Quickbooks vs Sage

MegL Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
I would be interested to hear from people who have used both Quickbooks and Sage. I have used Quickbooks for 12 years and am very comfortable with it but have just started a job using Sage, which I am less familiar with. I am amazed at the extra levels of complication involved with Sage which seems to have resulted in everything being entered twice, once on an Excel spreadsheet and then into Sage.

Sage seems to involve a completely different mindset and I am just wondering whether this is due to the software or the way the system that I am taking over is set up. Also, can anyone recommend the best and quickest way to get to grips with the intricacies of Sage - are the (very expensive) workbooks you can buy any good or are there any particularly good distance learning courses?

Thanks for any advice!


  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654

    I've used both. I started with Quicken which I thought was the bees knees, then to Sage and used both Sage & QB when I was doing bookkkeeping for a local practice. Once I had got used to Sage I found QB difficult to change back to.

    I can't understand why you are having to do everything on an excel sheet, before you enter into Sage. What are you entering exactly? I can export directly from Sage into Excel if I want to, it is possible the other way but I've not needed to do it.

    I taught myself how to use Sage from the work books - they are available in stages. Didn't think they were that expensive at the time. I found them very good, although I had been using a very complicated sytem so anything was going to be better!
  • MegL
    MegL Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
    Thanks for your reply Jan,

    I am taking over a system implemented by someone else and trying to get clear in my mind whether the problem is Sage or the system but I am finding the procedures very odd. All invoices are paid as soon as they come in, before entering them into Sage. The invoices are then entered on the system. At the end of the month all the transactions from the bank statement/cheque book/paying in book are entered into an Excel spreadsheet (and there are a lot of entries) and reconciled with the bank statement before the invoices in Sage are shown as paid and tallied off against the Excel spreadsheet.

    I think you have answered my question in that, not being that familar with Sage, I was trying to establish whether this is simply how Sage works or whether this is an inefficient system.

    Thanks for your comments about the workbooks - I am quite self-disciplined so, now that I know they are good, that might be the best way to get myself up to speed with Sage.

    Thanks again
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654
    I know its a bit sad to be on here on Saturday morning, but I thought I'd just have a quick peak before I got on with some proper work :lol:

    Meg, it is definitely an inefficient system! It looks as if whoever set it up had no idea how to use Sage. I'm not even sure why they were using it if everything is done on Excel first. Or is it so a non-user can see what transactions are being made? :confused1: How do they do Sales Invoices - in word and then Sage !! If you have 12 years experience I'm sure you will quickly find a better way of organising it.

    I have heard of people exporting the bank transactions from Sage into Excel to reconcile with the bank statement, mainly because the bank rec on Sage used to be a bit of a pain. Newer versions are much better, in that you can save a bank rec before you have finished and go back in again later.

    Going back to the workbooks - they come with a disc, load this on to another computer if you can, so you can "play around" with it before you start using live data. Mind you if you are doing everything twice you might not have time! I also bought a book which you might find worthwhile having a look at. It's publised by Teach Yourself, by Mac Bride, with lots of screen prints, mine does up to v12, but there is bound to be a newer version out. Only costs a tenner.

    Wouldn't this make an ideal topic for the project?!
  • MegL
    MegL Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
    Thanks again for your reply Jan, it is a relief to know that the reason I am having trouble getting my head around this system is because of the way Sage is being used. I was beginning to feel quite undermined because the person teaching me the job so that I can take over from her keeps telling me that it is a standard system used in any business implying that it should all be obvious to me whereas I have found myself totally disorientated by the odd way of doing things! So thank you for helping to boost my confidence. The business is a charity so they don't actually issue invoices as most of the money comes from grants and subscriptions - no doubt if they did it would involve Excel first!

    Thanks also for the info about the workbooks and the other book - I have seen the Teach yourself book on Amazon and wondered if it would be any good so shall definitely get it now.

    Yes, I think this Quickbooks vs Sage debate is an interesting topic - I might be in a better position to judge which one is best in a few months time but right now Quickbooks wins hands down for me!

    Thanks again for your help.
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654
    I was beginning to feel quite undermined because the person teaching me the job so that I can take over from her keeps telling me that it is a standard system used in any business implying that it should all be obvious to me whereas I have found myself totally disorientated by the odd way of doing things! So thank you for helping to boost my confidence.

    You're welcome, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt!

    Isn't it strange how even with experience our confidence can so easily undermined? I thought it was just me! Anyway, charities are a completely different ballgame, so its bound to feel a bit strange.

    I might even have preferred QB's myself if (in my case) it hadn't been used for a completely different type of business than I was used to :lol:

    PS This isn't getting my work done, so I'd better get on with it!!!
  • Londina
    Londina MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 814
    My opinion

    I'm working in a tax-legal-accounting firm and I use both Sage (line 50 2008) and Quickbooks (pro 2006).

    The good points of Quickbooks is the clean layout and the easily customisable reports, that's it, for the rest I found really annoying the fact that cannot calculate properly the VAT returns, doesnt give you a sales/purchase ledger daybook, calls in the bank reports the payment made "cheque" and the money received from clients "payment" (very confusing!!) and worst of it, list the part paid invoices as unpaid, making really difficult to work out which one is outstanding or not.

    SAGE layout is more diffult at first, but then once you get used to it, is very handy. Always shows debit and credit columns and mark with a * all the outstanding/part paid invoices. The VAT Return is easily done and the bank reconciliation is fast.
    Overhaull I found SAGE more accurate, starting from the Charts of Accounts which is fully complete with accounts of the P&L and B&S, whilst Quickbook is more concentrate on the P&L side and have only 4 accounts for the BS (QB probably never heard of Prepayments, Accruals, Loans, PAYE, Net wages, etc :confused1:)
  • Londina
    Londina MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 814

    SAGE customers support is EXCELLENT and you can get lots of PDF guides from the software, dont need to buy books!

    Quickbooks customers support instead...no comment!!! I spent hours on the phone with someone from India that could not understand anything!!
  • Siany
    Siany Registered Posts: 6 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    Sage v Quickbooks

    I am totally in favour of sage. I find quickbooks allows for a lot of errors to be made by users with no accounts background and knowledge of debits and credits. The Vat module is very inadequate and I find that I have to reprint the previous vat return and identify differences, (where quickbooks has not flagged the vat and further transactions have been recorded) in the event of a vat enquiry.

    In short, I do not trust quickbooks at all.

    No, I am not a sage representative!:001_smile:
  • peugeot
    peugeot Registered Posts: 624
    I have to agree with Londina about the customer support re Quickbooks. I have a client who (thankfully) has moved to Sage from Quickbooks. I too had to contact their customer support and it was like trying to push water up a mountain - it was very hard work trying to make them understand.

    I find Sage a lot more user friendly, their customer support is very good and the reports are easier on the eye.

    Kind regards
  • cherub76
    cherub76 Registered Posts: 22 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐡 🌟
    I have worked with sage now for several years, and have had no real problems, the support is excellent (although quite expensive) and even during PYE problems were dealt with quickly and efficiently.
  • Elenasmi
    Elenasmi Registered Posts: 6
    I've used both software, both software are good and if they are hosted on the cloud then I think there is nothing better than this software, but every software has their own pros and cons but in my opinion, QuickBooks is better. I am discussing below both software, I think it will help you.


    It is one of the leading accounting software running for almost 20 decades which makes it the users foremost choice. Mostly small and medium-sized businesses pick QuickBooks for maintaining their financial reports and transactions. Different versions of QuickBooks are prepared with additional features. Following are the versions:

    QuickBooks Pro
    QB POS


    It is prime accounting software for the cloud, enriched in project management services. For now, it has managed to gain almost 6 million users all around the globe. There are different products of Sage available that can be chosen according to the size and requirement of the business. Some of them are:

    Sage 50
    Sage 100 ERP
    Sage 300ERP
    Sage 500 ERP

    Variations between Sage and QuickBooks
    Foremost variation is that QuickBooks specifies in bookkeeping services whereas Sage specializes in project management. An only annual subscription is available in Sage whereas monthly, one-time, and annual subscription can be made in QuickBooks. Even the price of QuickBooks is relatively cheaper as compared to Sage. When the bank account is added to QuickBooks, business information will automatically syn but in Sage, it does not sync automatically.
    From the above information, it is easy for the individual to make the right decision on which one to opt for. Even though both the software have similarities in some cases but they differ in many too. It is not mandatory that the only one should be chosen among them but they can be used together for different purposes.
    Read this blog, it will help you to choose between both software Quickbooks Vs Sage
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