Who is Sage 50cloud Accounting for?
Sage 50cloud Accounting can be a great choice for both small and growing businesses. Though not really suited for very small businesses or sole proprietors, Sage 50cloud Accounting offers three plans:
- Pro, which is a single-user system with limited features
- Premium, which supports up to five users
- Quantum, which supports up to 40 users and, with its long list of features, is the best option for established businesses.
Another feature you'll appreciate is the hybrid structure, which gives you the stability of an on-premise application along with the flexibility of anytime access to key functions such as customer details, order history, and business metrics. You can also upload receipts and other images directly to Sage 50cloud Accounting. A solid inventory module makes Sage 50cloud Accounting a natural fit for anyone selling products as it integrates with point-of-sale applications such as AccuPOS and Avalara's AvaTax to ensure accurate sales tax rates are applied to every sale.
Sage 50cloud Accounting's features
Sage 50cloud Accounting has a long list of features, evidenced by the packed user interface screen, which may feel somewhat overwhelming upon initial login. Take a deep breath and jump right in. You'll be able to access the accounting software's features using the drop-down menu at the top of the screen or the vertical navigation bar on the left side of the screen.
Sage 50cloud Accounting Pro offers the following features:
- Customer management
- Sales tracking
- Invoicing and payment acceptance
- Integration with Microsoft Office 365
- Solid reporting
- Automated bank feeds and bank reconciliation
- Purchase orders
- Phone support
If you need an application that supports more than one user, Sage 50cloud Accounting Premium is your best bet as it supports up to five users and includes budgeting and inventory management features. If you’re looking for advanced features and functions, Sage 50cloud Accounting Quantum supports up to 40 system users and includes business insight dashboards, role-based security, project management capabilities, and industry-specific functionality.
Like QuickBooks Desktop applications, Sage 50cloud Accounting uses navigation centers to help you get around the system, and they include the following:
- Customers and sales
- Vendors and purchases
- Inventory services
- Employees and payroll
If you find yourself using the same features repeatedly, you can create a shortcut to that feature for quicker access; those display in the Shortcuts option on the menu bar.
Not every small business owner is comfortable linking their accounting software to an automated bank feed. Sage 50cloud Accounting gives you a choice in the matter, and whether you choose to link your accounts or not, you can still upload a bank statement manually to speed up the reconciliation process while handling your cash management in a more traditional manner.
Customers and sales
The Customer and Sales navigation center provides access to all customer and sales tasks, quotes and proposals, sales orders, and sales invoices, along with a “receive money” option.
Customer management capabilities in Sage 50cloud Accounting are excellent, with each customer assigned terms and credit limits as well as discount levels. You can use the five user-defined fields to track additional details about your customers and add up to 10 payment methods to their accounts.
You can create sales orders for a customer, or you can choose to invoice customers directly, adding an online payment option such as Stripe or PayPal, or by using Paya, which offers an online payment platform to help you get paid faster.
You can return to the Customers & Sales screen to enter customer payments, process a return, or create a credit on a customer account. For quick reference, the screen also displays a customer list and a chart showing aged receivables. If you need to invoice a customer remotely, the mobile invoicing option is available in Sage 50cloud Accounting through Sage Business Cloud Accounting, which will let you create an invoice from anywhere on your mobile device and later sync the details back to Sage 50.
Vendors and purchases
The Vendors & Purchases navigation center (above) allows you to manage your vendor information as completely as you can manage your customers. You can choose from up to 10 payment methods to pay your vendors including convenient options such as payment through PayPal, electronic payments, and credit cards, as well as standard payment options such as cash and checks.
You can also manage 1099 settings in the Vendors & Purchases view, so you won't have to scramble around at the end of the year to obtain Social Security numbers from your contractors.
Create a purchase order, enter and pay bills, process vendor credits, and process checks from this screen. For quick reference, the navigation area also provides you with a nice look at aged payables as well as a vendor list.
Inventory and services
If you sell products, you will appreciate the inventory features offered in Sage 50cloud Accounting, which will track not only product levels on hand, but levels already committed to proposals and purchase orders, though you'll have to purchase the Premium plan in order to access those features.
You can enter up to 10 different pricing levels for each inventory item, and the application also includes five user-defined fields to track additional details about each inventory item. The Item History gives you a complete history of sales and purchases to the inventoried item, and the Company Services option is great for those selling services, allowing you to create a list of those services.
Assemblies are supported in Sage 50cloud Accounting's Premium and Quantum plans, and you can receive inventory, do a complete count of products on hand, and make inventory adjustments if needed.
Employees and payroll
Sage 50 offers two payroll options; Essentials Payroll, which is designed for businesses with fewer than 15 employees, and Full-Service Payroll for larger businesses. Both plans offer direct deposit and easy online access to all payroll related information, and a payroll wizard is available to walk you through the process of setting up your business.
Sage 50cloud Accounting offers an outstanding selection of financial and management reports.
You can access reports directly from the Reports screen, and there are numerous reports available in a variety of categories, including:
- Accounts Receivable
- Accounts Payable
- General Ledger
- Financial Statements
- Inventory (Premium & Quantum only)
- Job Reports (Premium & Quantum only)
- Account Reconciliation
- Time/Expense Reports
- Company Reports
- Intelligence Reports (optional service)
- Report Groups
All reports are fully customizable, and the time-saving menu bar at the top lets you complete a variety of tasks from within the print screen, including emailing a report, saving the report as a PDF, or exporting the report to Microsoft Excel for further customization.
Sage 50cloud Accounting offers healthy product help and support options. You can access help functionality from any screen in the application, and when that's not enough, telephone, email, and chat support are available as well. The 24/7 Sage Knowledgebase provides access to support articles and product documentation, and Sage University hosts a series of on-demand webinars as well as instructor-led classes.
As long as your subscription to Sage 50cloud Accounting is current, you'll also have access to all product updates and enhancements.
Benefits of using Sage 50cloud Accounting
Scalability is important for growing businesses. You don't want to invest your time and money into setting up an application only to find yourself outgrowing it in six months. Luckily, that won't happen with Sage 50cloud Accounting. With three plans available, you can start small and jump to the next plan if you find you need more features.
One of the other benefits is the variety of product features that are available, including integration with Microsoft Office 365. The top two plans include complete inventory management, advanced budgeting, job costing capability, and good integration with third-party applications. The product also integrates with dozens of third-party applications including Paya for easy online payment acceptance, AccuPOS for easy sales processing, and Timewatch, which provides easy timesheet entry and billing capabilities.
Sage 50cloud Accounting pricing
Sage 50cloud Accounting is scalable, with three plans available.
Sage 50cloud Pro Accounting is a single-user system that lets you manage one business, while Sale 50cloud Premium Accounting supports up to five users and up to 10 companies. Finally, Sage 50cloud Quantum Accounting works with up to 40 system users and an unlimited number of companies.
However, note that pricing is per user, so while Sage 50cloud Premium supports up to five users, you will have to pay for each of those users, making the final total $1,706.95 less 40% off for a total of $1,023.95 for the application, which still comes in at about $85.00 per month.
Ease of use
Sage 50cloud Accounting uses navigation centers similar to QuickBooks Desktop applications to make system navigation more intuitive. The navigation centers can be particularly useful when you're still learning your way around the application and want to see all of the related features available in each particular center. More experienced users can bypass the navigation centers and access system features from the menu bar at the top of the screen. If you get stuck, just click the Help option at the top of any page for help specific to that page.
Sage 50cloud Accounting's default home page is the Business Status dashboard, where you can view key business details such as revenue, vendors that need to be paid, customers who currently own money, and current account balances. The screen is a bit crowded, but you can easily customize it to display fewer details, or even hide the business status completely if you prefer a more open navigation area.
Sage 50cloud Accounting is considered a hybrid product as it's designed to be installed on your desktop, but you still can access certain features such as contacts, dashboards, and reports using Microsoft Office 365.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sage 50cloud Accounting is a hybrid. What does that mean?
Sage 50cloud Accounting is designed to be installed on desktop computers, but through integration with Microsoft Office 365, it also offers remote access to key product features.
Is payroll available in Sage 50cloud Accounting?
Sage 50cloud Accounting offers Essentials Payroll and Full-Service Payroll. Essentials Payroll is for small businesses with 15 employees or fewer, while the full-service option is available for larger businesses.
I sell a lot of products. Is Sage 50cloud Accounting a good application for my business?
Sage 50cloud Accounting offers excellent inventory management capability, including up to 10 different pricing levels for each inventory item.
How Sage 50cloud Compares
|Invoicing & Payments||Budgeting Capability||Customer & Vendor Management||Good Reporting Options|
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A good fit for small and growing businesses, Sage 50cloud Accounting offers the flexibility of cloud accessibility along with a robust selection of features you won't grow out of.
Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Microsoft and PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.