Handling critical financial or accounting data is not easy.

If you are an accountant or running an accounting firm, you must be using advanced technology available in the form of accounting software, one of which is Sage 50.  It is one of the best accounting software used by small businesses and accountants.

Sage 50 Hosted on Cloud vs. Sage 50c – Which One to Choose?To its users, it provides a clear view of the processes related to business financial management, which ultimately helps them in making sound financial decisions.

Sage 50 accounting software comes with advanced features like customer record management, automatic ledger maintenance, payroll, stock valuation, sales analysis, and many others.

Now coming to some of its technical specifications –

To put it into use, you can install or host this software into your personal computer or get it hosted in the cloud environment with the help of a cloud solution provider.

It is how an individual can start using the desktop version of Sage 50 software.

But things changed in 2017 when Sage launched its new accounting solution Sage 50c, the hybrid desktop solution with cloud backup. However, the Sage Drive has to be enabled for the backup of data on Sage cloud. Otherwise, it works as a desktop software.

Sage 50c is a combination of all the advanced features of Sage 50 with the company’s cloud and mobile services. It delivers better control over the business-related data into the hands of its users by giving them secure access to data files and the software.

But is it what the end-users of Sage 50 really expect from its cloud version?

Not really.

Tell the differences between Sage 50 hosted on a cloud and Sage 50c to someone who has hosted the software on the cloud.

Most probably, you will find him saying there are no differences at all.

There is not just one, but many people across the globe who seek the right answer to this question –

“Sage 50 hosted in a cloud environment or Sage 50c, which one to choose?”

In this blog, you will get to know more about the actual differences between the two to make an informed decision at your end –

What Makes Sage 50c Different from Cloud-hosted Sage 50?

1. Installation on a Local Host

Sage 50, being an in-office solution needs to be installed on a local computer system before you put it into use.

Thus, there is always a risk of data loss because of disruptive events like system crashing, unauthorized file access, hardware malfunction, and similar others.

One possible reason behind the launch of Sage 50c is to minimize this risk and keep the data files saved on Sage’s cloud.

But as far as the functioning of Sage 50c is concerned, the expectations are much higher than what it delivers.

Before use, Sage 50c still needs to be hosted on one local computer at least, says Small Biz Trends. Only the data files get saved in the Sage Drive, which is not the same as how application hosting works.

Cloud hosting for Sage 50 means that the application gets installed on the cloud, along with the data files. Hence, even the accounting software stays safe on the cloud at all times.

When you opt for Sage 50 hosting, you do not need to worry about the risk of losing the software.

2. All-Time User Accessibility

The local-only access of Sage 50’s desktop version serves as a constraint to the accountants and small businesses.

To use it and access the accounting data, the accountants need to be inside their office premises and work on the local computers this software has been hosted on.

Sometimes, urgent tasks come up and must be addressed without delay using Sage software. But you just can’t work on them if you are not in your office.

To deal with such situations, cloud technology plays a vital role.

When hosted on the cloud, Sage 50’s desktop version can be accessed anytime by the authorized users, no matter where they are.

Now coming to the Sage 50c –

This new version of Sage 50 is also known to be accessible to a certain number of authorized users all the time, but with an unexpected limitation which is –

Only one user can access the data saved in the cloud at a time, thus locking out all other users and not allowing them to work on the data simultaneously.

It simply means that real-time collaboration between team members working on the same data file on Sage 50c is possible, but only partially.

The team members need to coordinate offline to work on Sage’s cloud.

Fortunately, choosing cloud hosting services for Sage 50 can cover up this limitation.

Using this alternative solution, all the authorized users can work on the same file simultaneously and can collaborate to get certain tasks done easily.

3. Cloud Storage Activation

It is another thing that differentiates the Sage 50c from the cloud-hosted alternative of Sage 50’s desktop version.

Understand it this way –

When you want to host your Sage 50 accounting software, you need to choose a reliable cloud service provider who will set things up for you.

Once the required cloud environment has been configured for your business-specific needs, you can start getting the additional benefits of cloud technology backing the software.

In the case of Sage 50c, things are a little different.

Once you have opted for it, the chosen administrator needs to activate ‘Sage Drive’ within this software.

After successful activation, the accounting data on Sage 50c gets synced and backed up on Sage’s cloud.

But what if a user does not activate ‘Sage Drive’ or fails to do so?

As Small Biz Trends says, it will work much the same as its desktop version. It is where the distinction between these two forms of cloud-based Sage 50 software becomes narrower.

Ultimately, it makes the end user feel confused about which one to choose.

4. Local Data Storage and Management

Another way to look at the apparent usability of Sage 50c is in terms of local data storage.

As said above, not all authorized users of Sage 50c can use the cloud at the same time.

It can be assumed that when one of the users is logged into the Sage 50c account, others are using its full functionality on their local systems.

It means that they need local storage capacity big enough to accommodate data files when not connected to the Sage Cloud.

Alongside, the risk of losing these data files is still there, though it would be there for a shorter period until these users sync the data to the cloud one by one.

Now, look at it from the perspective when there is no cloud in between –

The task of managing the accounting data files saved locally can’t be left untouched. It must be managed and maintained well.

In a way, it can be said that Sage 50c does not eliminate local data management needs completely.

But, cloud hosting of the desktop version of Sage 50 does that very well.

Once the Sage application and the data files are moved to the cloud, a user can rest assured it all stays safe over the cloud. As the users are working on their Sage 50 software, which is hosted on the cloud, the data is stored in the cloud in real-time.

5. Pricing Structure

Another aspect that differentiates Sage 50c from Sage 50 cloud hosting is its pricing structure.

The price you need to pay to start using Sage 50c depends on the following factors –

  • Core users, the count of which can go upto 20 users maximally
  • The number of companies to be included
  • Tenure of the payment plan – monthly or annually

In general, the most basic pricing plan of Sage 50c starts at around $46 per month, excluding taxes. It means that a user needs to continue paying for it at the end of the chosen tenure.

However, the case is different when you choose to pay for cloud hosting of Sage 50’s desktop version.

Along with the license to use Sage 50 on your local desktop system, you need to pay for a suitable cloud hosting plan matching your needs.

Now that there are numerous cloud hosting providers for you to choose, their hosting pricing plans may also differ.


It is true that Sage 50c is the improved, advanced form of Sage 50’s desktop version created to solve some of the pain points faced by its users.

But there are so many reasons that confirm it does not offer a hundred percent features of cloud technology.

Indeed, Sage 50c is different from getting the desktop version of Sage 50 hosted in the cloud environment.

Hence, the final choice lies in your hands.

You need to decide which way to go depending upon your specific business needs.

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