Xero now openly advertises itself as an Online Accounting Software alternative to Sage on its UK website.
Sage is still a major player in the small business accounting software market. However, their initial tardiness in rising to the Cloud challenge no doubt lost them business. Concentrating their efforts in enhancing Sage One has been a key strategic decision and they now appear to have almost caught up with the Xero express train.
Whilst Sage One has been in development, Xero has managed to drip feed new features on a regular basis into their software. However, Xero’s desire to become a leading Cloud Accounting supplier on a worldwide basis means country specific features cannot be delivered as quickly as an organisation specifically focussed on one market. Whilst Sage One still lags a little behind in some areas (such as Bank Feeds) it delivers useful features not yet available in Xero (such Cash flow forecasting).
The Cloud model allows for the rapid development and deployment of features, so we’re in for an interesting period as Sage decides what features they will add to Sage One to become the leading UK supplier of Cloud accounting software to SME’s.
Until that happens, any business not fully utilising the features of Sage 50 could view Xero as a real alternative, especially considering the speed in which Sage data can now be migrated to Xero. However, if you use Stock Control or Multi-currency, then there is no clear upgrade path to Xero at this stage.
When considering your software options, you should take into account the annual cost, any upgrade costs, ease of access and use, credibility of the supplier and other IT associated costs. Cloud solutions present a credible argument for change when considering accessibility, usage, collaboration and costs.