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Which Course re: Sage Instant & Sage 50 Professional

  • 3 posts
  • # 93007

Hi all

I am looking into the courses with various providers to do Levels 1, 2 & 3 to become an associate with a view to starting my own business. Most level 3 computerised courses seem to be based on Sage Instant account for sole traders and small business and I have seen it recommended somewhere that if you are intending on starting a business as a bookkeeper with various clients then Sage 50 professional will make you better equipped. It appears that only Training Link provide this option but they are more expensive than Kaplan & Distance Learning Partnership which i have also been looking into but the latter two only have the Sage Instant Accounts option!

Any advice on this is very much appreciated.

Many thanks!

See moderators comments below re advertising and Student Advice . 

Edited at 23 Aug 2013 10:01 PM GMT by sarah (MODERATOR)

  • 103 posts
  • # 93013

Hi Vicky,

I am training with Ideal Schools and they definitely offer many options for the Sage software. They are a Sage business partner and dealer so can offer discounts on additional licences should you need them. Oh! and the software is not time limited, so is yours to use in your business beyond your studies. This is information available on their website.

I took advantage of the 0% finance offer but preferred to pay 50% up front and increase the monthly payments for the remainder. They were flexible enough to accomodate almost anything I was considering regarding the payments.

I highly recommend Ideal Schools and urge you to check out their website.

Incidentally, I would also recommend you take a look at VT Transaction. It is a fantastic and very affordable piece of software with none of the limitations of some of the more pricey packages. There are threads on these forums that would do a far better job of explaining it than I ever could but suffice to say, it would be a serious bonus to your financial arsenal and one that comes with far fewer headaches.

Good luck. Smile

  • 7 posts
  • # 93031

Hi Martyn

Not quite sure what you are saying Martyn. Firstly it’s a recommendation for Ideal Schools based on the fact they have offers on Sage software and finance leading me to believe it was the fully licenced software deal that made your mind up, yet you close with a recommendation for VT Transactions. Are we to believe you are now regretting purchasing the Sage software as part of the deal?

As an ex employee of Sage I may be able to offer some guidance. Please bear in mind I no longer work for Sage so have no agenda or motive.

Sage Instant Accounts is a very good software package but is limited in its functionality and also limited for use with just one company and one user. It might tick the boxes for passing some exams but is of no use to a Bookkeeper or Accountant, or even a company requiring more than one user or member of staff. A course covering Sage Instant Accounts will not be sufficient if intending to seek employment or take on work from companies using Sage 50 or Sage 50 Professional. This I can quote from experience as I got my Sage Instant Accounts certification and I cant even get an interview. The job sites are all asking for Sage 50 Professional experience or certification as it is still the industry standard. I think its refered to as Occupational Standards these days.

I have worked in a few accounts departments over the years but alas have no qualifications, so I too am looking into taking the ICB exams up to Level 2 initially and one thing for sure in my mind is that unless I also gain certification in Sage 50 Professional I will be limiting my skills and opportunities whether it be in employment or setting up on my own. Now this is a dilemaUndecided

Do I choose to go it alone without a training company for the ICB exams and purchase the Sage 50 training seperately? Do I go with a low cost training company or one offering all sorts of deals like mouse mats and free courses and software that are of no real use? or go with a company offering the Sage 50 Professional training as part of the package? What is of more value. Knowledge skills and certification or software?

Sage instant Accounts Software only costs around £120 but it would be £120 down the drain if I only use it to take the ICB courses and exam and have no further use for it afterwards.Frown

Sage 50 Professional costs over £1100 even at a discounted rate so you can see the difference and also why the software is time limited to the duration of study.

I doubt I will use Sage if I set up on my own as it is expensive, and yes VT looks pretty good along with a few others but I believe Sage 50 Professional in terms of certification will open a lot more doors for me than Instant Accounts or any of the others.   


  • 103 posts
  • # 93038

I do not regret purchasing anything for not least of reasons I did a lot of research before deciding where to spend my budget. I could have bought the courses outright but with 0% finance the cash is better in my bank.

If you search these forums you will find posts from people who bought the books and trained alone while using alternatives to Sage.
Sage Instant is provided as a base package to get you through the courses and to qualify (if indeed that is what you are intending). However and not solely restricted to Ideal Schools, you have the option to upgrade and add licences to the software should you have the need or notion to do so. But, when I mentioned VT Transaction I was perhaps not clear in my intentions, I merely wanted to show that if venturing out on your own you are not necessarily tied to Sage software and that there are other parhaps more affordable options. The caveat being that you may well find that you do indeed need to purchase Sage software later down the road should your clients be unwilling to use whatever else you are recommending.

  • 3 posts
  • # 93041

Thanks both for your comments. I am still undecided but I am more informed now so much appreciated.

Many thanks 

  • 7 posts
  • # 93044

Hi VickyT. I hope it helps as this is a big decision and you want to get it right.

I have spoken to an Accredited Sage Busines Partner this morning and they have confirmed that Sage Instant Accounts is still the same as it has always been therfore I was correct when saying that this package can not be upgraded or have extra licences added. So unless you intend to just have one client or maybe do the bookkeeping for a friend or member of the family it will be of no value once your studies are complete.


I am a little surprised that Martyn has seemingly been told something different by a Sage Reseller.


Good luck with everything


  • 103 posts
  • # 93046

Perhaps my choice of words was misleading when I said upgrade, please accept my apologies and allow me to correct myself. What I meant was that up until I take the computerised part of the course I can replace the Sage Instant for the multi client version for a small charge. This again will be the full non-time limited version whereas some training providers are supplying the 180 day limited version.

  • 7 posts
  • # 93048


I still say three levels of Sage 50 Professional training is worth more than Sage software that even you have stated you might not use as there are cheaper options available. I work it out to be an extra £250 or so if you upgrade, against £245 worth of valuable training that costs nothing more because its included in the original price. Sorry but I think you being taken advantage of as at your stage of development you need skills and good quality training, not software.


  • Practice Licence
  • 1117 posts
  • # 93062

As a moderator like with the other post I will be hightlighting this thread to the ICB headquarters readvertising and indirectly involving training providers once again. 

I would like to mention to any students who are trying to do research that if you want to run a practice in the future, and you would like to use Sage.  It would be Sage  client manager for practices which is the full sage which is priced at £595 for multi client use. For more information please contact Sage in Manchester.

Please when completing your research please contact all software companies and make sure they know you are a practice and not an individual company and the pricing is different for many.

Edited at 23 Aug 2013 10:12 PM GMT

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