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Published 05 October 2023

Sage Accounting Software Review: Pros, Cons & Features

Find out where Sage accounting software stands out, and falls short, with our review.

Many or all of the products and brands we promote and feature including our ‘Partner Spotlights’ are from our partners who compensate us. However, this does not influence our editorial opinion found in articles, reviews and our ‘Best’ tables. Our opinion is our own. Read more on our methodology here.

Sage provides cloud-based business accounting software to sole traders, freelancers, start ups, growing small businesses and established organisations. 

The price of your Sage accounting plan is based on the number of features you want to access. There are three plans on offer: Start, Standard and Plus. Each plan is Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliant, and comes with 24/7 customer service.

The Standard and Plus plans allow for unlimited users and cash-flow forecasts, while Plus also includes multi-currency banking. If you want to run payroll through your Sage account, it starts at £8 per month for one to five employees.

» MORE: Best accounting software for small businesses

Key features

Key features

  • Making Tax Digital-compliant
    All Sage accounts are MTD-compliant, and allow you to submit VAT returns directly to HMRC.
  • Payroll
    You can run payroll through your Sage account, starting at £8 a month for one to five employees.
  • 24/7 customer support
    With your Sage accounting software plan, you can access 24/7 customer support online.
  • Cloud-based
    Alongside its mobile app, Sage Business Cloud accounting software is designed for browser use on desktop. You can use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Microsoft Edge.

Sage accounting software pros & cons

Pros

  • Every Sage account is Making Tax Digital-compliant.
  • You can submit MTD-compliant VAT returns directly to HMRC.
  • Sage offers 24/7 online customer support as part of all its accounting software plans.
  • The Standard and Plus Sage plans allow for unlimited users.

Cons

  • Sage provides limited free customer service, with telephone assistance potentially requiring an extra subscription to Sage Cover.
  • Cash-flow forecasting is only available for Standard and Plus plan members.
  • Multi-currency accounting is only available for Plus plan members.
  • The Sage accounting app on Google Play has below average reviews.

The pros and cons featured here are chosen by us based on our expert, research-based opinions. They are unlikely to be the only product features and restrictions that you should consider. Pros and cons are subjective and you should align them to your own personal and business circumstances. Information was correct at the time of publication but may have changed since. 

Sage accounting software full review

Founded in 1981, and based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Sage accounting software is just one offering from Sage Group PLC, one of the largest technology companies in the UK by market cap.

Alongside accounting and payroll software, Sage also offers separate apps for HR systems, solutions for accountants and bookkeepers, and business management software for larger organisations.

All Sage accounting plans are compliant with Making Tax Digital. It is now required by the UK government that you use MTD compatible software when submitting returns as a VAT-registered business. Further MTD rules will be introduced around income tax returns in April 2026 and 2027.

Sage currently offers three different plans (pre-VAT and any discounts):

  • Start: This plan, which costs £14 a month, allows you to create and send invoices; track how much money you are owed; automatically reconcile your transactions so they match your bank statements; and calculate and submit your VAT returns.
  • Standard: This plan costs £28 a month. Alongside everything included with the Start plan, it allows you to manage and submit Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) payments; run advanced reports; send quotes and estimates to clients; forecast cash flow; manage purchase invoices; and automatically capture receipts.  
  • Plus: This plan costs £36 a month and includes everything from the Standard plan, alongside multi-currency banking and invoicing, and inventory management.

You can also add-on Sage’s payroll service to any of its plans. It starts at £8 a month for one to five employees and goes up to £106 a month for 76 to 100. 

Sage accounting software features: at a glance

Monthly fee (pre-discounts, pre-VAT)£14 (Start)
£28 (Standard)
£36 (Plus)
Free trialOne month
Making Tax Digital compliantYes
Submit VAT to HMRCYes
Payroll costs per month (for five employees, pre-discounts, pre-VAT)£8
Multi-user accessYes (unlimited for Standard and Plus plans)
Multi-currency accountingYes (Plus)
Customer serviceLive chat (24/7)
0191 479 5955 (8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)

Where Sage stands out

Free trial and introductory offers: Sage offers a one-month free trial when you first sign up for a new account with the platform. Sage also offers discounts, which can vary depending on when you apply. At the time of writing, it offers 50% off for the first three months.

Making Tax Digital-compliant VAT returns: All Sage accounting plans are MTD-compliant and allow you to submit VAT returns directly to HMRC.

Unlimited users for Standard and Plus: If you pay for the Standard or Plus plans, you can have unlimited users linked to your account. However, the Start plan, designed for sole traders and freelancers, is single user only.

24/7 customer service: With your Sage accounting software, you can access 24/7 customer service online.

Where Sage falls short

Monthly fee: At £14 a month (pre-VAT), Sage’s Start plan is more expensive than comparable options at other accounting software providers.

Cash-flow forecasting: You are only able to forecast your cash flow with the Standard and Plus plans.

Multi-currency accounting: You can only access accounting in multiple currencies if you pay for the most expensive Plus plan.

Android app: While the reviews for Sage’s iOS app are very positive on the App Store, it has a below average score on Google Play. It is important to note, however, there are fewer reviews on Google Play than the App Store.

Sage Accounting customer reviews

Sage’s customers have left reviews on a range of sites. These reviews range from mixed to very positive.

  • App Store: 4.5 out of 5, based on over 1,600 reviews
  • Google Play: 2.8 out of 5, based on over 290 reviews
  • Trustpilot: 4.4 out of 5, based on over 16,800 reviews

This information is correct as of 19 September 2023.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.

Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.

Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.

You can view our full review methodology here.

    About the Author

    Connor Campbell

    Connor is a lead writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and…

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