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Post Info TOPIC: Own or Client's software???


Newbie

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Own or Client's software???


Hi All

I'm new here but have been in business a while offering bookkeeping services. 

Up until now all my client's have purchased their own copy of Sage (outright) and then given me access to it.  With the introduction of MTD all my clients are going to have to upgrade their Sage software and go on to monthly subscriptions.  I'm just wondering whether that is the way to go - or should I purchase an accountant's version of Sage where I can have up to 10 clients (that's all I need)?

I'm interested in what other people do???

I realise if you're using your own accountant's software and have done from the start you've probably factored the cost into your fees already, but if I went down that route I would effectively have to increase all my client's fees to cover the cost and quote them how much extra it would be at the outset even if I don't specifically refer to it on my invoices.  I've been quoted at £30 per month plus vat for each client to upgrade their own or £75 per month plus Vat for software covering 10 clients.  If I charge each one £20 extra and make a profit is that unreasonable? 

Thanks in advance

 



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Debbi



Master Book-keeper

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Hi Debbie
So hows about an intro before we start. We always ask newbies!

Usual stuff - what prof body do you belong to, do you work for yourself or in a practice/ firm, are you a bookkeeper or accountant, what qualifications, how long in role, where up to in your studies-what exams passed/with what body/in midst of doing, where based, what you did before this role? That sort of thing. Helps get to know you but also how best to pitch answers.


What sepcifically do you need the software to do (if you purchase it)? Is it just for bookkeeping or for final account production as well.



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Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Master Book-keeper

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Oh and please add your first name so that it appears under the signature bar on your posts. Saves everyone looking it up each time!! (Edit profile --->signatures)



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Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Newbie

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Hi again

OK no problem - I qualified with the ACCA in 1996, having studied whilst working for different accountancy firms in Lancashire/Cheshire. A couple of years after that I moved into industry and was Financial Controller for a period of 8 years before starting a family. I've been self-employed for 12 years and took the ATT exams in my first year of practice. I know I'm qualified to do a lot more than I actually do - I mainly offer Bookkeeping Services, Management Accounts, Vat, Payroll - but the work suits me and I have a nice work life balance. I've recently relinquished my ACCA membership and I'm now registered under IAB.

The software is Sage and I purely want it for Bookkeeping and Vat Returns - I don't do final accounts production.


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Debbi



Master Book-keeper

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Hi Debbi
Welcome to the forum.

Quick/random response for now as already mid chaos!

I think the Sage Accountants package will be overkill as you will get the year end accounts module as well. Besides its expensive and what happens if you go over the 10 clients on a cost basis?

There are much cheaper options out there if you require accounts production. (#)

There are much cheaper options out there if you wish to use your own software rather than clients buying their own - VT is a one off couple of hundred pounds (yes, thats a one off fee) for their bookkeeping package. Looks completely uncool when compared to Sage but is very easy to use and much more forgiving that Sage. The only time you would enter a pay annually situation with them is for their bolt on Accounts Production package (#). It is highly thought of/used by most accountants who do not have the likes of IRIS/Sage SAP and used by most by dropping in the exports from clients own wide variety of packages (including sage and the more waste of space software types) to produce meaningful information to then move towards the final accounts.

Note - I am a massive Sage fan, but even they push the bounds of ridiculousness with their charges and sales tales.

On the Sage sales jokes - please do NOT fall for the sage needs upgrading every year. Nor that folk MUST upgrade for MTD compatability as this complete tosh. There will be other options out there for filing the VAT return which will not involve your clients in such ridiculous expense.....the whole Accountancy world is waiting because at the moment HMRC havent even given all the details to the software houses and havent actually got their house in order on the whole MTD thing (as made clear in their own webinars!)

Plus whilst you will get 98% of sage personnel stating as FACT that your clients can ONLY go on a subscription model,k this is also complete rubbish. You can still get perpetual licences and believe it or not actually still on disc. You just need to get past the idiots on the front line.

I would say - do nothing as yet (Sage will try to persuade you to do something and the calls will come in increasingly - daily even - thats how desperate they are!) but just hold off until a wee bit nearer the MTD full revelation time.

On the more generic question of whose software you should be using then that is a matter for your discussions between you and your client and is wholley dependent on what they wish to do and why. I have a mix of clients - some with their own, some I use whatever I choose, be the latter sage, quickbooks or VT - depending on volume/intricacies/VAT reg and VAT scheme/reporting requirements etc. If clients want access to their own data they generally prefer to buy the software and I use that.



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Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Senior Member

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Purple Lava wrote:

With the introduction of MTD all my clients are going to have to upgrade their Sage software and go on to monthly subscriptions.  

 


Hi Debbi,

As Joanne has said, many, many Sage users stick with older versions so long as they continue to meet their needs. Some of our customer base keep up to date with the latest releases, but I'd say that the majority are on versions other than the current one. I get my "perpetual software on a disc" from SJ Software - they've always been competitively priced. Here's an example: https://www.sjsoftware.co.uk/sage-50-accounts-essentials-perpetual-licence-2. They cover all variants and will be competitive on subscription pricing too. I have no connection with SJ Software - just a long time happy customer.

I'd be reluctant to become the owner of the software. Again, as Joanne has said, don't believe the "are going to have to upgrade their Sage software and go on to monthly subscriptions". Just not true.

Regards,

Ian

 



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Ian

Ian Brown FCA
Onion Reporting Software Ltd

www.onionrs.co.uk

Sage accounts in Excel. No set-up necessary. Free trial.



Newbie

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Many thanks Joanne and Ian for such comprehensive replies - you've given me food for thought.

I think you've successfully pointed me away from the Sage Accountants Package - so now it's just a matter of what I should advise my clients to do.

I too have always purchase perpetual licence software from SJ Software - they are brilliant. I guess I was too quick to believe the guy at Sage when he told me everything was moving to subscription.

I will maybe bide my time for now.

Thanks again



-- Edited by Purple Lava on Friday 27th of July 2018 06:16:43 PM

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Debbi



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hi to you Debbi
As many have mentioned there are lots of other options out there and some very low value - I try and vary the packages to suit the clients needs. Some clients are very small so to keep costs low I suggest either Sage One or QuickFile - free for a very small amount of transactions and then a low cost. Xero is getting its name out there, Quickbooks is great if you can get used to it, personally I was not keen but definitely a low cost against Sage.
Sage I still like and in my view does tick lots of boxes which include requirement of stock and if they have CIS the add on is only £10 a month so great if many subcontractors.

I believe eventually the Sage desktop with have an Add- on to serve the MTD however if your customers are not VAT registered then this will not be a problem for many years.

If you do go down the Sage install the older version also (must be installed first) so you can cater for the non-VAT registered quite easily.

Good luck with the choice - it is not an easy decision

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Donna Curling - Complete Book-Keeping Ltd (CBK Training) - 07939 101900

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Master Book-keeper

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Donna CBK wrote:

If you do go down the Sage install the older version also (must be installed first) so you can cater for the non-VAT registered quite easily.


 Hi Donna

I don't use Sage but won't the later version also cover the non VAT's. Seems a bit daft if it doesn't.



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John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



Senior Member

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A few of my clients upgraded to V24 with that understanding however I have since heard that there is possibly an add on for the MTD desktop - I am hoping this will not be so however they are trying very hard to get clients onto the Sage 50C version. Will wait and see

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Donna Curling - Complete Book-Keeping Ltd (CBK Training) - 07939 101900

Payroll & bookkeeping solutions - info@completebookkeeping.co.uk

www.completebookkeeping.co.uk

 



Master Book-keeper

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Donna CBK wrote:

A few of my clients upgraded to V24 with that understanding however I have since heard that there is possibly an add on for the MTD desktop - I am hoping this will not be so however they are trying very hard to get clients onto the Sage 50C version. Will wait and see


 Wouldnt worry about it too much Donna.  Sage are on the (very very very) hard sell by invoking fear.   I think they are realising not everyone will upgrade so will provide an add on Ive heard tell of £30pm, but dont quote me on that as I cannot recall where it came from just now.  But certainly at that rate many are likely to just use a 3rd party bit of add on kit.  



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Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Master Book-keeper

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Agreed Joanne

I wouldn't want to pay anywhere near £360 a year (seen your disclaimer but it wouldn't surprise me with Sage) just to submit 4 VAT returns.



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John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



Master Book-keeper

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Leger wrote:

Agreed Joanne

I wouldn't want to pay anywhere near £360 a year (seen your disclaimer but it wouldn't surprise me with Sage) just to submit 4 VAT returns.


Hi John

Be cheaper to buy their essentially package as a yearly add on. Data dump, report, run!  

Although of course Im not advocating that!!!!!!!!!!



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Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 

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