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Sage Business Cloud Accounting Review

business.com editorial staff
Updated Jul 25, 2022

Sage Business Cloud Accounting, our recommendation for the best accounting software with customization features, is a cloud-based product that’s intuitive and easy to set up. Most importantly, it has an open application programming interface (API), which allows you to build your own integrations to create a customized solution. At the same time, Sage comes with all of the basic accounting tools needed to keep track of your company’s finances, with strong customer support for any hiccups that arise.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting Review

Sage Business Cloud Accounting

The Verdict

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is cloud-based accounting software that's simple to set up and use and has an open API, which is ideal for customization. We love that business owners can create their own integrations for a customized solution.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting Editor’s Score: 8.95/10

Payments9.0/10
Automatic invoicing8.25/10
Third-party integrations8.5/10
Mobile app9.0/10
24/7 customer support10/10

Why We Chose Sage Business Cloud Accounting as the Best for Customization

While some business owners want simple, plug-and-play accounting software, others require a more customizable product. Not many packages offer the open API needed to create these tailored solutions and integrate with other business software, but Sage Business Cloud Accounting, formerly Sage One, does just that. 

Sage contains many basic accounting, bookkeeping and invoicing features for an affordable price. But in our opinion, the most exciting part of the platform is that you can support complex business processes through the software’s open API. Thanks to an active developer and user forums, software developers and business owners have many resources for getting the most out of Sage’s integration capabilities. These features make Sage our pick for the best accounting software for customization. 

FYIFYI: The accounting API from Sage is a RESTful API, which exposes the data and functionality driving the Sage Business Cloud products.

Sage Business Cloud Refresh summary
Users can hit the “Refresh summary” button to see updated data.

What We Like About Sage Business Cloud Accounting

  • You can create a customized solution through Sage’s open API.
  • It is less expensive than many other accounting software applications we reviewed.
  • Sage maintains an active community forum so you can get help from experts and fellow users. 

What We Don’t Like About Sage Business Cloud Accounting

  • Sage doesn’t have an option to create recurring invoices, which may be inconvenient if you offer any subscription products or services. 
  • You can’t schedule automatic payment reminders.
  • It doesn’t let you track billable hours and add billable expenses.

Ease of Use

During our test run, we found that Sage Business Cloud Accounting was relatively simple to learn. We particularly liked the design of the user interface. Though it’s not as sleek and minimalist as some of the other top accounting software we reviewed, Sage’s dashboard is easy to navigate and displays vital business statistics. Your cash flow position, overdue invoices and top customers are always visible right from the start. Displayed at the top of the screen are drop-down menus for sales, purchases, contacts, products and services, banking, reporting, and more. 

Compared with other accounting software packages, Sage occupies the unique position of being highly customizable while remaining accessible to less-tech-inclined business owners. Innovation-minded users will really appreciate that Sage allows software developers to leverage the open API to create tailored solutions. Although this customizability doesn’t necessarily mean the software is easier to use, it does make Sage incredibly valuable for tech-savvy business owners. 

Features

Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers a wide range of valuable features. In addition to the basic built-in tools, the software includes an open API to create custom solutions. 

Open API

One differentiator we found very appealing is that, unlike other accounting software products, Sage Business Cloud Accounting features an open API, which allows different pieces of software to communicate and integrate with each other. With this feature, software developers can build innovative solutions for business owners with real-time access to their accounts. 

This means Sage’s ability to support complex business processes through integrations is almost unparalleled. Developers can create their own Sage-powered apps at no cost. All users need to do is register on Sage’s developer website. The ability to integrate your accounting software with other essential business tools is a huge advantage.

Invoicing and Reconciliation 

With Sage’s Accounting plan, you can create quotes and estimates and convert them into invoices with a single click. If you want to offer customers the option to pay their invoices online, you can connect a Stripe payment account to the software. [See our review of Stripe for more information.]

You can also connect your bank and credit card accounts to your Sage Business Cloud Accounting software. The system then automatically downloads your transactions, and the smart bank reconciliation tool automatically matches your bank transactions to those you’ve created in the software. If some transactions remain unmatched, you can search a filterable list for possible matches.

Sage Business Cloud app
Sage Business Cloud Accounting makes it fast and easy to create and send invoices from a computer or mobile device.

Custom Invoices

With Sage, you can choose from nine product- and service-based invoice templates. You can also add or customize sections, such as document headings, logos, branding color and themes, terms and conditions, and more. A professional-looking small business invoice is critical to getting paid, so we like that you can easily customize the look of your invoices to match your company’s branding. 

Mobile App

With your account, you receive access to Sage’s mobile app, which lets you create and send invoices, take pictures of receipts, record expenses and view graphs of your financial performance, thus helping you keep tabs on your business and quickly accomplish accounting tasks while on the go.

Sage mobile app
Sage’s mobile app features an attractive user interface.

Inventory

If you sell your own products, Sage Business Cloud Accounting can help you track your inventory. You can set reorder quantities and manually adjust stock quantities as needed. You have the option to enter items into the system manually or import them in bulk with a spreadsheet, which is a time-saver if you carry a lot of items. Sage also lets you set multiple sales prices for each item and add categories and descriptions.

TipTip: If your business has complex inventory needs, check out our recommendations for the best POS systems.

Financial Reporting

You can run more than 20 financial reports to analyze the health of your business. These reports include profit and loss, balance sheet, trial balance, general ledger and accounts receivable aging. From the reporting menu, you click the star icon next to the reports you use most often to quickly find them under the Favorites tab later. Organized financial reports make it easier to assess how much you owe for quarterly self-employment taxes. 

Integrations

We like that the Sage Marketplace offers nearly 40 integrations that allow you to connect to a variety of other business software, such as your point-of-sale and customer relationship management systems. Although some other accounting software we reviewed offered more integrations, Sage has the unique advantage of having an open API that allows developers to integrate nearly any other business program. As such, you can customize the product exactly as you wish.

Pricing

Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s pricing is highly competitive, falling on the lower end of the many products we reviewed. As with other highly rated accounting software, you pay a monthly subscription fee for software as a service. Sage Business Cloud Accounting is available in two service plans:

  • Accounting Start costs $10 per month and supports a single user. It includes a bank feed, invoicing, expense management and reporting. Mobile apps are available for iPhones, iPads and Android phones.
  • Accounting costs $25 per month and supports multiple users and companies. It has all of the features in Accounting Start, plus bill tracking and simple inventory management. It allows you to create quotes and estimates, and you can also use it to forecast cash flow and automatically upload expenses. [Read related article: Everything You Need to Know About Cash Flow Statements]

Tracking expenditures to see where you can save money is vital for freelancers or new business owners, and Sage’s pricing is certainly manageable for those just starting out. Sage also provides generous discounts – sometimes up to 70% off for half a year. Be sure to check Sage’s website or ask a sales representative if there are any introductory offers available. 

Implementation/Onboarding

Sage offers a great 30-day free trial, which is on the longer end for the accounting software we reviewed. We liked that the trial version is full-featured and doesn’t require a credit card for sign-up. You can also speak with a sales representative by phone for a more personal touch as you get used to the product. 

As with rival accounting software we evaluated, you can set up your Sage Business Cloud account online in just a few minutes. When you first log in, you’re greeted with a “Getting Started” checklist on the Summary menu that lists tasks you need to complete. You can customize features to your preferences so they’re compatible with your work style. 

Another cool feature we liked is that Sage provides step-by-step instructions for migrating your existing accounting data to the Sage Business Cloud Accounting system, making for a seamless transition for users who are switching from another accounting platform. 

Customer Support

Whereas many cloud-based software solutions skimp on customer service, we were impressed by Sage’s many customer support resources. We especially liked the online forum called Sage City, a 24/7 interactive community in which you can talk with peers, partners, Sage experts and any other Sage users about issues, tips and ideas. On Sage City, you can share questions and problems and receive responses from Sage’s support team as well as other users. There is also a developer forum specifically for those creating software integrations for Sage. 

All of the vendor’s product reference materials and guides are available on the Sage knowledgebase. Sage University offers training courses to help users who are new to small business or self-employment get the most out of the software. These online classes not only give you a comprehensive understanding of the program but also include general advice for running a business.

If you prefer to speak with an expert directly, Sage allows you to chat with customer support agents Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. You can also schedule a one-on-one session with an expert during that time frame for additional guidance.

Limitations

Although Sage Business Cloud Accounting has many advantages for users who want extensive customization abilities, we found a few drawbacks in the entry-level version of the software. One is that there isn’t an option to create recurring invoices, which may be inconvenient if you offer any subscription products or services. The software also lacks the capability to schedule automatic payment reminders for nonpaying customers, although you can send your client a monthly invoice statement instead.

Another missing feature is the ability to track billable hours and add billable expenses to invoices. This means you’ll have to keep your hours organized through a separate platform. You can manually enter billable time and expenses on invoices, but there isn’t a built-in feature that streamlines these tasks, and you can’t attach receipts to invoices. Also, Sage doesn’t create purchase orders. This may not be a major issue if you’re self-employed, but it would be a useful feature if you sell products.

There are workarounds for many of Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s limitations, and you can learn about other users’ solutions through Sage’s community forum. However, you might not want to take the time to figure out the alternative methods if those missing functions are critical to your operations. If you’re looking for accounting software that excels at invoicing, consider FreshBooks. Read our FreshBooks review to learn more about what that vendor offers. 

TipTip: Tech-savvy business owners should read our review of Zoho Books to learn more about another accounting software product that allows extensive customization for automating processes.

Methodology

To generate our quantitative scores and use cases for the best accounting software, we reviewed software features such as payment and invoicing capabilities, the number of integrations, mobile apps, report generation, supported user count and customer service options. We also assessed pricing and the availability of free trials. 

We examined the companies’ websites and participated in software demos. Additionally, we studied user reviews for independent opinions on each software’s pros and cons.  When evaluating customization specifically, we focused on how easy it was for software developers to innovate and integrate the product with other business software. 

FAQs

Is Sage Business Cloud the same as Sage One?

Yes. Sage One was renamed Sage Business Cloud Accounting in 2018. 

How do I access Sage Business Cloud Accounting?

As a cloud-based program, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is accessed via an internet connection and web browser or mobile app. There is no software to install. 

What is the difference between Sage Business Cloud and QuickBooks?

Both Sage Business Cloud Accounting and QuickBooks contain a robust set of features geared toward small businesses. One difference is that QuickBooks offers more invoicing tools but at a higher price. Check out our detailed QuickBooks Online review to learn more.

Bottom Line

We recommend Sage Business Cloud Accounting for …

  • Innovative, tech-savvy business owners or those who can hire software developers to take advantage of Sage’s open API for creating custom solutions.  
  • Budget-conscious business owners who want a less-expensive accounting and invoicing solution that still includes a decent set of features.

We don’t recommend Sage Business Cloud Accounting for …

  • Business owners who send many recurring invoices. 
  • Companies that need to track billable hours and add billable expenses to invoices.
  • Businesses that sell physical products and need to create purchase orders. 
Sage Business Cloud Accounting Review

Sage Business Cloud Accounting

The Verdict

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is cloud-based accounting software that's simple to set up and use and has an open API, which is ideal for customization. We love that business owners can create their own integrations for a customized solution.

business.com editorial staff
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