Software targets small business accounting needs
Alan Zisman (c) 2008 First published in Business
February 5-11, 2008; issue 954
High Tech Office column;
If I ask you to name an
accounting program for home or small business users, I suspect that
most of you would come up with Intuit’s QuickBooks.
Software suggests that its Richmond-created Simply Accounting is, in
fact, the most widely-used accounting software by Canadian small
businesses, with more than half a million registered users. New in last
year’s product line- up, was a low-priced version aimed at new
entrepreneurs. The recently revamped 2008 aims at the other end, with a
new Enterprise edition, and also features improved ease of use across
all versions of the product.
Despite its name, the enterprise
edition isn’t really aimed at the Fortune 500 market. Instead, Sage is
targeting it at growing small businesses with increasingly complex
accounting needs. It provides five or 10 concurrent user licenses,
inventory tracking and role-based security, allowing different
employees access to only the information needed to do their job
($1,250-$2,500). It includes one year of unlimited payroll and customer
support, including a year’s worth of payroll tax updates.
more basic accounting needs, Simply Accounting is available in a
variety of versions and prices, still starting with the $50
entrepreneur edition (now available only from Staples or online).
standard Simply Accounting single-user edition (the software formerly
known as Simply Accounting Basic) is $150; $350 with an added payroll
module. It adds improved inventory features and basic budgeting support.
premium two-user package, including unlimited multi-currency support
and sophisticated forecasting and budgeting tools, starts at $250; $450
with payroll. Conversion tools are included with all versions to
simplify switching from other accounting software, such as QuickBooks
All versions feature a re-worked start screen. This
customizable home window is designed to take users quickly to most-used
tasks, including balances and reports. Attention has been paid to
making the software follow customers’ workflow.
of information can now be easily resorted, simply by clicking on a
category name. Reports are more easily customized and all reports can
be easily output as PDFs, without needing additional software like
Adobe Acrobat. Users can now work in two fiscal years at a time, while
the product stores at least seven years worth of financial records.
Behind the scenes, the MySQL database has been built in, promising more
flexibility, scalability and performance.
claims that it is seeing an average of 600 Canadian small businesses a
month switching to Simply Accounting from competing packages and, in
January, announced a Simple Switch campaign to encourage switchers.
promises small businesses a free copy of Simply Accounting if they
switch over from QuickBooks or MYOB. Also included is a free one-year
subscription to the Simply Care support plan, and the updated data
Because Sage has often gained customers through
the recommendations of accountants, the company is also offering a
year’s free membership in the Sage Software Accountants Network to
accountants and bookkeepers with QuickBooks or MYOB-using clients.
Details on Sage’s Switch campaign can be found at: simplyaccounting.com/products/simpleswitch
you miss the February 15th deadline for Sage’s Simple Switch campaign,
60-day free trial CDs are available for order by phone (1-866-665-2688)
or download. Current customers can also get a 60-day free trial of the
payroll service. As well, an online test drive of the Enterprise
edition is available – all at simplyaccounting.com/freetrial