Sage 50 is a great accounting solution if you are a new business and need a reliable system to handle your accounts. It is used by thousands of businesses and has rightfully earned its place as a go-to accounting solution. But, in the wider perspective of business operations, it is a limited piece of software. For this reason, businesses tend to look elsewhere as they start to grow.
We have previously published an article about the signs you are outgrowing Sage 50. These include finding that you are having to increasingly find workarounds to address its limitations, or that errors are creeping in more often and your end of year is taking an excessively long time to complete. Whatever signs you may be experiencing, it generally comes down to Sage 50 simply not having enough functionality to handle the needs of a rapidly growing business. These include:
- Complex accounting needs with multiple subsidiaries, currencies and tax regulations.
- Compiling reports for compliance needs.
- Needing to compile and compare information from different departments to inform decision-making.
- A growing number of time-consuming tasks that could be automated with the right software.
When your business develops the needs listed above and more, Sage 50 does not offer the capabilities you need to do them. Fortunately, there are other, more powerful systems out there to implement, and they are more affordable for smaller businesses than you might think.
In this post, we will look primarily at Sage 200 and NetSuite as good replacements for Sage 50, outlining the capabilities they could bring to your business and how they would benefit you.
What Sage 50 Does Well
Sage 50 is a popular and reliable choice for small businesses with up to 50 employees. It is entry-level software with some good out-of-the-box industry functions for various sectors. It includes standard accounting capabilities to manage basic tax and compliance needs. Its main features are as follows:
- Single-tier nominal structure
- Consolidation for multiple entities
- Limited foreign currency functions
- Basic accounting controls
- Basic stock management for a single warehouse
- Tracking of POs
- Installs on PC with optional cloud sync
- Inbuilt dashboards
Sage 50 Limitations
When it comes to Sage 50, its primary limitations revolve around not catering to growth and its lack of reporting capabilities. It is a good entry-level accounting system, but it becomes stretched when your needs become more complex. The key limitations include:
- Limited to 1.5 million transactions
- A lack of in-depth reporting capabilities
- No facilities for CRM, HR, supply chain, etc.
- Cannot handle multi-warehouse operations
- Cannot handle more sophisticated accounting needs
- Limited capabilities for foreign currencies and overseas tax regulations
There are some integrations you can use with Sage 50 to boost its functionality. These can give it some Business Intelligence capabilities, as well as extend the documentation available, streamline payments and financials and even bring in things like cloud storage and business collaboration solutions. But you will have to pay extra for each new integration you bring, create custom ways to make the solutions work together and worry about updating everything whilst ensuring it all continues working together.
The costs, and the complexity, can add up very quickly.
The Alternatives to Sage 50
As mentioned in the introduction, the alternatives we recommend you consider are Sage 200 and NetSuite. These are fully-featured Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions that offer sophisticated functionality, superb automation and the ability to centralise a wide range of business operations into a single place.
Sage 200 is an advanced suite of software designed for growing businesses. It caters to organisations with up to 200 employees with an advanced level of financial control along with customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities. It is highly scalable and also offers proejct management, manufacturing solutions and advanced tools for warehousing and supply chain management. It also allows you to track budgets, produce in-depth reports and easily connect all areas of the business.
Sage 200 Standard is entirely based in the cloud, bringing you all the advantages of cloud computing. One of these is affordability – you will not need to invest in lots of software and on-premises infrastructure to implement Sage 200 Standard. You simply pay your subscription fee for the number of users and the features you need and it can be accessed from your existing computers.
Sage 200 Professional is available via the cloud and as an on-premises solution, offering even more functionality for larger businesses. It’s highly customisable through a wide range of industry specific modules, many of which are developed and maintained by Sage development partner Sicon. Sage 200 has:
- Out of box reports
- Sage report designer.
- Power BI connector.
- Sophisticated data storage and management structure.
- Comprehensive stock management capabilities.
- A range of modules, including Projects, Intercompany, CRM/Ecommerce integration, Construction, Manufacturing, CRM, WAP and Distribution
Implementation of Sage 200 Standard includes out-of-the-box solutions with the ability to customise everything to fit your business perfectly. With everything hosted and maintained in the cloud, you won’t need servers and additional infrastructure to run it – you simply set everything up and begin using it from the cloud. This can be done with the help of a specialist implementation partner for the fastest time to value and maximum chance of success.
You can learn more about the different versions of Sage 200 in our article Sage 200 – Standard vs Professional Compared.
NetSuite is another complete, all-in-one software suite with advanced tools for accounting, CRM, ERP and more. Its management of a wide range of business operations brings all of them together, including real-time visibility of the entire business and rich automation features to improve your understanding of the business in -real-time and eliminate time-consuming, error-prone manual tasks.
NetSuite is generally considered an industry-leading solution with some of the highest-quality features and most powerful solutions for managing the disparate departments of your business from a centralised location. It is a cloud-based system, much like Sage 200 Standard and, though it is likely to cost a little more to implement, it brings a great deal of cost-efficiency and helps power revenue growth with almost limitless scalability in a wide range of sectors.
It includes virtually all the features you will find in Sage 200, as well as:
- Advanced marketing tools
- A sophisticated CRM module
- Industry-leading reporting and analytics
- A huge range of user-created extensions and integrations
- A best-in-class implementation programme with experience-based pre-configurations through NetSuite SuiteSuccess for a wide range of industries, with comprehensive customisation options
With NetSuite, you have everything you need to grow and expand your business however you see fit.
There are other popular choices that serve as alternatives to Sage 50. Many businesses choose:
As popular and high-quality as these options are, they all tend to have similar limitations to Sage 50. Their shelf life revolves around how long it takes your business to outgrow them, and they could end up causing more problems for your business than they solve.
Sage 200 and NetSuite are built for the long haul. They will future-proof your operations and empower you to grow and manage your business in ways you may not have thought possible.
All that, and there are some surprisingly affordable packages available when you explore the subscription costs. If you are in the market for new software to manage your accounts and other areas of your business, we strongly urge you to explore the possibility of implementing Sage 200 or NetSuite.
Read the article NetSuite vs Xero.
Read the article Sage 200 vs QuickBooks.
Why choose Eventura for your ERP project?
Eventura has been providing robust business solutions to countless organizations for over two decades. We are ERP and data migration experts who can identify all of your business needs, and deliver a comprehensive ERP solution that works for you.
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We also have extensive experience in Sage 50 to Sage 200 migrations, ensuring all of your data is carried across with you, without any disruption to your business.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts, you can request a free call back here.