Differences Between Sage 50 vs Sage Intacct

Differences Between Sage 50 vs Sage Intacct
  • February 22, 2024

Sage 50 is an accounting solution for small businesses, whereas Sage Intacct is for mid-tier and large enterprises.

The purpose of this post is to help you figure out the right solution for your business. Sage 50 is perfectly capable of handling a mid-tier business, but not when you have to handle complex transactions and workflows, track inventory in real-time, automate various manual processes, and integrate your accounting solution with Salesforce CRM.

And that's what this post will help you figure out. You'll be able to make an informed decision to stick with or get started with the right accounting solution for your business.

Overview of differences between Sage 50 and Sage Intacct

When selecting between Sage 50 and Sage Intacct, it is important to consider the specific requirements of your business. If your business only needs a basic accounting solution to record daily transactions and generate basic reports, then Sage 50 would be a suitable choice. However, if your business requires a more robust accounting solution with multi-entity/consolidation capabilities to manage multiple subsidiaries, along with modules for payroll and integration with Salesforce CRM, then Sage Intacct is the recommended option.

Solution for rapidly growing business

As your business expands and moves beyond the small-business phase, venturing into multiple cities, states, and even countries, it becomes crucial to rely on a financial solution that has been specifically designed to consolidate accounting data while keeping the data for different entities or subsidiaries separate. This is where Sage Intacct shines, as it has been ranked as the best accounting solution for mid-tier businesses on G2. No other accounting solution offers the same level of flexibility or the features to effectively manage multiple subsidiaries.

Consider cost of migration

While you can initially start with Sage 50, it is important to consider the future cost of migration. Upgrading to Sage Intacct later on can be an expensive endeavor. Therefore, the decision between the two solutions should be based on the expected growth rate of your business. If your business is already expanding or you anticipate rapid growth shortly, it would be wise to choose Sage Intacct from the start.

On the other hand, if you run a small business with no immediate forecast of rapid growth, Sage 50 can still meet your accounting needs effectively. It is a reliable solution for small businesses and may be more cost-effective in the short term.

So the choice between Sage 50 and Sage Intacct depends on the specific requirements and growth trajectory of your business. If you are part of a rapidly growing startup or a mid-tier business with subsidiaries across the globe, Sage Intacct is the ideal solution. But if you run a small business with no immediate plans for significant expansion, Sage 50 can be a suitable and cost-effective choice.

User interface and accessibility - Sage 50 vs Sage Intacct

Sage 50 is a robust accounting software that provides businesses with the flexibility of on-premise installation. This means that you can have full control over your data and software by hosting it locally on your servers.

On the other hand, Sage Intacct takes advantage of cloud technology to offer a seamless and efficient accounting solution. With its cloud-based nature, Sage Intacct allows you to access your financial data from anywhere, anytime, without the need for complex on-premise installation. This empowers businesses to work remotely, collaborate effortlessly, and make data-driven decisions on the go.

Table: Difference between local accounting software (Sage 50) and cloud accounting solution (Sage Intacct)

Reason Sage 50 Sage Intacct
Accessibility Can be accessed locally on your system Can be accessed anytime, anywhere
Maintenance and Updates Manual updates are required, and may need an IT expert for configuration Automatically updated on the backend, no maintenance required
Cost and Scalability One-time license purchase, option for upgrades later Annual subscription fee, lower cost, and offers scalability

Note: While you can host Sage 50 on a cloud server, it isn’t a native cloud application. So if you require additional accessibility features, then switch from Sage 50 to Sage Intacct.

Factor 1: Accessibility

Accessibility is a key consideration when deciding between Sage 50, an on-premise desktop software, and Sage Intacct, a cloud accounting solution.

Before making a choice, determine if you primarily access data at your office or work system, or if you require access while traveling or from different devices. With Sage 50, you can run the software locally on your system. On the other hand, Sage Intacct allows you to access your accounting data anytime, anywhere. It's important to compare the additional cost of the cloud accounting solution with the improved accessibility it offers.

In summary, if you prefer a local solution, Sage 50 is the way to go. However, if you need access from multiple locations and devices, Sage Intacct is the better option.

Factor 2: Maintenance and Updates

Maintenance and updates require additional investment of time and resources.

For on-premise and local software like Sage 50, manual updates are necessary to access the latest features and security patches. To obtain the update, you may need to update your existing IT infrastructure or even hire an in-house IT expert to configure the systems for the software.

In contrast, cloud solutions like Sage Intacct are automatically updated on the backend and do not require any maintenance.

You can compare the cost of maintaining and updating an on-premise solution with the subscription cost of the online accounting solution.

Factor 3: Cost and Scalability

Do you prefer to invest a large amount upfront or make smaller payments over several years?

With Sage 50 accounting software, you have the option to purchase a license and pay the fee in full, with the choice to pay for upgrades later. On the other hand, Sage Intacct requires an annual subscription fee, which means you have to make recurring payments. Generally, the cost of a subscription is lower than that of a one-time license purchase. Cloud solutions also offer scalability, eliminating the need to upgrade your infrastructure to accommodate more data or users.

Consider the cost and benefits of a one-time purchase of Sage 50 versus the subscription cost of Sage Intacct to choose the right accounting solution.

Financial Management Features: Sage Intacct vs Sage 50

Understanding the financial management capabilities of any accounting software is crucial for businesses, as these features form the backbone of effective financial operations. Let’s dive into how Sage Intacct and Sage 50 compare in this vital area.

Table: Financial Management Features in Sage Intacct vs Sage 50

Category Sage Intacct Sage 50
General Ledger Offers a dynamic and multi-dimensional ledger, providing a more granular and flexible approach to tracking and reporting financial data. Provides a robust, yet more traditional general ledger system.
Accounts Payable and Receivable Automates and streamlines accounts payable and receivable processes, reducing manual workload and improving accuracy. Offers advanced features like automated workflow capabilities and personalized revenue recognition. Efficiently manages accounts payable and receivable but with a more manual approach compared to Sage Intacct. Suitable for businesses with lower transaction volumes and less complexity in their billing and payment processes.
Cash Management and Spend Management Provides comprehensive cash management tools, allowing real-time tracking of cash positions and forecasts. Spend management is more automated, offering deeper insights into spending patterns and helping in budget control. Effective cash management is suitable for smaller-scale operations. Spend management is more basic, and adequate for businesses with simpler budgeting and expense-tracking needs.
Project Accounting and Billing Advanced project accounting features such as time and expense tracking, billing, and revenue recognition. Ideal for businesses with complex project billing requirements and those who manage multiple concurrent projects. Offers project accounting features, but with limited capabilities compared to Sage Intacct. Best suited for businesses with straightforward project accounting needs.
Inventory Management Provides sophisticated inventory management capabilities, supporting businesses with complex inventory requirements. Features include comprehensive reporting and real-time inventory tracking and valuation. Offers inventory management suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. More focused on essential inventory tracking and management without the complexity of larger-scale operations.

General Ledger

Sage Intacct is specifically designed for businesses with multiple subsidiaries, which is why it offers a more flexible and modular general ledger compared to Sage 50. Sage 50, on the other hand, was created as a simple accounting software for small businesses.

The multidimensional general ledger of Sage Intacct allows companies to have more granular control over their financial data, enabling them to track and report on it while keeping the data for multiple entities separate.

Sage Intacct:

  • Offers a dynamic and multi-dimensional ledger, providing a more granular and flexible approach to tracking and reporting financial data.
  • The ability to handle complex financial needs, suitable for businesses with diverse revenue streams or those requiring detailed financial analysis.

Sage 50:

  • Provides a robust, yet more traditional general ledger system.
  • Ideal for small businesses with straightforward accounting needs and less complexity in financial transactions.

Accounts Payable and Receivable

Sage 50 offers basic features to track outstanding balances for vendors and customers. While it can suffice for businesses with a lower transaction volume and simpler billing/payment processes, Sage Intacct provides a more comprehensive set of tools for automating accounts payable and receivable tasks.

If you want to efficiently manage all your payables and receivables, Sage Intacct is the perfect solution to automate and streamline these processes, reducing manual workload and improving accuracy.

Sage Intacct:

  • Automates and streamlines accounts payable and receivable processes, reducing manual workload and improving accuracy.
  • Offers advanced features like automated workflow capabilities and personalized revenue recognition.

Sage 50:

  • Efficiently manages accounts payable and receivable but with a more manual approach compared to Sage Intacct.
  • Suitable for businesses with lower transaction volumes and less complexity in their billing and payment processes.

Cash Management and Spend Management

Even though Sage 50 has an effective module for managing the cash flow and expenses of a business, these modules and features are very basic - you can’t forecast cash flow and budget more effectively.

But as your business grows, it may require real-time tracking of cash positions and the ability to forecast future revenue, expenses, and profits. You may also need comprehensive cash management tools to automate most of the tasks and control the budget. So in this case, you'll have to go with Sage Intacct.

Sage Intacct:

  • Provides comprehensive cash management tools, allowing real-time tracking of cash positions and forecasts.
  • Spend management is more automated, offering deeper insights into spending patterns and helping in budget control.

Sage 50:

  • Effective cash management is suitable for smaller-scale operations.
  • Spend management is more basic, and adequate for businesses with simpler budgeting and expense tracking needs.

Project Accounting and Billing

When it comes to basic project accounting features like project tracking, Sage 50 is a suitable option.

However, for advanced project accounting with features such as expense tracking, revenue recognition, and automated billing, you will need to rely on Sage Intacct. Sage Intacct also allows you to create rules and billing requirements for multiple projects.

And it offers built-in features to support multiple concurrent projects for different entities and subsidiaries of your business.

Sage Intacct:

  • Advanced project accounting features such as time and expense tracking, billing, and revenue recognition.
  • Ideal for businesses with complex project billing requirements and those who manage multiple concurrent projects.

Sage 50:

  • Offers project accounting features, but with limited capabilities compared to Sage Intacct.
  • Best suited for businesses with straightforward project accounting needs.

Inventory Management

Sage 50 is perfect for a small business that only requires first in, first out (FIFO) inventory management, but as the business complexity grows and transaction volume increases, you will need to upgrade your accounting solution.

This is where Sage Intacct shines because it offers comprehensive reporting, real-time inventory tracking, and valuation features. The more complex your business's inventory requirements become, the better suited Sage Intacct will be for managing them.

Sage Intacct:

  • Provides sophisticated inventory management capabilities, supporting businesses with complex inventory requirements.
  • Features include comprehensive reporting and real-time inventory tracking and valuation.

Sage 50:

  • Offers inventory management suitable for small to medium-sized businesses.
  • More focused on essential inventory tracking and management without the complexity of larger-scale operations.

Comparing the financial management features of Sage Intacct vs Sage 50 reveals that while both platforms are competent, Sage Intacct offers more advanced and automated functionalities suitable for growing and diverse businesses. In contrast, Sage 50 aligns well with the needs of smaller businesses looking for reliability and straightforward financial management solutions.

Already using Sage 50…

If you’re already using Sage 50, then here are some questions that you can answer to find “Is it time to migrate from Sage 50 to Sage Intacct?” The more checkmarks, the higher the requirement for a migration.

Sage 50 vs Sage Intacct

Checklist to find if it’s the right time for you to move from Sage 50 to Sage Intacct.

You can read more about it in the post on how to migrate from Sage 50 to Sage Intacct.

Conclusion

In the world of financial management, choosing the right accounting software is crucial for business efficiency and growth. Sage 50 and Sage Intacct are two popular options, but deciding between them can be difficult. Sage 50 is known for its robust functionality for small businesses, while Sage Intacct is a cloud-based solution with advanced features and scalability.

This comparison explores the details of both Sage 50 and Sage Intacct, highlighting their core functions, strengths, and limitations. Whether you're a small business owner considering Sage 50 or a growing enterprise interested in Sage Intacct, this post will guide you through important aspects of each software. We cover everything from the user interface to global consolidation, integration potential, and compliance and security.

FAQs

Q. What is the difference between Sage 50 and Sage Intacct?

A. Both Sage 50 and Sage Intacct are accounting solutions, but they are geared towards different types of businesses. Sage 50 is suitable for small businesses operating locally, as it can handle day-to-day transactions and analyze basic revenue, expenses, and profits. On the other hand, a medium or large business with multiple subsidiaries requires a more comprehensive set of tools, which are only available in Sage Intacct. These tools include multi-entity consolidation, inventory tracking and management, payroll, and seamless integration with sales for CRM purposes.

Q. Which businesses would benefit from migrating from Sage 50 to Sage Intacct?

A. If you are already using Sage 50 but find yourself spending a significant amount of time consolidating reports in Excel or managing multiple entities, and if you are hiring more employees to meet deadlines due to delays caused by manual work, then migrating to Sage Intacct can be a good option. Sage Intacct is a tool specifically designed to help businesses keep accounting data for different entities separate, while also providing a consolidated view of the overall business performance.

Q. Why is Sage Intacct better for businesses with multiple subsidiaries than Sage 50?

A. Sage Intacct is tailored for businesses with multiple subsidiaries, whereas Sage 50 isn’t. Intacct can consolidate data for multiple entities into one single view. Intacct has a solid integration with Salesforce CRM. Intacct has features and modules to support a business with a high volume of sales or a large amount of revenue. Intacct also has better and more comprehensive automation features that boost efficiency, reduce the requirement of human resources, and eliminate errors in your financial and accounting data.

Q. What are the accessibility differences between Sage 50 and Sage Intacct?

A. Sage 50 has two versions — desktop software and a cloud-based application. Desktop software does not provide good accessibility features, but it is good for businesses that require on-premise accounting software. Sage Intacct on the other hand, is a native cloud application designed to provide access to data from anytime, from anywhere, and from any device. As long as you have an active Internet connection and a web browser, you can access Sage Intacct data.

Q. How do maintenance and updates differ between Sage 50 and Sage Intacct?

A. If you purchase a one-time license of Sage 50, you will have to pay an additional fee for any upgrades. And since you are using your infrastructure - including computers and desktop systems - to run the software, you may eventually need to cover the costs of upgrades and maintenance.

But Sage Intacct runs in the cloud, eliminating the need for system upgrades. A basic system with access to a web browser is sufficient for running Sage Intacct.

Q. What are the cost and scalability factors to consider when choosing between Sage 50 and Sage Intacct?

A. When it comes to purchasing Sage 50, you have the option of buying a one-time license. But for Sage Intacct, you’ve to opt for a monthly or annual subscription plan.

When considering the overall cost of these two software solutions, it is important to take into account both the subscription cost and the implementation cost.

In terms of scalability, Sage Intacct offers more flexibility as it eliminates the need for upgrading your business system or infrastructure. Instead, you can simply reach out to Sage and seamlessly scale your accounting solution.

Q. What are the key financial management features of Sage Intacct and Sage 50?

A. Sage 50 and Sage Intacct both have key financial management features required to run a business. They allow you to record transactions and stay on top of accounts payable and accounts receivable. Additionally, both provide inventory management features and financial reporting.

However, the primary point of difference lies in the complexity of transactions and accounting data. The more complex the transactions, the better it is to rely on Sage Intacct than on Sage 50.

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