When running a growing business, you might soon find that bookkeeping becomes too time-consuming and confusing. In that case, you might want to look into accounting software, or hire an accountant to manage your accounts for you. Sage’s accountant-focused functionality could be a good fit, but the Countingup app might be a better solution if you’re running your own business. 

In this guide, we’ll help you find the best support for your needs by looking into the following topics:

  • What are the features of Sage?
  • What’s a better alternative to Sage?
  • How will I benefit from hiring an accountant?
  • What makes Countingup the perfect app for my business?

What are the features of Sage?

Sage is an accounting software service that’s targeted at self-employed individuals, primarily sole traders and similar small business owners. They offer most of the features you’d find in competing services like Xero and Quickbooks, such as digital invoicing, payroll support, and MTD compatibility. 

Like these similar services, Sage has a monthly subscription price, and the rates differ depending on the level of service you require. The version with the most features costs £33 a month.

Sage doesn’t actually provide a built-in bank account. Rather, it connects with any existing bank account you might use for business transactions. This means you’d have to juggle a bank account as well as a Sage account, and go through the process of connecting the two. A busy sole trader might have an easier time using Countingup, which is a two-in-one product: it combines a business account with built-in accounting software. 

Sage also offers some level of functionality that makes working with an accountant easier, but Sage and Sage For Accountants aren’t as closely related as they could be. Accountants that use Sage will have an easier time assisting businesses that use Sage, but only because they understand the system: not because there’s any specific functionality that links the two. 

This isn’t great, because working with an accountant is enormously helpful for small businesses. There are tons of potential benefits to hiring an accountant for your bookkeeping. 

What’s a better alternative to Sage?

If you are running a business on your own and want a system that’s tailored to your needs,   join thousands of self-employed people across the UK using Countingup for their financial management and accounting.   

One of Countingup’s best features is the Accountant Hub, which you can invite your accounting to using the Countingup app. Using the hub means accountants can get the information they need (once you grant them access to your account) when they need it. You can share your accurate, real-time bookkeeping data with your accountant in seconds with the tap of a button –– no more missing data, duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies.

Switching to Countingup also means you’ll get access to a bunch of useful and well-designed tools at your fingertips. For example, Countingup offers real-time profit and loss reporting.

A profit and loss statement is a financial document that shows how much money your company has made and lost over a set period. The Countingup app shows a real-time view of your profits and losses, updating as you make transactions on the business account. This means you’ll be able to see and record any expenses as soon as they go onto your account. 

You’ll get all this for a much better price than Sage offers. You also get your own account number, sort code and contactless MasterCard to manage payments easily. 

Learn more about why Countingup is the best accounting software for one-person businesses here.

How will I benefit from hiring an accountant?

It’s crucial to stay on top of financial admin for anyone running their own business, especially when you operate alone. Bookkeeping, accounting, taxes, and other financial tasks can be confusing and extremely time-consuming if you don’t have much experience in finance. 

Since accountants are well-versed in all things finance, hiring one could help you optimise your financial management and run your business more efficiently. Small business owners tend to hire accountants to complete specific tasks, such as filing company accounts (for a limited company) or helping with the Self-Assessment tax return form

The two main ways you’ll benefit from hiring an accountant is speed and accuracy. That’s because accountants are finance experts, meaning they can likely get the same tasks done faster and more accurately than you can. An accountant can also provide insight into your financial health and share advice on how you can become more profitable. 

In addition, handing over your bookkeeping and accounting tasks to an accountant will also free up time in your schedule that you can spend growing your business. 

Finding an accountant

When searching for an accountant, the first step is to consider what you need from them. Once you have an idea, you’ll be able to determine more accurately if a firm is the right fit for you. 

For example, if you just need someone to help with bookkeeping and tax returns, you might be fine with a less experienced accountant or bookkeeper. In addition, if you use cloud-based software like Countingup, you’ll want an accountant that can use that system. You’ll also want to hire an accountant that understands your business needs and the challenges you might face.

What makes Countingup the perfect accounting app for my business?

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. 

This Sage alternative specialises in one-person businesses, so every tool and feature is explicitly designed to suit your specific needs. You can also share your financial data with your accountant instantly (simply send them an email invite!) for easy record keeping and tax filing. 

As well as accountant access, Countingup also has useful functions like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights. These allow you to confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

Find out more here, including how to start your three-month free trial. 

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