The best Sage 50 alternatives include Zoho Books, QuickBooks Online, and Xero. But which works best for your business? Perhaps you need to transition to an ERP system rather than find another accounting software.

Why You Should Switch from Sage 50

While Sage 50 has been a reliable accounting solution for many small to medium-sized businesses, they often push the boundaries of what Sage 50 can offer as they evolve and grow. Here are some reasons why a switch might be beneficial:

  • Scalability Concerns: Sage 50 is primarily designed for small to medium-sized businesses. As companies expand, their accounting and operational needs become more intricate. Sage 50 might not be able to keep pace with these growing demands, potentially hindering business growth.
  • Limited Integrated Features: Unlike some other platforms, Sage 50 lacks native features such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and eCommerce support. It is not considered an enterprise resource planning system (ERP). This means businesses might need to invest in additional software solutions, leading to increased costs and complexity.
  • Deferred Revenue Management: Sage 50 does not natively support deferred revenue management, which can be crucial for businesses with subscription models or those that recognize revenue over time.
  • Cloud Limitations: While Sage 50cloud might sound like a cloud solution, it’s primarily an on-premises software with some cloud functionalities. True cloud solutions offer more flexibility, allowing businesses to access their data from anywhere and at any time.
  • Complex Modifications: Making even minor changes to Sage 50 can be cumbersome and might require technical expertise. This can slow down businesses that need to adapt quickly to changing conditions.
  • Update Issues: There have been instances where Sage 50 updates did not meet expectations in terms of stability and performance. This can disrupt business operations and lead to inefficiencies.
  • Installation and Upgrade Delays: Introducing new components has made the upgrade process for Sage 50 more time-consuming, potentially causing disruptions.
  • Database Transitioning: As businesses grow, they might need to transition between different databases when using Sage 50. This can be a risky and error-prone procedure, potentially leading to data loss or inconsistencies.
  • Remote Access Costs: Sage 50 relies on Citrix for online support, which requires additional infrastructure and can add to the overall costs.
  • File-locking Issues: Persistent file-locking problems in Sage 50 can disrupt operations, especially for businesses that require simultaneous access by multiple users.
  • Reporting Limitations: Many businesses find that Sage 50’s reporting capabilities are insufficient as they grow, leading them to rely heavily on external tools like Excel.
  • Integration Challenges: As businesses adopt various tools and platforms, integration becomes crucial. Sage 50 might require manual workarounds to ensure seamless integration with other business-critical solutions.
  • Transactional Limitations: With an increase in transactions, Sage 50’s performance might decline, slowing down operations and affecting efficiency.

While Sage 50 has served many businesses effectively, there comes a point in a company’s growth trajectory where its limitations become more apparent. Switching to a more robust and scalable solution can save businesses time, money, and potential operational headaches in the long run.

Sage 50 Alternatives

The top 10 Sage 50 alternatives are:

  1. Zoho Books
  2. QuickBooks Online
  3. Xero
  4. FreshBooks
  5. Wave
  6. MYOB Essentials
  7. Paychex
  8. FreeAgent
  9. Gusto
  10. ZipBooks

Sage 50cloud has carved a niche for itself in the realm of online accounting software tailored for small businesses. While it offers many features, flexible pricing, and a user-friendly interface, several other alternatives might be better for certain businesses. Here’s a rundown of the top 10 alternatives to Sage 50cloud:

1 Zoho Books

  • Key Features: Affordable, integration with third-party systems, comprehensive accounting features.
  • Best For: Small businesses and startups on a budget.
  • Highlights: Seamless integration with other Zoho applications, real-time synchronization, professional invoicing, and customizable reports.

Zoho Books: Invoicing
Zoho Books: Recurring Bills
Zoho Books: Inventory
Zoho Books: Bank Reconciliation
Zoho Books: Time Tracking
Zoho Books: Contacts
Zoho Books: Dashboards
What We Like
Client portal with sales and purchase approvals
Easily integrate with dozens of Zoho products
Time-tracking
What We Don’t Like
Difficult to modify invoices
Time tracking must be tied to projects
Maximum of 10 users
Overview
Price Range: $
Starting Price: $15/month
Client OS: Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

2 QuickBooks Online

  • Key Features: Robust accounting features, third-party integrations.
  • Best For: Businesses of all sizes.
  • Highlights: Comprehensive financial management tools, user-friendly interface, and extensive integrations.

QuickBooks Online: Sales Dashboard
QuickBooks Online: Find an Accountant
QuickBooks Online: Track Mileleage
QuickBooks Online: Mobile Cash Flow
QuickBooks Online: Bank Reconciliation
QuickBooks Online: Dashboard
QuickBooks Online: Mobile Dashboard
QuickBooks Online: Customers
QuickBooks Online: Mobile Shortcuts
QuickBooks Online: Create Invoice
QuickBooks Online: Sales Vendors
QuickBooks Online: Bill Pay
QuickBooks Online: Banking
QuickBooks Online: Expense Dashboard
QuickBooks Online: Payroll Dashboard
What We Like
Widely used by most accountants
Tons of integrations available
Customizable invoicing
What We Don’t Like
Comparatively expensive
Few industry-specific features
Limited users per plan
Overview
Price Range: $
Starting Price: $30/month
Client OS: Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

3 Xero

  • Key Features: Advanced reporting, customizable invoicing.
  • Best For: Businesses needing detailed financial insights.
  • Highlights: Customizable reports, online payment integrations, and bank reconciliation.

Xero: Dashboard
Xero: Expenses
What We Like
Basic inventory management capabilities
Free trial available and no setup fees
Large number of add ons and integrations
What We Don’t Like
Big learning curve
Hard to get phone support (email is more frequent)
Limited to 2,000 transactions per month
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $15/month
Client OS: Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

4 FreshBooks

  • Key Features: User-friendly interface, time tracking.
  • Best For: Businesses valuing simplicity and efficiency.
  • Highlights: Intuitive design, billable hours tracking, and essential accounting features.

FreshBooks: Dashboard
FreshBooks: Add Ons
FreshBooks: Mobile Dashboard
FreshBooks: Accounting Settings and Reports
FreshBooks: Advanced Accounting
FreshBooks: Bank Connections
FreshBooks: Mileage Tracking on Mobile
FreshBooks: Email Templates
FreshBooks: Expense Report
FreshBooks: Invoice From Unbilled Hours
FreshBooks: Mobile Trip Tracking
FreshBooks: Mobile Dashboard
FreshBooks: Mobile New Invoice
FreshBooks: Available Integrations
FreshBooks: Mobile New Invoice
FreshBooks: Add New Client
FreshBooks: Add New Expense
FreshBooks: Payroll Settings
FreshBooks: Create New Invoice
FreshBooks: Time Tracking
FreshBooks: New Project
FreshBooks: View Invoice
FreshBooks: FreshBooks Reports
What We Like
Customizable payment terms
Discounted intro pricing
No setup costs
What We Don’t Like
Client-based pricing
No bulk invoice creation
Limited report customization
Overview
Price Range: $
Starting Price: $19/month
Client OS: iOS, Android, Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

5 Wave

  • Key Features: Free invoicing and payments.
  • Best For: Small businesses, startups, and freelancers on a tight budget.
  • Highlights: Completely free, online payment integrations, and basic financial tracking.

Wave: Dashboard
Wave: New Invoice
Wave: Products and Services
Wave: Receipts
Wave: New Estimate
Wave: Available Reports
What We Like
Accounting features are free
Mobile app
Multi-currency invoicing
What We Don’t Like
Collecting online payments is “pay-per-use”
Payroll costs extra
Payroll is a monthly add-on
Overview
Price Range: $
Client OS: iOS, Android, Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

6 MYOB Essentials

  • Key Features: Comprehensive accounting tools, automation features.
  • Best For: Small businesses needing extensive accounting tools.
  • Highlights: Time-saving automation, robust reporting tools, and comprehensive accounting capabilities.

MYOB Business: Dashboard
MYOB Business: Manage Accounts
MYOB Business: Bank Transactions
MYOB Business: Accounts List
What We Like
Connects to finternational banks with 150+ multi-currency support
A free 30-day trial is available
Integrates with 350+ third-party apps
What We Don’t Like
Payroll is a standalone module
Primarily serves companies in Australia and New Zealand
Overview
Price Range: $
Starting Price: $15/month
Client OS: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

7 Paychex

  • Key Features: Payroll processing, tax administration.
  • Best For: Businesses prioritizing payroll and tax management.
  • Highlights: Expertise in payroll services, tax reporting, and compliance assistance.

Paychex Flex: Dashboard
Paychex Flex: Check Details
Paychex Flex: Hiring
Paychex Flex: Performance Reviews
What We Like
Scalable pricing plans fit any business size
Offers comprehensive payroll features
What We Don’t Like
Must request a developer quote to get pricing details
Time-consuming setup process
Overview
Client OS: iOS, Android, Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

8 FreeAgent

  • Key Features: Expense management, time tracking.
  • Best For: Service-based or consulting companies.
  • Highlights: Efficient expense logging, detailed time allocation insights.

FreeAgent: Overview
FreeAgent: Settings
FreeAgent: Contacts
What We Like
Free for NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Ulster Bank business customers
Unlimited users, clients, and projects
Allows direct HMRC submissions
What We Don’t Like
Limited customer support hours for businesses outside the UK
Some features are UK-specific
No integrations with outside tools
Overview
Price Range: $
Starting Price: $37/month
Client OS: Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

9 Gusto

  • Key Features: Payroll, benefits, and HR management.
  • Best For: Businesses needing comprehensive HR solutions.
  • Highlights: Streamlined HR processes, benefits administration, and compliance assistance.

Gusto: Gusto Track Vacation and Sick Time
Gusto: Gusto Adding New Employee
Gusto: Gusto Run Payroll
Gusto: Gusto Dashboard
What We Like
Employee self-service
Includes benefits administration
Transparent pricing model
What We Don’t Like
Hard to add sporadic allowances
Limited time-off options
Per-person pricing model can get expensive
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $40/month
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

10 ZipBooks

  • Key Features: Simplicity, basic time tracking.
  • Best For: Businesses seeking a straightforward solution.
  • Highlights: User-friendly design, essential accounting features, and time tracking for billable hours.

ZipBooks: Accounting
ZipBooks: Billing
ZipBooks: Intelligence
ZipBooks: Expenses
What We Like
Credit card and bank integrations
Easy to create reports
Unlimited vendors, customers, and invoices
What We Don’t Like
Moible app was discontinued
Additional features require paid plans
Overview
Price Range: $
Starting Price: $15/month
Client OS: Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

Which Accounting Software Should You Choose?

When selecting an alternative accounting software, it’s crucial to assess the specific needs of your business and the features each software provides. Will a sideways move to another accounting platform be sufficient? Do you need additional capabilities to justify the move to an ERP?

Whether you prioritize affordability, integrations, or specialized functionalities, these alternatives to Sage 50cloud should work great for your business.

Still not sure which option is best? Get free recommendations sent to your inbox!

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Zoho Books Screenshot

Zoho Books

★★★★★
★★★★★
(6)
Zoho Books is a popular alternative to QuickBooks Online. It’s a cloud-based accounting software that offers accounts receivables and payables functionality. It lets you manage your financials and banking, create reports, and automate your sales and purchasing workflows.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$15/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
QuickBooks Online Screenshot

QuickBooks Online

★★★★★
★★★★★
(58)
QuickBooks Online is the most popular financial software on the market. This cloud-based accounting solution enables tracking of sales and expenses, generating estimates, customer management, and seamless collaboration with external accountants.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$30/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Xero Screenshot

Xero

★★★★★
★★★★★
(3)
A contender against QuickBooks Online, Xero is a popular solution for its user-friendly interface, affordability, and unlimited users per subscription. It’s a cloud-based, double-entry accounting software that offers bank reconciliation, financial reporting, and basic invoicing and billing.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$15/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
FreshBooks Screenshot

FreshBooks

★★★★★
★★★★★
(5)
FreshBooks is well-recognized in the accounting world and stands as a competitor to QuickBooks Online. It’s a simple cloud accounting software that allows you to invoice clients, track expenses, and accept payments.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$19/month
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Wave Screenshot

Wave

★★★★★
★★★★★
(5)
The Wave app is a highly popular accounting solution among freelancers and small businesses. It’s a free cloud-hosted software that allows you to track income and expenses, perform bank reconciliation, capture and organize receipts, and create custom invoices.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
MYOB Business Screenshot

MYOB Business

★★★★★
★★★★★
(2)
MYOB Business is an accounting software designed primarily for small to medium-sized businesses. It includes features like payroll management, GST handling, invoice generation, and expense tracking. MYOB Business also facilitates efficient tax and superannuation calculations. MYOB Business has separate plans such as Business Lite and Business Pro to better meet the exact needs of customers. Pricing for Lite starts at $15 per month. A standalone Payroll module is available for $10 per month. MYOB also integrates with various business systems like QuickBooks and Xero.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$15/month
Client OS
Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Paychex Flex Screenshot

Paychex Flex

★★★★★
★★★★★
(3)
Paychex Flex is an online payroll software that provides quick and easy payroll processing. Paychex Flex is a cloud-based platform providing an integrated suite of services that manages payroll, reporting, and employee data. There is time and attendance, payroll, custom reports, and even HR benefits administration. Not only does Paychex Flex meet the needs of employers, but employees can manage 401k, view paystubs, and change details all from the mobile application. The software provides built-in safeguards, payroll tax calculations, a free mobile app, and reporting. The software lets users spend less time on data entry, improve accuracy, drive insights, and see the most important details about your payroll.
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
FreeAgent Screenshot
FreeAgent is a cloud-based accounting software designed primarily for small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. It provides invoicing, expense management, project management, and sales tax management. The software is particularly beneficial for managing taxes, as it supports Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliance and allows for the direct submission of VAT and self-assessment tax returns to HMRC. FreeAgent is free for certain business account holders and a free 30-day trial is available.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$37/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Gusto Screenshot

Gusto

★★★★★
★★★★★
(4)
Gusto is an online payroll and HR administration platform tailored primarily for startups and small businesses. The software simplifies payroll processing, benefits administration, and offers features like charitable giving, financial wellness tools, and a wallet for employee financial management.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$40/month
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
ZipBooks Screenshot

ZipBooks

★★★★★
★★★★★
(1)
ZipBooks is a simple accounting software that offers a completely free-to-use plan along with two paid monthly subscriptions. The solution lets users send professional invoices, accept payment via credit cards or Paypal, and handle automated billing. The paid plans manage bookkeeping with bank reconciliation, create reports, and monitor business performance. Other features include expense management, recurring invoices, project management, and custom report generation.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$15/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted

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