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Xero v Sage

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  • # 111940

I am restarting my bookkeeping business after a four year break.  Can anyone give me any impartial advice on the benefits of Xero over Sage?  For managing 5 clients with payroll they are about the same in price, so money is not the issue here.  I want to choose Sage because I am familiar with it, but if anyone out there has a killer argument as to why I should choose Xero instead I would like to hear it! 

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  • # 111942

Hi Sandy

 

Are you looking at the desktop versions or online versions ?

 

Bev

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  • # 111943

Preferably desktop but definitely haven't ruled out online.  Main priority is for me to make the best decision at the outset.  

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  • # 111944

Well obviusly everyone has different opinions and preferences, but my preference is Sage desktop and online (Sage One)

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  • # 111946

Thank you Beverley, I am of that opinion too but I just wanted to see if there was anyone out there would would stand up for Xero, and if so why?

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  • # 111947

I'm with Beverley here. I honestly think that Sage is the best desktop, ......

we have had a few problems with Sage One and Sage drive but I think they are managing to sort things out.

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  • # 111950

Hi Sandy . 

I agree with Jane and Beverely. 

I do like xero and I can see why people do.  However in terms of working with a software . the audit trail and speed and reports- focusing into areas as a bookkeeper in great detail sage is my preference by a mile at the moment.  When problems occur the detail in Xero is too vague and all over the place.   You can have ad ons but I still think it is very expensive.  

However things progress and that may change over time.  I have got clients on Xero so I do use both. 



Edited at 30 Dec 2015 01:38 PM GMT

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  • # 111961

hI Sandy

 

Happy New year. I have never used Xero so can't really comment but I would say do with your heart, if you like a particular software, then use it, over time software and technology changes, so whatever we choose now is only temporary. Any cloud system can be an add on to anything you use, so you could use both, but if you are happy with sage then why change? Bev you are the first person that I've actually heard say they like sage one. I'd actually love to hear why, because I myself a confirmed Quickbooks user, have had to relearn sage for a client and do have the sage one dashboard though i havnt has yet used it, so would be interested to hear a bit more about sage one, from someone who likes it. I like quickbooks desktop but they are going very much online and although i do like QBO (to a point), i'm at the moment keeping my options open.

 

Anyway Sandy best of luck whatever you decide, but if in doubt sample a few and don't commit to any until you have to.

 

Kind regards and very best wishes 

 

Lainy

 

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  • # 111962

hI Sandy

 

Happy New year. I have never used Xero so can't really comment but I would say do with your heart, if you like a particular software, then use it, over time software and technology changes, so whatever we choose now is only temporary. Any cloud system can be an add on to anything you use, so you could use both, but if you are happy with sage then why change? Bev you are the first person that I've actually heard say they like sage one. I'd actually love to hear why, because I myself a confirmed Quickbooks user, have had to relearn sage for a client and do have the sage one dashboard though i havnt has yet used it, so would be interested to hear a bit more about sage one, from someone who likes it. I like quickbooks desktop but they are going very much online and although i do like QBO (to a point), i'm at the moment keeping my options open.

 

Anyway Sandy best of luck whatever you decide, but if in doubt sample a few and don't commit to any until you have to.

 

Kind regards and very best wishes 

 

Lainy

 

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  • # 111964

Thanks everyone and Happy New Year.  I am going to go with Sage, which is what I had originally intended, until my first client's accountant tried to sway me with Xero. Job done, thank you!

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  • # 112099

hi

i have 3 clients on sage one now, 2 on the accounting version and 1 on the cash book version (too basic for most of my clients). I have used sage desktop for years. I have to say that after a few days of getting my head round things and learning best practice etc I think it's great. Bank feeds are especially great. The fact that I can log in anywhere also helps as if I am out with a client and i get an urgent request from a sage one client I can help immediately. I am in the process of moving the rest of my clients over.

Just need them to increase the payroll levels above 15 employees, which I am told is imminent, and I could run all my clients online.

using xero for one client, their choice, not sure about it yet!

Jo

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  • # 112106

I'll stand up for Xero! As a disclaimer, I've not used any of Sage's online offerings except Sage One Payroll. I have used Sage Instant Desktop, but haven't used a recent version of Sage Line 50  (and therefore it may have features I'm not aware of) I haven't yet used Xero Payroll, but it is relatively new and you will need to check it supports what you need.

I use Xero for 5 clients. Like any software, it's appropriate for some and not others. I have done two Sage to Xero conversions and am about to do another. (Both from Instant) The main advantage of Xero is collaboration. Your client wants to do invoicing, and you to do everything else. They want to be able to see easily what they paid for that last widget invoice, without asking you. They want to see the debtors situation, and when/if a certain client last paid. If you want to have a bank feed and then be able to reconcile incoming payments with outstanding invoices at the click of a single bright green button.

Using Xero also opens the door for a vast number of integrations with other innovative software that you just wouldn't have access to otherwise. Payment solutions, project & time management, reporting add-ons, automatic debtor chasing. Take a wee look. https://www.xero.com/add-ons/.

If you handle all of the bookkeeping and your client doesn't want to know a thing apart from how much VAT they owe, and when you can get the numbers to the accountant, then maybe Xero isn't for you. And that's fine.

The conversion I am about to do is for a client with a fast-moving business situation. It's their slow season, cash-flow is at level 'interesting'. We do 40-50 invoices a week for them. They need to have up to date information and not have to wait for me to do a pivot and pretty-up a Sage Report so they can actually understand it. They crave information but can't pay me to sit there for hours on end to produce report after report.

If you like Sage, and enjoy using it - use Sage. No one software is right for clients or bookkeepers. But you have to look at the situation on balance to make the decision. I know it's hard to judge software you haven't used, so perhaps you can ask other accountants or bookkeepers you know?

Good luck. May the bookkeeping force be with you. :-)

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  • # 112156

Thank you Liz and Josie for your advice

I have made my decision to go with Sage Client Manager as the 3 clients I am starting with are the exact type you mention ie only need to know how much vat to pay etc.

When I was first in business about 9 years ago I used various bits of cheap software in an attempt to offer whatever it was that suited the client best, and I just ended up muddling through with no consistency in my business. 

Now that I have a second chance at coming back after 4 years abroad, I am going to go with Sage Client Manager and have everything in one place, because this is what suits ME best,  and if that isn't going to be compatible for any future client I wil politely decline the work and refer them to the "Find a Bookkeeper" section of the ICB website!

Thanks everyone again for all your input, it was very much appreciated.

Susan

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  • # 112194

As a Xero only practice, my advice is stick to one, try not to be a "Jack of all and Master of none".

 

As to whether one is better than the other? We could argue all day and night and, still agree to disagree.

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  • # 112202

You are right Vip, I agree that if you use lots of different software according to your clients wishes you end up making a lot of work for yourself and not really being a better bookkeeper for it.    I think in the long run Xero would have been fine, the important thing is as you say is to buy one software and stick to it. So I have gone with Sage Client Manager as this is what I know best!

Thank you,

Susan

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  • # 112234

 

 I think that specialising in one software offering makes perfect sense.  Just as we all prefer different cars so different packages work for different folk.  The one suggestion I would make is, having gone down the specialist route, find out who else in your branch specialises where and refer clients along to your branch colleagues.  This will promote the ICB amongst your clients and enquiring businesses and we can then all grow together :)



Edited at 27 Jan 2016 09:24 PM GMT

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  • # 112239

Hi 

After 18 years in practice I think it is a bad idea to just use one software as some softwares are not the right one for the client. Xero for example is definitely not suitable for all clients just like sage is not suitable for all clients.     All software have their own little perks and features that will suit certain clients better.  It depends on the client.   The likes of Sage Drive update all computers everywhere.  So desktop software is also feeding through the cloud but is not totally reliant on the internet.   For exampe I know clients who prefer some of Kashflows screens better then Xero for the Audit trail.  

The bad weather and internet has been awful and many clients internet has been down.  So not all areas in the country are suited to the cloud.   

I believe you are closing your mind to all the softwares and the improvements they all make.   If you are a bookkeeper dropping in and out of different softwares is really quite easy.

I do not like the way the software companies try to sign you up as if you are in a religion and a traitor if you use another software.  Hence why I would never give all my business to one company. 
   

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  • # 112261

Hi, I only had experience of Sage 50 and Sage Instant accounts until recently when I needed to help a client moving from KashFLow to Xero.  I haven't enjoyed using KashFlow.  I personally find it quite limiting but it depends on what the person using it needs.  I quite like Xero so far.  I have found the cloud software packages quite different from Sage but am pleased to be learning different types of software packages, as I feel it gives me more experience and the confidence to use other software packages in the future if needed.

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