Sage 50cloud or Sage Financials? The best fit will depend on whether you want a hybrid approach to the cloud or prefer to go “all-in.”
Cloud computing is no longer a scary future concept. It is very much at the forefront of IT systems across the world. Working in the cloud increases efficiencies, helps improve cash flow and offers flexibility to users. It is estimated that almost 90 percent of all UK businesses are using at least one cloud service.
Why should I be considering the cloud?
The infrastructure around the cloud is more mature and robust than ever. Data structures like Amazon Web Services (AWS) are no less secure than that on-premise server we were so used to working with. The reliability goal of most of the top cloud providers is 99.999 percent. To put that in perspective, Google Compute Engine experienced 72 outages over the course of a year, totalling 4.46 hours of downtime. That’s a reliability percentage of 99.9815 percent—just less than five hours over the course of a year. So if you’re doubting a move to the cloud because of questions around its stability, it might be time to think again.
As an implementor of cloud accounting solutions, one of the things I ask my clients about is their drivers for moving to the cloud. Often, I hear similar answers: “We are creating an environment for growth”; “We are looking to move with the times”; and “Our IT told us it was time for the cloud.” Fundamentally, there is always one theme that runs through all projects—the reduction of costs. Cloud systems are generally much more financially efficient. There is no upfront infrastructure cost for hardware, nor ongoing maintenance of that hardware. Salesforce estimates that you could reduce your infrastructure costs by up to 85 percent by switching to their platform.
Finance is often seen as a standalone business unit in many organisations, working independently of the operational teams and yet the holder of the vital business information. The nature of on-premise solutions often makes them difficult to integrate, further enhancing the siloed nature of businesses. Cloud Accounting Solutions offer a freedom and flexibility that are widely sought after. The ability to integrate your CRM system with your finance system not only reduces manual workload, but shares information and reporting around your teams.
So what options do you have available? The answer to that is too many! In this article, we are going to focus on what Sage, the UK’s biggest tech company, has to offer. Most individuals who have worked in finance have usually worked with a Sage product at some point in their careers. There is a reason for that. A long-standing giant of the accounting world, Sage has been at the forefront of accounting software for years. So what are Sage’s offerings in the cloud computing space?
Sage 50 has been a staple in the accounting world for years. Every finance person I speak to usually has some degree of experience with Sage’s number one selling accounting software. However, in an ever-growing market, Sage is keen as ever to stay ahead of the curve. Welcome, Sage 50cloud.
Sage 50cloud is aimed at small- to medium-sized business and includes functionality for VAT, stock, budgets and invoicing. With live connections to your bank accounts, the system allows you almost a “hybrid” approach to cloud accounting. Integrations with Sage Payroll and Sage Pay make Sage 50cloud a solid choice in the SMB market.
So, how does Sage 50cloud differ from standard Sage 50? Fundamentally, it is the link to Sage’s “connected cloud.” You can now access your data anywhere with the Sage Drive. It is not what one would call a fully cloud-based platform—you still need Sage 50cloud installed on your client machine to access the data. But it is certainly better than the old centralised data storage method. As long as you have a connected device, you can log into your accounts from anywhere.
Perhaps one of the most prominent features of Sage 50cloud is the integration with Office 365. If you have an existing subscription with Business Premium 365, you can store your Sage 50cloud backups within the same system.
If you are looking for something familiar and robust with a few extra features, then Sage 50cloud may be perfect for you. It is Sage’s old faithful. However, if you are after something that supports a move to a fully cloud-based infrastructure, then I would look towards the Sage Business Cloud and Sage Financials.
Aimed at medium-sized business, Sage’s flagship cloud-based product Sage Financials is built on the Salesforce platform. The world’s number-one cloud-based CRM effortlessly integrates with Financials, providing a rounded solution for your business. Entirely cloud-based, Sage Financials allows you to log in directly from your browser. So whether you want to log in from your desktop, tablet or mobile, as long as you have an internet connection you are covered.
The main concept of Sage Financials is all geared around multi-dimensional reporting. This concept involves moving away from the traditional nominal ledger and department structure and instead takes a slice-and-dice approach to tracking your spends and income.
Financials is a multi-company, multi-currency and multi-legislation compliant platform, meaning it is perfect for businesses with multiple entities operating across the globe. With prebuilt packages for the UK, US, Canada, Ireland, France and Germany, to name just a few, the scalability aspect of Sage Financials is hard to argue with.
Sage Financials is a totally different product than Sage 50cloud, and it certainly is not Sage 50 in the cloud. But what it does offer is one of the most reliable cloud infrastructures in the world through the Salesforce1 Platform and an environment that is very much geared towards growth.
Sage 50cloud is a great stepping-stone towards the cloud if you are looking for the comfort of a well-known and established product. Sage Financials is much more of a “take the plunge” kind of product. You are completely cloud-based on a solution that is scalable and ready for growth.
For more information about Sage 50cloud or Sage Financials and how it could help drive your business forward, get in touch. Or if you have any feedback on this article we would love to hear your thoughts.