EVERYTHING. Thank goodness I had a back up drive from months earlier. It was a big fallout for us!
Easy to Use, User Friendly
A lot of additional modules which were beneficial to my companies business - Stock Inventory, Manufacturing module
Auditors recommended, they love to work with this software and accounting reports
A lot of practical and required accounting reports
Options to purchase out right
A bit difficult to integrate with other softwares
When purchased outright, connectivity at different branch locations was a bit difficult
I would still recommend this product to all small to medium size businesses for the price point that it is at.
SAGE 50 is pretty easy to use and does have some neat features for the small to medium size company.
One of the only cons that we have come across with SAGE 50 is the "Line Limitation" in making a custom financial statement. We want to make a really detailed statement for our board of trustees so that the non-financial people can understand the financial picture easier.
We've used this software for over 20 years. We have not outgrown it even though our business has grown.
Very user friendly. If you're only looking for an accounting software this software fits the ticket. It does all financials tasks - accounts receivable, payables, general ledger, payroll, inventory etc.
It isn't useful if you're a service organization - you cannot track time, and expenses. All invoices are imported into this software from FileMaker.
Sage is a great software if you know what you're doing and are working with accounting clients on a regular basis. It allows you to have multiple clients that can be set-up differently, with different templates, finance charges, etc. Reports work well and the double-checking capabilities are thorough. Unlike QB, certain entries cannot be deleted, but must be backed out. This is preferred for accuracy and accountability, at least for me.
As it is good for professionals, I think the learning curve would be hard for a small business owner with no prior experience.