11 August 2023

Is Sage better than Xero for small business bookkeeping?

For businesses across Droitwich and Worcester, the right accounting software can be crucial to their success. In the UK, two popular options are Sage and Xero. Both platforms offer a range of features designed to streamline financial management, but is Sage better than Xero when it comes to bookkeeping packages for small businesses?

While several bookkeeping packages are available, including QuickBooks and Iris, we will compare Sage and Xero in this article, exploring their key features, pricing models, user-friendliness, and customer support to determine which software best fits small businesses across Worcestershire.

Key features

Sage and Xero offer a wide range of bookkeeping features, including invoicing, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, financial reporting, and payroll management. However, the two platforms differ in terms of their focus and approach.

With its long-established reputation, Sage tends to cater more to traditional accounting needs, offering comprehensive financial management tools suitable for businesses with complex requirements. There are two main versions of Sage that small businesses and bookkeepers use: Sage 50, which has its roots in Sage's desktop accounting software, and Sage Business Cloud, formally known as Sage One. Sage developed the latter product to provide cloud-based access.

On the other hand, Xero has positioned itself as a cloud-based, user-friendly solution with a strong emphasis on automation and integration with third-party apps. Xero has capitalised on the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) in the UK over recent years and is one of the most prominent MTD compliant accounting software providers used by many businesses throughout Droitwich and Redditch.


Regarding user-friendliness, Xero has gained a reputation for its intuitive interface and ease of use. Its dashboard provides a clear overview of key financial data, making it accessible even to those with limited accounting knowledge and, therefore, a popular choice for Worcester business owners doing their own bookkeeping. Xero's clean design and straightforward navigation make it a popular choice for small business owners who want to manage their finances efficiently without the need for extensive training.

While it has many accounting functions, Sage has a steeper learning curve than Xero. Its interface may feel overwhelming for beginners, especially those without a background in accounting and bookkeeping. For example, many bookkeepers prefer Sage 50 because of its purchase order function. Sage's comprehensive functionality can be advantageous for businesses with more complex accounting needs or a preference for a more traditional accounting approach.


Pricing is often a significant factor for small businesses. Xero offers various subscription plans, from starter packages to more advanced options. While its pricing is generally competitive, businesses may need to consider additional costs for specific features or add-ons. Up to date pricing information can be found on the Xero website.

On the other hand, Sage provides more flexibility with its modular pricing structure. Customers can choose specific features and functionalities to suit their business needs, offering cost savings for businesses that don't require the full suite of services. Click on the relevant links for the current prices for Sage Business Cloud software or Sage 50 accounting packages.

Customer support

The quality of customer support can significantly impact a small business's experience with accounting and bookkeeping software. Xero provides a comprehensive knowledge base, community forums, and a network of certified advisors to help users get the most out of their software.

Sage also offers customer support, but some users have reported mixed experiences, with longer response times and less accessible support channels. However, Sage's extensive history in the industry has resulted in a large user community, with resources and forums available to help users troubleshoot issues.

Support from JRMA

JRMA work with most mainstream accounting and bookkeeping packages, including Sage, Xero, and QuickBooks. We can also install your chosen accounting software and train you or your staff. Further details on our Accounts Training and Set Up service can be found in the link.

Alternatively, if you prefer to purchase your accounting software and outsource the bookkeeping element to us, we can handle all the invoicing and receipt processing.


Both Sage and Xero offer robust accounting and bookkeeping software solutions for small businesses in Droitwich and surrounding areas, but their suitability depends on individual needs and preferences.

Xero's user-friendly interface, emphasis on automation and integration, and competitive pricing make it an attractive choice for small businesses prioritising ease of use and accessibility.

On the other hand, Sage's comprehensive functionality, particularly for businesses with more complex accounting needs, and modular pricing structure provide flexibility for those who require a more traditional approach. Sage's extensive history in the industry and the availability of a large user community can also be valuable resources for businesses seeking support.

Ultimately, small business owners need to evaluate their specific requirements, budget, and level of accounting expertise when choosing between Sage and Xero. Exploring free trials and consulting with trusted advisors or peers can help make an informed decision that aligns with the business's goals and priorities.

Contact JRMA

Don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your business's accounting and bookkeeping software needs. Please call 01905 796512 or email info@jrma.co.uk for a free initial consultation.