Both Sage Intacct and Xero are global leaders in the Cloud-based accounting systems market. Smaller businesses, the self-employed and bookkeepers typically use Xero, while Sage Intacct is very popular with SMEs, mid-market and larger enterprises.
Xero and Sage Intacct offer computerised solutions to automate the financial management of businesses. However, there are essential differences regarding their features and capabilities. Read on to learn how Xero and Sage are suited to different business needs, largely dependent on business size and industry. We compare and evaluate their features to help you determine your business's best solution.
What is Sage Intacct?
Sage is a world leader in accounting systems and provides world-class enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. The Intacct software was initially developed by the Intacct Corporation and later acquired by Sage in 2017. It has been rebranded and further developed as Sage Intacct and is sold on a SaaS subscription model, serving around 65 million customers.
Sage Intacct is one of the first native Cloud-based Financial Management solutions. It’s typically used by small to medium-sized businesses and larger companies; it provides them with automated solutions for Accounting, Payments and Payroll.
Sage Intacct has two available editions: the Sage Intacct Starter Edition for smaller businesses and start-ups, plus Sage Intacct for larger and enterprise-size companies. Due to Sage Intacct's modular structure, this software can accommodate your business growth by adding new modules as you expand.
Xero Accounting Software
Xero is a relatively young Cloud-based accounting solution founded in New Zealand in 2006. It targets small businesses, accountants, bookkeepers, sole traders, and the self-employed.
Xero’s products are based on the SaaS model and are sold by subscription. Their 3.5 million customers are located worldwide, mainly in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK.
Three versions of Xero are currently available, the Starter, Standard, and Premium packages. Xero is especially popular with new businesses that need an all-in-all solution for automating their accounting and bookkeeping.
Sage Intacct vs Xero: The Differences
Although both Intacct and Xero cover the core accounting features, there is a wide range of differences regarding other features, modules, and functionality. Xero is a good solution for small and solo businesses that need an easy-to-use accounting solution. Still, a larger or growing company will require a more scalable solution with a high-quality ERP – such as Sage Intacct – to handle the arising complexities.
In the article's next section, we evaluate the similarities and differences between the Xero accounting software and Sage Intacct.
Xero's main features
The Premium version of Xero offers a great accounting solution for the self-employed and new small businesses. Xero’s features allow customers to automate the following areas of business management:
Bank transactions & reconciliation
Xero connects its customers with their chosen bank and provides a secure connection while facilitating daily transactions. It also provides a reconciliation function by matching your bank statements with the transactions, thus keeping your accounting records up to date.
Send invoices and quotes
Preparing and sending quotes with Xero is easy and customisable to your needs. When a quote has been accepted and the work has been carried out, you can turn the quote into an invoice using the saved details.
Creating invoices and keeping a record of them is one of the core functions of Xero. It also allows you to generate a batch of invoices and upload them to your bank.
Submit VAT returns to HMRC
Xero can calculate the VAT on all transactions, which you can review in an easy-to-understand layout. The software also submits, tracks, and manages your VAT online securely and keeps you updated regarding due amounts and returns.
Capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc
Xero uses Hubdoc to enter critical data and documents automatically; no manual entry is needed. Hubdoc turns all your bills and receipts into usable data for you, stored, organised online, and entirely reconciled with your banking.
Automatic CIS calculations and reports
Xero does your monthly CIS calculations for you. You get an overview of your deductions payable to HMRC, and Xero files your return automatically. Submitting CIS returns is available for an extra cost as an add-on.
Bulk reconcile transactions
Xero can reconcile multiple manual bank entries without manually entering each entry. The bulk reconciliation feature is not available in the starter package, only in the Standard and Premium packages.
Use multiple currencies
With Xero, you can pay your invoices and receive payments in over 160 currencies with instant conversions. This feature is available through the business edition pricing plan.
Short-term cash flow and business snapshot
This functionality lets you track overdue invoices and bills to get a clearer picture of your cash flow. The business snapshot function provides an overview of your financial trends and performance.
There is a range of optional add-ons available for extra cost for Xero customers, including:
Payroll processing is HMRC compliant and submits relevant payment and tax data to HMRC. Xero’s automated online payroll comes with employee self-service access, automatic tax, pensions, and leave calculations.
Xero offers seamless management of expenses, records costs, sees and approves claims, and provides you with an overview of trends.
Xero – pay with Wise
Wise has excellent integration with Wise and its international multi-currency payment system. To access this functionality, you must have a Xero Premium Plan with a multi-currency function and a Wise for Business account registered in Singapore.
Sage Intacct: key modules and features
Sage Intacct is an advanced financial management solution with many more innovative features and modules than Xero. Moreover, Intacct was recently rated as number one in customer satisfaction and core financials by G2 – the world's largest and most reputable software review site.
Due to its modular buildup, Sage Intacct is powerful, scalable, and grows with your business by providing the following feature-rich modules:
Sage Intacct's leading position in the industry is mainly due to its robust Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Management, Multi-dimensional General Ledger, Order Management & Purchasing functions that comprise the Core Financial module. The integrated nature of these modules and the rich reporting capability mean you can run your business more efficiently. The features of the core financial module take care of costing, billing, budgeting, and analytics for you.
Dashboard and Reporting
Sage Intacct’s customisable dashboards and reporting tools enable you to get real insights across your business and help you with decision-making. Using real-time data, you will be able to make decisions within the day or even the hour.
Automating your month-end journals with dynamic allocations will save you time, reduce risk and improve your margins. Dynamic Allocations help you understand the actual performance of your business and automate spreading costs across several dimensions.
Global and Domestic Consolidations
Global consolidations allow you to administer hundreds of entities within a few minutes, saving you a considerable amount of time.
Revenue Recognition & Management
Getting revenue recognition out of spreadsheets is a lengthy and meticulous process. Sage Intacct’s Revenue Recognition & Management takes over this process from you and transfers the data into your accounting system.
Sage Intacct offers powerful, real-time integration with Salesforce. It doesn’t require third-party plug-ins and allows you to sync accounts, products, and invoices across platforms. You can also create orders and invoices directly from Salesforce.
Multi-currency accounting is one of the most significant accounting challenges for any business. Sage Intacct’s multi-currency solution saves you manual work and helps your business improve its global reach.
Sage Intacct’s best-in-business stock control module brings you integrated Inventory Management. With its help, you can increase your cash flow and reduce risk while delivering excellent service to your clients.
The Spend Management feature lets you always have up-to-date visibility of your budget, ensuring that you place your orders accordingly.
Managing fixed assets is time-consuming and prone to error when done manually. Sage Intacct’s Fixed Asset Management provides accurate, real-time reporting, allowing you to make business decisions confidently.
Contract Management helps your business achieve a streamlined financial process and improve efficiency. The following four components will help you automate, integrate, and scale your operations: Contract & Subscription Billing, Contract Revenue Recognition, Contract Expense Recognition, and SaaS Digital Board Book.
Automating your project accounting will improve your project profitability and efficiency. The following five functions of Sage Intacct’s Project Accounting module will help you achieve automation that will lead to better visibility and profitability: Project Billing, Resource Management, Project Costing, and Time & Expense Management.
Sage Intacct’s project accounting module allows you to create and submit VAT returns to HMRC, download bank statements, and automate bank reconciliations.
Sage Intacct vs Xero compared
Based on our list of features, Sage Intacct is a much more versatile system than Xero. The differences become even more apparent when we directly compare the capabilities that enable more complex accounting and business growth.
Xero's essential reporting function likely only satisfies small businesses and solopreneurs. However, growing and larger companies need real-time insights into their financials. Sage Intacct offers world-class Dashboards & Reporting functionality and pre-built reporting packages for all types of business, such as SaaS, Non-Profit, and many more.
In summary, if you are a small business and all you need is basic reporting, Xero can be an excellent choice for you. However, if your company is larger or growing, Sage Intacct has you covered. Its world-class Dashboards & Reporting will save you lots of time and provide valuable financial insight into your business.
Sage Intacct is designed to manage multiple entities, while Xero is not equipped for consolidation and cross-entity transactions. Businesses with multiple entities can significantly benefit from Sage Intacct’s Dynamic Allocation module, inter-company features and its ability to consolidate various entities automatically.
Larger and multi-national businesses would need a robust Financial Management system such as Sage Intacct to manage their several entities.
Contract management & revenue recognition
If you only have a small number of contracts, Xero can be a great choice to manage them for you. However, Xero struggles with a more significant number of contracts. On the other hand, Sage Intacct comes with excellent Revenue recognition, subscription billing, and an acclaimed contract management module surpassing most other ERP solutions.
Although Xero has developed a Projects Dashboard functionality, it only allows for a top-level view. Sage Intacct has richer capabilities, such as task management and time and materials billing. Sage Intacct provides you with all the visibility you need for project reporting.
Another significant difference is in terms of scalability. Although Xero can accommodate some business growth, it has its transaction number limits. Xero's earlier mentioned weaknesses, such as reporting and project visibility, are also significant hurdles for true scalability. Sage Intacct, however, was designed to be scalable. It comprises modules that can be added to the core functionalities as your business grows. When your business has outgrown basic accounting needs, Sage Intacct can take your business to the next level.
When you are deciding on accounting software for your business, it is crucial that you also account for your future plans for growth.
Small business owners and the self-employed have a much simpler business structure, so Xero can be a good solution for them. Larger and growing businesses, however, need a more sophisticated accounting system and a scalable ERP solution – such as Sage Intacct – to accommodate their growing needs.
Starting out with the right solution is vital, as migration from one system to another is a lengthy and expensive process. The modular Sage Intacct enables you to start small with core accounting functionalities and add further modules as your business grows.