Sage makes several accounting tools that span tiny business to large corporations available all over the world. Their hybrid solution, Sage 50 Cloud, or Sage 50c, is a flexible accounting tool for small to medium-sized businesses.
As you might imagine, the tool is partially cloud-based, offering more mobility than the standard desktop version of Sage.
So, as a quick background, Sage 50 was initially a desktop solution for small businesses, which came with tiered pricing based on business size. Sage 50 was an in-office solution, so accounting data was stuck in one place—unless you paid for a multi-user license.
Sage 50 Cloud modernizes the classic software but makes it accessible for those who haven’t fully migrated to the cloud.
What is Sage 50 Cloud?
Sage 50cloud is a half-cloud, half-desktop solution built for small and medium-sized companies. This tool brings a range of features to the table–more than what you’ll get with Sage Business Cloud or other lightweight accounting solutions. Instead, Sage 50c covers accounts payable, taxes, inventory, invoicing, cash flow, and more. While the core solution doesn’t come with payroll, there are plenty of add-ons that will help you fill the void.
Businesses can take advantage of the app’s range of built-in accounting tools which help you implement best practices. Track finances, make sure tax reporting is accurate, and make payments and collect money. Sage 50c helps users get organized and automate many of the more tedious accounts payable functions.
The company, which makes a range of accounting software has opted to replace the old 50, as its lack of mobility made things harder for small business owners—many of whom do not have an in-house accountant. So, to get more modern, Sage has opted to move things into the cloud—well, sort of.
The app, which is a more comprehensive version of Sage Business Cloud Accounting, also comes with built-in accounting best practices, which aim to get business owners without an accounting background up-to-speed.
The tool aims to help business owners run their operations more smoothly—helping them keep track of cash flow, inventory, invoicing, ordering, accounting—and accounts payable. Below, we’ll take a deeper dive into the tool to see how it stacks up against other accounts payable solutions.
Benefits of Sage 50 Cloud
With the 2018 version of Sage 50 Cloud, are now able to establish a secure connection with their banks. This allows them to safely download banking transactions and match them with those recorded in the Sage 50c app.
Once transactions are matched, users can add or edit bank charges or interest payments, adding an extra layer of protection to the reconciliation process.
Compared to the previous version of this software, Sage 50c is a mobile accounting solution. You don’t need to use the same computer to check your books.
Still, it’s worth mentioning that Sage 50 Cloud is not 100% cloud-based. Sage says that their customers aren’t comfortable with total cloud storage, so you will have to download some software to get started and upload your data there. As per Sage, this hybrid solution is a benefit—but whether or not that’s true depends more on personal preference.
Once you’re set up, you can install the Sage mobile app, which allows you to track your purchases, make payments, and deposit money into your bank account. This feature makes expense management and part of the accounts payable process easy.
The Sage 50 Cloud Dashboard
The Sage dashboard looks a little old and out-of-date. This is interesting, as it comes with all the trappings of a modern accounting tool, but it’s hard to look at. Still, it’s good information–a snapshot of your business from aging balances to receivables and recent orders.
Sage 50c comes with multiple accounts payable functions. You can process and schedule bills, view and submit orders, and record payments.
Here’s the rundown on some of the key features in the Sage 50 Cloud lineup:
Sage 50c allows you to process payments directly from the module or record payments sent from your bank. It’s nice to be able to process payments without clicking around in multiple programs, but you’re on the hook for recording all payments manually.
That said, if you want some of the high-level automation features you’ll get with other accounts payable tools, you’ll need to find the right add-on.
Sage Bank Feeds
Establish a secure online connection with real-time bank feeds to your online account. This will allow you to download account activity and view from the Account Reconciliation window in Sage 50c.
This feature is an automated alternative to downloading .OFX or .QFX files from your bank, then uploading to the Sage portal.
This frees up some time, ensuring that the transactions you see in Sage 50 match with what you’re spending.
Sage 50c, Office 365 Enhancements
The Sage Dashboard is a newer application that generates charts and graphs for Accounts Payable, Expenses, Revenue, and Accounts Receivable. These quick-access reporting features sync up to your Office 365 account and you can view them anytime you’re online, both in Office 365 and in Sage Drive.
Automatically sync up your Microsoft Outlook contacts with Sage 50cloud for additional time-saving. By syncing the tools you can look up contact info, order history, and more from anywhere.
Sage 50 Cloud’s inventory and stock management tool is an add-on feature. But, it’s worth exploring if you’re handling a lot of purchasing. This feature allows users to automate their inventory management process, updating stock levels each time you order more supplies.
Additionally, the tool extends to auditing and valuation capabilities, which allow you to manage assets from the Sage 50c platform.
Sage makes a point of making sure you know your data is secure. You can run regular backups on your own through the desktop app, while Sage routinely runs updates on their cloud servers.
Integrates with Other Programs for Accounts Payable Automation
So, as is, Sage 50c does not come with full AP functionality. Instead, you can opt to integrate a third-party AP solution like Mineral Tree or Beanworks. Or, you can upgrade your Sage subscription.
Sage Payment Automation is an add-on tool that works with Sage 50, 100, and 300. The upgrade isn’t offered without making a call into Sage and requesting a quote. Here’s why:
Sage’s whole thing is, they want you to pay only for what you use, so the price will depend on how much AP is a part of your business, as well as things like how many invoices you process.
The tool aims to minimize the data entry process, reduce errors, and cut down on the busy work tasks associated with the accounts payable process.
Sage 50 Cloud waives the $3000 set up fee for existing customers and charges a per transaction rate, which goes down with increased use.
Sage 50 Cloud goes further into the depths of your financial health than say, FreshBooks or QuickBooks Online. While the interface feels a little outdated, the tool does come with the ability to help you make better business decisions—provided you enter everything as dictated by the best practices.
Sage 50 Cloud offers three tiers of pricing packages (just like the old 50). Here’s a quick look at the breakdown:
Sage 50 Cloud Pro Accounting
One user–$44.97 per month, or pay up front, $447.78/year
Best for small organizations who need to track and plan their inventory. This plan includes one user and costs $69.62 per month, $692.58 per year.
You can add extra users and input controls, as needed. Plus, it comes with additional features like budgeting, job costing, and audit trail for reporting.
Enterprise level accounting with industry-specific features. Here, you’ll get access for three users–$175.87 per month, $1763.58 per year
Comes with the same features as above, but with faster processing times and the ability to support up to 40 users.
Workflow management and industry-specific support features add to the value of the Quantum Accounting package.
Each of these plans come with full accounts payable and receivable functionality, plus all the basics like payroll integration and reporting features. However, there is somewhat of a snag here.
The biggest downside of using Sage 50c is the fact that only one user has access to the cloud-based accounting data at any given moment, locking other users out, regardless of how many users you have.
It’s not so crazy to think about this in regards to the five user plan. However, at the Quantum level, the plan is supposed to support up to 40 users. So, if one user is logged into the system, no one else can log in. This makes it difficult for teams that require more hands-on-deck.
That said, multiple users can use the desktop version of the tool. Still, Sage Drive is continually working behind the scenes to sync with the cloud version.
Unlike some of the other tools on the market, Sage 50c requires a few more components to work for you. Here’s the rundown:
- The pro and premium editions require that your computer has a processing power of 1.0 GHz or higher (2.0 GHz recommended)
- For the Quantum and Accountant Editions, you’ll want a multiple-core processor. Minimum processing: 2.0 GHz+.
- Additionally, Sage recommends 6GB of RAM, though you should be able to make do with 4 GB and 2GB of hard drive space. An additional 1GB is required for the install process.
- A CD-ROM Drive for the Install
- The latest version of Internet Explorer (now Microsoft Edge)
- Updated Windows–Minimum Windows 7
- Word and Excel integrations will require the 32-bit versions of the program, 2010 version or newer.
- Microsoft Office 365 integration requires a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium.
- Finally, you’ll need a high-speed internet connection to access the Sage Drive and other online services.
- Devices Supported include Android and iOS, desktop, and Windows.
- Pricing Model: Monthly subscription or annual payment
- Cloud and desktop hosted.
Who’s it For? Small to mid-sized businesses. Entry level plan might not be great for multiperson operations. Quantum, on the other hand, can accommodate up to 40 users.
All Sage accounts—whether you have Sage 50 or Sage 100—come with unlimited support through their 24/5 customer support hotlines (available to customers in Europe, the UK, Canada, the US and more).
Sage has a robust knowledge base that provides answers to common questions about their accounting software. Still, all Sage offerings are bundled together here, making it feel a touch overwhelming for the harried user. Sage makes a ton of products, and you’ll need to filter out the irrelevant ones.
Additional resources include :
The training center, otherwise known as Sage University, is a paid service that provides in-depth tutorials to Sage users. You’ll need to create a profile to access this feature, but they offer workshops, certifications, and other resources that aim to help you get the most out of your software.
The Sage blog, Sage Advice (cute) brings a mix of content to the table. There’s basic business advice, accounting tips, and tricks and case studies/customer success stories. In general, it’s a pretty good selection of content—actionable advice for small business owners, aspiring accountants, and clueless entrepreneurs. Accounting isn’t the most attractive concept, but they do an excellent job of making things approachable.
Additional centers for information. Sage is active on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Social channels vary by platform—but all are aimed at bringing a mix of customer stories, as well as tips, trick, and updates.
How Does Sage 50 Cloud Stack Up?
In the end, Sage 50 Cloud is a reliable option for nonprofits, small businesses or medium-sized organizations. The tool is perfect for those who don’t have a massive budget for accounting tools but need to keep things compliant and accounted for.
Most of the solutions we’ve looked at are purely cloud-based. And though Sage 50cloud has the word cloud right there in the title, the hybrid desktop-cloud solution brings the best of both worlds. The desktop system offers stability, while the cloud functionality means you’re getting some more flexibility.
That said, it’s smart to read a few Sage 50creviews before getting started. Some users might not like the fact that you have to download software at all. Others may take solace in the desktop functionality.