Sage 50 Accounts 2013 review

Billed as the UK’s market-leading accounts software, Sage has recently been updated with new versions. Designed for small- to medium-sized businesses, the software integrates with Microsoft Office, internet banking and Sage’s payroll software.

See: more finance software.

The 2013 versions of the Sage 50 Accounts range have been developed from customer feedback and extensive user group consultations, we’re told, and now see the Sage 50 Mobile app available on Android devices for the first time (the app is also available on BlackBerry and iPhone).

Other improvements include improved VAT, month-end and year-end processing; easier selection, exporting and filtering of reports; a new Report Designer providing a simple way to create bespoke reports and invoices; and an enhanced e-invoicing function which makes it easier for businesses to send invoices via email.

The Sage 50 Accounts range is comprehensive, and includes the following products: Sage 50 Accounts, Sage 50 Accounts Plus, and Sage 50 Accounts Professional.

Sage 50 Accounts allows for a maximum of two users and allows them to manage a business’ cash flow, calculate VAT, manage products and sales, record customer and supplier details. It also allows you to work on the go with the Sage 50 Mobile app.

Sage 50 Accounts Plus includes these as well as the ability to record bills of materials for products, create custom pricing for different customers, and manage individual products and costs.

Sage 50 Accounts Professional includes all the features of Accounts Plus, can be used by up to 10 people, and allows users to manage foreign currencies and create and process sales and purchase orders.

Upon opening the trial (‘TestDrive’) version of Accounts Professional, the user is greeted with a Welcome page giving the options of getting started, finding out what’s new in this version of the software, and ‘just practising’ for users who want to try out something they are unsure about on a practice company first. That’s a good idea for those who are concerned about making mistakes in their company data.

The sidebar with its list of tasks for each business area makes it straightforward to simply dive in to work. Setting up new customers is easy and comprehensive, as is viewing their detailed records. Analyses of projects, stock/products, aged creditor and debtor reports, payment management records, and invoicing and purchase order processes can all be easily performed and viewed.

Much of the detail would also come in useful for a company’s accountants or auditors, and should also make the preparation of tax returns easier as a result.

The experienced SME owner or accounts department should find most of their needs fulfilled by this software, even as their businesses grow; although brand-new business owners, freelancers and micro-businesses may find some of the detail and features a little less suited to their needs.

Sage 50 Accounts 2013 review: Specs

  • Windows XP or higher
  • 1GB memory
  • at least 2GHz processing speed
  • at least 100Mbps minimum network speed (if running on a network)
  • and at least 10GB of free drive space
  • Windows XP or higher
  • 1GB memory
  • at least 2GHz processing speed
  • at least 100Mbps minimum network speed (if running on a network)
  • and at least 10GB of free drive space

OUR VERDICT

While it was difficult to run a thorough test of all the software’s functionalities from the trial version only, the Sage 50 Accounts 2013 package does indeed seem to offer many solid features for small to medium-sized companies. Packed with functions recording every detail of a user’s business and business processes, the software should be particularly helpful to businesses trading in physical products, although service businesses will find some of the offered features useful as well.

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