A lot of online accounting software is based in the United States, so online entrepreneurs based in say Europe are probably reluctant to sign up. European banks are usually excluded and even getting other currencies in the account is usually a chore. But Sage 50Cloud is a cloud app solution available worldwide which will appeal to European entrepreneurs looking for something not so dominantly US-based.
What Is Sage 50Cloud?
Sage 50Cloud is a cloud-based online accounting software service which promises to make it easier to do your accounting and get paid faster and easier. At the end of the day, that’s the dream of entrepreneurs, right? No hassle, no stress, just get paid.
Sage 50Cloud claims to have over one million users in 14 countries, which pales in comparison to a competitor like FreshBooks who say they have 24 million users worldwide.
But quality is always better than quantity.
Let’s now take a detailed look at why 400,000 people like using Sage 50Cloud so much.
Sage 50Cloud Benefits
- It’s a cloud app so you can update and check your accounts on any computer with an internet connection. Entrepreneurs constantly on the move can check in on their mobile devices.
- By integrating Microsoft Office 365, you can have your email, other Microsoft tools which will complement Sage (such as Excel), and Sage 50cloud together on the same screen. This will boost your productivity and make it easier to do your work.
- Sage 50cloud will link directly to your bank account. When your bank account updates, so will your Sage account.
- Taxes are always an issue and concern for a self-employed person. Sage 50cloud will help you to accurately calculate your taxes so you can set aside the exact amount.
- Sage 50cloud will keep on top of your stock and inventory so you know exactly what you’ve got and how much. You can also value and audit your inventory at all times, so you know what it is worth.
- Accept multiple payment options. Bank direct debit cards through GoCardless (a rather ironic name there) and credit cards through Paypal and Stripe. You can also accept card payments over the phone using Sage’s “online virtual terminal”.
Sage 50Cloud Features
There are lots of features in Sage 50cloud that make this a serious service to consider for your online accounting software needs.
Here are just some of them, not including the ones already outlined in the “benefits” section above.
Hundreds of Third Party Apps
An online service isn’t a service these days if it doesn’t offer integration with third-party apps. Sage 50cloud is no different.
As well as the Microsoft Office 365 integration, you can also connect to hundreds of other services spread across multiple categories.
A lot may be obscure except to a small minority, but there are also a lot of big names in there such as American Express, Expensify, and Square. Obviously accounts with these sites are also required for you to link them together.
Let a Sage Certified Accountant Do Your Books For You
One of the hardest things for a business to do is find a reliable and trustworthy accountant and bookkeeper. They need to be competent so you avoid a tax audit, and at the same time you don’t want them embezzling you.
That’s why Sage’s service of finding an accountant for you is invaluable. You simply enter your location, select what type of accountant you are looking for, and you will be presented with a list, along with locations on a map.
See Your Finances At a Glance With Customizable Reports
Reports are the lifeblood of any company. How can you decide on strategy, current cashflow, debts, and inventory, if you don’t have the reports to back it up? Reports are therefore one of the things online accounting software should give you at least.
With Sage, you can find out the following :
- Assign cost-codes to different departments and track revenue and expenses in each department.
- Keep a watch on project costs by assigning a budget and then monitoring performance.
- See how much you owe in taxes and how much your payroll comes to every month.
Add On Employee Payroll Services For a Small Additional Fee & Pay VAT
One of the headaches of being self-employed is taking on staff. Paying them involves a lot of government paperwork as you have to think about VAT taxes, insurances, pensions, holiday pay, and sick pay.
For a small extra monthly fee, you can add payroll capabilities to your Sage 50cloud account. Pay up to 25 employees their salary, take off the necessary deductions, and then pass the VAT tax reports securely and quickly to the Inland Revenue (the British equivalent of the IRS).
The pricing is quite reasonable. 5 employees is 3 British pounds a month ($5). 10 employees is 5 pounds, 50 pence a month (just over $7). 15 employees is 8 pounds a month ($10) and up to 25 employees is 13 pounds a month ($15).
However, these look as if they are special bargains, so the prices are subject to change at any time.
Get Quick Answers To Problems By Tapping Into The Business Community
If you have a question you want to ask, doesn’t it make sense to ask someone who is in the same industry as you? People who are also entrepreneurs and users of the service? Using this logic, Sage 50cloud has a thriving business community available on their site.
Probably partly designed to take some of the pressure off the company support staff, the forum is ideal for asking questions which are not of an an urgent nature. Users can earn badges and “achievements” for participating, using the tried and tested method of “gamification” to encourage friendly competition.
Sage 50Cloud Pricing
There’s definitely one thing to be said about Sage 50cloud. It is NOT cheap.
The first thirty days of using Sage 50cloud is totally free of charge to test it out. But weirdly, the first plan in the pricing tier is exempt from the free trial, so to test the service, you have to upgrade to the next level. This is totally insane from a business point of view.
The Essentials Plan
The cheapest plan – the “Essentials” plan – is 20 British pounds a month ($26). The Lite plan gives you the use of the service for up to two users but the 20 pounds will only cover one user. To add the second user will bump the price up to an eye-watering 32 British pounds a month ($41).
This plan will enable you to manage your cashflow, income, expenses, and payment. And you can rest easy knowing everything is secured and backed up in case of a digital catastrophe.
But the lack of a free trial on this tier may annoy a lot of people into not signing up. Plus a lot of businesses on tight budgets just may not be able to justify the cost.
The Standard Plan
If you can afford it, you should then look at the next paid plan. The “Standard” plan is 60 British pounds a month ($77). To say that is a stunning price jump would be the understatement of the century.
So what do you get for this amount? The account can be managed by one user (a second user increases the monthly fee to 72 British pounds – $93!). You can add up to ten companies (ideal if you are a serial entrepreneur), trade and manage stock, and integrate your account with Microsoft Office 365.
This paid plan is also where the free trial option kicks in. At the price being asked for, a free trial is the least they could offer.
The Professional Plan
The third and final tier is the Professional plan for 125 British pounds a month ($161) and is only really feasible if you have a profitable growing business. But if you have one of those, you probably have your own finance department.
If you are wealthy enough or crazy enough to pay this amount of money for online accounting software, then again it is only for one user. You can add up to 20 users to the account for the princely sum of 150 British pounds a month ($194).
On this plan, you can manage an unlimited number of companies (required in order to keep up with the monthly payments!), trade in multiple currencies, and integrate your account with Microsoft Office 365.
Normally paying annually gives you a nice discount. But in this case, you get a measly one month out of the year free. Not really worth it, is it?
Sage 50Cloud Technical Details
Sage 50Cloud is a web-based cloud solution. This means that being online, it can be used on any computer with a web browser and an Internet connection. So regardless of your computer’s operating system, it will work without any issues.
It will also work on mobile and tablet devices, but no actual dedicated apps seem to be available for iOS and Android. So you would have to use it in your mobile browser.
The British version of Sage 50Cloud only seems to have support for English. However, anyone in other parts of Europe (such as users in Germany for example) will be able to change the language.
Sage 50Cloud Support Details
One of the benchmarks of a good online accounting software product is how much support the company offers. Since Sage asks for a lot of money, they should reciprocate by being everywhere for their customers.
So are they everywhere? Yes they pretty much are.
- Phone support : free UK phone number.
- Email : a contact form.
- Social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus), but they seem to have a preference for you contacting them on Twitter.
- Live chat.
- “Business Community” forum.
- A knowledgebase.
The fact that most online accounting software is pre-dominantly US-based makes something like Sage 50cloud rather attractive to those in the rest of the world.
The service is rather pricey so any business on a tight budget may be tempted to use Excel instead. But if you can spare the funds, give Sage 50cloud a spin and see if it manages to simplify your business finances.