There are more than a dozen products helping companies organize accounting and finances but the QuickBooks 2014 and Sage 50 (former Peachtree) seem to hold a clear lead on the rest. They are known to be superior in performing general accounting functions, banking, payroll, managing employees, inventory and services, and productivity.
But one question that often comes up is, which of the two is better? We can create dozens of categories on which we evaluate both products and assign points for each based on some subjective scale, then add them up, and we’ll feel like we have the magic answer. In reality it’s not so easy to say that one is this much better than the other. Instead, I would like to offer a simpler answer and that is neither one is better than the other.
QuickBooks and Sage have their own areas of strength and superiority, but overall, the two products fall into a category of those products that will get the job done with fewest headaches. Your preference for one on the other can depend on plethora of reasons and today I would like to highlight some that may affect how you make a decision to acquire one or the other.
One reason to select QuickBooks over Sage is a user interface. For new users it is much more palatable and takes less time to get a grasp of how to navigate it. Sage has made progress in simplifying its user interface and bridging the gap with QuickBooks, but QuickBooks still holds a lead. That simplified interface allows you to better understand how different areas of the company are related and how different actions affect one another. It also paints an action plan and activities that are triggered by what you do, i.e. generating an estimate may lead to a creation of invoice, payment request and receipt. It also requires a purchase order, item receipt, bill receipt, and payment to a vendor. All that is laid out to you and connected on the screen for better understanding.
QuickBooks has a very well designed customer and vendor section that grants better control of accounts receivable and payable. Various financial reports are just a click away, and are often a part of customer’s profile. Those reports can be easily exported to Excel or saved and emailed as pdf documents. Both processes are very well synchronized with QuickBooks.
Inventory control and reporting is one of the features worth talking about. It applies to physical goods as well as services provided. To your disposition are reports such as inventory count where you can indicate a minimum number you want to carry and if you drop below that number it automatically generates a purchase order. Other reports include inventory profitability, item costing of per transaction cost information, back-order items, and creation of assembly if multiple items are necessary to produce a product.
Another excellent area of Sage expertise is Employee and Payroll management. When setting up payroll, you can specify which employee benefits you want to track and determine their details. Those benefits include vacation, sick time, insurance plans, retirement plans, or flexible spending accounts. One other thing I like is a section dedicated to tracking employee raises and performance reviews. Any documents related to employee evaluation can be attached and access from within the software. Payroll allows you to print paychecks, government tax forms (via Payroll Solution, extra fee applies), make direct deposits, and much more.