Overall Satisfaction with Sage One Accounting
Sage One Accounting is one of a group of products that I've analyzed and implemented for some of my small business clients as appropriate. It is generally used organization wide and is intended to serve as a full functioning accounting system, inclusive of general ledger, A/P, A/R and payroll. It is generally appropriate for clients that meet certain criteria.
- Connections to online financial accounts: Allows for real time updates of account balances.
- Cloud access: Use anytime anywhere without the upkeep necessary when hosting the software on one's own servers.
- Robust reporting: Excellent for viewing a business's metrics and performance in many different dimensions.
- Time tracking: Functionality not present, so this would present a disadvantage in industries where billing requires this (ie. law, accounting firms, etc.)
- Interface could be improved: It doesn't have as user friendly an interface and navigation as competitors in the same category. It is somewhat dated in this regard.
- Inventory functionality could be more robust: Competitors have created stronger features in this area.
- Report customization options: Not as strong as competitors.
- Ability to add-on: Positive ROI can be achieved by building you own customized solution by adding on partner apps. Such apps extend the functionality of the product to accommodate certain business requirements.
- Product is slower than competitors: Negative ROI as product seems to be comparatively slower than competitors when holding other variables constant (ie. browser version, Internet connection speed, etc.) In a busy accounting cycle, this can have a substantial impact. Also, back buttons don't allow for retaining same screen input data.
- Reports functionality strong: Positive ROI due to ability to view data in many dimensions/formats.
- Ability to connect financial accounts: Positive ROI as data from financial accounts automatically brought into the accounts where it can approved for posting, thus eliminating manual entry.
Although I've used a number of other accounting systems, Sage is really comparable to Xero and QuickBooks Online, as it is competing in the same basic accounting software category. Sage One Accounting has been selected in certain client situations where they were already using a product in the Sage family and wanted to continue with the same vendor. In a pure agnostic comparison, however, QuickBooks Online offers much better functionality at a similar price category. Intuit/QuickBooks Online is far more advanced in the cloud computing paradigm by creating and promoting a stronger app ecosystem, so as this app environment becomes stronger, more products will be designed to work with the QuickBooks Online API, thus enabling one to create a much stronger overall accounting solution. However, if one's needs are basic, Sage One is adequate and can do the job in many situations.
Sage One seems to compete at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of the complexity of needs of a particular business that is selecting an accounting system. It would be OK in a scenario where a user has more of an accounting background due to the more dated "accountant like" interface. The product is suited for a good variety of industries in the small business size category. However, some features where the product is weak would not make it appropriate for a specific industry (ie. time tracking as previously noted). The product for some reason has a couple of advanced features that you normally see on a higher end product (ie. multi-currency, for example), so the product could've been improved if some intermediate features had been developed instead.