Intuit QuickBooks vs. Sage for manufacturing
Midsize business

Intuit QuickBooks vs. Sage for manufacturing

Successful manufacturers know that adapting to uncertainty is rarely the exception, but rather the rule. Whether it’s dealing with a workforce that’s constantly in flux or adjusting to disruptions in the supply chain, it’s essential that you have systems in place that enable you to maintain efficient manufacturing operations even in changing conditions.

Your accounting solution is a key component of this nimble posture—it must provide the flexibility to optimize your financial management in the short term while providing the ability to scale as your manufacturing firm grows.

In this article, we compare Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise, which serves growing manufacturing businesses, to an accounting software competitor, Sage, to evaluate their viability for manufacturing firms.

These comparisons are based on both verifiable vendor claims, third-party reviewers like G2 and Capterra (tech marketplaces where businesses can provide their unbiased opinions and review software solutions), and objective accounting software reviews from PCMag and Techradar.

Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise: Background

QuickBooks Enterprise helps manufacturing firms manage their business transactions effectively and also save time and effort by conglomerating daily financial processes and functions into a streamlined, easy-to-use interface.

QuickBooks Enterprise is an integrated solution designed for growing, product-based businesses that helps users streamline business and financial operations management. It bundles key functionality and lets business owners add and customize capabilities as they grow. QuickBooks Enterprise integrates with other leading point solutions like Salesforce to create a connected back-office experience, instead of a traditional “one-stop shop” ERP solution.

Sage: Background

Sage helps businesses manage their accounting needs, including operations, people, payroll, and payments, with solutions for manufacturing businesses of different sizes. These solutions can be delivered wherever they’re needed—in the cloud, on-premises, or both.


QuickBooks Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale vs. Sage 50cloud for growing manufacturing businesses

For manufacturing management, Sage offers Sage 50cloud. Users can add Sage People and Sage HRMS to their package for enhanced HR and human capital management capabilities. 

QuickBooks Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale is a specialized offering for growing manufacturing businesses. It features accounting, project costing, and management, as well as payroll capabilities. QuickBooks Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale also integrates with top third-party manufacturing business applications to help connect existing tools, processes, and datasets.

Deep Dive into Sage vs. QuickBooks Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale


For the purposes of this comparison table, we will define scalability as the ease with which new functionality and product iterations can be added or divested from a user’s bundle, along with the resultant impacts on BAU (business as usual).

Time Tracking

QuickBooks Enterprise can deliver robust time tracking with the addition of QuickBooks Time. The core Sage 50cloud offering does not provide time tracking, but Sage does offer add-ons to help manage time tracking.

Business Process Automation

Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale offer automation capabilities associated with their core workflows.

Job Costing and Management

Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale have project costing and management features to help manufacturing companies manage job progress, time, and costs.

Reporting and Analytics

Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Enterprise provide reporting and analytics dashboards that increase the visibility into a company’s metrics and data to help improve decision making.


Both Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale aim to make implementing their core offerings easier and faster than other financial management platforms. The time and complexity of implementing either solution depends on the needs of your company.


Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Enterprise provide native solutions for integrating leading third-party business applications and enterprise platforms.

QuickBooks Enterprise offers pre-configured integrations with popular third-party systems, applications** and programs, and can be used with third-party integrators to further extend the ecosystem.


Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale both provide several support options to optimize customer experience, with some basic support included with the subscription, and an option to pay for more hands-on assistance.


Sage 50cloud and QuickBooks Enterprise can be customized to provide value based on need and budget. Both QuickBooks Enterprise and Sage 50cloud can be paid for month to month, or annually (as of September 2021, the time this article was written).***

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Sage or QuickBooks offer specific solutions for manufacturing?

QuickBooks Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale is specifically designed to help manufacturing firms produce, manage, and distribute products more effectively and efficiently.

Sage 50cloud, on the other hand, offers features that are appealing to the manufacturing industry but is a more general offering that is used in many industries.

Does Sage integrate with QuickBooks?

No. When considering the appropriate technology stack for your manufacturing firm, remember that Sage Intacct, Sage 50cloud, and QuickBooks Enterprise have all been designed as comprehensive accounting and back-office solutions. QuickBooks can integrate with third-party point solutions—for example, QuickBooks Enterprise integrates with Salesforce. Sage features several proprietary add-ons and encourages users to upgrade within the ecosystem.

What if my Sage or QuickBooks solution is unable to connect to the internet?

QuickBooks Enterprise installations with optional cloud hosting will not work if they are not connected to the internet. Sage Intacct and Sage 50cloud can function offline, but the website notes that working offline will result in file inconsistencies if there are multiple users working online and offline at the same time.[1]

What security features do Sage and QuickBooks include, and how do they compare?

Given factors such as an increasingly mobile workforce and the need to share data with external parties, security should be top of mind for every manufacturing company.

Sage Intacct, Sage 50, and QuickBooks Enterprise are all regularly audited for security compliance certifications.

Sage security features include highly granular control over user access, two-step user verification every time a user signs in through an unrecognized device, enforced password changes, automatic session timeouts, and the option to set acceptable IP ranges from which users may log in. These solutions also include secure backups and recovery for minimized impact following a breach or ransomware attack.[2]

Support for QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise with cloud access is provided by Right Networks*. A valid QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise license code must be provided to Right Networks to receive support. Right Networks performs backups of all cloud access data on a nightly basis and retains the back-ups for a rolling 90-day period in a protected offsite facility as an additional level of protection. There is no limitation to the size of a customer’s back-up. Customers are responsible for verifying the integrity of the hosted data at least every 90 days. Right Networks employs Snapshot technology to backup customer data. Snapshots are taken daily and then replicated to another physical Right Networks facility for Disaster Recovery.

Right Networks uses top-tier data centers and multiple layers of redundancy within its infrastructure to provide 24×7 availability. However, availability can vary, is subject to occasional downtime and may change without notice. Right Networks encrypts all backup files and backup tapes. Virtual desktop connections are protected via TLS with a minimum of 128 bit encryption and authentication. Each customer has a unique Right Networks virtual desktop. Access to each QuickBooks company file is controlled at multiple layers including file access permissions. Access is locked out after multiple failed login attempts for the same user. Security features, functionality and access are subject to change without notice as deemed necessary by Right Networks. Availability can vary and are subject to occasional downtime and may change without notice. Right Networks may offer third party software, separate terms and fees may apply.

Can I migrate my historical data into Intuit QuickBooks or Sage products?

Yes, it is possible to migrate historical data easily using both Sage Intacct and Sage 50 in “historical mode.”[3] QuickBooks also allows users to migrate historical data and offers two ways of doing this: chronologically or in batches to save time.


Manufacturing firms face a unique set of challenges in maintaining effective financial management.

Sage provides extensive functionality that helps you go deeper into your organization’s data, gaining valuable insights that can aid your organization’s decision making.

QuickBooks Enterprise is comparable to Sage for growing small businesses looking for something that is more than just an “accounting system.” Its easy integration paths to powerful third-party partners help expand their ecosystem, providing a faster time to value and a strong foundation for future growth. QuickBooks solutions provide a robust and flexible financial management hub with automated workflows that can help small to medium-sized businesses break out of their “SMB” shell to take the next step.

Get in touch with QuickBooks for more information. 

We can help you determine which QuickBooks solution best fits your needs and desire for business growth and can offer migration support to ensure your journey to QuickBooks is smooth.

Set up a QuickBooks demo at your convenience. 

*Additional terms, conditions, and fees apply.

**Apps are subject to change without notice.

***Products, features, pricing, discounts, and offerings are subject to change without notice.

© 2021 Intuit. Trademarks available at

This content is for information purposes only and information provided should not be considered legal, accounting or tax advice or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. Additional information and exceptions may apply. Applicable laws may vary by state or locality. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation. Intuit Inc. does not have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. cannot warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate, nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.

Additional terms and conditions apply with certain features and functionality. Eligibility criteria may apply. Terms, conditions, pricing, discounts, special features and service and support offerings subject to change without notice.

Third-party links as a convenience and for informational purposes only. Intuit does not endorse or approve these products and services, or the opinions of these corporations or organizations or individuals. Intuit accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content on these sites.




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