When upgrading to Sage 50 Accounting 2014 from earlier versions of the product, you will now be required to have a Sage Business Care Gold or Platinum subscription in order to create and report on payroll checks in your Sage 50 Accounting solution.
Sage is currently promoting double savings deal for those who upgrade now to the 2014 version. At the bottom of the ad in very small type is the following...Important Note Regarding Payroll Tax Tables: When upgrading to Sage 50 Accounting 2014 from earlier versions of the product, you will now be required to have a Sage Business Care Gold or Platinum subscription in order to create and report on payroll checks in your Sage 50 Accounting solution.
this means I won't be able to run payroll without buying one of their customer service solutions. The person I talked with confirmed this and said the change was "part of their new business model."
So, in addition to buying the software, I am forced to buy a customer service contract AND my annual tax update! All of this just to do the same things I've always done for about half the price. RIP OFF ALERT~!
I have been using Peachtree accounting since 1993. I have recommended it to a lot of business associates. For the small business, it used to be the most comprehensive accounting software in it's price-range and the accountants and tax preparers we have worked with over the years liked it, too. We have run as many as 8 companies on one software program and one of the best features it offers is the ability to work with complete functionality with multiple companies open, unlike Quickbooks "secondary" company open with limited features.
Periodic upgrades to software are necessary and I completely understand that every couple years there will be some changes that may improve my accounting experience. Software needs to be upgraded to conform to the changes to operating systems and even I could understand that there needed to be email links added to Peachtree! I even convinced myself that I am, indeed, not as capable of adjusting my own tax tables as the programmers are and gladly paid for the payroll package. So, after 20 years with Peachtree/Sage, I think it is safe to say that my opinion is experience-based and I am not ranting.
I think that it is time for me to part ways with Sage. I don't appreciate being railroaded into spending money on things (support, advice, training) that I haven't used or needed for more than a decade. I don't need thought leadership events. I don't need Sage to run my payroll; there are other options. I simply need the accounting program that I used to have with Peachtree and I don't think it exists anymore.
When we upgraded to Sage 50 2013, I found, to my dismay, that I couldn't update my payroll formulas or print out my finance charge report. (I was told that Windows 8 compatibility would come with the 2014 version.) I'm fairly certain that I'll be searching for a new program when it comes time to upgrade a couple of years from now. I don't think a company that only has seven employees really needs to upgrade to a business solution when I can do the same thing on a spreadsheet, especially since I'm very, very familiar with the payroll laws.
I have been a Peachtree user since I first found out it was available in Windows, back in 93, I believe. I had worked with it when it was still Dos and didn't like it. Peachtree used to have a Client Write-up program for accountants and it was great but they sold it to another company and it wasn't maintained properly so I eagerly switched to the Windows package and have used it ever since, upgrading every couple of years.
I have10 of my business clients using Peachtree and most of them are on 2012, One is on 2011 and I had considered getting us all in sync with 2013. Am I ever grateful that didn't happen. Where we are now is where we will stay and hopefully I will retire before anything terrible happens.
I install it, set it up to suit me and customize it for their business. It is my software of choice. If someone who is using Quickbooks seeks my services they have to be willing to change to Peachtree or find someone else. Over the years I have accepted clients who use QB and their books are always such a mess that I regret it.
No matter what, Peachtree is still the best software out there, so where do we go from here?
We understand your concerns and appreciate your feedback.
Changes to our payroll services are designed to help customers comply with important tax issues in an effective and efficient way. With tax legislation changing more frequently and time between announcements of tax changes shrinking, the most accurate, timely and compliant way for Sage to deliver tax updates is for customers to be on the most current release of Sage 50 Accounting.
The Sage Business Care program is an effective, convenient and affordable way for you to receive both tax updates and product upgrades. We hope that in making your decision about managing payroll, you’ll explore all the benefits of Sage Business Care. We value you as a Sage 50 customer and would like the privilege of supporting you in the future.
I understand it is a great way to allow software upgrades but sage is not allowing people to opt out of the the tech support. You can't tell me with a straight face that a ton of people wouldn't opt out, thus saving money, and causing Peachtree to lose money. I guess too many people purchased the tax updates yearly and the software upgrade every 3 years and they were losing out on too much potential revenue.
ps if support is so good why has this issues not been fixed?
I feel the same, I have over 30 clients currently using Sage and they are all furious. It's not the fact of the upgrading or the pricing, it's that Sage made this decision without getting any feed back. They basically are forcing their customers to either purchase this package or stop using the program all together. Most of them are going to stop upgrading and use the current version. I did find an add on payroll program for $89,(and $45 yearly for upgrades), that I think most of my customers will be very happy with and it will print checks, do the quarterly and yearly reports.
It won't be costing them anywhere between $500 to $2000. Who cares about the customer support anyway, you can be put on hold for hours during peak season(tax season). All the bells and whistles don't mean dilly if the program is constantly causing problems. I have been working with Peachtree since 1993 when it was dos, and it really boils me to think that Sage would force this onto their customers, they have left no options for them. You either purchase the new version package or do without. I guess they don't care if they lose customers, I'll find a different route for my customers, if it means me doing their payroll for them. THIS IS COMPLETE AND UTTERLY RIDICULOUS!
Agreed. It's not that fact the the support is available-- it sounds like great support IF you want to pay for it, it's because "Big Brother" Sage is forcing people to sign up for support in order to use a portion of the program -- or else not use it at all. It's a great program -- if you don't know how to do payroll at all or the reports. But, for someone like me, it's unnecessary and annoying.
WIth all due respect, this is an utterly weak excuse for any kind of explanation of this issue... Simply put Sage is ripping folks off here. I appreciate you jumping in and attempting to say something but how about something of substance that addresses the issue. I.e.. We are forcing you to pay an exorbitant amount of money for something you may or may not use because... Or we could care less if you stay with Sage 50 because... Or perhaps we could care less about smaller companies and are OK pricing them right out of using the program altogether because.... Or even, we really don't care about your loyalty to the program and the years of learning the program you have under your belt as explicitly shown by our actions because... You know, the REAL issues like that. Lets start there.
The REAL issue is it was a business decision and like all of them there were pros and cons that had to be weighed. In this case if the management team did any research at all they had to know they would lose some customers during this transition but still felt it was in their best interest over the long term. All businesses have to make difficult decisions to move forward and sometimes that means losing some customers -- sometimes it's a calculated method to rid yourself of customers that are not profitable. We support approximately 800 Peachtree / Sage 50 customers and have heard all the various feedback but the bottom line is the cost of maintaining tax tables has increased, the difficulty of maintaining them for multiple versions of the software makes it even more costly and when you objectively evaluate the overall cost of the product and support compared to other options it's still a great value! Another interesting thing I've noted in most of the discussions on this topic -- most of you that have been using the product for 20 years state that you don't need upgrades, tax tables or support -- therefore Sage isn't making any money by having you as a "customer" anyway. The grass is always greener ...
Um, surely, Timothy, you didn't mean to insult us by saying that you don't need us extremely small businesses as a customer? Are you trying to drive us all to other products? I like the product, I just don't like being forced to spend extra for support or else you can't do it.
With all due respect Tim - no one is arguing that there may be increased costs to Sage with maintaining the payroll tax tables. And if Sage had come out with a price increase to the payroll tax subscription to cover those costs, most people would have understood that price increase. BUT - increased costs to maintaining tax tables in no way justifies the quantum leap to forcing users to buy product support and product upgrades, which is completely unrelated.
And let's be honest about supporting multiple versions of the software. First - Sage only has to worry about updating the tax tables - all of the payroll tax print & sign forms are provided by a 3rd party (Aatrix). Second, for years Sage has only supported the three most recent versions of their software with their payroll tax subscription. Even going forward - they will have to support at least the two most current versions because customers can't always upgrade right away. Consider that some customers are using 3rd party software that interfaces with Sage 50 using the API (including us) and Sage 50 cannot be upgraded to the new version until the 3rd party apps support the newer version. This also introduces an additional cost for Sage customers who potentially now need to pay to upgrade their 3rd party apps every year along with Sage 50.
You are correct that this was undoubtedly a business decision on Sage's part, and most likely driven by sheer economic calculus - e.g. if approximately 1/3 of customers are buying product upgrades every year, and about 20% of customers buy product support - if they lost 40% of their customers they would still be money ahead with the remaining 60% buying product & support every year going forward.
What alarms me the most is the fact that this calculus knowingly acknowledges a reduced market share as an acceptible outcome. If they're willing to sacrifice market share, what else are they willing to sacrifice?
Does the Quantum yearly upgrades include the support?
Yes, your Sage 50 Quantum comes with Sage Business Care which includes all upgrades throughout the year -- we'll have 3 this year -- along with support.
Let me know if you have any other questions,
Sage 50 team
Tim, if support is so good why are bugs in the software (see my post below) not fixed over a year after notifying our reseller and Peachtree support?
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