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Moving from Sage tips? It's making Zero sense

Started by Lynsey Bastian -   in Small Business

I'm looking for advice from anyone who has moved from Sage to Xero. Our accountant wants us to move from Sage (which I have been using for over 6 years) to Xero and I am in the middle of a month long free trial on Xero and to be honest I am hating everything about it. I understand the benefit that our accountant can log in at any time but at the moment that's the only benefit I see.

As a Sage user, Xero makes Zero sense to me. It doesn't feel like Xero is designed for a small charity like mine at all. Everything is about unit prices, inventory and it feels like it is made for a big organisation selling products. We are a small third sector organisation with invoices to pay and we invoice other organisations for services like training and membership. We pay GCVS to handle our payroll so I just have to record the amount we pay them then run a journal to split this between departments (I've not even tried to figure out how to do a journal entry on Xero yet).

We don't need our software package to do a lot but we do need to be able to see activity for each department. I understand that you can set up 'tracking' instead of departments but I can't figure out how you view for example all activity in one tracking category during say the month of February. In Sage all I'd have to do is go to departments, select the right one and view 'activity' choosing the month I need and this would show me all activity. Looking at Xero I have to view sales and purchases separately for one 'department / tracking category'.

We bank with the Cooperative Bank who have no plans to connect with Xero (I've asked) so I can't connect our bank accounts. Has anyone else from a small organisation moved from Sage to Xero and can offer me any tips? I find the videos really frustrating and I don't learn well by watching these. Is there any hope for me? Sage makes sense and Xero just doesn't at all. Every time I think I've got something set up I then can't find where information is stored.
Hiya Lynsey - can totally understand any confusion moving from one software to another! One of the team's going to reach out to answer any questions you have, and to see what we can do to help.

If you don't like Videos, our Help Centre is full of information, and our Support team are very knowledgeable on Xero . Of course Community is here for if you want to reach out with other users of Xero, like you've already done :)

Brittany H (Community Manager)  

Hi Lynsey,

We are a small management consultancy firm. So, like you we don’t need unit price/inventory information. We moved to Xero last year from Sage and I am very happy that we did. I can see the current status anytime, unlike Sage which was only accessible of one machine. It was only our Accounts Manager that had access to up-to-date information.

Whilst the Co-op Bank may not have the facility to automatically send statement details you can download your statements and then import them to Xero. The debits and credits are automatically associated with the entries in Xero making it easy to reconcile.

I can’t comment on setting up departments as we have no need for that facility. But, having moved from Sage to Xero I am very happy with the ability to access Xero whenever I need to – either in the office, or via my phone when I’m out of the office. Also, my co-director now has access at any time too. All in all, a good move.

Hope my comments help.

Sue Berry  

Thanks Sue. The departments are a big part of it for us so figuring out how that works is really important as we have 3 main departments, one for our main funding, one for our agreed contribution to that fund and one for any other transactions and work outwith that fund. I've spoken to someone at Xero and they've suggested I try the webinar which I will do asap. Don't get me wrong Sage has it's issues and limitations but I've figured out how to work around them to get things looking how we need them to. I will persevere and see where I end up. I just wish someone would make a version of financial / accounting software designed for third sector organisations as our requirements are really different to commercial organisations. Perhaps if we can get our Accountant to set things up for us it will make more sense too.

Lynsey Bastian  

Hi, Cloud Accounting and Cashflow Services has the proven track record to setup such a system for you.
Call Mike on 021 335524. He is good at this.

Mike's mum,

Michael Haydon  

Looks like your Accountant wants you to move for his/her benefit not yours - change accountants!

Stewart Martel  

No our accountant is great. It's really all down to Sage, they got in touch to say that they would no longer be supporting our software and that prompted us to look into our options. I think I need to re-programme my brain to get Xero to make sense. I've been using Sage for so long it makes sense and Xero feels completely foreign. I'm booked onto a webinar to see if that helps and have asked our accountant for help after that.

Lynsey Bastian  

Ask me... Cloud Accounting and Cashflow services limited.
021 335524/mike@cff.co.nz

Michael Haydon