BY HANA MEDINA
ACCOUNTING is paramount to running a
business, yet it’s complicated. Since 2015,
Sage has been simplifying this all-important business function
for Costco members at
an exclusive discount
through Sage One cloud-based accounting
services. With roots in Newcastle, Sage, a
Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 company, is a leading firm for integrated
accounting, payroll and payment systems,
supporting 6. 2 million entrepreneurs
around the globe. The Connection recently
spoke with Alan Laing, Sage’s executive
vice president of partners and alliances, to
;nd out more about this 35-year-old company and its o;ering to Costco members.
THE COSTCO CONNECTION: What is
ALAN LAING: Sage One is a cloud-based
solution that enables businesses to quickly
and easily manage their accounting. It’s
easy to use, easy to maintain and ideal for
the trader or entrepreneur starting o;.
Sage One allows a business owner to
keep track of all money coming in and
going out of their bank account. You can
generate quotes and invoices, reports
and forecasts; record transactions in
multiple currencies and comply with
international VAT laws by using overseas
VAT rates; and import all of your receipts
and payments automatically into your
bank feeds to reduce manual data entry
and human error.
You can also manage multiple busi-
nesses from a single login or delegate addi-
tional employees to access the tool, while
controlling what they can see and do.
This is a simple-to-use accounting
solution that’s very intuitive. It’s in the
cloud, so the platform can be accessed
from any mobile device or computer, and
you can check on your business ;nancials
wherever you are.
CC: Is this service right for every type
AL: Sage One in particular is ideal for
a trader or an entrepreneur starting o;.
There are obviously migration plans where,
once a business becomes more complex or
it scales up, there are other solutions too.
CC: What does Sage offer that other
accounting solutions don’t?
AL: Sage has a vast product range that
caters not only to small businesses but can
be scaled up to service much larger companies. So as a business grows we have solutions that will suit a company’s developing
and changing business needs. Where we’re
diversifying is that we’re working with
companies like Costco and banks and franchises to o;er a solution to their customers,
which allows them to grow their business
in conjunction with the bank or the franchise or with companies like Costco.
We also argue that technology should
drive advances in the finance industry
through innovation. That’s our focus here
at Sage. Sage is focused on challenging
tech to develop solutions that make life
easier for owners of small and medium-sized businesses.
One example is we’re focused on how
bots [software that runs automated tasks
at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone] are overtaking
apps in supporting businesses. Bots can
be programmed to carry out automated
actions [such as reading customer
requests and writing responses automati-cally]. So we’re working very closely with
our customers to develop bots that will
lead the way in how the customers use
tech to develop their business.
CC: What kind of value will Costco
members enjoy using your service?
AL: Individual members receive 70 per
cent o; our market pricing and pay only
£ 6 per month (plus VAT), while Executive
members receive 75 per cent o; and pay
only £ 5 per month (plus VAT). Both types
of member will receive a free 30-day trial to
ensure this service is the best ;t for them.
CC: What kind of support is available
for Costco members once they’ve signed up?
AL: Members can phone in to our call
centre (0845 111 66 11) 24/7, and we also
provide email support (support@sage
CC: Anything else you’d like to share
with our readers?
AL: Sage educates and supports small
and medium-sized businesses on issues
where needed. For instance, the [Brexit]
debate posed challenges for our customers, as there wasn’t good quality information around either side of the debate to
help them make an informed decision.
So, we held two meetings; at each event we
hosted a panel of experts that represented
either side of the “remain or exit” debate,
and our customers were able to ask questions and seek information on areas that
a;ected their business. Both events were
packed out, and we received the feedback
that the events were invaluable.
We are also focused on helping customers understand the impact of the government’s Making Tax Digital initiative
and how they can be ahead of the curve in
adapting their practices to ensure they
can meet the relevant requirements by
2020 [which is when HMRC will have
moved to a fully digital tax system].
We also seek to understand and educate others about the next generation of
entrepreneurs. We recently launched one
of the world’s largest surveys into millennial entrepreneurs, which looks into the
characteristics, traits, ambitions and
needs of the next generation of business
owners. This will help Sage develop products that will support their needs and help
them grow their empires. C
Sage One provides accounting
services with the click of a mouse
THE COS TCO CONNECTION
For more information, or to sign up, visit