Sage One Overview
Sage has been at the forefront of accounting software development ever since the days when it ran on an Amstrad PCW, and since those early days, the company has expanded to offer accounting solutions for seemingly every possible eventuality.
Sage One is aimed directly at small business owners who just want to get on with running the business instead of worrying over the nuances of audit trails. It is simple online accounting with Payroll functionality at a low cost.
The regular price of Sage One is £10 per month, and if you want to add the payroll feature, then it is another £5 per month for a total of £15 per month to handle all of your accounting needs. The current half price offer means you can get it all for £7.50 per month for a six-month period.
The pricing structure means that this software goes up directly head to head against Kashflow accounting software for the same monthly cost.
However, Kashflow has a big head start in development and is already well on the way to integrating with most of the top eCommerce website builders via its API set.
That's not to dismiss Sage One out of hand though because with the vast resources at its disposal it can grow, mature and integrate very quickly with other third party providers. Sage is used pervasively in all size businesses and so getting the word out for this product will be an easy exercise for the Sage marketing department.
1. Ease Of Use
Sage One is very, very simple to use. Perhaps too simple?
I'd hesitate to level that accusation at any accounting software after years of supporting both Sage and Pegasus accounts in my early IT career, but it does feel slightly lightweight compared to Kashflow.
The navigation is very clear and straightforward. Big buttons abound. The massive “Create Invoice” button means that you are left in no doubt about what the next step is going to be. For those whose accounting experience goes as far as reading a bank statement then this ease of use will be most welcome.
2. It's Cloud Based
Being cloud-based means that the service is available wherever you have an internet connection which these days mean almost everywhere. There is a mobile App for iPhone and Android devices (the accountant edition does not currently support this feature), so you can create and send invoices from your mobile device and record expenses as they are incurred.
3. Dashboard Overview
At all times you can see your overall financial position, but the lack of reports and charts mean that you won't be trying to impress anyone with your figures. It does the job in a very simple way.
There is a 30 day free trial for Sage One, and that will give you plenty of time to see if its simplicity is something that you find to your taste. The starter package is £5 per month which limits you to one operator. Perfect for sole traders and one man bands. However, if you want to produce invoices, then you'll need to upgrade!
The business plan is £10 per month and gives you access to the platform via a mobile device and unlimited users. It seems pretty pointless to me to produce a cloud-based version of your software and then deny people access via a mobile device which is what the starter version does.
In my opinion, Kashflow beats this hands down for depth of product and integration with your other cloud services such as Shopify eCommerce. The lack of charts and customisable reports give you very little insight into your finances with ease of use being its sole redeeming feature.
The "starter" package which does not let you create invoices or access your accounts via mobile is poor value, and I'd give it a wide berth. The Sage One Accounting product is the version everybody needs.
Given Sage's track record for creating excellent software though I wouldn't write them off because this is just the start of the journey and the product will evolve rapidly.