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Sage One hits the cloud accounting market with a focus on SMEs and Accountants

Sage Business Cloud Accounting (formerly known as Sage One) is aiming to disrupt the cloud accounting market with a competitive solution aimed at Australia’s small businesses and accountants.

Officially launched last week, Sage was soft-launched to the 7,500-strong accountants using Sage HandiSoft over the months prior. It was a move that marked the focus on the accountant stream that Sage aims to have with its service, a solution that newly appointed General Manager Lukas Taylor says Australia is ready for.

“I think the market is ready for another small crowd accounting solution. There have been a couple of key players over the last few years, but I think the market is ready for a simpler and more cost-effective solution,” Taylor tells Dynamic Business.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting has a no-nonsense approach. It’s a comparable product to Xero and it’s a superior product to MYOB. We have embedded functionality within the product that caters to the small business market here in Australia. We’re catering to tradespeople, to professional services, and then even deviating to knowledge-based services, merchandising and retail. The outcome can cater to businesses across the board.”

Customised for the Australian market, with tax compliance and awards interpretations in mind, Taylor says the $15 per month fee for the entire package is key to Sage’s spirited push. Add to that a focus on support, and Sage One is certainly on the right track to nudging out the competition.

“I think it’s time for the Australian market to have more choice. We’re confident, we’re strong, and we’re a fresh business. I’ve just recruited a young team in the last few months, a team with a background in accounting and customer service. We’ll have local support; phone, email, online support – which is a huge point of difference in the market,” Taylor says.

“There’s a dual value proposition here. It’s great for the end user, creating efficiency for their business, and it streamlines the work and reduces data manipulation for the accountants.”

Sage has been launched with a series of capabilities to drive business growth and to streamline processes, including a simple-to-use invoicing system, integration with bank accounts on offer, and a partnership with Sky Payroll to drive payroll efficiency.

Steven Cohen, the MD of Sage for AAMEA (Australia, Asia, Middle East and Africa), says the new solution is a natural and necessary step in the evolution of cloud-based business software.

“Over time, businesses behind cloud technology have been able to fix their mistakes and come up with the best solutions. Companies used to put so many features in to be competitive, but what they were really doing was frustrating 90 per cent of the users that didn’t need all that stuff,” Cohen says.

“The basic SME wants to be able to go in, reconcile his cash book, record his expenses, do an invoice, a bit of inventory control, and he’s cool. Too many software companies have pushed services that are so bloated, so convoluted, but SMEs want short and sharp simplicity.”

At the end of the day, Cohen says, it’s about the SME and the entrepreneurial spirit needed to drive business growth. He believes targeting both the small business and the accountant is imperative for success.

“We want to help businesses focus on business. Of course, we think accountants are absolutely critical. To make accountancy more efficient, they’re going to use cloud software, they’re going to advise their customers to use cloud software. We want to make it simpler for the two parties to work hand in hand,” Cohen says.

“We believe we can really tap into the heart of the SMEs in this country; we’re going to make a difference.”

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Guillermo Troncoso

Guillermo Troncoso

Guillermo is the Editor of Dynamic Business and Manager of film &amp; television entertainment site ScreenRealm.com. Follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/gtponders">Twitter</a>.

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