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The Decline of Sage 100

What to Do When Looking to Transition Off Sage 100

The Decline of Sage 100

migrate off sage 100

Sage 100 has been on the forefront of accounting software for over three decades. But the unfortunate truth is that Sage Group is coming out of one of its most brutal years to date. For years Sage has worn their perceived “boring” company label as a badge of honor. Until recently they were one of two firms on the London Stock Market that achieved 10 years of uninterrupted earnings per share growth. A slow start in January 2018 coupled with a profit warning mere months later have spelled the beginning of the end for the once dominant Sage 100.

Reasons for the Decline

It took many years for the decline to really manifest, but longtime users of Sage probably could have seen the writing on the wall.  Sage took the plunge into cloud-based software relatively late in 2016 with Sage Live (now called Sage Business Cloud Financials), and, like relative newcomer QuickBooks Online, Sage Live did not have nearly the feature library as did its on-premise brethren.  It was simply a case of too little, too late.  Sage’s bread and butter was and still is this on-premise software, and once the last users migrate away, Sage won’t have much to show for their efforts over the years.

The decline of Sage likely has many long-term Sage users wondering: now what? Fortunately, Zoho Corporation entered the cloud-based software game years before Sage did, all the way back in 2005 (with a rival to the Microsoft Office Suite; Zoho CRM was launched in 2006).  For that reason, Zoho has had much more time to build out their list of features, expand their applications, and offer a piece of software that can hold its own against many other cloud-based – and even on-premise – accounting systems.  Zoho Books, Zoho’s accounting system, offers a host of great features to meet your basic and advanced accounting needs. The following is a road map to help you know your options when looking to transition off Sage 100 and onto something a bit more modern.

The Zoho Advantage

Zoho Books has multiple significant advantages over its Sage 100 competitor (which we discussed in our Zoho Books vs Sage 100 comparison). The Zoho accounting software is easy-to-use, inexpensive, and cloud-based. Though it may not be capable of handling Payroll in all US states just yet, Gusto is a viable option. Moreover, the built-in API makes Gusto an alternative we can integrate with. (Currently Zoho only handles Payroll processing in California, Texas, and Indiana).

What’s more, Zoho offers greater mobility, with a corresponding mobile app for each of its applications, including Zoho Books. Zoho Books can also handle multiple currencies, a feature that Sage 100 lacks, at least without the help of an expensive upgrade. Plus, perhaps the most significant benefit of the Zoho suite of applications is its inexpensive nature, especially in comparison to Sage 100. The bottom line is that with Zoho you get the valuable combination of saving money and gaining functionality. It’s a win-win that is hard to beat!

ZBrains Answers to Common Questions

Seasoned users of Sage 100 know that it can handle Work Orders and Material Resource Planning (MRP), while Zoho cannot. But what they may not know is that we at ZBrains offer Zoho ERP software that can do both of those things. This means you can manage them via Zoho without breaking a sweat.

Some users of Sage may be concerned about Zoho’s lack of fixed asset depreciation functionality. But the fact is that most small and medium sized businesses simply send their fixed asset depreciation information to their CPA. Maybe you utilize your own fixed asset depreciation software, in which case you can continue to use it because of Zoho’s shortcoming in this regard.

Next Steps

Ultimately, Zoho has a full arsenal of applications to help in your transition from Sage 100, whether you choose to do so now or later. (Learn more about what others are saying about Sage 100 here)

migrate off sage 100

Zoho Books, Zoho Inventory, and Zoho Creator all provide the same functionality lost when switching off Sage, at a fraction of the price. 

Still not convinced? Contact our Zoho consulting team to learn more and discover all of the top notch functionality of Zoho, in an effort to land on the answer to the eternal question: What can Zoho do for you?

And, if all else fails and you still feel the need to keep your org on Sage 100, there is one other thing you can do: use our Zoho CRM Sage 100 integration.

Zoho Books vs Sage 100

Zoho Books vs Sage 100

Zoho Books vs Sage 100: A Tale of Two Software Programs

Tax season is upon us, which means tracking down all financial statements and ensuring your accounting needs are fully met. Whether you are evaluating your current financial software for deficiencies or simply looking to manage your finances better in 2019, we hope this comparison of Zoho Books vs. Sage 100 is beneficial. Follow along as we evaluate the features of these two pieces of software and provide insight into their similarities and differences. Tax season may be upon us, but hopefully one of these programs can help make your life that much easier.

The End of an Erazoho books vs sage 100

Sage 100 appears to be on its final legs, a quiet exit from center stage on its descent into obscurity. This software used to be the cream of the crop, known as MAS 90 (Master Accounting Series of the 90s). Given the typical shelf life of 10 years for an ERP, this software has been around for 3 lifetimes! Given that extended time on the market and the lack of new features, the writing is on the wall. Sage 100 will soon be put out to pasture.

Where Sage 100 Went Wrong

That decline in popularity raises the question: Where did Sage 100 go wrong? For starters, Sage 100 is overblown for many smaller businesses, which means companies are not often implementing it new. Not only is it an on-premise software, but it is overwrought, and more expensive than Zoho Books. Zoho Books has multiple advantages, being inexpensive, easy-to-use, and cloud-based. On top of all that, Sage continues to increase maintenance prices year over year, making it increasingly and frustratingly more expensive.

The Major Differences for Zoho Books vs. Sage 100

There are multiple significant differences between these two pieces of software:

zoho books vs sage 100Mobility: Everything Zoho does has a corresponding mobile app; unfortunately Sage 100 is noticeably lacking in this arena.

Native Integrations: Zoho Books again has an edge, boasting the ability to integrate with Amazon, eBay, Avalara, and other payment gateways. With Zoho, you can avoid kicking everyone out before installing.

Multi-currency: Quite simply, Zoho Books operates with multiple currencies and Sage 100 does not.

New Features: Zoho is known for their innovation, their push towards a better, more efficient product. They unveil new features on a regular basis, whereas Sage is once again bringing up the rear. Sage is happy to announce a new feature that adds very little value such as adding character limits to a custom field.

Overall Comparison: Zoho Books vs. Sage 100

In the end, it is clear that there are stark differences between these two pieces of software. Sage 100 is in the sunset of its run and Zoho Books consistently churns out new inventive features.  (Of course, if you’re trapped between a rock and a hard place and need to stay on Sage 100 no matter what, we offer a Zoho CRM Sage 100 integration, too.)

Whether you are a seasoned user of Zoho or branching out to find a CRM that works for your business, we at ZBrains are happy to help. Allow one of our Zoho experts to analyze your company and determine the strengths and weaknesses with a comprehensive business process analysis (BPA). With the power of Zoho consulting, we can help you use Zoho Books to your advantage and enjoy all of the functionality and benefits of the Zoho system.

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online: Two Titans of Accounting Software

As we fly headlong into the thick of tax season, managing your finances has never been more important. But how do you tackle such a task? QuickBooks Online is used by more than 2.5 million companies, an impressive number to be sure. However, how many of those business owners are truly satisfied? How many are getting the most out of their accounting software? Zoho Books offers a few very useful features that QuickBooks lacks, especially when under the larger umbrella of Zoho Finance. Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online is a veritable clash of titans, and both bring particulars to the table that appeal to wide audiences. 

Our goal is to help you make a more informed decision about your accounting software. Whether you are buying for the first time, re-evaluating your current tools, or simply seeing what else is out there, we hope this comparison makes your job easier. Join us as we navigate the waters of financial software:

Comparing the Significant Features of Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

A great place to begin when comparing and contrasting these two is their nuts and bolts; in what they do best and offer to the customer. The three things that QuickBooks (QB) offers over its Zoho equivalent are:

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

  1. Payroll Processing
  2. Budget and Forecasting
  3. Online Bill Payments

Conversely, Zoho Books provides its own slate of unique features that do not exist in QB:

  • Workflows: Create different workflows based on your needs
  • Create Users: Add users to your organization for easy collaboration
  • Client Portal: Not only allows for communication with customers in an interactive portal, but you can also send them sales orders once they accept your estimate! Plus, this feature allows you to collaborate with clients by sending messages through the portal.

The Sales Orders issue is incredibly crucial, because QuickBooks Online is severely lacking in this arena, which translates to an inventory tracking system that is not robust. In this sense, the “inventory tracking” feature boasted by QB Online is misleading, because the software simply offers no way to reserve inventory! This inability to create sales orders and therefore an inability to track orders placed by customers is a not-so-subtle blemish on the QuickBooks image/brand.

There are a few other noteworthy Zoho features worth mentioning:

  1. Integrates with multiple shipping options out of the box, including FedEx, UPS, and USPS
  2. Offers a useful multi-currency option for balance sheet accounts (assets, liability, equity)
  3. Zoho Books allows for use with 6-10 payment gateways
  4. Zoho Books includes a Retainer Invoice- affords you the ability to track prepayments

Price Comparison of Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks OnlineAny comparison is incomplete without evaluating pricing differences and similarities. In this case, if we view the price of Zoho Books on its own, it clearly is more cost-effective. Zoho Books’ standard price is $19 per organization per month, which includes 500 contacts, three users, and 10 automated workflows. Meanwhile, the “Essentials” package for QB Online is $35 per month, their equivalent of the Standard package. Therefore in this specific price comparison, Zoho Books has the edge.

However, if you crave the full accounting power from Zoho (which includes a fleet of applications: Invoice, Books, Zoho Inventory, Subscriptions, Expense, Checkout), you will need Zoho Finance. Operating with the integrated capabilities of Zoho Finance does require a more substantial investment, to the tune of $149 per month. This price includes 10 users and a slew of other fantastic features, all of which you can explore here.

*An important note about pricing: QB charges additional fees for data migration, Zoho Books does not.*

Overall Comparison

Ultimately, one of the most difficult hurdles for users of QuickBooks is to even consider a switch to another software. Fans of QuickBooks often believe that a transition to another operating platform will be too much of a hassle (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!). But the truth is that Zoho Books has more than its fair share of advantages over QB Online, and the integrations with other Zoho software make it that much more valuable.Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

Plus, a nifty bonus of Zoho Books is that the mobile features can be accessed on phones from Apple, Android, and Microsoft, as well as Kindles (QB can only handle Apple + Android).

In the end, Zoho Books offers a reliable way to completely migrate off QuickBooks. Not completely sold? Check out our Zoho QuickBooks Online integration, which allows you to continue to use QuickBooks Online and share that data with the Zoho CRM.  Our team of Zoho consultants can tell you the best way to set it up based on how you conduct business.

February 2019 New Feature Roundup: Zoho Books, Zoho Expense, and More

February 2019 New Feature Roundup: Zoho Books, Zoho Expense, and More

zoho books zoho expense

At a time when Zoho CRM has been dubbed either a “Leader” or “High Performer” in every business category according to a G2Crowd report, Zoho Corporation has used the momentum from their growing flagship app to push out some great updates to a different suite, the Zoho Finance Platform.  This suite, which includes Zoho Books, Zoho Expense, Zoho Inventory, and Zoho Subscriptions, can be used alongside the CRM to manage a business’s finances, while the CRM handles sales activities and forecasting.

Zoho is innovation at its core

Improving existing apps is the name of the game for Zoho, and this current round of updates should only strengthen Zoho’s brand in the coming months and years.  And given all that, we could not be happier to share these updates with you!

These are just some of the updates Zoho is pushing to their Finance Plus platform.  Keep an eye out for these and many more on the horizon:

zoho books zoho expense

Zoho Books

  1. File 1099s easily with a Yearli integration.  Yearli, which files 1099-MISC forms to the US federal government and applicable state governments during tax season, now integrates directly with Zoho Books.  This means no more double-entry between those two platforms. You can activate this integration from inside of Yearli and import data directly, where it will be ready to submit.
  2. Got new users?  Show them “What’s Next.”  Similar to the Zoho CRM blueprint feature, a new “What’s Next” tab in the Invoices module of Zoho Books tells users of your system the potential actions they can take next, related to an invoice record.  These actions are customizable based on any user’s permissions, and you can turn this new feature on and off as needed.
  3. Branding and Client Portal modules are combined.  Pretty self-explanatory; these modules had been separated, but now you can control the look of your customers’ invoices, actions customers can take, and your custom portal domain all from the same place.
  4. Get quicker answers to your Zoho Books questions.  Page Tips, available near the upper right corner of Zoho Books, now has a search bar that links directly to Zoho Books FAQ.  This will likely cut down on time spent calling your Zoho consultant for help (although we are always happy to hear from you too!).

zoho books zoho expense

Zoho Expense

  1. Different Expense categories = different experiences.  Now, you can personalize the expense creation experience based on the expense category selected by your staff.  Use categories to enable or disable certain fields, pre-fill values in fields, or add tooltips or hints to fields to streamline users’ experience.  This particular update for Zoho Expense is coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
  2. Use Web Tabs for a more integrated experience.  When you’re switching between related tabs in Zoho Expense, what could be better than having related websites directly integrated as you enter or approve expenses?  Use new Web Tabs to keep booking sites or other pricing sites you frequent close at hand, integrated with Zoho Expense.
  3. Do you use Xero?  Now you can integrate it with Expense.  This prevents having to enter expense info across two platforms.  The integration syncs Customers, Expense Accounts, and Categories between Xero and Zoho Expense.  Plus, all approved expenses can be synced to Xero automatically. Nice time saver!

zoho books zoho expense

Zoho Inventory

  1. Do you categorize your items?  So does Inventory.  This is a simple but much-needed update to organize inventory based on category.  Zoho Inventory allows you to run reports not just on items themselves, but on categories of items to gauge performance.
  2. Process only what you need, and nothing you don’t.  You can now manually add items to a package to ship, or even scan their barcodes for an even quicker experience.  This ensures you only process items you need to ship, regardless of the items’ quantity on a related Sales Order.
  3. Simpler orders?  Ship quickly and invoice instantly!  For less involved orders, you now have the ability to select a SO and create a manual shipment without needing to create a Package record first.  (You can also mark those shipments as delivered right away, manually.) Last but not least, create invoices directly from SOs without going through the usual invoice edit page.
  4. Never go Less Than Zero.  It’s easy to get bogged down when dealing with multiple orders at once, and it’s possible to exhaust your product stock when managing it on two different screens.  Now, you can restrict creation of a transaction when it would bring an item’s stock below 0 – and, you can turn this feature on and off as needed.

zoho books zoho expense

Zoho Subscriptions

  1. View all your credit notes as a list.  Now, instead of searching in different places for a customer’s credit notes, you can see them all in a list view.  Simple, but absolutely a time-saver!
  2. Extend subscriptions instantly.  Extending subscriptions when they were meant to be limited used to be a pain, what with having to create a new subscription record and crowding up your customers’ records.  Now, you can extend any limited subscription by a specific number of cycles, and you’re good to go.

zoho books zoho expense

Hop on this train before it leaves the station

Given all these updates to the Zoho Finance platform, and coupled with Zoho’s already inexpensive price point (for example, Zoho Books can be just $29/mo per company by itself), it’s never been a better time to get into Zoho.  Zoho CRM picks up market share seemingly daily, and the Zoho Finance apps will likely follow suit as their feature library continues to grow.  

Wouldn’t it be nice to get in on the ground floor…when it’s still on the ground?  If you’ve ever been curious about Zoho Books, Zoho Expense, or any other Zoho app, it’s a great time to contact us so we can show you how your business would run on Zoho. Whether you use a simple spreadsheet or you’re well-versed in all things accounting – there’s something for everyone here.  Contact us and let’s chat!

Exterior of Cross Campus Downtown Los Angeles location

Zoho Community Meetup at Cross Campus DTLA

Zoho Community Meetup at Cross Campus DTLA

At 1PM on Wednesday, October 3rd, ZBrains will host our next Zoho Community Meetup in the heart of downtown Los Angeles Cross Campus:

800 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90017

Come learn how ZBrains provides solutions to the most common Zoho CRM challenges. This event is FREE and open to the public!

Community Meetup Agenda

Join ZBrains as we help you better understand the Zoho CRM, journeying through the following topics:

Zoho Projects

  • Plan, track, and ensure positive collaboration among your employees. Projects allows for better time management and resource utilization.

Zoho Creator

  • Whether you need complex processes automation or just less tedious work on your plate, Zoho Creator lets you craft a custom app that fits your business.

Zoho Campaigns

  • Building a strong customer base is made that much easier with smart email marketing campaigns, and Zoho Campaigns helps you do that and then some.

POP and IMAP for Better Email Management

  • Achieve a greater understanding of POP and IMAP, and how Zoho integrates with them through various email clients.

SalesInbox to Prioritize your Emails

  • The email client built exclusively for salespeople to bring the most valuable emails to the forefront.

MS Outlook plugin to manage emails, contacts, and events

  • Collaboration is key, which is why this plugin pulls from your emails, tasks, and calendar for one convenient data hub.

Layouts for dynamic customization

  • Custom layouts allow you to tailor your CRM for your business, including the fields that are relevant for your industry.

Subforms to associate multiple line items to a primary sale

  • Custom-create subforms to add accessories to a primary product, or add contact details to accounts, among other uses.

API version 2 for enhanced integration capabilities

  • Released in February 2018, this updated API includes better call methods, output responses, and more!

Zoho CRM Integrations

  • Zoho Projects
  • Zoho Creator
  • Zoho Books

Insightly vs Zoho CRM

Insightly vs Zoho CRM

insightly vs zoho crm

insightly vs zoho crm

Will insight trump customization in this battle?

The cloud-based Insightly has a variety of easy-to-use sales features designed to make office life a bit easier than you might be used to when it comes to fussing with a CRM system.  And, when comparing it to Zoho, it seems a battle of Insightly vs Zoho CRM might be the closest thing we’ve seen to a draw yet.  Both of these cloud-based CRM systems seemingly have it all: great sales tools, marketing automation abilities, social integrations, and, of course, the ability to sync with other programs.

So, how do we determine a victor?

We’ll take a deeper dive into the specifics of Insightly vs Zoho CRM so we know exactly what’s going on.  Come on down!

Round One: Sales Tracking

insightly vs zoho crm

A CRM’s sales monitoring capability is its bread and butter, so, it’s very important for your customer relationship management system to come with a fully stacked system.  In this regard, both Zoho CRM and Insightly are no exception.

Both Insightly and Zoho CRM have basic sales modules like Leads and Contacts, as well as built-in calendars for viewing appointments and other events, the ability to search your entire CRM for any bit of text, file sharing, and – of course – custom fields.

To augment its powerful CRM-wide text-searching tool, Insightly packs a great feature, contact tagging, which is exactly what it sounds like: It allows users to tag CRM contacts with text of their choosing, making finding contacts that fit in a certain group or have certain characteristics all the easier to find – and reach out to – in your system.  Zoho CRM does not have a feature like this.

And, to answer Insightly’s specialized tagging feature, Zoho CRM gives its users the ability to create entire custom modules, allowing for customized functions (and fields) and, for that matter, a truly unique workflow experience.  Insightly users can’t create custom modules.

insightly vs zoho crm

Both Insightly and Zoho CRM contain another useful feature called feeds, which sets the normal CRM engine in a collaborative, social network-like environment.  This allows users to follow certain tasks and contacts, and allows users to communicate easily with each other through commenting and tagging.

All other things being equal (and, they do seem to be that way), it’s difficult to compare the value of contact tagging to that of custom module creation, as different types of businesses will clearly require different functions from their CRMs.  For that reason, this round is a tie.

Round Two: Marketing Automation

insightly vs zoho crm

Second only after keeping track of sales, marketing automation is a huge part of what value a CRM system can bring to a business.  As sales tracking allows the business to take in information, marketing automation allows that business to reach out to groups of its customers without much work on the part of a salesperson at all – hence the word automation.

Both Insightly and Zoho CRM provide for themselves similarly well in this arena.  Both systems provide users mass emailing capability, the ability to create email templates, and web-to-lead capability in the form of customizable webforms.  These are fairly standard features of a CRM system.

Zoho CRM and Insightly can each integrate to social networks as well, giving its users access to those networks (and the ability to see which networks its clients and prospects use) without having to navigate between multiple windows.  In this regard, Insightly comes out on top, boasting integrations to many social networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter, while Zoho CRM only provides integration capability for Facebook and Twitter.

insightly vs zoho crm

Zoho gets a leg up on Insightly, however, with its Zoho Campaigns add-on, which doesn’t have an equivalent in Insightly.  Zoho Campaigns allows for mailing list synchronization straight from Zoho CRM, and houses email templates designed especially for marketing campaigns.  The Zoho Campaigns engine also provides detailed analytics on individual campaign performance, allowing users to know exactly how effective their marketing efforts are.

Although Zoho Campaigns ends up adding to the overall price of Zoho CRM, the fact that users can organize automated marketing campaigns at all inside Zoho CRM gives this round to Zoho.

Round Three: Project Management

insightly vs zoho crm

Project management capability inside a CRM is key for service companies involved in budgeted or fixed projects, whose members often collaborate with each other.  The project management arm of a CRM can house data imported right from the CRM itself, and vice-versa; it provides a more detailed view of projects and the amount of work (and hence productivity) applied to each project.

For something that provides such value, it’s important that any competitive CRM have this sort of function.  And, thankfully, both Zoho CRM and Insightly have project management capabilities.

Aside from standard task listing and team member assignment functions, both Zoho CRM and Insightly can keep track of project milestones (smaller tasks within tasks), can be programmed to send out email reminders when certain tasks are approaching their due dates or when someone adds to a conversational thread.  Both Insightly and Zoho CRM allow users to view past completed projects – but, Zoho CRM only allows this functionality for an additional fee.  (Zoho users can still access Zoho Projects in a more limited capacity for free.)

Obviously, price is important in the grand scheme of things.  (We’ll cover price as a whole later in this article.)  For that reason, Insightly wins the Project Management round.

Round Four: Mobile Power

insightly vs zoho crm

In today’s business climate, the ability to take your business outside the office is just as important as working at your desk, if not more so.  By using mobile apps that connect to their CRMs, business owners and salespeople can perform most any task they would in the office from the palms of their hands, making CRMs that have mobile capability much more accessible at trade shows and other out-of-office situations.

Both Zoho CRM and Insightly have mobile apps associated with them, making them perfect for those sorts of scenarios.  Zoho CRM has a family of mobile apps, including Zoho CRM itself, a Leads app, and a dedicated Card Scanner app for business cards.  (You can read more about all three of these by looking at this Zoho mobile CRM apps page.)  Insightly has a fully functional mobile CRM app itself (found here) that has a built-in business card scanner – and, the whole thing can be viewed as a widget, adding convenience that Zoho’s mobile app doesn’t provide.  For this reason, the mobile round is a tie.

Insightly vs Zoho CRM Bonus Round: The Cost

insightly vs zoho crm

Product cost notwithstanding, Insightly vs Zoho CRM has been quite an even match; both CRMs provide a great assortment of features, both are very customizable, and both have robust sales and marketing tracking features.

Bearing that in mind, one would think the deciding factor in the match to be the cost of the products.  Let’s take a look at some real numbers:

  • To include the features listed here, Zoho CRM costs $35 per user per month.  This also includes unlimited CRM records.
  • For the features listed here, Insightly costs exactly the same: $35 per user per month.  Insightly also gives its users the option to pay a one-time annual fee of $348, which works out to $29 per month.

With these two products so evenly matched, it seems we have our first bona fide tie.  While Zoho CRM emphasizes customization and plasticity to draw in customers, Insightly emphasizes ease of use and consolidation – and, in this case, both products succeed.

However, before jumping to conclusions, it’s important to note that Zoho offers an entire suite of business apps for less than the cost of Zoho CRM – only $30/user/month when paid annually.  This offering, called Zoho One, contains 40+ apps under the Zoho umbrella, and the number grows nearly every month.  Apps include not only the aforementioned CRM, Campaigns, and Projects, but Zoho Books as well.  This variety of apps to use, all with the ability to integrate to each other as needed, lends much more power to Zoho as a choice overall.  (The only caveat to this choice is that all of your organization’s W-2 employees are required to use Zoho One, so it isn’t a good fit for everyone – but it does help in many cases.)

Before you make a decision about which CRM, Insightly vs Zoho CRM, to implement with your business, note that this article doesn’t compare things like ease of use or quality of customer support, which are quite subjective.  Do your due diligence before jumping into anything and you’ll be better off than you were before because of the knowledge you will have gained.