back to article Boring as she goes at Sage? Oh no, no, no! Shares slide as sales slip below forecasts

There was a minor disturbance in the accountancy software market today: accountants even looked up from their books as Sage admitted sales were more sloppy than expected at the half-way stage of its fiscal ’18. In a trading update that initially sent the share price tumbling 17 per cent - down 10 per cent at the time of …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge


    Sage should use {cough} {cough} "the Sage Cloud" for their accounts after all it is supposed to be the 'bees-knees' for business accounting.

    Don't forget to pay the subscription otherwise your accounts will go missing again (sic)

    1. hamiltoneuk

      Re: Perhaps...?

      Well said. Folks who use cloud for vital business need their heads examining of course. Yesterday a customer told be that his firm was without internet for 10 days recently when BT cables were damaged. This was on an industrial estate in a large town 10km outside the M25. The temptation to follow the endless trend to de-skill everything with technologies like cloud is very powerful. The service providers always cover up the pitfalls. Caveat emptor.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps...?

      My experience is that they will go missing anyway, for at least three 5-day periods per month.

  2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Hmm no mention of Line 1000

    So its the Line 1000 ("Replaced" Line 500) product line's fault.

    I assume that'll be yet another audit request with accusations of mis-use.

  3. Keith Langmead

    Maybe accountants are finally looking elsewhere.

    Can't comment on using it for accounts, but for installing/updating/supporting it the software sucks! It's 2018 and Payroll still assumes you're running as admin, and doesn't handle UAC credential elevation properly. Call Sage support and they just tell you to reinstall Sage (even when the issue is that you CAN'T install Sage). Having to jump through hoops to install the Data Service as Sage have suddenly decided to drop support for your Server OS.

    1. psychonaut

      Re: Maybe accountants are finally looking elsewhere.

      i fucking hate sage with a passion. ended up building a terminal server 6 years ago just to get it to run multi users. otherwise its a total dog on a network. and the number of programs they have, p11d, accounts, payroll, corp tax, personal tax, accounts production, accounts production advanced, err, i think thats it.

      its really nice to have it on a TS, only needs one update per few months per program but in the bad old days it was a total nightmare for more than 1 user

  4. Ima Ballsy

    Maybe ...

    Its because the impact of GOOD Open Source ERP packages that are out there.

    Google for "Open source ERP"

    It's just disruptive I tell ya ......

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Maybe ...

      Are there any that handle filing VAT electronically (soon to be a legal requirement). How about the rest of the shitty tax laws on the way. The government appear to be forcing us all into cloud account packages.

      I'm hanging on to my local install of QuickBooks for as long as possible. Then I'll probably just retire.

      1. Alan Bourke

        Re: Maybe ...


      2. VinceH

        Re: Maybe ...

        "The government appear to be forcing us all into cloud account packages."

        No, that's the cloud companies misrepresenting what the government is doing.

        MTD is set to be an absolute PITA - but it should still be possible to use desktop software, providing either the software you prefer is updated to keep in line, or you can find a third party product to sit between your software and HMRC's submission system. (Some outfits are working on such things.)

    2. Alan Bourke

      Re: Maybe ...

      Is there a good open source ERP? Because there hasn't been any time I've looked.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ugh... Sage. I can't speak to their cloud offering, but I know that their traditional offering was stuck in a ca. 1995 mindset where a "server" computer meant that the head accountant (or the most technologically inclined) installed Sage on their machine first, making it the "server".

    Want a comedy show? Look through the underlying database. Field names like "DoNotUse783", strange DB antipaterns everywhere, no extensibility.

  6. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Don't panic, Sage shareholders...

    The government's new digital strategy means businesses will need to buy certified software to make their VAT returns in future, and I'm guessing Sage will be one of a very few players. Trebles and brown envelopes full of used fivers all round...

  7. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Sage is a horrendous

    We have several customers who use Sage, and it's more about what it can't do than what it can. Every machine needs to be updated separately, they all need admin permissions, the updates fail, and if you every have a problem, all their support peopl seem to be able to do is say "you need to talk to your IT support, the permissions are set wrong"!!

    We have had better luck installing it on a server and RDPing to it, but Sage don't support that so you have to lie to them if something does go wrong. And the bloody thing takes over your network: It seems to *require* a gigabit LAN, it doesn't work over a VPN. The backup system is pathetic. The software itself seems to rely on flat-file database tables done in Foxpro or something from the 1980s. Many of our customers, including accountants, are moving over to Xero. Yes, it's cloud-based, but in terms of overall reliability, you'll get fewer down-days, and at least you can use it from an alternate location if your office broadband goes down.

    The whole thing with Sage is rooted in its original 1980s code. It's a dinosaur and that company deserves to fail.

    1. psychonaut

      Re: Sage is a horrendous

      yeah, pretty much that. although it works very quick on a TS over a vpn on rdp.not sure why yours doesnt work on a vpn.

      and yes, they dont "support" terminal server, but it does work. so dont tell them that....the only pisser is finding the updates so that you can run them in instal mode although to be fair their support portal now does allow this. a few years ago and it was a pain in the arse.

      1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        Re: Sage is a horrendous

        I mean you can't just run a sage client over a VPN. Yes, you can of course use TS, but that's not even something they support.

    2. John Crisp

      Re: Sage is a horrendous

      Yup. Howling PoC. Best thing we did was dump it (it was also the last Windows thing to get shot of so we could lose M$ too) Double bubble :-)

      Database was a 90s relic and a total mess. Broken records you couldn't fix without a complete wipe & start again etc etc. Endless promises of updating it that never happened. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the current versions still use the same db with a prettified frontend.

      They are just milking cash for all they are worth.

      Most pleasurable thing was phoning them to tell them to shove their support contract.

  8. Tezfair

    Necessary evil

    I have sage running on a licensed W10 VM. Its become my dedicated 'accounts' computer as I got fed up of sage trashing my main PC or running into issues when I did an OS update. That aside, my biggest issue (and most of my clients) is subscription. I don't need to have their support, often it takes several days for any responce and usually the first 'copy and paste' reply from them isn't relevent.

    I fully suspect that the likes of Quick and Xero etc., are hovering up Sage users once Sage refuses to update the perpetual license. I was quite happy on Accounts v19, it did everything I needed but changes at HMRC meant it was better for me to upgrade so now im on v24, but only because I stood my ground and demanded perpetual license.

    If i'm forced to go subscription, it will be to the cheapest provider as I only need to manage invoices and VAT. I could go back to XLS but as the gov is pushing more and more for digital everything, a spreadsheet may cost me more in time to manually process everything.

  9. regprentice

    RBS have just bought cloud accounting provider free agent with a view to peddling it as a freebie/bundled service with commercial banking. That'll royally screw sage if the banks move in that direction.

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