Sage vs QuickBooks Online Accounting Software: A Complete Comparison Guide

Michael Pignatelli
Feb 23, 2022

Disclaimer: Please note this article is not financial advice. The purpose of our blog is purely educational, so please consult a professional accountant or financial advisor before making any financial decision.

Are you starting your business today? Or are you planning on an upgrade to your financial tools? 

Which is perfect for your business? Which one can help monitor and, possibly, improve your financial decisions? Choosing the right accounting software is very crucial. 

Both developed during the 1980s, Sage Intacct and Intuit QuickBooks have been proven to provide solid accounting and financial software. In addition, both are available through different subscription plans for small to even large-scale businesses. 

We may not have the right answer for you. However, we’re here to help you explore the features, prices, and benefits of having Sage and QuickBooks Online. 

Online User Interface and Platform Access

Imagine a full-blown furnished bedroom filled with trinkets and knick-knacks and a minimalist bedroom with only a few pieces of furniture and essentials. This image you’re picturing in your head right now is Sage’s and QuickBooks Online’s interface, respectively. 

As much as you want to see all of the tasks and categories which are easily accessible, it can be daunting just looking at Sage’s dashboard filled with these tabs. 

For example, making reports and bank reconciliations can be a nightmare on Sage. If you happen to hire someone who has little to no experience with this platform, it might turn out to be counterproductive for your business. 

With Quickbooks Online, you don’t feel overwhelmed with managing your books at all. Many reviews on the Internet find its interface visually appealing and user-friendly. The simple use of better fonts and colors makes QuickBooks Online easy on the eyes

Then, we have its accessibility. Everything should be just a click or a swipe away with the new normal. 

Both Sage and QuickBooks Online are available in the web-based platform and Android and iPhone apps. Unfortunately, users cannot use both software using their Windows phone. 

Don’t decide just yet! We’re getting to the juicy part, their features. 

Online Features 

Accounting and Financial Reporting digital art

Sage and QuickBooks Online make it to our top list of accounting software, clear as day. 

Each software has many features and functions to ensure sellers and business owners can easily track their financials and tackle even the most complex accounting issues in a single platform. 

Billing and invoicing, income and expense records and reporting, payroll management, tax management, and purchase order management are just some of the many similar features these accounting software share. 

Plus, you can say goodbye to backups because both Sage and QuickBooks have Cloud-hosted solutions that free you from hellish late nights trying to retrieve lost data.

However, Sage and QuickBooks Online have key differences that set them apart. First, let’s compare their entry-level subscriptions. 

Sage Business Cloud Accounting Start QuickBooks Online Start
Access/ Control Permissions Electronic Signature 
CPA Firms Tax Filing and Compliance 
Audit Management Ad hoc Reporting 
Financial Analysis and ManagementChart of Accounts 
For Government For Schools 
Cash Flow Management Credit Card Management 
Supplier Management Email Management
Sales Orders Duplicate Payment Alert  
1099 Tracking 

We could see QuickBooks can offer more financial tools at a low-tier plan. Sage’s starter plan, on the other hand, is centered more on inventory management and collaborative projects. 

Is it worth availing of their subscription, though? First, let’s check their prices. 

Online Price Comparison

Are they free? YES, but only for 30 days, after which QuickBooks Online will be offering you four plan options while Sage will offer two tiers. Here is an overview of their subscriptions: 

Sage 

Price Suitable for Users 
Accounting Start $10 /month Self-employed and micro-businesses 1
Sage Accounting $25 7.50 /month (70% off for 6 months) Small businesses Unlimited users 

Aside from these, Sage offers more complex accounting software to medium-sized businesses to any-size businesses, specifically to real estate and construction. 

QuickBooks Online

Price Suitable for Users 
Simple Start $16 $8 /month Self-employed and micro-businesses 1
Essentials $25 $12.50 /month (70% off for 6 months) Small growing businesses 3
Plus $34 $17 /monthSmall to mid-sized businesses5
Advanced $180 $90 /month (50% off for 3 months)Medium-scale businesses 25 

In addition, if you choose QuickBooks Online, you would probably want the QuickBooks Payroll add-on, which ranges from $45 - $125 per month with an additional cost ranging from $4 - $10 per employee. 

But if you are choosing Sage or QuickBooks Online for small businesses only, we recommend QuickBooks. 

QuickBooks Online plan options are quite dynamic and, suffice to say, pretty reasonable pricing. However, if you are a fast-growing business, having limited user accounts and pricy payroll add-ons can put a dent in your finances. 

Sage vs QuickBooks Online Pros and Cons  

There are definitely upsides and downsides to investing in Sage or QuickBooks. It is all about choosing what advantages work best for you and what disadvantages are manageable. 

Pros and Cons of Sage 

Pricing. A great option for businesses on a tight budget given that Sage has unlimited user accounts and cash flow forecasting

Customer Support. You need all the help you can get with handling your business finances, especially if you do not have an accounting background. Sage offers self-service resources and support via phone, email, and live chat. 

✅Scalability. Though it lacks accounting features for a small business, Sage has amazing inventory management and collaboration tools that many large-scale business owners appreciate. 

Platform. Easy to navigate, that’s for sure. However, if not properly set up, using it would be stressful. 

Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Online 

Third-Party Integration. We will save you the trouble between Sage and QuickBooks Online integration and tell you that QuickBooks provides more third-party integration than Sage.

Advanced Features. As we have compared earlier, QuickBooks has more to offer that Sage doesn’t provide on either plan. Also, QuickBooks has more rich CRM and ERP features than Sage. 

Ease of Use. Using QuickBooks Online is so easy that even a 12-year-old kid can do basic accounting. That’s how simple its interface is. 

Pricing. Given that it has high-end features at their low-tier plans, it is only reasonable that it would cost you a bit monthly. 

Final Thoughts

Business activities 

After reading this, perhaps, you want to tear your face to shreds because it made you more confused than ever, or perhaps, you came to a swift conclusion as to which is right for your business.  

Like any choice you make, you have to ask yourself. Okay, here, we will ask and answer more questions for you. 

  • Do you have many employees collaborating on different projects? 

Answer: “Yes, I need accounting software with good project management and as many user accounts as possible.” Choose Sage.

  • Do you have a large inventory needing a good inventory management system? 

Answer: “Absolutely, many of my customers are demanding more of my products.” Choose Sage. 

  • Do you need software that’s quick and easy to use? 

Answer: “On top of being the owner, I’m also the accountant. But I don’t have any accounting experience.” Get QuickBooks Online. 

  • Do you need more app integrations and features? 

Answer: “I need numerous app integrations and add-ons for seamless workflow and bookkeeping.” Choose QuickBooks Online. 

  • Do you have micro- or small businesses?

Answer: You can pick QuickBooks, but Sage may also do. 

  • Are you a mid-size business owner or perhaps a growing business? 

Answer: Whether it be real estate, manufacturing, or any MLBs (mid-to-large businesses) with a large inventory, choose Sage. 

Still confused? We suggest that you give us a call, and our experts here at Unloop are more than happy to help your business grow and thrive. 

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Unloop is the first and only accounting firm exclusively servicing ecommerce and inventory businesses in the US and Canada. With the power of people and technology, our team dives deep into COGS and inventory accounting.. You are paired with a dedicated bookkeeping team that prepares accurate financial statements, financial forecasts, and can also pay bills or run payroll for you. Come tax time, everything is organized and ready to go, so you don't need to worry. Book a call with an ecommerce accountant today to learn more.
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