Accounting software summary: Sage or Xero?

In Accountancy, Advice and tips, News by Caroline

Since the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD), our clients have been using various accounting software products to ensure that their VAT returns are filed through the new Gateway. We have seen this greatly improve record keeping efficiency. With this in mind, we thought it would be useful to provide a summary of some of the products available to you.

As a practice we have focused on Sage Line 50, Xero and Sage Business Cloud – please find a summary of these software options below. We do operate various other software’s as well and if you would like to discuss any of these products in further detail, we would be delighted to talk you through the set-up process. You can contact our team here.


Many of our clients continue to use Sage Line 50 and have been for many years.

The product offers a full range of features for general record keeping as well as departmental reports and stock modules. The general reporting options have improved over the past few years which enables management accounts to be generated more efficiently (although often these are sent to Excel and adjusted to show a better quality of report that can be tailored to show key management information in a better light).

The new Sage link feature (called Sage Drive) allows our team to log in to a client’s Sage from our office and see the information in real time. This helps us to offer help and assistance remotely and means that the year-end process is smoother with no need for backup discs to be sent over to us (although we do look back fondly on the days of several floppy disks labelled Sage back up disk 1, 2, … arriving at the office!)

Sage Line 50 now has a bank feed feature that allows the software to link with your bank accounts and feed the information automatically and continuously, which again improves efficiencies.

Overall, we recommend Sage Line 50 to clients and are more than happy to help with any queries you may have regarding its features.


Xero burst on to the scene several years ago and quickly made itself the leader in cloud-based accounting software.

The software has all the basic record keeping requirements with a wide range of additional apps that can be taken up if required. It is a dashboard-based product which shows you key information as you log in – this can be tailored to show the features most relevant to your business.

Xero offers some great features such as the bank feed, multiple currencies, automatic statements forwarding to customers and downloading pictures of receipts / invoices directly into the product to keep your information digitally. Another highlight of Xero is that it can be accessed on your computer, tablet or mobile anytime, anywhere.

We have received good feedback from clients that we have introduced to Xero.  We are certified Xero advisors and would be delighted to help with any queries you may have about the software.

Sage Business Cloud is a simplified version of Sage Line 50. It has a cheaper monthly fee and offers all the basic record keeping requirements needed to efficiently keep track of all invoices, etc.

The product is cloud based which means no server is required.  It is straight forward and easy to access on any device.

The product enables VAT returns to be filed under Making Tax Digital and has a clever Sage app that allows for pictures to be taken of receipts etc. which are then automatically sent through to your Sage software.


All the products above can link into Dext which is a fantastic product for scanning or taking pictures of receipts, invoices and bank statements and entering the information directly into your accounting software. We have set up Dext for many clients and we would love to help with any questions you may have about the software.
For clients that do not require the more advanced Sage Line 50 reporting and stock modules, Sage Business Cloud may be a good option. For more information, please contact us.

Get in touch with Barnett Ravenscroft

If you would like to discuss any of these latest developments in more detail, our team would be delighted to hear from you.