The two most popular accounting software packages for small businesses are Sage and QuickBooks. Although there are many other packages on the market that are competing for market share (including Xero, KashFlow and MYOB), this blog focuses upon the differences and pros and cons of choosing between Sage and QuickBooks.
Table Of Contents
QuickBooks is designed using a process flow so can be more attractive for the business person with no accounts experience. However, this can still look a little complicated for some clients.
Sage Verses QuickBooks Comparison
Round 1: Software Range
Sage starts from Sage Instants and has various products going up to the Enterprise range for very large companies, Sage Start-Up and Sage50 being the most popular for small businesses. Sage Start-Up (formerly known as Sage Instants) is suitable for the majority of small businesses, however, if you require multiple company and multi-user functionality Sage 50 is required.
QuickBooks starts from QuickBooks SimpleStart to Enterprise level solutions. The most popular for small businesses are SimpleStart and QuickBooks Pro. SimpleStart is suitable for cash businesses as it doesn’t have purchase ledge functionality, as Pro is still relatively cheap we normally recommend just going to straight to QuickBooks Pro for most small clients.
Sage has two types of online solutions, a cloud based range – SageOne – which looks completely different to its’ desktop counterparts, these are fairly easy to use but do have limited functionality and a Sage 50 equivalent hosted product which looks just like the desktop version. SageOne is suitable for small businesses that don’t have complicated accounts.
QuickBooks online range looks completely different to the desktop versions. Fairly straightforward to use.
The most annoying thing about the online solutions for us, is that it is not easy to transition from the desktop versions to the online versions as they look so different and it is not straightforward to bring all your data across. However, for the new business they could be ideal.
Round 2: Reporting Capabilities
QuickBooks has very good functionality in its reporting tool and is easy to use, it is easy to pull out data over different periods and sort it in various ways.
Round 3: Technical Support Desk
QuickBooks technical support can be disappointing. The technical knowledge of the level one support team is limited, and it can sometimes feel like it would be quicker to just read through the QuickBooks online help manual yourself. However, with the QuickBooks ProAdvisor programme we do have direct access to the level two team whose knowledge is a bit better, though still not on a par with the Sage team. On the upside the there aren’t too many options to press before speaking to a person and usually get to speak to someone fairly quickly.
Round 4: Pricing
Result: How To Choose
We sit down with our clients and go through the pros and cons specific to their business to help them decide on the most suitable package, we keep an open mind and also look at other packages and even whether a basic spread sheet could be just as appropriate for some clients. If clients don’t select the most appropriate solution, then it can become abandoned and then the exercise becomes expensive and a waste of time, therefore it is best to make sure time is taken to make the right choice first time.
Goringe Accountants are members of the Sage Accountants Club and QuickBooks ProAdvisors. We can offer excellent discounts to our clients on all Sage products.