It’s one of the big players in the world of accounting software, and a programme you’re sure to come across at some point in your accounting career – Sage. The origin of Sage is rather unique; the company started out life as a collaboration between founder David Goldman and former NASA computer expert Dr Paul Muller. After developing the software, specifically for David’s print business, the team realised other companies might also benefit from the software. In 1981, Sage was officially formed for the purpose of selling the solution to others.

Sage’s success speaks volumes; the company floated on the stock exchange in 1989, entered the FTSE 100 in 1999 and remains there to this day. Sage has branched out beyond accounting software to include Payroll, HR, Business Management Solutions and much more. Today we’ll be focusing just on the accounting software packages.

Sage One Start

Sage One Start is, unsurprisingly, made for those who need minimal accounting functions. It’s created to fit the needs of sole-traders and that’s reflected in the low monthly cost. The cloud-based software can be remotely accessed, making organising finances on the go much easier. The platform allows users to create and track sales invoices, integrate bank feeds and quickly provide an external accountant with the information they will need to produce VAT related documents.

It’s unlikely a professional accountant will use this software on a regular basis. The functions are limited to those who run their own business and are, thus, limited. Usability is high, quantity of accounting functions is low.    

Sage One Accounting

Sage One Accounting has been designed for small businesses that require a slightly more complex level of accounting. The software is cloud-based, making it easy to access for anywhere with an internet connection. Again, the software sits towards the more basic end of functionality but delivers a streamlined experience aimed towards low-level users and non-accounting-professionals.

The platform allows users to produce advanced reports for further business insight and submit VAT returns online via the integrated VAT calculation. Sage One Accounting also allows users to see a more detailed breakdown of the business’ performance in real-time.

The platform delivers well on VAT handlings but is let down by its combination of low-end functionality and slightly unintuitive usability. Again like Sage One Start, professional accountants are unlikely to be using this programme regularly, unless they’re covering multiple roles at a small company.    

Sage Live

Sage Live is built on Salesforce, making it a great system for wider apps and collaborations between departments. More than an accounting solution, Sage Live is a full business management system; over 3,000 Salesforce apps can be added to this enterprise resource management (ERP) system.

The accounting side of Sage Live has been created for advanced level accounting and includes in depth performance tracking and further automation of routine tasks. Integrated mobile apps help streamline the process of submitting and processing invoices, as well as allowing users access to specific role defined information.

Sage Live has integrated tax regulations and various accounting legislations from some of the world’s biggest overseas markets. This makes trading across multiple locations and currencies much easier.

Accountants moving onto the Sage Live platform should have a good understanding of the more complex processes and functions involved in accounting for a medium/large business that may trade internationally. Due to the close integration with Salesforce, it may be useful to become more familiar with the CRM platform to understand the wider possibilities of the software.

Next time on our accounting software guide, we cover New Zealand based Xero. Interested in learning more about accounting software? Get in touch with Aspiring Accountants today to find out more about where you can learn how to use accounting software such as Sage.


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