QuickBooks vs. Sage: Which is Better?

While you work toward building up or growing your business, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed by all of the weeds you have to sort through, especially those relating to your financial-related practices. Luckily, there are different types of financial and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software options out there, such as QuickBooks and Sage, to help streamline your bookkeeping, accounting and overall business management processes. But, which is right for you? Which will help support you in the areas you need?

Although we can’t answer that question for you, we can clear up some of the differences between QuickBooks and Sage, which should be helpful as you research the best option for your company.

What is QuickBooks?

Intuit QuickBooks is a business accounting platform that has ruled the financial management software industry over the 20 years – it’s been a go-to classic for keeping books straight and businesses organized since the turn of the New Millennium.

So… How does QuickBooks work? QuickBooks takes your financial records, reports, business data etc. and organizes them for you so all of this information is easier-to-digest, study and manage. It also allows you to easily keep up with payroll and other financial aspects of your business, like sales, expenses and purchases. This software is an ideal solution for people who need a management tool to help them run their small to mid-sized businesses more easily and efficiently.

Benefits of QuickBooks

There are numerous advantages to choosing QuickBooks as your go-to accounting software. As you’d guess, the features and benefits you’ll experience vary depending on the edition of QuickBooks you choose to work in. However, no matter the version you go with it, you’ll discover it’s easy-to-use and there are a few universal perks, like financial reporting, money management, billing and invoicing capabilities and more.

What is Sage?

Sage is an accounting software that facilitates, organizes and simplifies a variety of accounting tasks. Over the last 20+ years, Sage has become the third largest accounting software worldwide for financial management, and boasts over six million users today.

Generally, Sage is a superb tool for creating financial reports, record keeping and overall business management. Sage offers a little something for every company, no matter the size or industry, which are available at a variety of price points. After you move past Sage 50, other products in its extensive catalogue differ greatly in their capabilities since these solutions are more customized.

Benefits of Sage

Sage has a large portfolio of solutions depending on the size and industry of your business. Depending on which version of this software you choose, Sage can be used for virtually anything – from handling easy jobs to managing more complicated financial systems and practices.

QuickBooks and Sage Similarities

Both offer entry level solutions for small businesses that are affordable and easy-to-use.

The most comparable solution to QuickBooks in Sage’s portfolio is Sage 50cloud, formerly known as Peachtree. Retail pricing for the most affordable option, Sage 50cloud Pro Accounting, currently starts just under $500/year, making it the most similar price point to QuickBooks that Sage offers.

Like most of the QuickBooks editions, the majority of the Sage ERP products are not inherently cloud-based, but can be run from the cloud in a hosted environment through third party hosting.

Both have large ecosystems of third-party integrated solutions such as Expense Management, AP Automation, and Payments, to name just a few.

QuickBooks and Sage Differences

Beyond Sage 50cloud, that’s where many of the similarities stop. That’s where you see the products being a better fit for established, growing organizations. Many of the companies using Sage products 100 and up have a dedicated Controller or CFO (as opposed to a bookkeeper, which is more common for QuickBooks users).

Also, unlike QuickBooks, Sage offers more tailored industry-specific business management options, like Construction and Real Estate, Manufacturing, Wholesale Distribution, etc.

Benefits of Cloud Hosted QuickBooks and Sage

No matter the version of Sage or QuickBooks you choose, cloud hosting is an excellent way to enjoy more perks and features, such as..

  • Decreased IT and Hardware Costs: You’ll be able to significantly reduce IT and hardware costs when you when you host your Sage or QuickBooks software off-premise with a cloud hosting provider. How? They take over the maintenance, updates and upgrades – more than likely, these costs are all bundled into your service – so you don’t have to worry about it.
  • Remote Access: In a traditional setting, QuickBooks Desktop and Sage are typically installed onto a desktop or laptop that stays at the office – this means your ease of remote access is severely limited. When you host your accounting software in the cloud with Summit Hosting, you’ll have 100% secure remote access to Sage or QuickBooks from anywhere using any device, and you will be able to use your software just like you would normally from your computer in the office.
  • Custom-Built Dedicated Servers: At Summit Hosting, we only use dedicated server environments! You’ll never share resources with others in a shared environment here and you’ll be able to customize your server with the resources you need, when you need them.
  • Integrated Hosted Applications: When you choose a cloud hosted environment for your software, depending on the hosting provider, you’ll be able to integrate the 3rd-party applications you need so you can get the most out of your QuickBooks or Sage accounting software.

QuickBooks and Sage Products

QuickBooks Products

Over the years, Intuit has fine-tuned their software and has released multiple versions with more specialized tools and reporting depending on the needs for most growing businesses.

QuickBooks Pro: An affordable software that offers features that assist in managing day-to-day accounting tasks, like payroll, accounts payable, financial reporting.

QuickBooks Premier: One step higher than Pro, QuickBooks Premier provides the basic features you’ll experience in Pro with more robust capabilities.

QuickBooks Enterprise: The most powerful software in the QuickBooks catalogue, Enterprise holds the tools to manage your business from start to finish.

QuickBooks Accountant: Intuit’s software specifically designed for accountants – this version offers the same features / benefits of Premier with an added Accountant’s Toolbox dashboard.

QuickBooks Self-Employed: A tax-focused software with simple accounting benefits, primarily used for freelancers who don’t need high caliber accounting or financial management tools.

QuickBooks Online: Just as it sounds, QuickBooks Online is a browser-based version of QuickBooks Pro Desktop — however, it lacks some of the features and offers a different user experience.

Sage Products

From start-ups to Enterprise-level organizations and everywhere in between, Sage has a solution for you at any stage in your business.

It should be noted that the products listed below with the word “cloud” in them are not cloud-based. Rather they are “hybrid” solutions that can be hosted in the cloud by a third party such as Summit Hosting. The “cloud” in the names references the fact that they are “cloud connected”, meaning that they can be installed locally (or in a hosted environment) but can be connected to other applications that are cloud-based.

Financial Management & ERP software:

Sage 50cloud Pro: Simple accounting solution that covers invoicing, receipts, expenses, and payments.

Sage 50cloud Premium: More advanced than Pro, but still designed for small businesses. Premium also includes job costing, audit trail, advanced budgeting, serialized inventory, and more.

Sage 50 Quantum: A step up from Premium, Quantum has faster processing, more advanced security, and industry specific functionality for construction, manufacturing, and distribution.

Sage 100cloud: More sophisticated than Sage 50cloud, Sage 100cloud is classified by Sage as being design for medium sized businesses. Formerly known as MAS 90/MAS 200, Sage 100cloud includes deeper industry specific functionality for manufacturing, distribution, and service industries.

Sage 300cloud: Formerly known as ACCPAC, Sage 300cloud is also classified by Sage as being for mid-sized businesses, Sage 300cloud includes functionality for multiple languages and currencies. Sage 300cloud is best suited for (but not restricted to) manufacturing, distribution, and retail businesses.

Sage 100 Contractor: Originally known as Master Builder, Sage 100 Contractor is Sage’s construction solution for construction companies who have outgrown Sage 50cloud or QuickBooks, but don’t need an enterprise level construction management solution. Visit this page to see a comparison guide between Sage 100 Contractor and QuickBooks. Visit this page to see a comparison guide between Sage 100 Contractor and QuickBooks.

Sage 300 Construction & Real Estate: Formerly known as Timberline Software, Sage 300 Construction & Real Estate offers more complex accounting, project management, and service management functionality than Sage 100 Contractor. As Sage’s higher end of the two construction solutions, it is a larger investment with a longer implementation, but has very powerful functionality for medium to large construction businesses.

Sage 500: No, we didn’t accidentally leave off the “cloud” on this one. Unlike Sage 100 and Sage 300, Sage has not added the “cloud-connected” designation to Sage 500. Sage 500 was previously known as MAS 500. Sage calls it “large business management software”, but it is not considered to be a flagship product for Sage when it comes to enterprise level businesses.

Sage X3: Also temporarily known as Enterprise Management, X3 is Sage’s offering for enterprise level financial management, supply chain management, and production management. This is a global product designed for a number of industries with complex needs in these areas such as process manufacturing, discrete manufacturing, food & beverage, chemicals, and more.

Sage Intacct: Purchased by Sage in 2017, Sage Intacct is Sage’s only financial / accounting package that is natively cloud-based. It is being offered as a true cloud alternative to Sage’s on-premises products, but it hasn’t yet achieved the depth of industry-specific functionality required by many of these businesses, particularly in manufacturing, distribution, and construction.

Other popular Sage products:

Sage CRM
Sage Fixed Assets

Is Sage or QuickBooks Right For My Business?

Just like each employee has unique skills and interests, each business is equally as different. So, ultimately it’s up to you to browse through each catalogue of products, consider what tools you need to run your business more efficiently and see which options will be the best fit to help you reach your goals.

You can also always reach out to an accounting software expert, like Summit Hosting, with any questions you have about cloud hosted Sage and QuickBooks solutions – contact us here or give a hosting specialist a call today: 888-244-6559.

QuickBooks vs. Sage: Which is Better?